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Author Topic: Comp - SD MixPre3 preamps vs SD 788T preamps  (Read 611 times)

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Offline fanofjam

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Comp - SD MixPre3 preamps vs SD 788T preamps
« on: December 30, 2023, 09:32:57 PM »
This is a comparison between the preamps of the SD MixPre3 and the SD 788t.
 
There are two sound samples of each song (A vs B & C vs D).  One song is a live recording and the other is a studio recording.  If you’re like me, it’s no fun participating in these and then being forced to wait for days/weeks for the reveal, so I’ve included the reveal in the download…scroll down in this thread for the link to the reveal, but please do the comp and post your results before you grab the reveal. 

Here is the setup…

Computer > Audient iD4 Audio Interface > Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones

…and each recording rig

Schoeps CMC5+MK4 > SD788t
Schoeps CMC5+MK4 > SD MixPre3

The mics were closed mic’ed to each side of the headphones.  The only thing that was changed between the samples was to move the XLRs from one recorder to the other.  No post processing other than trying to get levels close. 

PLEASE respect the concept of the comp and don’t look at the reveal (or look farther forward in this thread than the link to the reveal) until after you’ve made and posted your preferences.  Once you’ve posted, go ahead and check out the reveal, although as you look forward in the thread there will certainly be some discussion.

Thanks for participating!

Pick One -- A or B

A – Song Sample 1
https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/0yxywfz3www82jmmhgqi4/A-sample-1.WAV?rlkey=u21y618txi2d9z064u6kkdypa&dl=0

B – Song Sample 1
https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/wycuy2bz19gwqq1ycrfv7/B-sample-1.WAV?rlkey=u0wtdkyap9bjp3ujtrnxzrqt0&dl=0


Pick One -- C or D

C – Song Sample 2
https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/mhqse3zilmghpae9g43rb/C-sample-2.WAV?rlkey=2v5fuoe91zyi48qkhkuqwsf26&dl=0

D – Song Sample 2
https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/ly1deibiqwfub9y2zkwm2/D-sample-2.WAV?rlkey=clkfu1r21oo8al5xy1yo3qn9y&dl=0
« Last Edit: December 30, 2023, 09:54:09 PM by fanofjam »

Offline fanofjam

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Re: Comp - SD MixPre3 preamps vs SD 788T preamps
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2023, 09:37:43 PM »
Guys...remember comps are FOR FUN.  If you must, critique/criticize away, but most people just say not worry about it.  This is just a fun A versus B to try to shed a little light on a question that's been asked for a few years now...whether the 788t preamps sound different than the MixPre preamps. 
« Last Edit: December 30, 2023, 09:56:57 PM by fanofjam »

Offline fanofjam

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Re: Comp - SD MixPre3 preamps vs SD 788T preamps
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2023, 09:38:33 PM »
Keep going three more posts for the link to the reveal.

Offline fanofjam

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Re: Comp - SD MixPre3 preamps vs SD 788T preamps
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2023, 09:39:42 PM »
Patience is a virtue...two more.

Offline fanofjam

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Re: Comp - SD MixPre3 preamps vs SD 788T preamps
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2023, 09:41:03 PM »
...and one more...thanks.

Offline fanofjam

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Re: Comp - SD MixPre3 preamps vs SD 788T preamps
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2023, 09:43:05 PM »

Offline voltronic

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Re: Comp - SD MixPre3 preamps vs SD 788T preamps
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2023, 10:38:23 PM »
Thanks for doing this comp. I didn't expect this big a difference. Are you sure that the orientation of the mic capsules didn't shift while you were switching cables? Because A and D sound dramatically different than B and C, far more so than a preamp switch should. One of the pairs sounds very rolled off in the treble. Is it possible your mics shifted, even slightly, or you inadvertently had some filtering engaged on one of the recorders?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2023, 10:52:14 PM by voltronic »
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Offline fanofjam

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Re: Comp - SD MixPre3 preamps vs SD 788T preamps
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2023, 12:37:31 AM »
Thanks for doing this comp. I didn't expect this big a difference. Are you sure that the orientation of the mic capsules didn't shift while you were switching cables? Because A and D sound dramatically different than B and C, far more so than a preamp switch should. One of the pairs sounds very rolled off in the treble. Is it possible your mics shifted, even slightly, or you inadvertently had some filtering engaged on one of the recorders?

100% sure there was no mic shift.  No filtering engaged.   

I was also surprised at the amount of difference, but it did confirm what I thought I'd been hearing in my listening tests and validates the rationale I used when I made my recent purchase.  FWIW, my best taping friend that uses the MP series commented to me that he's noticed on a number occasions that when someone is recording next to him with a 788t that their recordings turn out nicer sounding.  Just some purely anecdotal evidence.  He's the main person that I did this comp for...I promised him a couple weeks back I'd do it.

BTW, I've owned lots of external preamps and they all sound different.  PSP2 has always been lots of people's holy grail and I'm also on that bandwagon.  Still kicking myself...I twice owned one at different times.   :banging head:

PS to add...the order in which these samples were recorded is A > D > C > B
« Last Edit: December 31, 2023, 01:05:59 AM by fanofjam »

Offline Ronmac

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Re: Comp - SD MixPre3 preamps vs SD 788T preamps
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2023, 10:10:09 AM »
Thanks for doing this comp. I didn't expect this big a difference. Are you sure that the orientation of the mic capsules didn't shift while you were switching cables? Because A and D sound dramatically different than B and C, far more so than a preamp switch should. One of the pairs sounds very rolled off in the treble. Is it possible your mics shifted, even slightly, or you inadvertently had some filtering engaged on one of the recorders?

^^^^ I agree that it certainly sounds as if there is something in the test methodology skewing the results. The 788 is a legendary machine, for good reason and I would expect to hear "some" difference.

Is there a possibility that one or more of the following was not equal?: High pass engaged/different frequency selection; Limiter engaged/level setting; Preamp gain difference (you noted that you did do some level processing in post?).

I am seeing differences in both level and stereo width between both test groups when monitoring via RME DigiCheck....

As part of my post retirement gear purge I recently did a mic shootout of all my mixers and recorders to see what I could/should justify keeping for personal use. Products included from Yamaha, Sony, Presonus, A&H, Mackie and Sound Devices (MixPre, MixPre-d, USBPre 2 (closest pre topology to 788), 552 and MixPre6ii. They all sounded very slightly different, as expected, and I did come to the conclusion to keep 2, maybe 3 (all winners were SD machines). The differences were slight enough that the final determination was based on channel count, portability and integration to a projected workflow for future projects.

I certainly don't question your sincerity and integrity in doing this test, but your results vary much more than has been my experience.

 

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