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Poll

Which preamp sounds better to you?

I prefer preamp 1
8 (42.1%)
I prefer preamp 2
10 (52.6%)
I can't tell the difference
0 (0%)
I like them both equally
1 (5.3%)

Total Members Voted: 19

Author Topic: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)  (Read 13693 times)

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Offline bryonsos

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Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« on: January 21, 2013, 11:50:22 AM »
I recently received my Naiant Tinyhead, which I'm planning on using mostly as a headphone amp when I run my MixPre > M10 rig outdoors. I like to dial in the height of the mics to get the sweet spot balance between crowd noise vs. sound impact/quality. I was also curious how it would do for naughty  >:D situations. On Saturday, I was open taping Big Something, and thought it would be fun to do a comp  >:D style in a situation where nobody would question me fiddling with wires and electro-gizmos. I stood in a spot that sounded good to my ears, but wasn't too crowded and near a table so I could lay out my gear. I ran B3s > preamp > M10 (line in) binaural-like with the mics clipped to my glasses. I recorded segments of 2 songs and swapped the preamps mid-stream. The numbering of the preamps on the samples is the same for both songs. For both preamps, I had the M10 set at 4.5, and the levels were peaking >-12db for both. I normalized the samples and converted to flac and 320kbs mp3 with xACT. I'm interested to hear what y'all think.

http://www.mediafire.com/?m1fbrlwdmad5f
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 02:31:07 AM by bryonsos »
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
Pres: CA-Ugly / Naiant Tinyhead / SD MixPre
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Offline achalsey

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 02:23:44 PM »
I voted for preamp 2.  They sound pretty similar to my very untrained ears, but vocals seem more upfront on 2.  Maybe a slightly more pronounced high end as well.

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 02:49:18 PM »
You can put those files in a zipped folder and upload to mediafire. Makes it a bit easier to download everything at once.

edit: I see you can select them all and it will zip for you. Never mind.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 02:54:39 PM by hoppedup »
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Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 03:16:11 PM »
What is this rigorous comp thing you speak of?!

TS needs more comps!

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2013, 03:17:49 PM »
preamp 2. 

This one "felt" better from the beginning...

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2013, 01:29:32 PM »
overall i liked 2 better mostly due to the vocals
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2013, 03:57:21 PM »
I was both surprised and pleased at how similar the preamps sound.
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2013, 04:14:13 PM »
Preamp 2, somehow easier on the ear and more pleasant and balanced. No idea which one it can be though, Tiny or CA, no idea.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2013, 05:01:09 PM »
Slight preference for 2, but much like Timothy B. Schmit , "I Can't Tell You Why"
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2013, 06:42:50 PM »
Pre 1 sounds smoother/flatter but feels dull and suppressed; pre 2 feels more "alive" and the instruments seem to shine better, especially the mids & highs.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2013, 10:59:40 PM »
I was both surprised and pleased at how similar the preamps sound.

Actually, I'm both surprised and curious to know what causes them to sound so different.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2013, 11:42:25 PM »
I was both surprised and pleased at how similar the preamps sound.

Actually, I'm both surprised and curious to know what causes them to sound so different.

Agreed. I'll reveal shortly. Lee, I'm curious, which did you like better?
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
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Offline hi and lo

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2013, 01:05:09 AM »
Yes, thank you for taking the time to do this comp! Maybe you'll start a trend, myself included. I see that others haven't been shy sharing their opinions, so I'll chime in too. Sometimes comps stall because the folks that actually did take the time to listen don't fire up the discussion in an effort to prevent spoilers and let others listen first. No sense in that.. everyone should download this and chime in.

First of all, I think it needs to be mentioned (and I don't see that it has been) that there may be an issue with preamp #1 and/or the combination of gear that made the file "song2preamp1.flac." There are several large clicks that sound exactly like a bad connector or jack. The output cable between preamp and recorder could also be the problem. It's definitely worth trying to reproduce, but luckily doesn't affect in the sonic comparison between these recordings

After taking into account that both samples for preamp #2 had the higher average RMS loudness, which can often account for preference, and ignoring the aforementioned issue, I prefer preamp #2. I thought it had a 'faster,' cleaner sound with much better HF. I felt that listening to the Fire on the Mountain chorus line was about the best way to get a clean comparison between the two sources and the detail on the cymbals, among other things, was much better to my ears going through preamp #2.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 01:07:40 AM by hi and lo »

Offline Todd R

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2013, 01:15:37 AM »
Preamp 2, somehow easier on the ear and more pleasant and balanced. No idea which one it can be though, Tiny or CA, no idea.

I've got the same conclusion, but exactly opposite.  I think I liked preamp 1 better, since to me it is easier on the ear and more pleasant and balanced.  I find preamp 2 to sound a bit hyped in the mids.  Hard to know though whether the hyped sound was in the venue and preamp 2 reproduces it, while preamp 1 suppresses it.

Pre 1 sounds smoother/flatter but feels dull and suppressed; pre 2 feels more "alive" and the instruments seem to shine better, especially the mids & highs.

This makes sense to me, I find 1 to be smoother too, though at times I might go so far as to say suppressed.  I prefer it though to the hyped (to my ear) mids on preamp 2.

I will say, I found this pretty difficult to really get a handle on.  Easy enough to hear differences between the sources, but I really can never seem to make judgements on vocal passages, I need instrumentals.  And the instrumental portions ended up being pretty different -- one source having the instrumental portion during an opening, spacey kind of intro, with the other source having the instrumental portion during a more intense jam.  It would have been easier if I could have heard similar types of passages on each preamp.

I will say, on the vocal passages, which I don't generally find easy to base my judgements on, I probably like preamp 2 better.  The pronounced mids brings out the vocals more and doesn't come across as too hyped.  Overall though, I think I could do post processing tweaking of preamp 1 easier to get a sound I like, and I suspect taming the more hyped mids of preamp 2 (again, to my ears) might be more difficult to accomplish in post.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2013, 07:24:20 AM »
Hi and lo (and cd2togo), sorry for the clicks, they are on the master. I'm guessing that I may not have plugged the wires in fully, or more likely there was some movement in the connector that caused the noise. I didn't secure the in wire to the deck with a band like I normally would to prevent movement. I kept it convenient to make the swaps. I will freely admit that there was  :drunk:  involved too. Thanks for looking past that. Also, I tried to pick sections of each song that combined an instrumental segment with a vocal segment. You're right, some samples are more of a jam and others are more like just an instrumental. I took the most sensible 1.5 mins out of 5 for each sample I collected. Don't worry, I won't abandon this comp or reveal things too early. In fact, I have things to tape Thursday and Friday, so I'll be able to post another couple of samples before the reveal.

Having said all of that, I believe I would be happy to bring home a pull from either pre, and also would be proud to share either. Everyone is making good points about the nuances of each. Keep it coming and stay tuned!
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2013, 07:39:32 AM »
What is everyone using for the listenings? Headphones, PA, IEMs? I listened to the MP3's with Xears XPA2PRO IEMs yesterday and made up my mind, but I've listened to the FLACs now with my hifi PA and the differences ain't that clear... I still prefer 2 but it isn't that obvious now!
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2013, 08:04:05 AM »
It's easiest to spot differences in audio samples on headphones, so that's what I always use (MDR-7506 driven by an Oz Audio HR-4).

