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  • Pacifica vs Great River MP2-2nv vs Vintech 273 preamps

    I am shopping for a nice preamp with solid state, transformers and some character.
    I have been told that these 3 preamps have similarity to each other.
    Do any readers have experience with these three and be able to provide me with some advice on how they differ.

    Thank you, ES
    <div class="signaturecontainer">EveningSky</div>

  • #2
    I have not used / heard the Pacifica, and it's been a while since I've heard the Great River, but it made a very good impression on me. Both it and the Vintech (I'm a Vintech owner BTW) are in the "Neve family" insofar as basic sonics. IMO, they're both very good preamps, and it would be hard to go wrong with either one. The GR gets a bit more love in some circles online, and it deserves all the props - but the Vintech preamps are very cool sounding and a bit more affordable.

    Not to make your choices even more difficult, but there are probably at least two other options you should check out / consider: The new Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5012 dual preamp, and the RTZ 9672. I did a review of that in EQ a while back - while it's not as well known as the other ones we've been discussing, it really does offer a nice take on the classic "Neve sound".

    http://www.eqmag.com/story.asp?sectioncode=235&storycode=138

    All of these preamps definitely have a Neve or Neve-esque sound to them, and there isn't a dog in the bunch - any of them would probably do what you want. Of course, if budget isn't a consideration, you can get a new reissue 1073 or 1081 from an AMS Neve dealer, or spend the really big bucks buying, racking and refurbishing a classic Neve module.
    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you Phil. Your RTZ appears to be a good value for the $. What is strange to me is that I hardly find mention of it at the forums I visit.
      I read you EQ article.
      Could you elaborate on your experience with that RTZ unit.
      Thank you, ES
      <div class="signaturecontainer">EveningSky</div>

      Comment


      • #4
        I only have the GR and I can say that this preamp has impressed me beyond expectation, especially when recording kick drum and bass guitar. My cureent and previous board preamps (AMEK Angela blue, A&H GL series) are blown away by this preamp.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have no experience with the others, but I have the Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5012 and cannot say enough nice things about it. Absolutely gorgeous, extraordinarily clear sound, and with the Silk Button engaged, gets gloriously fat in a hurry. I love the sound.

          I've never heard a bad thing about the Great River.
          Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by EveningSky
            Thank you Phil. Your RTZ appears to be a good value for the $. What is strange to me is that I hardly find mention of it at the forums I visit.
            I read you EQ article.
            Could you elaborate on your experience with that RTZ unit.
            Thank you, ES


            Well, I thought I had covered everything fairly well in my EQ review, but if there's any specific questions you have, I'll be happy to do my best to answer them.

            The RTZ 9672 is definitely a Neve-esque preamp, but it has a bit more openness to the high frequencies, and IMHO, like the Great River, it tends to "stack" a bit better than a true Neve 1073 or 1272 (or full on clone) does. Not that I dislike 1272's and 1073's - I absolutely love them. But if it's the only preamp flavor you have, and you use it to stack up / overdub a lot of tracks, things can tend to get a little overwhelming in the low midrange, and you'll probably want to / need to EQ a bit of that out of there. The Great River and RTZ don't suffer from that as much.

            I really don't know why the RTZ hasn't caught on as much as I expected it to. Maybe it's due to limited marketing - who knows? But IMO, it's a very nice, completely professional sounding unit that is well built and as you said, has a very reasonable price for what you're getting. I believe the only reviews on it I've ever seen were mine, and then later I saw one in TapeOp - and IIRC, Andy (or maybe it was Larry? I don't recall offhand) gave it a very positive review too. There may be other reviews, and if there are, they're probably posted or linked to on the RTZ website.

            www.rtzaudio.com

            PS It looks like there was a review in Mix too.

            **********

            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

            - George Carlin

            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you Ken, Alcohol and Phil.
              Phil, your review was good, but short for me to help me make such a buying decision.
              Is anyone who used the RTZ able to compare to the Pacifica or Great River pres?
              Yours,
              ES
              <div class="signaturecontainer">EveningSky</div>

              Comment


              • #8
                I founds the Pacifica to be an ear candy pre. I've found those sorts of pres you either absolutely love or just scratch your head.

                The Great River MP-2NV does not come at you with the ear candy approach but it solidly and reliably delivers quality sonics. If you want ear candy, then maybe you should go back to the Pacifica, which sounds nothing like the Great River or any Neve sound with which I'm familiar.

                If I were looking for a sexy Neve sort of sound, then I'd probably suggest looking at the Aurora Audio.

                I've not used the RTZ pre either but I think maybe I might be looking at one in the near future.
                <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="3"><font face="Arial Black"><font color="blue">Steven</font></font></font><font face="Arial Black"><br />
                <font size="2"><a href="http://www.mojopie.com" target="_blank">Mojo Pie</a></font></font><br />
                <font face="Arial"><font color="Blue">Reviews, forums, blogs about recording gear</font></font></div>

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've not used the RTZ pre either but I think maybe I might be looking at one in the near future.

