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Author Topic: Trying to decide on a preamp and ADC combo  (Read 6299 times)

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Offline OFOTD

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Re: Trying to decide on a preamp and ADC combo
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2011, 01:54:42 PM »
On the sound spectrum, I wouldn't put the PSP2 and V3 on the opposite end of the spectrum at all -- my ears anyway.  The PSP2 is a transformer pre, but it has a much more transparent sound as a transformer pre -- much moreso than the SD MP2 or Neve Portico.  And I think the PSP2 is much closer in sound to a V3 than a Minime -- to me the minime is further away on the scale from the V3 than the PSP2.  But again, that's my ears.

Agreed.   To me the pre sound spectrum is something like this  < V3 - 148 - PSP2 - 248 - SD - Portico - MiniMe >   

Offline TNJazz

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Re: Trying to decide on a preamp and ADC combo
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2011, 02:07:51 PM »
So I'm kinda thinking this:

4011 -> PSP-2 -> USBPre2 -> something via digital
                                           -> laptop USB backup

Does this line input of the USBPre2 bypass the preamps completely?

It would be a more elegant solution than my current Apogee setup, but sonically how does that compare?  Anyone know?
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Re: Trying to decide on a preamp and ADC combo
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2011, 02:38:56 PM »
On the sound spectrum, I wouldn't put the PSP2 and V3 on the opposite end of the spectrum at all -- my ears anyway.  The PSP2 is a transformer pre, but it has a much more transparent sound as a transformer pre -- much moreso than the SD MP2 or Neve Portico.  And I think the PSP2 is much closer in sound to a V3 than a Minime -- to me the minime is further away on the scale from the V3 than the PSP2.  But again, that's my ears.

Agreed.   To me the pre sound spectrum is something like this  < V3 - 148 - PSP2 - 248 - SD - Portico - MiniMe >   

left to right based on what attribute (e.g. transparent vs colored, or bright vs dark) or is it just A sounds closer to B than C and D sounds nothing like A? Just trying to understand whats being represented here.
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kirk97132

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Re: Trying to decide on a preamp and ADC combo
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2011, 02:48:21 PM »

Does this line input of the USBPre2 bypass the preamps completely?



From an e-mail to SD about stuff like this:

By default, the outputs of the USBPre 2 only carry signal from the computer. There is a DIP switch that configures the USBPre 2 to send whatever signal is going to headphones to the outputs. This is how the USBPre 2 can be used as a preamp / converter in Stand-alone mode. When this option is engaged and the Monitor Mix knob is turned all the way to "PRE", the signal path from analog inputs to analog outputs is fully analog.

While it odesn't really answer the question, and the block diagram is not very telling it looks like the line in signal would be seperate from the preamp and that gain is controlled by the monitor mix knob.  does that make sense??
« Last Edit: February 17, 2011, 02:54:30 PM by kirkd »

Offline Todd R

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Re: Trying to decide on a preamp and ADC combo
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2011, 02:49:28 PM »
Good question, to me it is a scale of transparent to colored (which I can largely agree with the ranking).

Need to overlay this on the scale of bright to dark I guess, but the scale only is representing detailed/transparent to dark, not the full spectrum of color.  Which to me is probably:

< harsh/grating/biting - bright - detailed - transparent - silky/musical - warm - dark - muddy >

To me, the V3 is pretty transparent, perhaps tending a little towards detailed.  All the other preamps OFOTD has listed move more towards the right side (darker side) probably moving from the scale from transparent to dark.  I don't think anything listed is muddy or bright/biting.
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Offline TNJazz

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Re: Trying to decide on a preamp and ADC combo
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2011, 04:07:18 PM »
Hmmm.  Well, I think unless someone can give me a good convincing reason to give up the PSP-2 I think I'm gonna hold onto it and put something else behind it.  Right now I'm thinking the USBPre2 is my best bet.

Any other A/D converters that run on DC power and have a USB output option?
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Offline mepaca

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Re: Trying to decide on a preamp and ADC combo
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2011, 08:46:49 PM »
Interesting.  Has anyone ever compared the A/D of the M10 with the A/D of a Mini Me?  What about the bigger Sony?  I think it's the D50?  Any improvement in A/D there?

I'm definitely not opposed to skipping the Apogee or any other A/D in the mix for a direct in to a decent recorder.  I don't have any familiarity with the M10 (or any of the Sonys) at all though.

What am I looking for?  I don't know.  Just want it to sound decent I guess.  I'm typically recording a PA system in a room with 2 microphones after all.

I have run an m10 and a mini-me>r-44 out of a v2. The m10 sounded great and perfectly usable but the mini-me sounded a hair better, mostly noticeable on the resolution of the acoustic bass. I think for the price and size the m10 is an amazing unit. From someone who used to lug around a Nakamichi cassette deck with 8 D cells, these are wonderful times to be a taper. On another note, I prefer my usbpre2 to my v2>mini-me combo. I go usbpre2 coax>r-44 and optical>d50 so I always have a backup.

Offline TNJazz

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Re: Trying to decide on a preamp and ADC combo
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2011, 01:10:29 PM »
Well I guess I've decided.  Sort of...
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Offline jlykos

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Re: Trying to decide on a preamp and ADC combo
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2011, 08:46:00 AM »
It depends what you are looking for.  I ran Gefell > PSP-2 > MiniMe > 671 for a very short time and while the results were the best that I have ever achieved, I did not want to lug all that gear around all the time.  I switched to PSP-2 > D50 and have not looked back.  So much easier in terms of battery life, weight, and portability, and still sounds great.  The PSP-2 > MiniMe sounded fantastic; very clear and great presence.  The PSP-2 > D50 is darker and more colored, but also sounds great.

