I've had the opportunity to record a couple of national acts with this. First impressions,
• it doesn't like standard alkaline 9volts as it eats them in a hurry - less than 3 hours till drained - (9v lithiums last longer though I haven't run them to determine time to shutdown yet)
• 9v battery removal is a pain due to very tight fit and grip of the internal contacts - think pliers, esp if you have any hand strength problems (arthritis, neuromuscular disorder, etc) seriously think about an external battery solution using the Hirose connector < after a chat with audioroot, I'm the only one reporting battery removal problems, note I do have limited hand/arm strength >
• gain control is very sensitive as one would expect with the gain range of this unit
• would prefer the metering to reflect -30 -15 -3 or -24 -12 -3 rather than the -40 -20 -3 it ships with
• love the small size, it fits in a collapsible coozey
• sound is very good - neutral to only slightly flavored but describing that flavoring is not easy (see attempts to describe Femto sound
• love the switchable ganged gain control
• output is fairly hot
First show was the Mule (10-01). Originally had signals bouncing between -20 &- 12 db. On the FR2 the spot on the meters is at -20 unlike the -12 on it's little brother the 2LE. Towards the end of the first set I adjusted the levels so they were bouncing around -6. Early part of the set sounds great, after adjustment there is a brittleness. Not sure if it was battery/power related, ADC overload or what. Not happy with the outcome when neither the uPRE-II nor the FR2 indicated clipping. Waveform looks good, no clipping, flattened peaks or other anomalies. Basically I chalked it up to the initial run with new equipment and operator unfamiliarity. I recorded each set seperately and powered down the unit between sets. I looked down near the end of the encore and the uPRE was dark due to drained batteries. Was not sure if the FR2 would save the file once the input was gone. It did, thankfully. When I got home battery voltage was 8.3 and 8.2.
Second show was WSP in Dallas last night (10-17). I used some Energizer Lithiums. Show was one two hour set plus one song encore. Again I set the levels so they bounced between -20 and -12. Really like the outcome other than the low level. Will probably need to boost about 6db. Would rather boost a low clean signal than have levels where I want them but have undesirable artifacts. Past recordings led me to believe the Beyers were a bit too bottom end oriented. Not so with the uPRE. A very pleasing recording and if future recordings sound as good I can retire thoughts of new mics, yeah right, but at least put them on hold indefinitely. If the -3 lights flash more than a handful of times a set I probably won't like the results based on the two times I've used this for more than recording a local band's practice sessions. Only more use in the field will tell if I leave this permanently in the chain. Of course more use will also allow me to learn where the ideal settings are for my rig when this is in the chain.
See post above for one sample
. More samples coming as soon as the replacement Windows components arrive. Once that box is built I'll upload some samples of the mule before and after bumping the gain.