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  • #16
    Craig,

    As always, you are amazing in your details and perception.

    As soon as I got the ADL into the studio, I thought I would do a little shootout with some of the other mic pres that are here and I have been using on different projects. The culprits for the test were obviously the Presonus ADL, a Universal Audio LA-610 (a longtime favorite of mine since I got it), my trusty Peavey VMP-2, and a Focusright Vocal Master.

    I had a singer friend of mine come into the studio and do some singing with the constant of each test being either a Blue Blueberry mic or a Studio Projects C1. I thought that might be a great cross section of microphones for my use.

    An added piece of gear for the testing was a Peavey VC/L-2 tube compressor. These compressors really are great and it is ironic it even has the Peavey logo on it (as many of you know might know). This is a classic case of not judging the book by it's cover.

    The first thing we noticed about the ADL was the high headroom it afforded. The sound was big, natural, and warm. The highest compliment that I can give it was that it was extremely transparent in allowing the natural sound of the mic and singer come through, but adding a character of it's own (this is not a bad thing). It sounded REAL.

    The LA-610 (with no compression) sounded great as well, but it was a different "fingerprint". It was not as open and wide as the ADL. The Peavey fared well, but there was a mid hump in the tone that unless comparing it to the ADL you would never notice. The Focusright was taken out of the test immediately as it sounded like a piece of paper compared to the ADL.

    One thing I might mention is that the dual metering (LED as well as VU) is extremely cool and useful.

    To boil down the results, our favorite preamp (in blind listening tests) was the Presonus hands down. The mic of choice for that test was the Blueberry.

    The one thing that is a bit esoteric, but worth mentioning is that I think is that the ADL has a certain "vibe" to it. Just taking it out of the box and racking it you can feel the incredible build quality, attention to detail, and solid components (knobs don't wiggle, switches are solid). It just feels strong and dominant.

    After plugging in and taking it through it's paces, I have just started recutting some tracks I am doing for my next CD so that they will be recut through the Presonus. THAT'S how impressed I was with the sound.

    I will be tracking a variety of instruments over the coming weeks and I will let everyone know the results. Coming this weekend, Hammond B3...


    Neil

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    • #17
      The most noticeable difference is that the high end has a bit of a “sparkle.” It’s a certain clarity that isn’t strident or bright, but does add definition. I’m not sure what specific aspect of the circuitry accounts for this (any PreSonus people out there who can answer this?),


      Hi Craig and folks,

      The 'sparkle' is due to a couple of factors. First, the ADL600 is running at a very high plate voltage which also gives it a lot of headroom. This in combination with a high slew rate and low noise helps to bring out more definition in the upper mids and high frequencies. The type of input and output transformers also contribute to the way that it sounds.

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Rick Naqvi
      www.presonus.com
      800.750.0323 x0641

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      • #18
        <<It's HUGE sounding is my main thought when using this preamp. It's not just the low end that sounds large and extended, it has a big presence to it from top to bottom. It's also very quiet, as quiet as most solid state stuff really. Another standout feature of this tube pre is the detail, there is great detail going on that is not normally associated with tube equipment and transformer in and out preamps.>>

        Interesting we're picking up on the same things. I do feel some of the "largeness" is due to the impedance matching options. The "detail" is harder to pin down, the "miller effect" in tubes has a tendency to dull highs a bit...I think that may be one reason why people dig 'em for guitar amps. Yet the high end seems really sweet, which I didn't expect.

        I'm hoping someone from PreSonus can come in here and explain some of the circuitry behind these characteristics, unless of course it's proprietary or something...I guess my point is we all HEAR there's some mojo going on, but I'm curious as to the technology behind what we're hearing. It can't just be good quality parts -- or can it? Do quality capacitors REALLY make that much difference?
        N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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        • #19
          Hi Craig,

          Several years ago I bought an expensive tube pre made by Avalon. We almost sent it back because just listening to soloed parts, it wasn't a world of difference from my Mackie and Hill mixers and some low cost pre's we had around.

          THEN we tracked some multiple parts of the same thing and played them back together. WOW, there's the real difference in the high ticket stuff and the consumer stuff. Everything seemed to have it's own 3D space and it was way way easier to mix the parts.

          The biggest difference I noticed was on background vocals (they had no build up of crunchy consonants or excessive sibilants like with the cheap pres), bass and acoutic instruments. Even if I were rich and could afford a different pre for every instrument or voice I record, I'd keep the Avalon around just for backup vox and bass guitar.

          I think you should try some multiples of the same part with the PreSonus. A high, mid and low harmony vocal part would be really telling in how well the parts blend and how easy they are to place in your mix.