Plus I still haven't fixed my mains :(

Plus they're binaural (basically) recordings, so I would think cans are the way to listen.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2013, 08:19:14 AM »
What is everyone using for the listenings?

Sony MDR-V6 straight out of Mac Mini  :P
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2013, 10:39:12 AM »
I was both surprised and pleased at how similar the preamps sound.

Actually, I'm both surprised and curious to know what causes them to sound so different.

Agreed. I'll reveal shortly. Lee, I'm curious, which did you like better?

I'm not comfortable making a judgment based on just these couple samples- there are simply too many unknowns.  Although if pressed I could choose one file over the other in this particular case, I have no reason to think that preference would extend to anything other than these specific recording samples.  That wouldn’t help me form a preference for one preamp over the other in a general sense, or even specifically when used with B3s and an M10, based on just this one sample situation.

That’s not to say that the comparison of these samples isn’t useful or interesting, only that I don’t have enough information to make a useful preference choice.  Instead, what is primarily interesting to me is that they sound so different and why. 

I imagine these small preamps measure far flatter than the response difference between them which I’m hearing.  I wonder if there is some sort of loading effect from the mics used which effectively changes that similar flat response.  I’m at the limits of my electronics knowledge here, but perhaps there are input impedance differences of the preamps which cause them to sound different with the same mics? Or output impedance differences changing the interaction with the M10 (probably less likely I’d guess). I’d like to hear more from Jon or Chris or other better versed on the electrical side who may be able to talk about that

What did I hear on a quick listen? (I listened though my big speaker system, not headphones, but sourced through the not great headphone output of a laptop)  By memory this morning, the first thing I noticed was what sounded sort of like a different frequency ‘tilt’ between the two– in the sense an EQ ‘tilt’ control which adjust frequency response like a see-saw teeter-totter, pivoting about a center frequency and raising response on one side while dropping it on the other, as opposed to more common  EQ peak, shelf, or pass filters.  Not a huge tilt, but enough to be noticeable.  Preamp 1 sounded more tilted towards the bass end, and preamp 2 to the treble end - relative to each other at least.

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2013, 11:19:26 AM »
Unfortunately you cant do a comp like this and have the results mean anything. Unless you use the same exact mics and placement. And the same exact source material for both recordings. Meaning it cant be a live performance you are recording. Why? because there are way to many variables.

The volume of the two sources is different. Even if you normalize them the content of the material is not the same. And therefor will not normalize out the same. You want to do a fair test mount the mics on a stand or something that does not move. Take prerecorded music and play it back once record it match the preamp levels so that they are EXACTLY the same. Using a simple VU meter is not accurate enough I would use a 1k tone for this ) because it will be easy to get an absolute reading and it will allow the real frequency response to be the determining factor. Then play back the source once with one preamp * record it * then once with the other preamp record it. Then you have real comparison. I doubt there will be that much difference due to the fact that my preamp is very flat.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2013, 11:52:00 AM »
Unfortunately you cant do a comp like this and have the results mean anything. Unless you use the same exact mics and placement. And the same exact source material for both recordings. Meaning it cant be a live performance you are recording. Why? because there are way to many variables.

The volume of the two sources is different. Even if you normalize them the content of the material is not the same. And therefor will not normalize out the same. You want to do a fair test mount the mics on a stand or something that does not move. Take prerecorded music and play it back once record it match the preamp levels so that they are EXACTLY the same. Using a simple VU meter is not accurate enough I would use a 1k tone for this ) because it will be easy to get an absolute reading and it will allow the real frequency response to be the determining factor. Then play back the source once with one preamp * record it * then once with the other preamp record it. Then you have real comparison. I doubt there will be that much difference due to the fact that my preamp is very flat.

From your past comments, it is apparent to me you will never ever be satisfied with the conditions of any gear comp.  That's okay.   We are all entitled to our opinion.

But when you say a valid comp can't be done of a live source,  to me, that's just defeatist BS.

Sometimes a comp will not accurately capture the true character of the gear being compared.  It happens.  But more often, I think the well executed comps that get posted do capture the characteristics.  And when they fail to capture the character, the answers to the "why?" can be very valuable learning experiences for improving future recordings.

There are countless members here who have owned a lot of different gear over the years.  They are intimately familiar with the nuances of it's performance and character, in a wide range of live recording settings.  So when we hear a comp of that gear, we can often quickly identify which is which.  And we can say whether the comp reflects our years of experience with the gear.

Do we have comps that capture key characteristics of gear character?  The characteristics we have personally identified after years of experience, and countless recordings, with the gear in question?  The answer is a strong Yes.  That is why I so strongly disagree with many of your assertions on the topic of comps.

There are those of us who can hear a few seconds of a recording and tell the difference between mk4's and mk4v's.  There are those of us who can hear a few seconds of a recording and tell the difference between the v3's a/d and the 722.  And we can pretty much identify them blind every single time.  We don't have golden ears. I certainly don't.

It is fine to talk about how a comp can be done better, and with more rigor.  Even in cases where comps don't reflect the true character of the gear, they often still end up being very useful.

The big thing we really need are more comps.  Tinybox comps.  m10 vs. 722 a/d comps.  Active vs. full body comps.  There are still so many interesting comps to do.

It's fine to give feedback on the methodology of a comp.  Comps are difficult.  But to come into a thread and piss all over it by saying you can never do a live music comp.  That just adds no value.  To me.

IMHO ;)

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2013, 12:12:08 PM »
I will stand by this comp because I outlined the parameters, and only meant to get input for the samples recorded. M10 set at unity, check. Same cables, check. Same position with same mic placement, check. Gain settings on preamp to get -12 to -6 peaks, check but I will concede that I could've been more accurate on that. I'm going to go ahead and do this a couple more shows to increase the sample size. Different environments may have an influence. For the upcoming samples, I'll be more particular and I won't normalize.
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
Pres: CA-Ugly / Naiant Tinyhead / SD MixPre
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2013, 12:29:24 PM »
What's the cable length on the B3s?  Can't find that on their website  ???

They're about 5 ft. It's also worth noting that I had tgakidis do a 2.2k mod to them.
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
Pres: CA-Ugly / Naiant Tinyhead / SD MixPre
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2013, 12:40:08 PM »
Unfortunately you cant do a comp like this and have the results mean anything. Unless you use the same exact mics and placement. And the same exact source material for both recordings. Meaning it cant be a live performance you are recording. Why? because there are way to many variables.

The volume of the two sources is different. Even if you normalize them the content of the material is not the same. And therefor will not normalize out the same. You want to do a fair test mount the mics on a stand or something that does not move. Take prerecorded music and play it back once record it match the preamp levels so that they are EXACTLY the same. Using a simple VU meter is not accurate enough I would use a 1k tone for this ) because it will be easy to get an absolute reading and it will allow the real frequency response to be the determining factor. Then play back the source once with one preamp * record it * then once with the other preamp record it. Then you have real comparison. I doubt there will be that much difference due to the fact that my preamp is very flat.

From your past comments, it is apparent to me you will never ever be satisfied with the conditions of any gear comp.  That's okay.   We are all entitled to our opinion.

