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Equipment standard (preamp)

September 13, 2011

 

I had to see if I could settle with the equipment I now have and move on to the next phase, or if I needed to invest in better and more expensive equipment. Lydrommet were kind enough to borrow me an ISA 828 preamp to do some testing.

I tested the ISA 828 up against the preamps in a Focusrite pro40, they are from the same manufacturer, but the pro 40 costs 500$ and the ISA 828 costs 2500$ (september 13th 2011).

I connected the ISA 828 to the Pro40’s ADAT-input and recorded Kick drum, Snare drum and over heads, first with one preamp, then the other one. I see now that I should have had an xlr-split and recorded with both preamps to two different tracks at the same time to get a more scientifically correct comparison, but at the end, I got what I came for.

Listen for your self:

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Kick drum (recorded with AKG C 547 BL):

Pro40:

ISA828:

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Snare drum (recorded with AKD C 518):

Pro40 (stick):

ISA828 (stick):

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Pro40 (brushes):

ISA828 (brushes):

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Overhead (recorded with AKG C 414):

Some out-of-phase-ish issues here, caused by soundcloud.

Pro40:

ISA828:

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Everything was recorded at 48.0 kHz and 24bit.

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At a small PA system (mackie) I couldn’t hear the difference between the Pro40 and the ISA828 in any of the above examples, but when I got home to my studio monitors I heard some differences on the Over heads recordings and on the Brushes recordings.

My live performances are not intended to be played with studio monitors and the difference I heard on my studio monitors is, in my particular case, and by my opinion, not worth 2000$.

It is good to know that I find the Pro40’s preamps good enough for my usage, It’s latency and LLP (Low Latency Performance) on the other hand is a challenge I’ll address later.

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