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Author Topic: Which preamp is better?  (Read 1320 times)

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Offline pdastoor

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Which preamp is better?
« on: March 11, 2016, 02:23:37 AM »
I will be recording voice for films indoors and outdoors and I am wondering if there is any difference in the sound quality when it comes to these preamps.

Sound Devices MM-1
Sound Devices MP-1
Sound Devices MixPre-D

Do all these 3 devices use the same preamps? Which one would be better? If they all sound the same then I would go with the cheapest option since I don't require all the other features that the MixPre provides but I am unsure which would provide the cleanest amp with little to no self noise.

Offline Hypnocracy

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Re: Which preamp is better?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 08:19:00 AM »
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Offline if_then_else

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Re: Which preamp is better?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2016, 09:01:23 AM »
FWIW: A couple of years ago, there used to be some review by a German video magazine that claimed that the noise floor of the MixPre-D was a bit higher than the one of the JuicedLink field mixers in the test field. So, if your top priority is in fact low self-noise and you don't need all the bells and whistles that the MIxPre-D has to offer, that's probably the way to go. I've got the MixPre-D, the Audioroot Femto and the JuicedLink RM-222 and they're all fine units - but for different purposes.

http://www.videoaktiv.de/praxistechnik/sound-hintergrundinfo/test-dslr-tonmischer-von-azden-beachtek-juiced-link-und-sound-devices/seite-6.html

Offline voltronic

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Re: Which preamp is better?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2016, 01:38:46 PM »
If you don't need digital conversion or a M/S matrix, I would say you should get a used MixPre (no "D") used on eBay.  Also search for Sure FP24 which is the same unit.  I have one as do many others here, and they are excellent preamps, low noise and more gain than you could ever want.  Be careful that these can sometimes be very overpriced online.  I wouldn't pay more than $400 even for one with perfect cosmetics.
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Offline pohaku

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Re: Which preamp is better?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2016, 07:46:42 PM »
And, there is now an FP24 up in the yard sale.  The seller is a long standing and trusted member of the community (I have bought numerous items from him).  Solves your problem neatly.
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Offline DSatz

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Re: Which preamp is better?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2016, 09:26:19 PM »
The Sound Devices preamps are just about as good as it gets for film and video sound recordists. For those of us who record concerts they are nearly so as well, except that we don't often need the ultra-bright metering nor the very high gain. Some of their models automatically pad down the input 10 dB when phantom powering is enabled; I wish it could be 20 dB instead. I don't like having to set level controls in the bottom 1/3 of their range all the time, and/or to set the input levels on my recorder to their lowest settings.

Also, regarding noise "what Jon said" except that I wouldn't advise anyone to take "A"-weighted figures for microphone or preamp noise too seriously. That's partly because the "A" weighting curve reflects the ear's sensitivity only at higher loudness levels (40 phon, which at 1 kHz is equivalent to 40 dB SPL), and partly because "A"-weighted measurements are nearly always time-averaged so as to suppress impulse ("shot") noise, even though (or cynically one might say, because) that kind of noise is perceptually very important. The noise levels of mike preamps also depend greatly on gain settings, so it's important to measure or specify noise at realistic settings; if you typically use 30 dB gain, the noise spec of a preamp at 65 dB gain won't tell you much.

But the Sound Devices preamps really do deserve all the praise that they get as far as audio quality and build quality are concerned, and I also have nothing but praise for the company's service department. (Incidentally, w/r/t the Shure FP24 in the Yard Sale: Sound Devices handles the service for these Shure-branded units.)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 11:58:29 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline voltronic

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Re: Which preamp is better?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2016, 10:33:01 PM »
^ A couple more points on the MixPre / FP24 regarding DSatz's post:

The metering LED level is adjustable in 3 increments, so it's only ultra-bright if you set it that way.  The lowest setting is likely where you'll leave it for indoor recording.  At full-blast, it is easily readable in direct bright sunlight, and positively blinding in any other situation, not to mention significantly affecting battery drain.

The gain is indeed very high, but as I said very quiet, especially for a transformer preamp.  I find it to be just right for the choir recordings I've done, and I'm usually operating conservatively in the 11:00-12:00 area.  The slate tone makes setting level with your external recorder quite easy - here's a very helpful post on that.  You will want to use the 1/8" Tape Out to connect an external recorder - the XLR line out is VERY hot.

A nice free service that you don't get everywhere: if your unit still has its serial number decal you can email it to them and they will tell you the date of manufacture and if it's ever been in for service.

I also recommend you go for the unit on sale right now in the YS.  Given the seller, you know you're getting a quality unit.
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q
Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24
Tascam DR-70D JWMod | Sony PCM-M10

Tascam DR-70D FAQ
Team Line Audio
Quote
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.    ///    If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler

 

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