But when you say a valid comp can't be done of a live source,  to me, that's just defeatist BS.

Sometimes a comp will not accurately capture the true character of the gear being compared.  It happens.  But more often, I think the well executed comps that get posted do capture the characteristics.  And when they fail to capture the character, the answers to the "why?" can be very valuable learning experiences for improving future recordings.

There are countless members here who have owned a lot of different gear over the years.  They are intimately familiar with the nuances of it's performance and character, in a wide range of live recording settings.  So when we hear a comp of that gear, we can often quickly identify which is which.  And we can say whether the comp reflects our years of experience with the gear.

Do we have comps that capture key characteristics of gear character?  The characteristics we have personally identified after years of experience, and countless recordings, with the gear in question?  The answer is a strong Yes.  That is why I so strongly disagree with many of your assertions on the topic of comps.

There are those of us who can hear a few seconds of a recording and tell the difference between mk4's and mk4v's.  There are those of us who can hear a few seconds of a recording and tell the difference between the v3's a/d and the 722.  And we can pretty much identify them blind every single time.  We don't have golden ears. I certainly don't.

It is fine to talk about how a comp can be done better, and with more rigor.  Even in cases where comps don't reflect the true character of the gear, they often still end up being very useful.

The big thing we really need are more comps.  Tinybox comps.  m10 vs. 722 a/d comps.  Active vs. full body comps.  There are still so many interesting comps to do.

It's fine to give feedback on the methodology of a comp.  Comps are difficult.  But to come into a thread and piss all over it by saying you can never do a live music comp.  That just adds no value.  To me.

IMHO ;)
  Live sources never play the same note the same way twice. I know this because I am a musician for over 35 years. I am not saying there is no validity to this test what so ever what I am saying is there is a better way to remove all doubt. I respect your opinion please respect mine. I am not pissing all over the person who did the comp at all. When you are trying to compare mics by all means use a live source but when you are trying to compare preamps that's very difficult to do with a live source. And midstream through a performance is even more difficult. We dont know what the house sound guy was doing to the PA I am constantly tweaking a PA system when I mix live shows. And then there is the fact that temperature and if the crowd is moving around also plays a role as well as wind direction and speed. There are way to many variables here to even think about using this as a meaningful test. For comparison of two preamps. Ever wonder how it is I get my mics to sound so good for so little money? I must know something about audio right? Anyway slag me all you want I am not trying to be a dick.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2013, 01:22:13 PM »
L/R difference between pairs of mics is -0.8dB vs. +1.2dB.  Pots are not exactly precision devices, so that is entirely possible.  It makes a comparison tougher though, although as a practical matter maybe that is a valid criterion.

The CA-Ugly has seperate non-detented miniature pots for independant gain adjustment of each channel, so gain differences between channels is moslty determined by the accuracy of the user's adjustment.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2013, 02:36:26 PM »

Unfortunately you cant do a comp like this and have the results mean anything.
 

I am not saying there is no validity to this test what so ever...

That's exactly what you said and (unfortunately) with every comp that is done on ts.com someone has to come along and say the results are "totally invalid," for one reason or another, which adds absolutely no value to the discussion. To call an honest, educated response to your post 'slagging' is not right.

Keep in mind that if some random didn't always come along and piss in the Cheerios, maybe we'd see more enthusiasm for future comps. As a retailer, perhaps that doesn't interest you (or is even outright scary), but for the rest of us it is interesting and I would have no problem forming an opinion after multiple, independent comps, scientific or not. I have little interest in waiting until a comp using the rigorous control of variables you are suggesting because I know it will never happen. I'd rather hear 3-4 real world comps, performed by different recordist under varying conditions, and see what trends can be identified.

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2013, 02:44:41 PM »
Keep in mind that if some random didn't always come along and piss in the Cheerios, maybe we'd see more enthusiasm for future comps. As a retailer, perhaps that doesn't interest you (or is even outright scary), but for the rest of us it is interesting and I would have no problem forming an opinion after multiple, independent comps, scientific or not. I have little interest in waiting until a comp using the rigorous control of variables you are suggesting because I know it will never happen. I'd rather hear 3-4 real world comps, performed by different recordist under varying conditions, and see what trends can be identified.

Where's that damn +T button when I need it.

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2013, 03:19:25 PM »
I don't think he can, it's been stuck at 6666 for something like his last 1000 posts, hasn't it?
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2013, 03:23:04 PM »
It isn't going to eleven thousand.......

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2013, 04:02:54 PM »
Preamp 2 for me too. Has better HF response and overall better tonal balance to ME
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2013, 05:21:17 PM »
I feel that most of the sweetness comes from good mics. Good preamps should just amplify that.

Amen to that when talking about this categroy of relatively simple IC based transformerless preamps where the ideal is simply clean gain with appropriate bandwidth and low noise.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2013, 05:23:05 PM »
I would think they both measure flat in the audio band as a practical matter...

Thanks for the technical run down on that, Jon.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2013, 11:16:03 PM »
Quote
Guys, can we stay on the topic of Tinyhead vs. Ugly.

fine..
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 12:59:17 AM by hi and lo »

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2013, 12:02:10 AM »
^^

Guys, can we stay on the topic of Tinyhead vs. Ugly.   :)  You've both made your points and I'm pretty sure neither are going to change them so I'm going to interject before we start going in circles.

An interesting poll for its own thread, however, would be whether comps like this are valid or not.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 12:04:13 AM by achalsey »

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2013, 12:43:48 AM »
A true test would be to run on a stand, as vertical as possible to one another and have the exact same chain minus the preamp. But I love comps just the way they are
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2013, 12:44:11 AM »
Usually comps have some value.  The trick here is the difference is larger than what should be expected so it doesn't necessarily have good predictive value for others.  At a minimum there would need to be more tests, ideally with better controls.  For example, a test with stand-mounted coincident mics should limit the expected difference to the frequency indicated by the distance between the caps.  That should be above 10kHz.  Then you switch pairs of mics at a break.  Any other difference observed should be attributable to some physical characteristic of the mic/preamp system.

Fair enough.  Maybe a disclaimer, but not the whole discussion in this thread.  I believe Bryon is going to do another outing and get more samples to post before revealing the answers as well.

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2013, 08:29:22 AM »
Usually comps have some value.  The trick here is the difference is larger than what should be expected so it doesn't necessarily have good predictive value for others.  At a minimum there would need to be more tests, ideally with better controls.  For example, a test with stand-mounted coincident mics should limit the expected difference to the frequency indicated by the distance between the caps.  That should be above 10kHz.  Then you switch pairs of mics at a break.  Any other difference observed should be attributable to some physical characteristic of the mic/preamp system.

Fair enough.  Maybe a disclaimer, but not the whole discussion in this thread.  I believe Bryon is going to do another outing and get more samples to post before revealing the answers as well.

I believe BSos said enough when he described his process...  He stated right up front that this was pretty informal...

And I think there is value, even in comps like this.  We get a feel for how each functions in the setting as described by Bryon.  It may not be scientific/accurate/whatever, but I think we can all make educated estimates here...

