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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 20108 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
Decks: Roland R-44 / Sony PCM-M10
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My recordings LMA / BT / TTD

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.

Offline hoppedup

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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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Offline twatts (pants are so over-rated...)

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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
Pres: CA-Ugly / Naiant Tinyhead / SD MixPre
Decks: Roland R-44 / Sony PCM-M10
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My recordings LMA / BT / TTD

Offline LikeASong

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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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Offline cd2go

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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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Offline bryonsos

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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
Pres: CA-Ugly / Naiant Tinyhead / SD MixPre
Decks: Roland R-44 / Sony PCM-M10
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My recordings LMA / BT / TTD

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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Offline bryonsos

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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
Pres: CA-Ugly / Naiant Tinyhead / SD MixPre
Decks: Roland R-44 / Sony PCM-M10
GAKables
Dead Muppets

My recordings LMA / BT / TTD

 

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