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Author Topic: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's  (Read 9514 times)

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Offline CorFit Chris

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2017, 12:50:08 PM »
I definitely hear a stronger, cleaner sound when a preamp is present.  Maybe the coloration isn't that important if I can learn how to better use post processing software. 

Interestingly, I am seeing used Sound Devices 302 is similar in price to the MixPre-D and USBpre 2.  Also, a used SD Mixpre is around $500.  Pros or cons to the SD 302 or Mixpre?
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Offline Jhurlbs81

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2017, 02:27:43 PM »
If you really like the V3 sound but don't want to pay 700-800, look for a V2 as they can be had for $500.  The AD in your 680 is probably better than the one in the V3 anyway, IMO.

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2017, 02:38:41 PM »
If you really like the V3 sound but don't want to pay 700-800, look for a V2 as they can be had for $500.  The AD in your 680 is probably better than the one in the V3 anyway, IMO.
kindms and I have been having this convo. I've been coveting the V2's which come up for sale infrequently; but he accurately contends the reason to have the V3 is for the digi out.
If you don't need/desire digi out, the electronics in the V3 are similar although I do think Grace used a different op amp between the two.
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Offline darby

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2017, 02:53:42 PM »
If you really like the V3 sound but don't want to pay 700-800, look for a V2 as they can be had for $500.  The AD in your 680 is probably better than the one in the V3 anyway, IMO.
kindms and I have been having this convo. I've been coveting the V2's which come up for sale infrequently; but he accurately contends the reason to have the V3 is for the digi out.
If you don't need/desire digi out, the electronics in the V3 are similar although I do think Grace used a different op amp between the two.

I believe Mike at one time said they were "identical"
the main benefit to the V3 over the V2 is the metering besides the digital out
I did like having an RCA out on the V2 though

the USBPre 2 in my opinion sounded very similar to the Lunatecs (maybe a touch warmer) with many different outputs

EDIT:
from the archives
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=90060.0
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 08:55:34 PM by darby »

Offline MakersMarc

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2017, 04:16:18 PM »
If you really like the V3 sound but don't want to pay 700-800, look for a V2 as they can be had for $500.  The AD in your 680 is probably better than the one in the V3 anyway, IMO.

I would doubt that.  DR680mkII spec for ADA dynamic range is 100dB; V3 (AD only) is 110dB.  It's likely that Tascam used a codec (ADC + DAC), usually the DAC spec on those is slightly better than the ADC, so I'd guess the ADC only is no better than 103dBA.  This is ignoring factors such as clock jitter, but dynamic range is usually a pretty good proxy for overall quality of conversion.

Or you can trust your ears and not specs.
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Offline MakersMarc

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2017, 08:28:10 PM »
I'm sure the v3 has killer specs, far more impressive than say an Oade M148. I owned it for four shows I think, I wanted to toss it out the window on the way home from the last one,just horrible, thin, brittle sounding, awful. In my opinion you cannot choose gear for what we do on specs. If you could, the Sonic AD2k+  would be a revered piece of gear in the taping community.
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Offline Walstib62

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2017, 12:33:55 AM »
Yes, but what do you hear???
Thanks Ben!!!