That being said, more comps wouldn't hurt...   ;D

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2013, 06:29:01 PM »
I think both are quite different and I can't really determine which I prefer with my earbuds at work.


As for microphone comps, is there an ideal instrument to record or should a verse be sang A cappella style?
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2013, 08:38:35 PM »
Hey, dudes, take it easy... It's a simple comparison, which one do you prefer and why, that's all folks. No one is going to stop buying CA / Naiant preamps only because one of them gets 3 times more votes than the other, right? Take it easy. Music recording is a part of our appreciation of the music itself, which is an Art, and therefore subjective, and all opinions are equally valid. Take it easy, enjoy the discussion, enjoy the music. Peace. I might have drunk a little, but I stand by everything I've writteN! :)
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #39 on: January 24, 2013, 09:01:43 PM »
???

Was a post from earlier deleted?  I checked earlier and there was something about #2 being done the exact correct way but I cant find it now... Im confused.   
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2013, 09:17:28 PM »
???

Was a post from earlier deleted?  I checked earlier and there was something about #2 being done the exact correct way but I cant find it now... Im confused.

Yeah, it was a post from Church...  He was laughing that if it turned out #2 was the Ugly, he views the Comp as just fine...  It was in good humor I thought, but I can see why he would delete it...  :P

I don't really think it makes much of a difference, honestly.  I think both samples sounded great and I would be happy with either preamp...  It's like comparing Toyotas to Hondas...  Damn fine cars, but each has its own flavor... 

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #41 on: January 24, 2013, 10:51:56 PM »
So when do we find out which is which?
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #42 on: January 25, 2013, 12:20:16 AM »
Toyotas and Hondas both suck, but then so does every car I've ever owned, so . . .

There is a difference between a "damn fine car" and a "damn fine automobile"...  Ts and Hs are DFCs...  A Bugatti Veyron is a DFA...

I think we agree...

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #43 on: January 25, 2013, 03:23:26 AM »
So when do we find out which is which?

I'm going to open tape UM tonight and post some new samples. I'll do the reveal a couple days later.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #44 on: January 25, 2013, 03:28:59 AM »
So when do we find out which is which?

I'm going to open tape UM tonight and post some new samples. I'll do the reveal a couple days later.

Is there an option (aka splitting the mics' signal into 2 recorders or a 4 channel recorder) to record the exact same portions of songs simultaneously in order to make the comparison, instead of unplugging one amp and plugging the other one a couple of seconds later? It's obviously easier & fairer to compare them that way, although I suppose (and understand) you want to avoid the hassle :)
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #45 on: January 25, 2013, 03:54:31 AM »
So when do we find out which is which?

I'm going to open tape UM tonight and post some new samples. I'll do the reveal a couple days later.

Is there an option (aka splitting the mics' signal into 2 recorders or a 4 channel recorder) to record the exact same portions of songs simultaneously in order to make the comparison, instead of unplugging one amp and plugging the other one a couple of seconds later? It's obviously easier & fairer to compare them that way, although I suppose (and understand) you want to avoid the hassle :)

I'm going to do set 1 preamp 1, set 2 preamp 2. UM's sound guy is pretty consistent, so I'm hoping that the show in its entirety will have representative parts for both. Maybe not as even of a comparison song by song, but less of a hassle.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #46 on: January 25, 2013, 09:24:03 AM »
As for microphone comps, is there an ideal instrument to record or should a verse be sang A cappella style?
If one is doing a comp for purposes of comparing a particular microphone's ability to record PA systems, shouldn't the comp be of the mic doing that?

It's kind of like Bean's recent "comp" of CA-14 vs. MK41, recording the same band from the same spot on the same stand.  It shows me pretty much nothing about the capabilities of either mic, as a whole, because it's a recording of a PA system at a distance. But it's hard to say it doesn't give some solid evidence of what each microphone sounds like recording a PA system from the taper section of the audience.  Saying one mic is "better" than the other based on that would be silly, but it certainly gives you some basis to make an informed judgment about using those particular mics for that particular purpose.  Recording PA systems at a distance is what most people on this board do.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #47 on: January 25, 2013, 09:54:21 AM »
I listened to song 1 with Westone 4 IEM.  Like pre #2 better.  Seemed more natural.  Pre #1 sounds like it has the HF shelved down a bit or the upper mids were scooped out.  The vocals sound better in #2.

I like the comp despite the "not perfect" set up.  Looking forward to knowing which is which.   ;D

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #48 on: January 25, 2013, 10:47:34 AM »
It's kind of like Bean's recent "comp" of CA-14 vs. MK41

Link?
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #50 on: January 25, 2013, 11:38:22 AM »
I created a matrix of both sample 1 sources.  I really think it combines the best aspects of each.  It really sounds A+++++++++.

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #51 on: January 25, 2013, 12:24:35 PM »
I created a matrix of both sample 1 sources.  I really think it combines the best aspects of each.  It really sounds A+++++++++.

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #52 on: January 26, 2013, 12:20:59 AM »
So when do we find out which is which?

I'm going to open tape UM tonight and post some new samples. I'll do the reveal a couple days later.

Is there an option (aka splitting the mics' signal into 2 recorders or a 4 channel recorder) to record the exact same portions of songs simultaneously in order to make the comparison, instead of unplugging one amp and plugging the other one a couple of seconds later? It's obviously easier & fairer to compare them that way, although I suppose (and understand) you want to avoid the hassle :)

I'm going to do set 1 preamp 1, set 2 preamp 2. UM's sound guy is pretty consistent, so I'm hoping that the show in its entirety will have representative parts for both. Maybe not as even of a comparison song by song, but less of a hassle.

Doing set 1 pre 1 and set 2 pre 2 tells me nothing tho ;) I want to hear each pre with the SAME MUSIC PASSAGE ;)
Schoeps MK4's | MK41's ->
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #53 on: January 26, 2013, 01:09:32 AM »
Doing set 1 pre 1 and set 2 pre 2 tells me nothing tho ;) I want to hear each pre with the SAME MUSIC PASSAGE ;)

The only way to really do this fairly is to have (2) of the same mics running within an inch or two of each other on the SAME stand running to the SAME recorder with each of the "contenders" in between.  Regardless of how good a sound tech is, running at separate times tells us nothing (as Bean kindly points out).  People standing in different spots or some slight EQ / instrument change in the mix is enough to throw off any other A/B comparison.

It has to be simply the same passage at the same time.

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #54 on: January 26, 2013, 09:59:38 AM »
Doing set 1 pre 1 and set 2 pre 2 tells me nothing tho ;) I want to hear each pre with the SAME MUSIC PASSAGE ;)

The only way to really do this fairly is to have (2) of the same mics running within an inch or two of each other on the SAME stand running to the SAME recorder with each of the "contenders" in between.  Regardless of how good a sound tech is, running at separate times tells us nothing (as Bean kindly points out).  People standing in different spots or some slight EQ / instrument change in the mix is enough to throw off any other A/B comparison.

It has to be simply the same passage at the same time.

Unfortunately I only have 1 set of B3s, and I don't know of anyone local to borrow some from. I might be able to borrow a couple sets of CA-14s though...

