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Sound Quality

I think the Penta sounds great, especially for it's price range. I picked mine up used for $200. After having it for a few weeks, I decided to buy the optional digital output card, which, after shopping around, I found new for $190 (after a bit of negotiating with Sweetwater). This allows me to not only record digitally to my computer, but I can run the analog signal out from the Penta into my mixing board,so that I can monitor my sound with effects, while recording a dry signal via spdif. So far I've used it mainly for recording electric guitar direct into ProTools. My Les Paul (w/Duncans) sounded amazing. The tube emulation is a nice feature that can enhance your tone. It's worth experimenting with the different compressor settings. For one application, the piano preset actually worked best for clean electric guitar.

Reliability/Durability

I haven't encountered any problems with it. I don't plan on taking it out of my studio rack, so it won't be getting any road wear. Hopefully it will be fine.

Price/Value


General Comments

I'm very impressed with the performance and features of the Penta. Some people may not like the fact that the compressor has presets, but that was one of the things I liked about it. Before this, I was using a Presonus Blue Max and Blue Tube. The Penta is a definite step up in quality. The only thing I wish it had is dual (two channel) pre-amps.

 

My music is ambient electronic/new age and is mostly synth-based with electric guitar overdubs. So far it's been great for that. I haven't tried it for vocals, but am looking forward to checking that out when I get a project that calls for that. All in all, I'm very happy with the Penta and find that it works great as a front end for computer recording. I haven't tried using it for mixdowns yet, but from what I've read from other users, I don't have very high expectations. But that's not what I bought it for. I generally do my composing and tracking at my home studio then take the ProTools tracks to a commercial studio for mixing and mastering. So, for my needs, it's a winner.


Reviewer's Background



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