          I think the 'one or two channels of an expensive mixing desk' items were made for people like me who mostly track one part at a time.
          -David

          (the artist formally known as DC before the move to HC)

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          • #20
            <<THEN we tracked some multiple parts of the same thing and played them back together. WOW, there's the real difference in the high ticket stuff and the consumer stuff. Everything seemed to have it's own 3D space and it was way way easier to mix the parts.>>

            That's an excellent point -- CUMULATIVE differences. It's like if you shave 1 dB of noise off of a 24-track mix, all of a sudden you have a lot less noise. I plan to try what you're talking about with guitars, so far the guitar sounds I'm getting are pretty righteous!!
            N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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            • #21
              That's a really great point about the cumulative effects of mic preamps (and the same goes for converters). You can really spot the idiosyncracies of these when you start layering things are using them for entire recording sessions. Great aspects, anomalies, not-so-great aspects can really come to the fore after doing this.
              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

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              • #22
                I really like the way this type of product review works. I look forward to reading more of this one and other in the future. Hopefully this type of idea will catch on in MI reporting. It would be great to hear the comparisons you're creating, also. Perhaps you could just host them at h-c.com and post links to the files. Anyway, just wanted to give you some quick feedback to say that this is a great method for product review.
                Open Source Matters to us @ http://nuthinwerked.com
                http://gigcalendar.net: the world's first free solution for maintaining a touring calendar for Joomla!

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                • #23
                  I just want to know who won the ADL 600 Giveaway!

                  Two detailed emails to Presonus regarding this resulted in no answers and I can't find any link to the info on their site.

                  Does anyone know how this turned out? Obviously it wasn't me. But I believe it is illegal to conduct a contest and not produce the results.

                  Thanks for any info you can provide!
                  Samp Pro 9.1.1, Acid 6/SF9, Cubase SX3, PTLE 7, NI Komplete 5/Kontrol, RME Fireface 800, Mbox, Focusrite Saffire, FMR RNP/RNC, GT Brick, Waves Diamond, Event TR8, Ultrasone 2000/650, various Shure KSM/Beta, Akai(Patchman) EWI4000S, Yanagisawa bari sax, Yamaha DX, Roland SPD-20, Windows Sound Recorder.

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                  • #24
                    <<I really like the way this type of product review works. I look forward to reading more of this one and other in the future.>>

                    There will be many more to come. You might also want to check out the ones that have been done already, there's a stricky thread here with links. Thanks for the feedback!
                    N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                    • #25
                      Just saw the ADL 600 banner ad. Guess the people at PreSonus have noticed what's happening, eh? Now maybe one of them could check in and answer some of my questions...

                      I used the ADL 600 for narration all day and yeah, it DID sound really good. Even after being data compressed mercilessly, it STILL sounded bigger & better. When the Edirol, Boss, IK Multimedia, and Roland videos get posted, I bet you'll hear a difference compared to the videos I did without the ADL 600.

                      Next up is guitars............
                      N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                      • #26
                        First I would like to say this form of review is a brilliant concept. We gain the benefit of a blow-by-blow shake down of a new piece of gear from the vantage point of one of the most respected industry writers in the world along with the added input of other active users in one convenient location. Gone are the days of searching for reviews and then a separate process of weeding through the host boards :-) (well... perhaps eventually)

                        Craig, I have always wanted to thank you for the work you do. Your various magazine columns and reviews have been a great value to me over the years. Pointing me in new directions when I was lost as well as reinforcing my own discoveries and conclusions giving confidence in my approach to making music. At some point I became aware that you literally wrote the book on a large portion of the gear I rely on daily (Emax, EmaxII, SP1200...). I truly respect your opinion and value that you often express a budget conscious approach to quality production.

                        I am very excited about following the progress of this review. The ADL is definitely an exciting introduction. I look forward to your progress!

                        Now... why don't I email Universal Audio about a high quality UAD-1 Quadrafuzz... ;-)

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                        • #27
                          <<Now... why don't I email Universal Audio about a high quality UAD-1 Quadrafuzz...>>

                          You have no idea how close you are to reality with that statement! I don't want to get off topic, but...stay tuned.
                          N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                          Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                          • #28
                            I will be here DAILY!!!

                            Quadrafuzz was my favorite plug-in back in the VST-24 days. Saddly, I gave up on Cubase some time ago but always missed my quadrafuzz. The sounds you can create are truly inspiring (I favor the dark side of electronic music)!!!

                            Automatable everything would be nice :-)

                            Back to the topic at hand, I am very interested in how the ADL handles male, baritone vocals and analog synth (bass in particular). Has anyone had the oportunity to use the ADL with these sources? What are your impressions?

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                            • #29
                              Roguescout,
                              I'm with ya, who did win that darn drawing?? I guess we're all just "mad it wasn't me."

                              Seriously though, I can't wait to hear some comparisons from Craig (not to rush you buddy). Here's what I'm looking for:

                              I have a Digi002. Preamps are fine, no complaints. My only mic is a Mojave MA-200, I use it mostly for vocals and classical guitar. Would the ADL really make a $2000 difference? Would it even make a $1000 difference? I think I would be better off spending that money elsewhere (another microphone maybe). I can't imagine a preamp making so much difference. This is probably an item to consider for big-budget studios, but not really for us little guys, isn't it?

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                              • #30
                                We just finished tracking an acoustic guitar with vocals through the ADL 600. The singer has been looking for "that sound" for some time, and we came close with the Marshal V69 on vocals, but when adding the ADL 600 up front, and running the guitar through an Earthworks TC-20 omni condensor, the sound was stunning! Very full and clear. It sounds as good raw as any track I have ever mastered, and this one has no treatment whatsoever.

                                Needless to say I am keeping this unit, and my wife now feels better about the money spent on that "warmer upper thingey".
                                -- Barn Jazz - music from the transition zone --

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