I intended to open tape UM last night at the Ritz in Raleigh. I forgot what a terrible steel and cement barn it is, and opted to leave the comp in the bag. As much of an omni freak as I am, even I had to concede that spread omnis would've been ruinous. Plus, I ended up taking the taper GL spot, so I didn't want to be monkeying around with things and potentially screw up the primary recording.

SCR is playing tonight, but I'm not 100% on going. Either way, I'll get another set of samples ASAP.
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
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Offline Church-Audio

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #55 on: January 26, 2013, 10:30:14 AM »
So when do we find out which is which?

I'm going to open tape UM tonight and post some new samples. I'll do the reveal a couple days later.

Is there an option (aka splitting the mics' signal into 2 recorders or a 4 channel recorder) to record the exact same portions of songs simultaneously in order to make the comparison, instead of unplugging one amp and plugging the other one a couple of seconds later? It's obviously easier & fairer to compare them that way, although I suppose (and understand) you want to avoid the hassle :)

I'm going to do set 1 preamp 1, set 2 preamp 2. UM's sound guy is pretty consistent, so I'm hoping that the show in its entirety will have representative parts for both. Maybe not as even of a comparison song by song, but less of a hassle.

Doing set 1 pre 1 and set 2 pre 2 tells me nothing tho ;) I want to hear each pre with the SAME MUSIC PASSAGE ;)
Its so fucking funny that I suggest the same thing and people piss all over me lol you suggest it and it seems like a good idea. Wow makes me feel real welcome around here.
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Offline bryonsos

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #56 on: January 26, 2013, 10:41:53 AM »
So when do we find out which is which?

I'm going to open tape UM tonight and post some new samples. I'll do the reveal a couple days later.

Is there an option (aka splitting the mics' signal into 2 recorders or a 4 channel recorder) to record the exact same portions of songs simultaneously in order to make the comparison, instead of unplugging one amp and plugging the other one a couple of seconds later? It's obviously easier & fairer to compare them that way, although I suppose (and understand) you want to avoid the hassle :)

I'm going to do set 1 preamp 1, set 2 preamp 2. UM's sound guy is pretty consistent, so I'm hoping that the show in its entirety will have representative parts for both. Maybe not as even of a comparison song by song, but less of a hassle.

Doing set 1 pre 1 and set 2 pre 2 tells me nothing tho ;) I want to hear each pre with the SAME MUSIC PASSAGE ;)
Its so fucking funny that I suggest the same thing and people piss all over me lol you suggest it and it seems like a good idea. Wow makes me feel real welcome around here.

It's a great idea, and ideally that's exactly what I would be doing. Unfortunately I only have 1 set of B3s. Like I said, I might be able to get my hands on 2 sets of CA-14s, which would be interesting as I imagine cards would have a different flavor than omnis.
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
Pres: CA-Ugly / Naiant Tinyhead / SD MixPre
Decks: Roland R-44 / Sony PCM-M10
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Offline acidjack

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #57 on: January 26, 2013, 01:17:44 PM »
Its so fucking funny that I suggest the same thing and people piss all over me lol you suggest it and it seems like a good idea. Wow makes me feel real welcome around here.

Who was "pissing all over you"?  I think the only point, generally, about people coming in and saying "this is an invalid comp" is that it's kind of a BS not-helpful comment. Bryon said exactly how he did the "comp" here. He didn't say he used the world's most scientific methods. He's just trying to help out by offering up what he did.  Maybe it's useful, maybe it isn't. He's not an idiot - he and everyone else knows that more controlled variables would make it better.  I completely agree with you that this is not a scientifically accurate, GS-style comp. I don't think it was represented as such.

Most people don't bother to post any comps at all. They just run around saying this or that gear is awesome, usually with the only reasoning behind the comment being that it happens to be what gear the person owns. I for one would rather hear imperfect comps than more of that.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 04:42:43 PM by acidjack »
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
Decks: Sound Devices MixPre 6, Zoom F8, M10, D50

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #58 on: January 26, 2013, 02:54:04 PM »
"He's not an idiot -" : Hang on there, let's not get carried away  ;D
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
Pres: CA-Ugly / Naiant Tinyhead / SD MixPre
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Marshall7

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #59 on: January 26, 2013, 04:32:54 PM »
...this or that gear is awesome, usually with the only reasoning behind the comment being that it happens to be what gear the person owns.

 ;D  Classic

Offline acidjack

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #60 on: January 26, 2013, 04:43:47 PM »
"GS-style comp".  Stop, you guys are killing me  ;D  I recall one such GS comp of vocal mics where five large diaphragm mics were arrayed on a single vocalist who was less than two feet away.  Needless to same, you can't get big ol' LDCs anywhere near coincident on a nearfield source.  The variance in angle there is much greater than a few inches apart on a stand recording a PA (not that this comp used a stand, but you get the idea).

I'm not holding them up as the be-all, end-all, Jon, but unless I'm mistaken, most of their comps are much more controlled than ours are, starting with that they are recording actual instruments and things rather than, as is often the case here, a PA system. 
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
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Offline jagraham

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #61 on: January 26, 2013, 09:43:20 PM »
...this or that gear is awesome, usually with the only reasoning behind the comment being that it happens to be what gear the person owns.

 ;D  Classic

^ This is true and funny.  Also I would guess every single one of us is guilty of it. 
Mics: Nak CM-300s, Nak CM-100s, CP-1s, CP-2s, AT-853s(Cards, Hypers, Omnis) CA-14s(Cards, Omnis)
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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #62 on: January 26, 2013, 10:14:56 PM »
...this or that gear is awesome, usually with the only reasoning behind the comment being that it happens to be what gear the person owns.

 ;D  Classic

^ This is true and funny.  Also I would guess every single one of us is guilty of it. 

Very true. You all know me very well, you know that im NOT VERY BIASED at all :P ;D

For real tho I like ALL GEAR as long as it sounds good ;) I often DL CA14 sources, and any AKG>Aerco and MBHO Source. Also ANY MG source as well!!!
Schoeps MK4's | MK41's ->
Schoeps | NBob 250/05 KCY's ->
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Offline spyder9

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #63 on: January 27, 2013, 01:10:07 AM »
I liked preamp #2

Offline Church-Audio

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #64 on: January 27, 2013, 01:39:50 PM »
Its so fucking funny that I suggest the same thing and people piss all over me lol you suggest it and it seems like a good idea. Wow makes me feel real welcome around here.

Who was "pissing all over you"?  I think the only point, generally, about people coming in and saying "this is an invalid comp" is that it's kind of a BS not-helpful comment. Bryon said exactly how he did the "comp" here. He didn't say he used the world's most scientific methods. He's just trying to help out by offering up what he did.  Maybe it's useful, maybe it isn't. He's not an idiot - he and everyone else knows that more controlled variables would make it better.  I completely agree with you that this is not a scientifically accurate, GS-style comp. I don't think it was represented as such.

Most people don't bother to post any comps at all. They just run around saying this or that gear is awesome, usually with the only reasoning behind the comment being that it happens to be what gear the person owns. I for one would rather hear imperfect comps than more of that.

