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Author Topic: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?  (Read 8459 times)

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Offline spaulgal

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USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« on: April 23, 2011, 11:11:19 AM »
I am considering between the USBpre2 and the Mix-D.
I am trying to do 3 different things with it. I's say that #1 will be the most used

1) Desktop recording. I am currently using the Focusrite 7, but want to slim down and expand to two channels.
The USBpre2 is advertised to have the same pre's as the 7-series recorder. So, maybe the USB-pre2 is better in terms of quality?

2) Location recording for films / video with a Sennheiser 416 mic. We have a Sony PCM-d1 and d50 recorders.
Seems like the Mix-d wins here.

3) DSLR audio input. Seems like the Mix-d wins here.


It seems like the Mix-d is overall better for me -- I just wish the mix-D has the better series 7 pre's.
Am I thinking about this correctly and am I right that the USBpre2's pres are "better"?

Offline DATBRAD

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2011, 12:40:26 PM »
Since the Mixpre-D is actually a dedicated preamp with add on feature of an A/D, and the USBpre2 is a computer interface, I would expect the Mixpre to have better preamps. Most of the people I know with 7 series recorders bypass the internal preamps, and use external preamps. My personal opinion is that the 7 series preamps are not as good as those found in SD dedicated preamps.
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Offline spaulgal

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2011, 12:56:43 PM »
Interesting. How about the fact that the USBpre is 192, the Mix D is only 96?

Do most people agree?

Offline bhadella

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2011, 01:26:27 PM »
The only digital signal that the D50 accepts is via optical cabling.   The USBPre2 provides this connectivity, the MixPre-D does not.   
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 01:31:06 PM by bhadella »
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kirk97132

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2011, 01:43:21 PM »
 Taken from this thread:
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=144387.0;all

usbpre2 has spdif out via coax/optical, no aes.
mixpre-d has aes and no spdif.
both have usb.

the usbpre2 is transformerless
the mixpre-d is tranformerful.  :P

Noticed the P12 option is still in tact on the mixpre-d.

USBPRe2 will clock to external spdif signal
Usb-d no external clocking

Usbpre2 will do analog mic, line and digi out at same time
Usb-d choice of either mic or line or digi out but not at the same time

Usbpre2 80dB gain
Usbpre-d 66db of gain

Usbpre2 more rugged USB-3 Jack
Usb-d Usb mini jack

USBPre2 $650
Mixpre-D $750

Offline rastasean

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2011, 02:17:02 PM »
usbpre2- no on/off switch
mxipreD- has on on/off switch
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Offline spaulgal

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2011, 04:33:36 PM »
The only digital signal that the D50 accepts is via optical cabling.   The USBPre2 provides this connectivity, the MixPre-D does not.

In general, what is the preferred or  more "pro" interface -- the optical outputs of the USBpre or the AES digital outputs of the USB-D?

Offline notlance

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2011, 07:55:56 PM »

mxipreD - has provisions for Mid-Side microphones
usbpre2 - no MS provisions

Offline notlance

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2011, 08:09:55 PM »
Since the Mixpre-D is actually a dedicated preamp with add on feature of an A/D, and the USBpre2 is a computer interface, I would expect the Mixpre to have better preamps. Most of the people I know with 7 series recorders bypass the internal preamps, and use external preamps. My personal opinion is that the 7 series preamps are not as good as those found in SD dedicated preamps.

There is nothing wrong with the 7xx preamps.  My recording consists of about 70% classical, 20% Jazz and 10% everything else.  In the classical world I have worked with some very particular musicians and I have never had any of them complain about the recorded sound I've been giving them.  I know of an acclaimed "purist" classical label that runs its mics directly into a 722.  So IMHO, the 7xx preamps are just fine.

Offline DATBRAD

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2011, 10:11:59 PM »
Since the Mixpre-D is actually a dedicated preamp with add on feature of an A/D, and the USBpre2 is a computer interface, I would expect the Mixpre to have better preamps. Most of the people I know with 7 series recorders bypass the internal preamps, and use external preamps. My personal opinion is that the 7 series preamps are not as good as those found in SD dedicated preamps.