Basically, I live overseas in developing countries.  I travel a lot and wanted something very portable.  PSP-2 > D50 is so convenient that any sonic advantages of the larger rig were outweighed by the portability factor.  I can change levels on the D50 and don't have to mess with a tiny screwdriver to change the levels on the MiniMe.  I don't have to worry about DVD batteries exploding or short circuiting when I plug them into the highly unstable electrical systems around here.  I can go into virtually any well-appointed regional market and get all the AA batteries that I want to run the thing.  Sometimes, enjoying the situation without the hassle is better than having the nth degree of resolution possible.  PSP-2 > D50 gives me 90% of what the PSP-2 > MiniMe gave me for a lot less headache.  That is worth it to me.
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Offline dogmusic

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Re: Trying to decide on a preamp and ADC combo
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2011, 09:41:14 AM »
It depends what you are looking for.  I ran Gefell > PSP-2 > MiniMe > 671 for a very short time and while the results were the best that I have ever achieved, I did not want to lug all that gear around all the time.  I switched to PSP-2 > D50 and have not looked back.  So much easier in terms of battery life, weight, and portability, and still sounds great.  The PSP-2 > MiniMe sounded fantastic; very clear and great presence.  The PSP-2 > D50 is darker and more colored, but also sounds great.

Basically, I live overseas in developing countries.  I travel a lot and wanted something very portable.  PSP-2 > D50 is so convenient that any sonic advantages of the larger rig were outweighed by the portability factor.  I can change levels on the D50 and don't have to mess with a tiny screwdriver to change the levels on the MiniMe.  I don't have to worry about DVD batteries exploding or short circuiting when I plug them into the highly unstable electrical systems around here.  I can go into virtually any well-appointed regional market and get all the AA batteries that I want to run the thing.  Sometimes, enjoying the situation without the hassle is better than having the nth degree of resolution possible.  PSP-2 > D50 gives me 90% of what the PSP-2 > MiniMe gave me for a lot less headache.  That is worth it to me.

Have you compared the record quality of your PSP-2 > D50 set-up with a PSP-2 > MiniMe > D50 set-up, going digital in into the D50?

I'm interested in how much of a quality difference there is between the analog and digital inputs of the D50 (i.e., how good is the ADC on the D50).

Thanks.
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Offline jlykos

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Re: Trying to decide on a preamp and ADC combo
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2011, 03:08:08 PM »
It depends what you are looking for.  I ran Gefell > PSP-2 > MiniMe > 671 for a very short time and while the results were the best that I have ever achieved, I did not want to lug all that gear around all the time.  I switched to PSP-2 > D50 and have not looked back.  So much easier in terms of battery life, weight, and portability, and still sounds great.  The PSP-2 > MiniMe sounded fantastic; very clear and great presence.  The PSP-2 > D50 is darker and more colored, but also sounds great.

Basically, I live overseas in developing countries.  I travel a lot and wanted something very portable.  PSP-2 > D50 is so convenient that any sonic advantages of the larger rig were outweighed by the portability factor.  I can change levels on the D50 and don't have to mess with a tiny screwdriver to change the levels on the MiniMe.  I don't have to worry about DVD batteries exploding or short circuiting when I plug them into the highly unstable electrical systems around here.  I can go into virtually any well-appointed regional market and get all the AA batteries that I want to run the thing.  Sometimes, enjoying the situation without the hassle is better than having the nth degree of resolution possible.  PSP-2 > D50 gives me 90% of what the PSP-2 > MiniMe gave me for a lot less headache.  That is worth it to me.

Have you compared the record quality of your PSP-2 > D50 set-up with a PSP-2 > MiniMe > D50 set-up, going digital in into the D50?

I'm interested in how much of a quality difference there is between the analog and digital inputs of the D50 (i.e., how good is the ADC on the D50).

Thanks.

I never ran PSP-2 > MiniMe > D50 but I can't imagine there is a difference between that and the PSP-2 > MiniMe > 671 recordings that I made, especially as I ran line-in all the time.  The ADC on the D50 is really, really good.  Not as good as that of the Sound Devices units or even the MiniMe, but it is outstanding, especially for the price and form factor.  The D50 is the best portable recorder that I have ever used.  Portability is more of a concern to me than pure sound quality but I am more than happy with the D50 recordings that I have made.

If you are asking me to choose the "best," I would go PSP-2 > MiniMe.  That said, I have the "best" time at a concert with my current rig because I don't have to change the levels with a screwdriver, I don't have to lug around an extra unit with a very awkward form factor, and I don't have to screw around with DVD batteries and the like.  Enjoying myself is the most important thing.
dpa 4061 > Church Audio 9200 > Sony PCM-D50 (Moon Audio Silver Dragon v3 interconnect)

"I have no views," Mickey Melchiondo, known as Dean Ween, said in a philosophical moment. "I am way too stupid. I have no strong feelings about anything. I'm really into television and the computer. I believe everything I see on TV and read on the Internet."

Offline dogmusic

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Re: Trying to decide on a preamp and ADC combo
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2011, 06:16:44 PM »
Enjoying myself is the most important thing.

I'll second that.

Thanks for the info.
"The ear is much more than a mere appendage on the side of the head." - Catherine Parker Anthony, Structure and Function of the Human Body (1972)

"That's metaphysically absurd, man! How can I know what you hear?" - Firesign Theatre

 

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