When the differences are this substantial there is a fundamental problem with the comp. Its obvious. You would rather hear imperfect comps then comps that are actually done correctly? Really? I for one want to hear comps that are actually done correctly so people can actually make a educated decision on the gear they buy. You can't  educate anyone based on false comparisons. I understand and appreciate the effort being taken here.  That's why I even bothered to say anything in the first place. I would love someone to do a balanced and fair test. The simple truth of the mater is I doubt there will be that much difference when its done correctly. And that it will come down to a mater of feature set and not so much function, between the two preamps.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #65 on: January 28, 2013, 03:59:18 AM »
late in the game... I think I like pre 1 better
sounds fuller open and less muddy
at least in song 1


still want to know which is which


~ Archival Audio ~
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Main Mics: Milab VM-44 Links • Milab DC-196's (Matched  Pair)  •  Busman BSC2 BusBox (K21-O, K41-SC, K11-C)  • Line Audio CM3's
PreAmps:  SD USB-Pre2  • Naiant LittleBox • Naiant [Milab VM44] TinyBox (no bodies) • Naiant PIPsqueak
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Offline DiggerinVA

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #66 on: January 28, 2013, 09:24:23 AM »
bryonsos I could send you my b-3's they are the red label though, as you know.
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Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #67 on: January 28, 2013, 10:14:16 AM »
When the differences are this substantial there is a fundamental problem with the comp. Its obvious. You would rather hear imperfect comps then comps that are actually done correctly? Really? I for one want to hear comps that are actually done correctly so people can actually make a educated decision on the gear they buy. You can't  educate anyone based on false comparisons. I understand and appreciate the effort being taken here.  That's why I even bothered to say anything in the first place. I would love someone to do a balanced and fair test. The simple truth of the mater is I doubt there will be that much difference when its done correctly. And that it will come down to a mater of feature set and not so much function, between the two preamps.

Your declaration that "there must be a fundamental problem" with the comp is just your opinion.
It has not been established as fact.  The comp could be fine, and it could be the character of the gear, or a problem with the gear.  And, in any case, not everyone even agrees which version they prefer.

I can't recall a comp here that you haven't dismissed as invalid.

People who constantly piss and moan about other people's comps need to contribute comps of their own.

Unfortunately you cant do a comp like this and have the results mean anything. Unless you use the same exact mics and placement. And the same exact source material for both recordings. Meaning it cant be a live performance you are recording. Why? because there are way to many variables.

We get it - you believe all live performance comps are invalid. 

Rather than pissing in every live comp thread (which is what most comps here are - because that is what we do), perhaps you should start your own thread to expound upon how all comps are invalid, and leave those of us who value live performance comps to enjoy and discuss them in a way that is actually productive.

It is fine to suggest improvements in methodology, but only within the context of what is reasonably possible. When you dismiss the entire premise - as you have done - the rest of your contribution is moot.  It's just pissing all over the thread, and I think it contributes nothing, and is actually counter-productive to the goal of people doing and sharing more comps.

As for this comp, I wonder if playing the line-out of a playback device into each preamp might produce a useful result?  From an impedance standpoint, it would not be ideal.  But nothing ever is ;)

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #68 on: January 28, 2013, 10:28:46 AM »
bryonsos I could send you my b-3's they are the red label though, as you know.

I may take you up on that, thanks!

Mic builders - mine are high sens mics with the 2.2k mod, his are low sens mics with no mod (I think). Would that be valid for a side by side comp?
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
Pres: CA-Ugly / Naiant Tinyhead / SD MixPre
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Offline DiggerinVA

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #69 on: January 28, 2013, 11:26:52 AM »
they are the 2.2K mod done by Darktrain.
Sony C38B's --> Lunatec V2-->PMD661
B-3's --> Tinybox 1.5 --> PCM-M10

Offline Todd R

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #70 on: January 28, 2013, 12:02:20 PM »
A few thoughts on comparisons, in general.

I certainly can understand how Chris feels, as people may make decisions and more specifically decisions not to buy his gear based on a less-than-ideal comp.  Then again, people will often do dumb things, and people will use poor judgement in purchasing decisions, what can you do?

The thing is though, I don't think an imperfect comp is useless and you can only rely on perfect comps.  Sure, if we could design and implement one perfect comp, that is all you need.  Trouble is, even then, people might make choices on gear when it was actually the source material that was the problem.  Meaning, they really didn't like the sound of the source material, and the amplifier which amplified it perfectly sounded bad to them and the amplifier that had an imperfect frequency response actually managed to correct the bad source material sound and make it sound better to that listener.  Does that make the imperfect response amplifier a better amp?

To me, all comps should be taken with a grain of salt.  At the same time, it is good to have comps, and 1000 imperfect comps can be very useful. So any given comp is not perfect, if on every single one, the high end sounds distorted, it gets easier to associate that distorted high end with the piece of gear (say a mic preamp), if all other variables keep changing.  Location, sound material, different mics used, different venues, different soundmen, whatever.  If in 1000 trials you keep getting the result that Preamp X has a harsh high end, it statistically is very unlikely that every one of those flawed tests skewed in the direction of making Preamp X's high end sound harsh, when the only variable that stays constant is the choice of that particular Preamp X.  It becomes pretty apparent (likely) that the harsh high end is just coming from Preamp X.

So to me, even imperfect comps have value.  People around here always say to listen to gear on the Live Music Archive to see if you like it.  To me, listening to one show on the Archive tells me nothing, especially since I have no idea how it actually sounded in the venue.  But, say I'm interested in a particular mic, if I can listen to a couple dozen shows with that mic fed into a Lunatec V3 which I've owned and operated for years, and for those same shows I can also listen to a mic I know well (like the km140/km184, AKG 480/ck61, Milab Vm44) also fed into a V3, I can start to get a sense of the mic I'm considering.  Not perfect, and not all that useful with 1 show, but if I can hear those admittedly horrible and completely unscientific and useless comps, and I can do it 20 or 30 times -- if I start hearing the same pattern, I get more comfortable associating it with the mic and not one of the other variables.

And on the way we tend to do comps here:  people simply feel more comfortable hearing comps in environments and usage patterns that reflect how they will use the gear.  Taping a stereo in your living room just doesn't feel right, even though it might be a much more valid way of running a comp.  Also, on that end, it may be that there is good reason for running comps the way you want to run the gear -- say recording PA-amplified music.  If I test my preamp using my home stereo, I might be using high levels of gain, when in a concert setting I'm using much lower levels of gain.  An amplifier circuit might sound different or have different levels of noise or distortion at very different gain levels.  If I can't reproduce those sound levels in my living room, the comp isn't necessarily helping me.  Also, if you have a preamp with transformers, if you expect to be running the preamp at levels where the transformers are saturating, say at the low end (and if you want that saturation effect as part of your recordings), it could be difficult to get to the needed sound pressure levels to get into saturation mode when recording your stereo in your living room.

Which all said, might mean that the "perfect comp" that someone might put out there as the model to follow, does not get at the aspects of the gear that someone is interested in.  So it might be perfect scientifically, but it is useless to that person.