                  Please let us know what you think of it if you do give it a try.
                  **********

                  "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                  - George Carlin

                  "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                  - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                  "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                  - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Phil, your review was good, but short for me to help me make such a buying decision.

                    Actually, I'd say that applies to ALL reviews. IOW, I'd say that reviews, while they can be useful tools, are just a part of the research that goes into a gear purchase. They give you a opinion; hopefully from someone who is reasonably experienced and knowledgeable and honest. That input can give you an idea about a product, and what it is like to use it (at least that's the approach we try to take with EQ Magazine reviews), and maybe help you narrow down the field of products you're considering, but at the end of the day, there's really no substitute for listening to something with your own two ears, and if at all possible, on your own sound sources in your own room, and making your decisions based on that.

                    But if you have any specific questions, I'll do my best to answer them for you.
                    **********

                    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                    - George Carlin

                    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you Phil and all others who responded.
                      Phil what you write is of course absollutely true.
                      But let me tell you a little about myself, because I suspect that I am similar to many who frequent these forums.
                      I am not an audio professional. I am a hobbiest who records at home. I spend most of my quality brain time working a normal and demanding job.
                      I record when I come home after a day at work (getting ready for work, going to work, coming home from work), with what is left of my mental abilities (often relatively drained).
                      There is also the WE, after I have washed laundry, washed the cat, cleaned my house, taken care of my son, paid the bills, done the yard work, ...
                      I am do not live in an area with special stores for proaudio.
                      Even if such a store were available to me in the area, I find it a challange to walk in, spend several hours trying out whatever under optimal conditions, and then making a decision among x different boxes (but no doubte that it would certainly help!).
                      I am not one to order multiple units cosing x000s of $s from a distributer, try them out for a week, box up most and return them for a refund.
                      For me, to evaluate such a unit, try the myriad of different connections, adjustments, mics, mic placements ...., until I have a somewhat refined impression of the capability and sonic capability of a unit (down to the recorded sound step), takes me litterally years, and for several units I own, I am still working of understanding their effect.
                      Finally, I do not have the ears of an audio professional. The more I do this, the more sonic detail I notice. But in the end, I will never have your trained and special ears.

                      But Phil, in the end, I LOVE my recording hobby. I am able to create music and music recordings of great beauty (at least to me). It is often, what keeps me going. It helps me deal with the craziness arround me and to look beyond the stream of death and destruction in the world.

                      And to help me make my purchase decissions, I relay heavily upon the opinions of audioprofessionals such as yoursefl and others who are willing to share your expertice with forum participants, as myself.

                      It is perhaps difficult for you (and others like you) sometimes to appreciate your contribution and effect on users such as myself. Your experience, remarks, product reviews, and my own analysis of what I seek, what I "FEEL", what little I can compare to (based on my so limited prior experience) is how I make my decisions. And you know what? Up to now, I think that I have done OK.

                      Sure, the best would be to have a professional studio at my disposal, try this or that out, have this or that teacher/mentor ..., but Phil, for me (and many like me), it will never happen.

                      So in that vain, I am strongly considering the RTZ and Pacifica and GR, and trying to make a decision.
                      I read that the classic Neve is classic, but can have too much detail concentrated in the low mid freq range. I read that some of the other contenders use a more modern design with more high range, less freq crowding, more flexibility.
                      Does anyone know how the RTZ fits into that scheme of Neve preamps?

                      Ozraves, what does "ear candy" mean? How does the pacifica compare to the classic Neve sound? Is it a Neve clone? Can it behave like a Neve clone when adjusted with the pad engaged (as I heard from a vendor)?

                      Thank you again to all.

                      Yours, ES
                      <div class="signaturecontainer">EveningSky</div>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by UstadKhanAli
                        I have no experience with the others, but I have the Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5012 and cannot say enough nice things about it. Absolutely gorgeous, extraordinarily clear sound, and with the Silk Button engaged, gets gloriously fat in a hurry. I love the sound.

                        I've never heard a bad thing about the Great River.


                        After a few years of using budget crappy pre's I save up and got one of these myself and this was my first high end pre, it has my praise, it's fantastic but then again I was used to BS pres for awhile can't speak for the others you mentioned.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've test driven the RTZ and I am saving my pennies for one. Bob Starr, the designer of the RTZ started out designing ugraded class-A discrete record and playback circuits for older mastering machines (but with modern components) and his stuff absolutely kills.

                          The RTZ is based on a Neve 1272 circuit like the Brent Averill pres. What makes the RTZ cool is that it doesn't suffer from the "low mid cloudiness" apparent in a typical 1073. You'll notice a bit more openness in a high track count without the need for many low mid EQ cuts in the mix. Personally, I like the fact that the RTZ is a bit more unknown. It's a hip, "secret weapon pre.

                          All of these pre's (Vintech, GR, Pacifica) are fantastic. We are splitting hairs as they all offer excellent performance. To me the rule of thumb is "how much iron" do you want in the signal? If you're looking for a fat sound, the 1073's have it in spades. If you're looking for a bit more "openness", a 1272 will do that.
                          <div class="signaturecontainer"><div class="bbcode_container">
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                          <b>&quot;Record companies and broadcasters ... have long since abdicated their cultural responsibility.&quot; - Donald Clarke</b>

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by twostone
                            After a few years of using budget crappy pre's I save up and got one of these myself and this was my first high end pre, it has my praise, it's fantastic but then again I was used to BS pres for awhile can't speak for the others you mentioned.


