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Author Topic: what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?  (Read 12042 times)

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Offline waltmon

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what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?
« on: May 27, 2013, 08:48:02 PM »
Aany thoughts on sound quality?  Looking for a decent pre that's not too pricey to pht in front of a tascam 680...
KM140's, KM150's w/Nick modified PFA active cables, Mixpre-6, Oade Concert Mod 661mkII

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Offline achalsey

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Re: what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2013, 09:05:59 PM »
USBPre doesn't work as a standalone.  It only works with a computer.

You want to look into the pre2

Offline tgakidis

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Re: what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2013, 12:57:25 PM »
Or a mixpreD
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Offline DSatz

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Re: what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2013, 11:35:52 PM »
My notes on the subject (which, if they contain mistakes, I would appreciate being told about them):

USBPre:
   No audio transformers
   USB powering only
   All controls on front panel--no software-only features
   48 Volt phantom only
   Level meters
   1/4" and 1/8" headphone outputs w/own level control
   8-, 16- or 24-bit S/P-DIF output at 32, 44.1 or 48 kHz
   
USBPre 1.5:
   Same plus switchable 15 dB pad on mike inputs (or does above also have this?)
   Mono switch for headphones only
   still supports 16-bit recording but dither instructions are unclear

USBPre 2:
   Optical as well as coax I/O
   DIP switches--no software-only features
   Way fancier metering than 1.5
   Standalone mode (can also be fooled into this mode, if desired, when using a computer to supply power)
   Class-compliant audio device (no control panel)
   8 kHz through 192 kHz conversion
   12 db/octave low-cut filters
   A/D sampling rate can lock to incoming S/P-DIF
   No way to set 16-bit quantization.

music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

kirk97132

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Re: what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 11:53:37 AM »
Mr Satz.  The USBPre  &  USBPre 1.5 are the same unit.  Most commonly referred to as the USBPre.  the 1.5 model number became much more relevant after the release fo the USBPre-2.   The big difference seperating the two units is the 1.5 is computer use only, while the 2 can be used with computer or as standalone.  Both have a lot of features not in your list.  The complete list of features can be found here:
USBPre-1.5: http://www.sounddevices.com/products/usbpre/
USBPre-2: http://www.sounddevices.com/products/usbpre2/
The USBPre-1.5 is now discontinued but they show up for sale all the time on GS & E-bay, not so much here on TS. 

IF the OP was interested in preamps that can supply a digital signal to a recorder there is also the MIXPre-D and that too is also USB capable.  It has AES output.
http://www.sounddevices.com/products/mixpred/

The rest of the Sound Devices preamps will not supply and digital outputs.  SWince I know that the OP had recently gotten a Tascam DR-680 I assume it was something he is trying to pair a preamp with in order to get recording on all 8 channels.  I use a Pre-2 with my 680 and have been very happy with the results.  It also allows me to sync my two 680's without losing any recording channels due to it's ability to sync via an incoming SPDIF signal.  The Mixpre-D has internal batteries something the Pre-2 does not have.  I also run a Lunatec V3 and the Pre-2  sound is very similiar to the V3.  Some people will say the Transformers on the MIXPre-D yeild a sound that they like.  My only point of reference would be to my sound Devices MP-2 which has transformers.  and on some mics I prefer the sound of the MP-2.  I think like a lot of Preamps, some pairs of mics & preamps just work better together...or rather sound better together for my purposes.  Hope that helps
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 12:00:40 PM by kirkd »

Offline Todd R

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Re: what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 03:46:51 PM »
Mr Satz.  The USBPre  &  USBPre 1.5 are the same unit. 

I did some internet sleuthing, mainly since I'm procrastinating and haven't found DSatz to be wrong very often.

Using the Wayback Machine on the internet archive, it does look like the USBPre and USBPre 1.5 were in fact slightly different, though the original USBPre didn't ship very long.

The November 2000 update from SD said the USBPre was in beta testing.  The 1/25/2001 update from SD said that the USBPre was then shipping.  By SD's April 2001 update, they had released the USBPre 1.5.

Sound Devices said this about the 1.5 version:
Quote
What's New in USBPre 1.5

USBPre 1.5 adds S/PDIF coaxial I/O to the USBPre. With S/PDIF, the USBPre is the only tool required to interface high performance audio with your Windows or Mac computer. Another minor feature of version 1.5 is the ability to lock out front panel buttons via the control panel software. All other features of USBPre 1.5 remain the same as the original USBPre hardware.

Sound Devices also had a program to update the USBPre to a USBPre 1.5 for $50:
Quote
USBPre 1.5 End-User Upgrade Program

Sound Devices has introduced USBPre 1.5, an upgrade to the USBPre that adds S/PDIF coaxial I/O to the USBPre. While many users have no application for the new feature, those customers who need the additional feature can upgrade their product directly through Sound Devices. This upgrade can only be done by Sound Devices, not through your dealer.

Who Is Eligible?

Any registered USBPre end-customer is eligible to exchange their pre-USBPre 1.5 hardware for the latest "1.5" hardware. Note: Refurbished USBPre hardware is not eligible for the upgrade.

How Much is the Upgrade?

The charge for the upgrade is $50.00, which includes all handling fees and ground shipping. If requested, premium freight is extra, $10.00 for Second Day, $20.00 for Next Day shipping. If your USBPre was purchased after April 15, 2001 the upgrade is no-charge. Please include proof of purchase information.