Offline DATBRAD

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2017, 07:13:36 AM »
Having run 460s arguably as long or longer than any active member on this forum, I'll add my .02 about preamps used with them. Warm preamps tend to bring out the best qualities in these mics "to my ears" over those more transparent sounding. Now, my ears are by no means a benchmark for objective comparisons, I'm just stating how things sound to me. I felt that way in 1994 when I first started using 460s, and after experiments with other front ends over the years since has only reinforced the opinion I initially developed of these mics. So, to the OP, seek ways to try different preamps, and running directly into recorders as well. Let your own preference decide. And don't forget that music recording in particular has an aspect unique to audio recording in general. Timbre is that quality of human brain sound processing that allows some of us with the ability to easily tell the difference between instruments without seeing them. By mathematical specs alone, a note played by a trumpet at the same amplitude and pitch as a French horn should sound identical. Same for a note played by a violin versus a cello. Using the measurement tools that report specs, there would be no difference between any two instruments of the same type (strings/strings or woodwinds/woodwinds) playing the same note at the same pitch and amplitude. It's easy to dismiss the opinions of someone's ears, which explains why contestants in singing reality shows that cannot hear that they are singing off key are so pissed when they are told the truth.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2017, 09:37:41 AM »
Having run 460s arguably as long or longer than any active member on this forum, I'll add my .02 about preamps used with them. Warm preamps tend to bring out the best qualities in these mics "to my ears" over those more transparent sounding. Now, my ears are by no means a benchmark for objective comparisons, I'm just stating how things sound to me. I felt that way in 1994 when I first started using 460s, and after experiments with other front ends over the years since has only reinforced the opinion I initially developed of these mics. So, to the OP, seek ways to try different preamps, and running directly into recorders as well. Let your own preference decide.[snip]

I started off reading the post above thinking this was a totally reasonable conclusion of the thread.. that was until I got to the part below. 

Quote
By mathematical specs alone, a note played by a trumpet at the same amplitude and pitch as a French horn should sound identical. Same for a note played by a violin versus a cello. Using the measurement tools that report specs, there would be no difference between any two instruments of the same type (strings/strings or woodwinds/woodwinds) playing the same note at the same pitch and amplitude. It's easy to dismiss the opinions of someone's ears, which explains why contestants in singing reality shows that cannot hear that they are singing off key are so pissed when they are told the truth.

No offence, but this totally incorrect and completely off base.
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Offline MakersMarc

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2017, 11:30:16 AM »
Is that distortion or noise or is it accuracy?  That's trivial to discern on a bench test.  And if it so happens that you do not favor accuracy, that's fine, but that is not at issue.  The statement was that the ADC in a 680 is "probably better than" a V3.  Objectively, I highly doubt that is so, because Tascam and Grace agree that it is not.


We can agree to disagree on what constitutes accuracy; to me it's a euphonically pleasing recording that sounds very close to what it sounded like live. my 4011>v2>2k or v3 recordings are just about unlistenable....brittle, strident, thin, all recorded with proper technique up front. Put 4022s paired with an aeta psp2 or m148 and an apogee ad1000 or sbm1 in the same location and venue, everything changes. For me. Another set of ears might love the former combo, but it's not due to the specs alone. The best advice I ever received was to forget specs and let my ears decide. Doug Oade.  :headphones:
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Offline nolamule

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2017, 11:54:47 AM »
The best advice I ever received was to forget specs and let my ears decide. Doug Oade.  :headphones:

Bingo!  :cheers:

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2017, 01:19:17 PM »
We're in big trouble if we can't agree on a definition of accuracy.

It's true that the most appropriate goal for live music reproduction is the creation of an euphonically pleasing recording, in part because that is a goal which is actually achievable.  An truly accurate reproduction of the live event is simply and demonstrably not possible.  We know that because we can define such accuracy in specific, objective terms (upon which one quickly realizes that achieving it outright is impossible by all practical measures), whereas we cannot fully and objectively define what makes for a euphonically pleasing, emotionally convening audio playback experience.  Instead we "know it when we hear it" and become willing participants in deceiving ourselves that it sounds "just like it did live", when by truly objective measures of accuracy it both does not and cannot.  Yet in the end that short coming is inconsequential.  All that maters is that the listener enjoy the result to the fullest extent possible, that they can easily, willingly, and unconsciously suspend disbelief so as to experience playback as if the live experience is actually being recreated in a way that feels accurate to them in a totally convincing way.