Bottom line -- to me, lots and lots of imperfect comps are better than none at all, and are probably even better than "the one perfect comp".
Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
Preamp:  none <sniff>
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Offline Church-Audio

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #71 on: January 28, 2013, 01:03:36 PM »
When the differences are this substantial there is a fundamental problem with the comp. Its obvious. You would rather hear imperfect comps then comps that are actually done correctly? Really? I for one want to hear comps that are actually done correctly so people can actually make a educated decision on the gear they buy. You can't  educate anyone based on false comparisons. I understand and appreciate the effort being taken here.  That's why I even bothered to say anything in the first place. I would love someone to do a balanced and fair test. The simple truth of the mater is I doubt there will be that much difference when its done correctly. And that it will come down to a mater of feature set and not so much function, between the two preamps.

Your declaration that "there must be a fundamental problem" with the comp is just your opinion.
It has not been established as fact.  The comp could be fine, and it could be the character of the gear, or a problem with the gear.  And, in any case, not everyone even agrees which version they prefer.

I can't recall a comp here that you haven't dismissed as invalid.

People who constantly piss and moan about other people's comps need to contribute comps of their own.

Unfortunately you cant do a comp like this and have the results mean anything. Unless you use the same exact mics and placement. And the same exact source material for both recordings. Meaning it cant be a live performance you are recording. Why? because there are way to many variables.

We get it - you believe all live performance comps are invalid. 

Rather than pissing in every live comp thread (which is what most comps here are - because that is what we do), perhaps you should start your own thread to expound upon how all comps are invalid, and leave those of us who value live performance comps to enjoy and discuss them in a way that is actually productive.

It is fine to suggest improvements in methodology, but only within the context of what is reasonably possible. When you dismiss the entire premise - as you have done - the rest of your contribution is moot.  It's just pissing all over the thread, and I think it contributes nothing, and is actually counter-productive to the goal of people doing and sharing more comps.

As for this comp, I wonder if playing the line-out of a playback device into each preamp might produce a useful result?  From an impedance standpoint, it would not be ideal.  But nothing ever is ;)

I respect your opinion. I should have just kept out of it. I feel the comp is not fair to my gear at all and I said so. I dont actually post much of anything about comps on here and I have not done so in so long I cant remember the last time I did. Everybody can do comps the way they want but when its my gear your using for a comp I would think people would at least listen to my logic.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #72 on: January 28, 2013, 01:34:02 PM »
Well said Todd, on the pitfalls of any live comparison and the appropriate way to use LMA sources for gear comps.
x2

I only want to comment on the thing about using two pairs of identical mics instead of the same pair.  In a single sample comparison like this (verses getting a feel for the average differences across multiple comps, like Todd mentions), using seperate pairs of mics throws up red flags for me, even if the are the same model mounted close together.  The two pairs of mics may sound different themselves, especially more variable / less expensive mics like B3s. Plus they may have been mounted or pointed slightly differently which may or may not have gone unnoticed, etc.  Although it limits the usefulness of the recording being made to comp material only and essentially ruins it as a music recording, I prefer these simple comps done in a way similar to what Bryon did here-  switching only the device under test (the preamp only in this case) during the same song and repeating that switch over a number of different songs.  That eliminates as many extra variables as possible, while keeping the source material as similar as possible, allowing one to compare alternate choruses, similar verses, etc. from the same song.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #73 on: January 28, 2013, 05:29:06 PM »

Bottom line -- to me, lots and lots of imperfect comps are better than none at all, and are probably even better than "the one perfect comp".


Rather than pissing in every live comp thread (which is what most comps here are - because that is what we do), perhaps you should start your own thread to expound upon how all comps are invalid, and leave those of us who value live performance comps to enjoy and discuss them in a way that is actually productive.



+t to both of you. I honestly can't believe how difficult some people make this out to be.

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #74 on: January 28, 2013, 08:01:34 PM »
I feel the comp is not fair to my gear at all and I said so.

Why would you feel that, when Jon apparently doesn't feel the same?  Have you already decided, without being told which is which, that your rpeamp is going to "lose" the comparison?  Apparently you still have lots of orders, your lead times don't seem to be getting shorter.

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #75 on: January 29, 2013, 11:27:36 AM »
I feel the comp is not fair to my gear at all and I said so.

Why would you feel that, when Jon apparently doesn't feel the same?  Have you already decided, without being told which is which, that your rpeamp is going to "lose" the comparison?  Apparently you still have lots of orders, your lead times don't seem to be getting shorter.
What does any of this have to do with comp? Or is this just another stab at me personally? what is this we cant agree that this is a flawed comp so you have to attack me and my business? Grow up.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #76 on: January 29, 2013, 11:56:26 AM »
If anyone needs to grow up it's you.  Quit whining.  Make your product.  Stand behind it.  If this "flawed" comp shows Jon's preamp to be "better", take it for what it is.  Improve your product if you feel you need to, otherwise carry on. 

You make good gear, I understand you're proud of it.  It doesn't mean there isn't better stuff out there.  Flawed or not, this is the comparison that was presented.  Get over it.  And as I said - how do you know yours is going to "lose"? 

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #77 on: February 03, 2013, 12:12:05 AM »
are we gonna here which is which soon?

I hope.... ;D
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #78 on: February 03, 2013, 12:35:41 AM »
are we gonna here which is which soon?

I hope.... ;D

Me too ;D
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #79 on: February 03, 2013, 10:55:33 AM »
are we gonna here which is which soon?

I hope.... ;D

Me too ;D

I'm open taping Les Racquet tomorrow, I'll be posting new samples on Tuesday or so. This will be in a room that I've successfully run omnis from the sweet spot in the past, so that should satisfy at least some of the critiques. It all depends on how the audience behaves. The other area involves posting samples with the same average RMS for the samples, I'm not sure how to do that with Audacity, so any advice is welcome.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #80 on: February 06, 2013, 08:09:17 PM »
are we gonna here which is which soon?

I hope.... ;D

Me too ;D

I'm open taping Les Racquet tomorrow, I'll be posting new samples on Tuesday or so. This will be in a room that I've successfully run omnis from the sweet spot in the past, so that should satisfy at least some of the critiques. It all depends on how the audience behaves. The other area involves posting samples with the same average RMS for the samples, I'm not sure how to do that with Audacity, so any advice is welcome.

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #81 on: February 10, 2013, 10:31:52 PM »
are we gonna here which is which soon?