That said, the USBPre 2 is the ticket if you want to use it standalone with a field recording rig, the USBpre 1/1.5 required connection to a computer or laptop.
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kirk97132

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Re: what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2013, 04:21:12 PM »
FWIW, I took my information directly from Sound Devices website.  It does not show two discontinued units of the PRE & Pre 1.5. 
http://www.sounddevices.com/products/discontinued/

But it does list a USBPre link, which when opening the link states it's a USBPre 1.5.  Could be with that with there Beta testing etc, meant it was only released as 1.5?  Same thing happened to the USBPre-2.  It shipped but shortly after it's debut they issued a software patch to correct some issues.  Although they did not make it a 2.5 version then. 

Offline Todd R

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Re: what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2013, 05:04:16 PM »
Seems like if they had an official program to upgrade version 1.0 units to 1.5 hardware, that they must have had at least some official sales of the USBPre 1.0.  But they couldn't have been shipping the 1.0 units until at least Dec 2010 or Jan 2011, and by 4/15/01 they announced they were shipping the 1.5 units.  Doesn't sound like there could have been too many 1.0 units shipped.
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Offline illconditioned

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Re: what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2013, 12:55:53 AM »
Be careful.  Usb pre does not work with 64 bit OS.  (That's what the web site says.)  Does not work with Linux at all.

I have seen a few Usb pre units for sale on the Trew Audio consignment page.  Something like $300-$330 IIRC.

If this worked as a standard USB device (not drivers needed), I would buy one right away.  I need a good USB recorder for my "installed" sound system at local clubs.  Since I am running Linux, this is not an option.  The only "safe" system would be Win XP, and you would need to use their specific drivers.

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kirk97132

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Re: what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2013, 11:32:30 AM »
Be careful.  Usb pre does not work with 64 bit OS.  (That's what the web site says.)  Does not work with Linux at all.

I have seen a few Usb pre units for sale on the Trew Audio consignment page.  Something like $300-$330 IIRC.

If this worked as a standard USB device (not drivers needed), I would buy one right away.  I need a good USB recorder for my "installed" sound system at local clubs.  Since I am running Linux, this is not an option.  The only "safe" system would be Win XP, and you would need to use their specific drivers.

  Richard
There are instructions for setting up a win7 to operate in 32bit mode that would allow the pre1.5 to be used.  I have almost zero linux knowledge but isn't there a windows emulator or something that can be run on linux?And maybe then it could be run in 32 bit to allow you to use the preamp? 

Offline Todd R

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Re: what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2013, 12:10:56 PM »
Be careful.  Usb pre does not work with 64 bit OS.  (That's what the web site says.)  Does not work with Linux at all.

I have seen a few Usb pre units for sale on the Trew Audio consignment page.  Something like $300-$330 IIRC.

If this worked as a standard USB device (not drivers needed), I would buy one right away.  I need a good USB recorder for my "installed" sound system at local clubs.  Since I am running Linux, this is not an option.  The only "safe" system would be Win XP, and you would need to use their specific drivers.

  Richard

Just to clarify -- I assume you're talking about the discontinued USBPre 1.5 (first generation)?

The USBPre 2 is class compliant, doesn't require drivers, and should work with Mac, Windows, and Linux.  Pretty spendy though for an installed system.
Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
Preamp:  none <sniff>
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kirk97132

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Re: what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2013, 10:38:39 AM »
Be careful.  Usb pre does not work with 64 bit OS.  (That's what the web site says.)  Does not work with Linux at all.

I have seen a few Usb pre units for sale on the Trew Audio consignment page.  Something like $300-$330 IIRC.

If this worked as a standard USB device (not drivers needed), I would buy one right away.  I need a good USB recorder for my "installed" sound system at local clubs.  Since I am running Linux, this is not an option.  The only "safe" system would be Win XP, and you would need to use their specific drivers.

  Richard

Just to clarify -- I assume you're talking about the discontinued USBPre 1.5 (first generation)?

The USBPre 2 is class compliant, doesn't require drivers, and should work with Mac, Windows, and Linux.  Pretty spendy though for an installed system.
I believe so or at least I took it as that, since the 64bit issue refers to the Pre1.5...I wonder if anyone has jumped on buying a Pre1.5 thinking it was a V2.0 at a great price only to find out differently?  I do keep my Pre2 hooked up to the desktop when I'm home, makes for a better soundcard and makes interfacing with stereo etc much easier

Offline Todd R

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Re: what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2013, 11:05:46 AM »
Ditto, I keep mine hooked up to my iMac via the optical out of the Mac.  Use it as a DAC for a T-amp based computer playback system, and also use it as a headphone amp -- makes for a good desktop playback system.

Since I change my gear around every 5 mintues, I sometimes think about getting rid of the USBPre for some other taping gear.  Though it is also great taping gear, I often end up keeping it around for it's dual use in my playback system.

Too bad the USBPre 2 jumped from $650 to $850, makes it a harder sell for hobbyist tapers.  Still, it has very nice preamps, excellent A/D, offers lots in the way of options and inputs/outputs, and doubles as a good piece of a playback system.  Pretty versatile piece of kit.
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kirk97132

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Re: what's the diff between usb pre and usb pre2?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2013, 02:40:27 PM »
the Pre2 was one of my few investments that increased in value after I bought and used it.  I got mine when they were released and cannot see myself selling it off.  So to bring it full circle and back to the OP, Wlatmon if you are looking for a preamp to match with your DR-680 and allow recording on 8 channels, then the USBPre-2 is what you want, not the older USBPre-1.5.  If you are concerned about budget I see there is a Busman modded Edirol UA-5 in the YS that would supply a SPDIF signal, and it is a great price too.  I have heard that modded preamp called a "poor mans V3".  Speaking of Lunatec V3 you can find them selling for about the same as a new SD preamp.  Slightly different feature set but a n ice preamp, and one that I think has a similar sound to the USBPre-2.  Good Luck on your hunt!

 

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