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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been looking around for some preamp upgrades. I have an eye on the API 3124 - I'm reading they're quite good on most things, especially drums. But I'm also kinda drooling over the Universal Audio 4-710d.

Whatever I get,... well, I was originally looking at just picking up two of the same thing, since I'll probably be tracking drums and would like to be consistent. I originally decided I was going to go for the UA model, just for the versatility.

I already have 12 channels of strictly colorless class-A preamps (True Systems Precision 8 + Earthworks 1024). I'm kinda looking for some color, now. I figured a good set of tube pre's would fill the need. On the other hand, the transformer-coupled API's also come highly recommended, albeit, with likely less obvious coloring capability, but supposedly "faster" natural compression (when driven).

The fact is, I've not much experience with either of these units. Has anyone else an opinion?
 

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Since you have clean pres already, I'd recommend API.
There is a big pricing difference between the UA and the API, but you mentioned drums, which the API does very well :T

Since you're looking for color, check out the Chandler Limited TG2 as well- you can really push it for a ton of color.

Hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, J,

You're the third person to suggest the Chandler! I have it on my "seriously considering" list now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The style if music, since opening the doors, over the past 1.5 years has been mostly rock, some metal, jazz, choral, orchestral, rythm & blues, country/folk, contemporary Christian, & bluegrass. The only major genre I haven't yet done is rap, although we have done a rap/rock crossover.

The mics ... Our collection is still limited. I generally use an AT4047 on vocals, which
Can be a bit sibilant with some people, but otherwise sounds great. We also have an Octava "cigar", a mtched pair of Earthworks QTC30's, an Audix DP7 drum mic kit, and of course, some '57's and a '58.

The next microphone purchase will likely be a ribbon type.
 

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I have owned both pres . They both sound different. I used the APIs on my drums . The UA pre amp has it's own AD /DA converters plus a compressor for each of the 4 pres so I guess bang for the buck I would go UA. The compressors on this unit are not that great and I really did not like the pres that much. I myself given a choice and the extra money would go with the APIs. The APIs would not be my first choice ,however for vocals. I use an Avalon 737 tube channel strip for most of my vocal work. It would depend on how many tracks you plan to use the APIs on and what you are recording with them, because I find they sound great but they are very hot not all that transparent and have an edge when pushed. Myself, I would use them on rock music but not on classical or acoustic based music. I guess it really comes down to your own taste in what sound you are looking for . Most pro music stores will let you rent or trial gear. I suggest you do that if you can ,then you can find out which one of these you like best. rent,If you have to usually it won't cost you more than @ 50 bucks or so for a few days but that's way better then spending $2500 and finding out you don't like the pre amps. You may even find you like something else better then these two choices.Usually if they know your serious about spending $2500, any good pro music retailer will let you try the units out and compare for free. If they don't, go to someone who will. I always say if you don't get great service before they get your money,good luck getting any after they have your money. Good Hunting:D.
 

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Have you considered a new microphone instead of mic pre?
Microphones are like the "speakers" of the chain- they can make the biggest difference, given that you already have a good quality preamp.

Instead of dropping $2k on more mic pres, have a look at the usual suspects- Manley, Lawson, Neumann etc.

I think you will get more color/flavors out of upgrading your mics. Not trying to make this decision more difficult.:wave:
 
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