Mic/Preamp/Converter shootout...clips & pics

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by chrisgraff, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    I had a day off last week to be a guitar-nerd...and I have a little listening test for you all.

    Gear tested:

    SM57 Unidyne III
    Sennheiser 421
    AT 4047
    ATM 25
    Palmer PGA-04
    ProTools 003 preamp
    ProTools 003 converters
    API 312 preamp (old one racked by Brent Averill)
    Mackie 1202 vlz

    Guitar gear used:
    1980 Les Paul custom w/Voodoo 59's
    Menotone King of the Britans (only used as a boost)
    TIM pedal (older, with 4558 chip)
    Fargen Olde800
    Heritage closed back 2x12 with V30 & 55 hz G12H30 (V30 mic'd)

    All the guitar/pedal/amp settings remained constant. This is a test of recording gear only. Here is the link:


    Shootout


    In no particular order, the clips (A thru K) are:

    SM57, close mic'd, center of speaker, api pre, (no pad engaged), UA 2192
    SM57, close mic'd, center of speaker, api pre,(pad engaged), UA 2192
    SM57, close mic'd, center of speaker, mackie pre, UA 2192
    SM57, close mic'd, off axis, api pre (no pad), UA 2192
    SM57, close mic'd, center, Digi 003 preamp and converters
    SM57, close mic'd, center, api pre (w/pad), 003 converters
    421, 2" from cab, center of speaker, api pre (no pad), UA 2192
    421, close mic'd, center of speaker, api pre (no pad), UA 2192
    4047, close mic'd, center, api pre (w/pad), UA 2192
    ATM25, close/center, api (no pad), UA 2192
    Cabinet bypassed in lieu of using Palmer PGA-04 to api to UA 2192

    All clips were recorded @ 48k, and are all within .4 dB, except one that was .8dB louder.

    The clips are not in the order listed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  2. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Pedalboard
    [​IMG]
    TIM
    [​IMG]
    Olde800 settings
    [​IMG]
    SM57 close mic'd, center of speaker
    [​IMG]
    SM57 off-axis
    [​IMG]

    API with pad engaged
    [​IMG]
    API - no pad (ie maximum headroom)
    [​IMG]
    AudioTechnica 4047, pad engaged on the mic
    [​IMG]
    421, close mic'd
    [​IMG]
     
  3. mindseye

    mindseye Member

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    Very cool shootout!
    My favorites were G,K, and A.

    When do we get the reveal on whats what?

    Thanks for taking the time to do this!!!
    I think these shootouts are awesome!
     
  4. Gi-gi-giggity

    Gi-gi-giggity Member

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    I like the cut of "D" the best...then "A".
    Is all of this your gear? Sounds good Chris, thanks for taking time to share.
     
  5. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    I'll post the results in a day or two. All the clips are within .4dB, except for K which is .4dB louder than average (.8dB louder than the softest). Keep that in mind.

    I'd also recommend you download the clips; they are only 128k mp3's to begin with (limitation of the host). When you stream the clips, you're only getting a lo-res version of that!

    And if you guys really want to be precise, I can put all the clips (16 or 24 bit), up on my iDisk.
     
  6. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    All mine...some other amps/guitars/pedals not shown. What can I say, I'm a GAS-A-HOLIC. :)
     
  7. dnumde

    dnumde Member

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    my favourites are A, F, G and K i think. A and F were quite close with F having just that bit more clarity and bite
     
  8. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    A. SM57, close mic'd, center, api pre (w/pad), 003 converters
    B. SM57, close mic'd, off axis, api pre (no pad), UA 2192
    C. 421, 2" from cab, center of speaker, api pre (no pad), UA 2192
    D. Cabinet bypassed in lieu of using Palmer PGA-04 to api to UA 2192
    E. 4047, close mic'd, center, api pre (w/pad), UA 2192
    F. SM57, close mic'd, center, Digi 003 preamp and converters
    G. SM57, close mic'd, center of speaker, api pre, (no pad), UA 2192
    H. ATM25, close/center, api (no pad), UA 2192
    I. 421, close mic'd, center of speaker, api pre (no pad), UA 2192
    J. SM57, close mic'd, center of speaker, api pre,(pad engaged), UA 2192
    K. SM57, close mic'd, center of speaker, mackie pre, UA 2192

    :BEER
     
  9. mindseye

    mindseye Member

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    I must have not found the sweet spot for my SM57's because the 57's in the shoot out were my favorites!

    Nice job and thanks agin for taking the time to do it!!
     
  10. Greggy

    Greggy Member

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    Not surprising. Everybody on this board becomes so bored of the usual gear that they lust for something new and discount the tried and true. The 57 is a great choice for electric, we shouldn't forget that. The best among the mics I've used. Angle the 57 and eq your amp, those are the most important issues re the 57.
     
  11. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    The only one that surprised me was the Digi003. I've heard shootouts with a Digi002 thrown in and it always sounds terrible next to higher end stuff, the 003 wasn't as bad as I expected.
     
  12. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    You're welcome!

    Everybody loves a 57 in context of a track, because of what it does to the sound. The 4047 is probably closer to the sound in the room, or at least if you put your ear to the cabinet. :eek:

    On a session, I'm never in the same room as my cabinet - never. I only listen in context of what I want the guitar to sound like with everything else. With those parameters, a 57 is pretty hard to beat...for the crunchy stuff, anyway.

    Final comment about 57's...I used an older "Unidyne III" version. Scored on ebay for $50 exactly. It was in great shape, even came with the allen wrench!
     
  13. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    I was shocked, myself!
     
  14. dnumde

    dnumde Member

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    Same here, the Digi003 sounds not too shabby compared to the UA. Pretty interesting test and results, i think i need to look more at how i eq my amp since i've always used the 57 dead centre and close mic'ed....but always took way too long to find any tones that seems useable
     
  15. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Interesting to me is how the Mackie doesn't hold up as well as it used to when it was first popular 10 or so years ago. Also interesting is how dark the Palmer sounds. Do you remember how it was setup, and how did you come to that decision?

    This also shows that the convertors make much less of a difference than the mic, mic position, and/or the preamp.
     
  16. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    The palmer was set with the switch to "brown" and the low freq. knob set all the way to "deep". treble knob set around 1 o'clock. With the switch set to "lite", it is much brighter, albeit without as much meat.

    ...or something like that.
     
  17. Clumsy Fingers

    Clumsy Fingers Member

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    Very interesting!


    I suspect that I wave to start tweaking my mic placement, rather than being a lazy fark who can't be bothered moving it off-center ;)

    Thanks for the ideas!
     
  18. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

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    great little test here!

    thanks for posting
     

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