OK, as nothing much is going on anymore, here is the solution:
The preamp called A is the inbuilt preamp of the Tascam HS-P82 recorder that has been used for the whole test. All the other preamps also went to that recorder with their analog inputs set to line input. The complete recorder costs in the USA around 2000 US$ (was over 5000US$ when introduced).
Preamp B: Millenia Media HV-32P dual mono preamp (with ribbon input) costs around 1100 US$ 2-channels mic inputs, nothing more.
Preamp C: DAV Broadhurst Garden 1 (BG1) is considered by many professionals as one oft the great British preamps (in Germany to be had around 560 Euro) for two channels preamp. Exists also in 4 and 8 channel variation.
Preamp D: Now, this one is very interesting case because it got some attention here. It's Presonus Digimax D8 with eight channels of preamps and a ADC (44.1 and 48khz/24bit) ADAT output for ... around 400 US$ for eight channels of preamps!
Preamp E: AEA TRP (True Ribbon Preamp) + external phantom power unit (as this preamp doesn't even have phantom power, being intended for ribbon mics only. It is 900 US$ in the USA. I used it with the Audix Phantom Power unit sold for around 120 Euro in Germany (works very well BTW).
What are my own thoughts about the outcome? Well, first of all I liked the results of E followed by A and then on third place C. I liked D least because in my ears it sounds a bit scooped in the midrange and a bit harsh in the highs.
The sound of E is rock solid but open and effortless. The Sound of A is maybe a bit less open as compared to E but still open enough, solid and balanced.
B lacks a bit of this solidity and appears to my ears as a bit veiled.
C is almost larger than life with a bit too much glue inside the mids...
As conclusion I would say that the differences in quality are astoundingly little considering the range of prices being involved here. All in all the quality standard in this league (though one can spend a lot more money on preamps, too) is very high. And big thumb up to Tascam: With the HS-P82 they have produced a very decent self-contained 8 channel recording machine.
The aim of this test was: would I dare to come to a recording session just equipped with the recorder and a set of good microphones, or would I need to drag external preamps with all that it entails: Extra cables, AC cords and outlets and all the hassle of connecting all the preamps ...
For me the clear result is: yes, the preamps of the Tascam stand so well that I would not bother to go through the extra hassle. I'm quite glad about that!
Thanks for your contributions...
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