                            The Neve Portico is a good mic preamp by any measure. And as you know, it's quite versatile, since you can get super clean or, when engaging the Silk Button, big and fat.

                            The other mic preamps that I have are no slouches either. I have the FMR RNP and the Peavey VMP-2 tube mic pre, the latter of which is unfortunately discontinued, but is a surprisingly good mic preamp - and yes, made by Peavey.
                            Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EveningSky
                              Thank you Phil and all others who responded.
                              Phil what you write is of course absollutely true.
                              But let me tell you a little about myself, because I suspect that I am similar to many who frequent these forums.
                              I am not an audio professional. I am a hobbiest who records at home. I spend most of my quality brain time working a normal and demanding job.
                              I record when I come home after a day at work (getting ready for work, going to work, coming home from work), with what is left of my mental abilities (often relatively drained).
                              There is also the WE, after I have washed laundry, washed the cat, cleaned my house, taken care of my son, paid the bills, done the yard work, ...
                              I am do not live in an area with special stores for proaudio.
                              Even if such a store were available to me in the area, I find it a challange to walk in, spend several hours trying out whatever under optimal conditions, and then making a decision among x different boxes (but no doubte that it would certainly help!).


                              I can certainly understand all of that.

                              I am not one to order multiple units cosing x000s of $s from a distributer, try them out for a week, box up most and return them for a refund.
                              For me, to evaluate such a unit, try the myriad of different connections, adjustments, mics, mic placements ...., until I have a somewhat refined impression of the capability and sonic capability of a unit (down to the recorded sound step), takes me litterally years, and for several units I own, I am still working of understanding their effect.


                              I can understand that too.

                              Finally, I do not have the ears of an audio professional. The more I do this, the more sonic detail I notice. But in the end, I will never have your trained and special ears.

                              Maybe... maybe not.

                              But Phil, in the end, I LOVE my recording hobby. I am able to create music and music recordings of great beauty (at least to me). It is often, what keeps me going. It helps me deal with the craziness arround me and to look beyond the stream of death and destruction in the world.

                              And to help me make my purchase decissions, I relay heavily upon the opinions of audioprofessionals such as yoursefl and others who are willing to share your expertice with forum participants, as myself.


                              I'm always happy to share my opinions with others, and believe me, I am humbled by the responsibility. That's why I always do my best to be honest, and to tell it as I hear it... but at the end of the day, a lot of this stuff is subjective, and my POV isn't better or worse than anyone else's... just my personal POV. Hopefully it is an experienced and reasonably knowledgeable POV, but at the end of the day, if someone prefers a Great River and I prefer a RTZ for a particular task, or for inclusion in a particular setup, then that's just as valid.

                              It is perhaps difficult for you (and others like you) sometimes to appreciate your contribution and effect on users such as myself. Your experience, remarks, product reviews, and my own analysis of what I seek, what I "FEEL", what little I can compare to (based on my so limited prior experience) is how I make my decisions. And you know what? Up to now, I think that I have done OK.

                              Sure, the best would be to have a professional studio at my disposal, try this or that out, have this or that teacher/mentor ..., but Phil, for me (and many like me), it will never happen.


                              Thank you. I know some people rely on reviews that I write and that others write, for part of their purchasing decisions. And I think that has value, or I wouldn't bother with writing them! Of course, the value of a good mentor or instructor is also hard to overestimate, and we all can benefit from access to our mentors from afar via the Internet - something that didn't exist back when I was starting out, and something I've personally benefitted from myself on many occasions. I definitely think that's all valuable and important, but I still don't think there's any substitute for hearing things with your own ears... when you do, and when what you're read about in reviews and online, or shown by your mentor "clicks" with you and you can hear it with your own ears, it all comes together in a way that words alone will never be able to convey.

                              So in that vain, I am strongly considering the RTZ and Pacifica and GR, and trying to make a decision.
                              I read that the classic Neve is classic, but can have too much detail concentrated in the low mid freq range. I read that some of the other contenders use a more modern design with more high range, less freq crowding, more flexibility.
                              Does anyone know how the RTZ fits into that scheme of Neve preamps?


                              The RTZ has a bit more high frequency detail and sparkle, and doesn't suffer as much from low-midrange buildup when "stacking" multiple tracks as a classic Neve module such as a 1272 or 1076 would. IOW, it falls into the "modified and sonically similar but with some sonic and feature differences" camp as opposed to the "identical clone" camp. The same could also be said for the Great River NV series.

                              Thank you again to all.

                              Yours, ES


                              You're welcome. I don't know if this post gives you anything new to consider, but I honestly don't think you can go wrong with either the GR or RTZ - both are excellent preamps in the Neve-esque camp, but with some definite sonic differences / improvements that takes them a step beyond mere "clones".

                              **********

                              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                              - George Carlin

                              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                              Comment



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