How to get to that appropriate subjective goal is the more useful and pragmatic question.  There is more than one road to Rome.  Some do it by developing a method and signal chain which produces a recording which maximized those qualities without further manipulation, or with minimal further manipulation.  If one part of the signal chain is less than accurate in one way, introducing something else in the chain which is less than accurate but in an inverse way to the other part does reduce the inaccuracy.  In this case, a wrong + an inverse wrong = something closer to right.  Some do it by striving for increased accuracy over euphony throughout the capture phase to the extent that such is practically achievable, with the intent of making the most effective appropriate euphonious manipulations afterwards. 

Neither method is correct nor incorrect.  That mastering engineers are valued for things other than simply converting and packaging content for release (and that great ones are well compensated for their ability to make subjective euphonious manipulations) is acknowledgement of such.  Those guys both know and trust objective specifications, and also know and trust their subjective intuitions.  They know how to handle both and are more aware of the appropriate intersection of those realms than most.

This is similar to alternate uses of the word truth.  Sometimes that world is used to refer to factual truth (objective "agreed upon" truths), sometimes emotional/poetic truths ("it's true to me").  Conveying meaning accurately depends on agreement on the definition of the terms used, by both the speaker and audience.  Funny ha ha or funny weird?

What we have here is a failure to communicate.  What we have here is, on the face of things, an argument about method (which road to Rome), with and a deeper disconnect concerning agreement of which Rome we're referring to - for some it might be one of the 21 different communities named Rome in the USA, for others its the big one in Italy.
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Offline CorFit Chris

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2017, 02:10:36 PM »
With all of you here, I would pose the question as to what is considered "warmth" in recording sound.  It seems typical for you all to mention it when talking about specific equipment and combinations (preamps, mics, etc.).  But I have read several contradicting statements to such.  Without mentioning names or instances, I've heard the V2 & V3 described as warm or transparent.  The same for several other popular preamps.  Maybe this is also a "my ear vs your ear" concept, but do we know if there is any real consensus on this site with the descriptor words used for preamp sound qualities?  I would like to see a post, if not already out there, that has links to a handful of recordings which exhibit clear examples of warmth, transparency, accuracy, etc.  That would be a nice starting  point for developing subjective agreement on sound. 
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Offline kindms

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2017, 06:35:44 PM »
And why "trust your ears"?  Odds are that your ears suck.  We are a bunch of middle-aged men who have been to too many loud concerts.  I would trust a seven year old girl's ears before I would trust anybody here, because they can hear lots of things that we simply can't anymore.


this! Above needed some love. too true which is why i tend to ask my wife for critiques. classically trained musician with ears that are actually still good. and she pulls no punches

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Offline DATBRAD

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Re: Preamp pairing with AKG 461's and 463's
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2017, 06:47:06 PM »
Having run 460s arguably as long or longer than any active member on this forum, I'll add my .02 about preamps used with them. Warm preamps tend to bring out the best qualities in these mics "to my ears" over those more transparent sounding. Now, my ears are by no means a benchmark for objective comparisons, I'm just stating how things sound to me. I felt that way in 1994 when I first started using 460s, and after experiments with other front ends over the years since has only reinforced the opinion I initially developed of these mics. So, to the OP, seek ways to try different preamps, and running directly into recorders as well. Let your own preference decide.[snip]

I started off reading the post above thinking this was a totally reasonable conclusion of the thread.. that was until I got to the part below. 

Quote
By mathematical specs alone, a note played by a trumpet at the same amplitude and pitch as a French horn should sound identical. Same for a note played by a violin versus a cello. Using the measurement tools that report specs, there would be no difference between any two instruments of the same type (strings/strings or woodwinds/woodwinds) playing the same note at the same pitch and amplitude. It's easy to dismiss the opinions of someone's ears, which explains why contestants in singing reality shows that cannot hear that they are singing off key are so pissed when they are told the truth.

No offence, buta this totally incorrect and completely off base.

Really? Please explain why you say that. Would you consider results of test recordings using the mathematical technique called the Fourier Transform as getting to the meat of what the brain processes from sounds hitting the inner ear? Since this depth of measurement isn't on gear specs, wouldn't you agree that currently published specs are limited in what they can describe?
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