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Thread: Do we really hear the difference?

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    Default Do we really hear the difference?

    Some days ago one of my friends bring me a piano concert on cd. The performance and the sound was both amazing. After that we discussed how much we like the sound, he told me that all the preamps was isa428's.
    If I were asked for the preamp blindly, I were probably told it was millenia or other cleaner type.
    I know it's not a big story, just thought to myself. If you listen to a all around good production which is ready, and you don't know anything about how it is made, can you identify for example the preamp?
    I've read so many bashing the new isa's which I consider to buy anyway.
    Is really those preamps are that bad or just the person didn't have the ability to do a really good job?
    Heard other even prize-winner classical works which was recorded through old neve's, or dav's.
    So the point is after all, I agree that preamps are make big difference, but at the end of the day (in a good engineer's hand) does they really change the word?
    Sorry for the long post.
    Tamas Dragon

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    The world is not changed. Use what you have or what you like (hopefully the same thing.)
    Eliott James
    "When it's all said and done, not even the best of us can pick out what was used on what when listening to the record." LF

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    Quote Originally Posted by tamasdragon View Post
    The performance and the sound was both amazing. After that we discussed how much we like the sound, he told me that all the preamps was isa428's.
    It's never the preamp. Good sound comes from the performer, the instrument, the microphone and its placement, and the room.

    --Ethan

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    Scott Fraser is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
    It's never the preamp. Good sound comes from the performer, the instrument, the microphone and its placement, and the room.
    --Ethan
    Truer words were never spoke.

    Scott Fraser

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
    It's never the preamp. Good sound comes from the performer, the instrument, the microphone and its placement, and the room.

    --Ethan
    I like the way you think.... now I don't have to spend thousands on preamps!

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    The only place one might really be able to ID a preamp is if it's a few particular antiques that are super 'brown' and smeary in certain ways. Even then, maybe not, just that they from a certain family of circuit types.
    Doug Williams
    Electromagnetic Radiation Recorders

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    Spotting preamps in a mix? That's a tough one. Really tough.

    I did have someone ask me one time if I could tell compressors apart, in a mix. It was a client that needed to recreate something with no knowledge whatsoever of what was used originally on the session (Mic, preamp, EQ, compressor--nothing). I guessed and told him. He called back a few days later and said "I talked to the engineer who tracked the vocals. Guess what. You were right."

    If he had asked me what preamp? Not a chance. Does that mean I can't tell the difference between a Millennia and a Mercury and LaChapell and a Focusrite. No. In context, and especially on a session when I'm tracking, I can tell. Can anyone other than me tell, after the fact? Probably not.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
    It's never the preamp. Good sound comes from the performer, the instrument, the microphone and its placement, and the room.
    ... and IMHO, exactly in that order! Best regards
    Last edited by Andreas Lassak; 01-31-2013 at 12:06 AM.
    Andreas Lassak
    SoundDesign Studio

    It's maddening: As soon as I make it right - it suddenly works!

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    Wireline is offline 3D VIP 2004, '05, '06, '08, '09, '10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andreas Lassak View Post
    ... and IMHO, exactly in that order! Best regards
    Then why do we (some) spend several thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours matching the pre to the situation? I think it not to be quite this simple; if it were, any high end pre would do the trick, instead of specific models (or even specific units) for very specific tasks.


    Just discussing.
    Ken Morgan
    2010 3d VIP

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    Spotting preamps in a mix? That's a tough one. Really tough.

    I did have someone ask me one time if I could tell compressors apart, in a mix.
    I too have been asked to play 'spot the compressor', and (thankfully) got it right. Preamps? I'd struggle.

    Incidentally, OP, I would have thought DAV pres would work well for classical, and if award-winning recordings are being made with them I'm not surprised.
    Nigel Palmer
    Lowland Masters
    www.lowlandmasters.com

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