I hope.... ;D

bump...
tell us which is which please.
no new sample needed in this comp just answers.
~ Archival Audio ~
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Main Mics: Milab VM-44 Links • Milab DC-196's (Matched  Pair)  •  Busman BSC2 BusBox (K21-O, K41-SC, K11-C)  • Line Audio CM3's
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #82 on: February 13, 2013, 02:36:15 AM »
OK, sorry there's been a lull on this, but in 2 outings I had taper error and in one case the samples just sucked. Anyway, I'm pretty happy with these ones, I think they're both good sources. I would be happy bringing home either one. Same as before, I've added two new songs with each preamp, this time with two different bands. Same link as before, the new files are song3preampX and song4preampX with both 24bit flacs and 320kbs mp3s. I'll let folks that haven't voted yet have a day or two before I do the reveal.

http://www.mediafire.com/?m1fbrlwdmad5f

Edit to add: These samples came from any open taping situation with a 3' spread, ~8-9' high, ~20' from stage.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 02:45:07 AM by bryonsos »
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #83 on: February 13, 2013, 11:03:37 PM »
I like preamp 1 better. Has a better low end and fuller sound, while at the same time maintaining a crisp highend
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #84 on: February 15, 2013, 08:25:37 AM »
Well, nobody has been downloading the new samples so I locked the poll. It's too bad, they are quite different from the first set. Anyway, in both cases:

Preamp 1 = CA Ugly
Preamp 2 = Naiant Tinyhead
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
Pres: CA-Ugly / Naiant Tinyhead / SD MixPre
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #85 on: February 15, 2013, 12:46:11 PM »
Thanks Bryon!
Schoeps MK4's | MK41's ->
Schoeps | NBob 250/05 KCY's ->
Schoeps VMS 02IB | Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's ->
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Sound Devices MixPre-6 | Tascam DR-70D ->
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #86 on: February 15, 2013, 01:59:55 PM »
Thanks for staying tuned Bean! I also posted some observations about the Tinyhead in the retail thread:

http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=159857.msg2022300#msg2022300
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #87 on: February 15, 2013, 02:27:44 PM »
Thanks as well Bryon.  I know none of this is 100% scientific but it's still interesting none-the-less.  Thanks again for your work with the comps.

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #88 on: February 15, 2013, 02:27:57 PM »
I took a listen, albeit very brief, to the new tracks and thought they were much closer to each other than the original comp. Thanks for doing this and I'd recommend everyone still download the new tracks.

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #89 on: February 15, 2013, 04:02:41 PM »
Looks like I like the CA-Ugly the best ;D
Schoeps MK4's | MK41's ->
Schoeps | NBob 250/05 KCY's ->
Schoeps VMS 02IB | Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's ->
DarkTrain Right Angle Stubby | GakCable XLR's ->
Sound Devices MixPre-6 | Tascam DR-70D ->
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #90 on: February 15, 2013, 05:44:35 PM »
Looks like I like the CA-Ugly the best ;D

Preamp 2 for me too. Has better HF response and overall better tonal balance to ME

I like preamp 1 better. Has a better low end and fuller sound, while at the same time maintaining a crisp highend

Sorry Bean, you seem more like a flip-flopper. ;)

I just had a chance to download and listen.  These samples are much closer to one another in sound to my ear.  Harder to discern the differences in this latest comp.

Overall though, I think I'm a flip-flopper too, just opposite of Bean. :)  I liked preamp 1 in the first comp, this time around, I think I have a slight preference for preamp 2.  I still feel like I'm hearing more pronounced mids in preamp 2, but in this latest go-around with this latest material, the more pronounced mids sit better with me.  Again though, I'm sure with a very slight EQ on preamp 1, I could get that more pronounced mid sound. 

Either preamp is very nice, I'd say.  Each sounds better than the other, depending on the material and what your ear is tuned to.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #91 on: February 15, 2013, 06:38:40 PM »
Either preamp is very nice, I'd say.  Each sounds better than the other, depending on the material and what your ear is tuned to.

I think we've learned that both devices have their uses and that neither is a clear winner.  :)

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #92 on: February 15, 2013, 07:34:24 PM »
I was a bit surprised how similar the 2nd set sound too, I was expecting them to be more discernible from each other. I agree, the Tinyhead has more pronounced mids overall, but I didn't find them to be hyped or unpleasant. I think they bring some clarity particularly on vocals. The Ugly is flatter to my ears which I like since it will probably take EQ a bit easier. I'm pleased to have both of these in my gear bag!
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #93 on: February 15, 2013, 08:37:48 PM »
OK, sorry there's been a lull on this, but in 2 outings I had taper error and in one case the samples just sucked.

It's time to fess up.  These threads are all about learning from mistakes, vagaries, and stuff.

What was the taper error that happend twice?

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #94 on: February 15, 2013, 08:51:54 PM »
OK, sorry there's been a lull on this, but in 2 outings I had taper error and in one case the samples just sucked.

It's time to fess up.  These threads are all about learning from mistakes, vagaries, and stuff.

What was the taper error that happend twice?


Im curious too!
Schoeps MK4's | MK41's ->
Schoeps | NBob 250/05 KCY's ->
Schoeps VMS 02IB | Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's ->
DarkTrain Right Angle Stubby | GakCable XLR's ->
Sound Devices MixPre-6 | Tascam DR-70D ->
128gb | 64gb SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC-I

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #95 on: February 15, 2013, 09:14:21 PM »
I downloaded and listened to the second set of files last night, on speakers the same way as with the first set, and was reassured to find they didn't sound very different to me at all.  It was a quick listen.  I was quite fatigued from a long day at a trade show and figured I should listen more closely on headphones when I was fresh, but haven't had time.

I think it highlights the necesity for multiple comps, and the need to resist the temptation to draw premature conclusions before there is enough data.
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #96 on: February 15, 2013, 09:43:31 PM »
OK, sorry there's been a lull on this, but in 2 outings I had taper error and in one case the samples just sucked.

It's time to fess up.  These threads are all about learning from mistakes, vagaries, and stuff.

What was the taper error that happend twice?

Ha! Only one error, the 2nd attempt was a wonderfully muddy tape of an inattentive crowd having social hour. Those samples weren't suitable for critical listening. The first time I forgot my 10' mini plug extension cable, so I couldn't mount the mics properly.  :facepalm:


I think it highlights the necesity for multiple comps, and the need to resist the temptation to draw premature conclusions before there is enough data.

Agreed. Multiple comps have greater value, plus it's fun to play with our toys!
Mics: 3 Zigma Chi HA-FX (COL-251, c, h, o-d, o-f) / Avenson STO-2 / Countryman B3s
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #97 on: February 15, 2013, 09:58:29 PM »
Agreed. I would listen to a comp everyday of the week :)
Schoeps MK4's | MK41's ->
Schoeps | NBob 250/05 KCY's ->
Schoeps VMS 02IB | Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's ->
DarkTrain Right Angle Stubby | GakCable XLR's ->
Sound Devices MixPre-6 | Tascam DR-70D ->
128gb | 64gb SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC-I

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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly
« Reply #98 on: February 15, 2013, 11:00:43 PM »
I wasn't going to listen, but I got curious.  I have to be contrary and go with #1, better HF rendition there.  Pretty dramatic difference actually, maybe the largest I've heard in an amp comparison.  I have no idea which is which though.

 :)
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Re: Naiant Tinyhead vs. CA-Ugly (new samples)
« Reply #99 on: February 15, 2013, 11:24:51 PM »
I wasn't going to listen, but I got curious.  I have to be contrary and go with #1, better HF rendition there.  Pretty dramatic difference actually, maybe the largest I've heard in an amp comparison.  I have no idea which is which though.

 :)

I went back 2 nights ago and relistened on my better playback, and I chose Number 1 for both comps :) Chris will be happy about that :P ;D
Schoeps MK4's | MK41's ->
Schoeps | NBob 250/05 KCY's ->
Schoeps VMS 02IB | Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's ->
DarkTrain Right Angle Stubby | GakCable XLR's ->
Sound Devices MixPre-6 | Tascam DR-70D ->
128gb | 64gb SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC-I

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/diskobean | http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/Bean420 | http://bt.etree.org/mytorrents.php

 

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