There is nothing wrong with the 7xx preamps.  My recording consists of about 70% classical, 20% Jazz and 10% everything else.  In the classical world I have worked with some very particular musicians and I have never had any of them complain about the recorded sound I've been giving them.  I know of an acclaimed "purist" classical label that runs its mics directly into a 722.  So IMHO, the 7xx preamps are just fine.

I don't think anyone thinks there is anything "wrong" with the built in preamps on the 7xx series, I sure don't. I have found among the many tapers I know that run 7xx, a couple of guys that run without preamps occasionally, but they also have outboard preamps and use them more often than not. All the rest I know run a preamp in front of their 7xx recorders every time I see them tape.

IMO, there really is no brand of recorder with mics fed directly into it, even modded ones, that can 100% equal the quality of having a nice outboard preamp feeding a line level signal to that very same recorder. People are not running preamps like the Grace V2, Sonosax, Neve Portico, or Schoeps VMS in front of 7xx recorders, or any other brands for that matter, just to make the bag heavier.

I expect for Classical and Jazz, since the sound pressure levels are not pushing the preamps near the top of their headroom limit continuously, the 7xx built in preamps don't expose the weakness I hear in them when used for Rock shows when compared side-by-side with a nice preamp in front. Just my opinion, to each his own.
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DF81

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2014, 08:25:32 PM »
I'm looking at these two preamps as well.

Any further input on the preamp sound quality?  I listening to a youtube comparison, though through laptop speakers, a huge difference... not necessarily one better than the other, but the Mixpre-D sounded like the FP24 (a preamp I used for a year).  The Mixpre/FP24 is a good preamp, maybe a little too much gain for small loud rooms, but very good.

USBPre2 Pro's - more I/O's that can be used simultaneously, better computer audio monitoring/playback
USBPre2 Con's - no internal battery, larger than the Mixpre-D, but still can run on USB battery supply for standalone use.

Mixpre-D Pro's - internal AA battery power supply, smaller than the USBPre2/compact


Price is about the same.  So it comes down to the preamps.  Transistors/Transformers - Is one better than the other, qualities?  what is your preference?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 12:41:58 AM by DF81 »

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Offline DigiGal

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2014, 11:43:19 AM »
For several reasons the MixPre-D was and is the best choice of the two for me, there are several threads on this topic already so there's no need to repeat ad nauseam.
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DF81

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2014, 12:01:03 PM »
there are several threads on this topic already so there's no need to repeat ad nauseam.


I've read one at least one thread and I'll go through a few pages of archive threads, but the search feature is broken.

Offline hi and lo

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2014, 12:33:13 PM »
there are several threads on this topic already so there's no need to repeat ad nauseam.


I've read one at least one thread and I'll go through a few pages of archive threads, but the search feature is broken.

The search function was fixed a few weeks ago. Should be working perfectly now.

DF81

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2014, 12:35:06 PM »
there are several threads on this topic already so there's no need to repeat ad nauseam.


I've read one at least one thread and I'll go through a few pages of archive threads, but the search feature is broken.

The search function was fixed a few weeks ago. Should be working perfectly now.

Good.  Thanks

Offline sk-1

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2014, 12:00:26 PM »
The USB Pre has very similar preamps to the 7-series, but adapted for 5v power supply. It has about 2dB lower EIN than the mix pre, and about 10dB lower noise ADC than the mix pre. Depending on the sensitivity of your mics, these figures may not make any difference to your recordings.

Re AES or optical, AES is the studio standard but it's essentially the same data being transmitted so there's no sonic difference between the two. AES via XLR is a much more robust physical connection though.

I'd go with the mix pre. I found the USB Pre to be a unuseable in the field due to its rear panel dip switch settings and lack of stereo link options. It was a champ in the studio, but not built for anything else. The mix pre preamps are the classic sound devices lundahl transformer pres, and if you can live with the extra 2dB noise over the USB pre, they sound exactly the freaking same as any other half decent preamp out there.

DF81

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Re: USBpre2 or Mix-D -- what's for me?
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2014, 02:41:28 AM »
I found the USB Pre to be a unuseable in the field due to its rear panel dip switch settings and lack of stereo link options.


I used one for the first time this week... not an easy task to to change settings with a tiny screwdriver in the dark.  If you don't have three hands and a flashlight you're screwed.

I don't mind some of the settings on the rear DIP panel that are not used or changed often, but some need to be on the front.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 02:47:21 AM by DF81 »

 

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