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Author Topic: the brick?  (Read 17553 times)

Gilliland

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2006, 03:13:52 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Sat, 06 May 2006 13:29

Certain differences are often not apparent to some on individual sources.  It is the summing of several, or even many things together where the real differences can start showing.


It's a convenient answer, and there's certainly some truth to it, but I note that you sidestepped my question about your experience with the other mic pre.  I've mixed with both and I know what I'm hearing.  As I said, the Brick is a perfectly adequate mic pre, and it does make a very good DI.  But it's silly to pretend that it's more than that.  It works fine, and it's well-built and rugged.  As long as you don't need more gain than it can offer, it will likely meet your needs.  But there are a lot of other very good pres on the market in the same price range (2 channels for $700 to $800).
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compasspnt

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2006, 03:46:37 pm »


OK.

I have used both, but I will defer to your knowledge and experience.


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grizzly joe

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2006, 04:03:10 pm »

just a heads up:  $700 & $800 is NOT in the same price range as the Brick... the Brick runs from $350 to $400.  you just doubled the price and said it's the same range haha.

just saying...
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maxim

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2006, 10:04:36 pm »

terry wrote:

"I have used both, but I will defer to your knowledge and experience"

i just ordered one, 'coz i don't trust any of youse mob
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Gilliland

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2006, 11:52:48 pm »

grizzly joe wrote on Sat, 06 May 2006 21:03

just a heads up:  $700 & $800 is NOT in the same price range as the Brick... the Brick runs from $350 to $400.  you just doubled the price and said it's the same range haha.

Here's what I said:  
Quote:

But there are a lot of other very good pres on the market in the same price range (2 channels for $700 to $800).

Note that the Brick is a single channel mic pre, so it does cost $700 to $800 to buy two channels of it.  Sorry if I didn't make myself clear.
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Vertigo

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2006, 04:27:27 pm »

Quote:

As long as you don't need more gain than it can offer, it will likely meet your needs.


A lack of gain on the Brick has never really been an issue for me, even with ribbons. I guess if you're working with really low output mic's and trying to run hot to tape it might be an issue, but I've never thought of it as a low output pre.

-Lance
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runamuck

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2006, 02:00:59 am »

Gilliland wrote on Sat, 06 May 2006 20:13

compasspnt wrote on Sat, 06 May 2006 13:29

Certain differences are often not apparent to some on individual sources.  It is the summing of several, or even many things together where the real differences can start showing.


It's a convenient answer, and there's certainly some truth to it, but I note that you sidestepped my question about your experience with the other mic pre.



Of course, it's never a good idea to bow down to authority. But me thinks it's an even better idea - at least in this case - to know who you're arguing with.
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Gilliland

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2006, 10:04:48 am »

runamuck wrote on Mon, 08 May 2006 07:00

Of course, it's never a good idea to bow down to authority. But me thinks it's an even better idea - at least in this case - to know who you're arguing with.

True, I suppose, and that goes both ways.  The internet does tend to be something of an equalizer among its participants.  In any event, my only goal here was to report my own direct experiences with this pre - isn't that what the original poster asked for?  It's a good pre - I just think that its reputation has overreached its actual capabilities to some degree.  Others are free to form and hold their own opinions.  As I said before, YMMV.

I liked the Brick.  It's extremely well built and will probably last damn near forever.  The tubes are run conservatively enough that you can probably run it for 10 years without worrying about replacing them.  It sounds fine, nothing magic about it, nothing wrong with it either.  It's not a "boutique" mic pre.  And while it does have tubes and transformers at each end, they don't create a huge "stamp" on its sound.  At its price point, I don't think it's a bad buy.  But there are a lot of other tube pres out there in the same price (per channel) range.

I also like my SP828s.  On the sources that I tested, I didn't find significant difference between them and the Bricks.  So perhaps that's what you should take away from this - that the SP828s are really quite a nice bargain, very good sound for very little money.  They're probably not as rugged as the Bricks, though I've certainly had no trouble at all with mine (and I've got three of them).  Also, they won't serve as a DI.  They are really quite dissimilar from the Brick, which is why the comparison is interesting.  What I take from it is that the tubes and transformers aren't a big part of the Brick's sound.  So someone who is looking for that sound may be better served with a different pre.

I'd like to post some sample mixes for comparisons sake, but I'm out of town this week (and sadly, I probably won't have much time even when I do get home).  So that will have to wait.

Later edit:  I was just thinking a bit about how and where the differences might show up between units like the two that I've been comparing.  There are a couple of obvious examples:  

1) Some dynamic mics are likely to produce different results when connected to a transformer-coupled input than they do when connected to a solid state input.  So an SM57 or SM7, or a ribbon, might show more differences than the condenser mics that I tested.

2a) If you drive a tube pre hard, it will behave differently than a solid state unit.  And since the Brick has only 55db of gain, you are more likely to drive this unit "hard" than you might with another pre.  So that "tube sound" that some may be looking for may show up in the Brick when you push it hard enough.  

2b) On the other hand, as I observed above, the Brick uses its tubes pretty gently.  It may not be easy to drive the Brick into the range where the tubes start to produce harmonics.  That may be why I didn't hear much of that "tube sound" when I auditioned the Brick.
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Gilliland

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2006, 11:53:24 am »

Vertigo wrote on Sun, 07 May 2006 21:27


A lack of gain on the Brick has never really been an issue for me, even with ribbons. I guess if you're working with really low output mic's and trying to run hot to tape it might be an issue, but I've never thought of it as a low output pre.


Right, for most purposes, it's fine.  If you're using a ribbon mic as an area mic, it could be troublesome, but even a ribbon mic when placed over a loud drum, up against a guitar amp, or in front of a trumpet will produce quite a bit of signal.  If I remember correctly, the Brick quotes 55db of available gain.  Other pres in its price range typically offer 60 to 70 db of gain.  
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Vertigo

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2006, 01:02:28 pm »

Quote:

If you're using a ribbon mic as an area mic, it could be troublesome


Actually, that's exactly how I use my brick - as a room mic with a Beyer m-160. I love the pairing and the resulting tracks. My room isn't big, so the mic is only about 8 feet away, but I still have 9-12db of gain to spare. This is digital though, and I generally hit the converters at about -9 (which is plenty of signal to work with in DAW land).

-Lance
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Fibes

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2006, 01:44:09 pm »

Anyone try the SuPre yet?

If it's merely a Brick with a few more bells and whisltes i still might pony up the extra dough just to keep it off the floor and in the rack.

FWIW on most inexpensive pres the extra gain above 55db usually is all about noise to signal IMNSHANTMO. Just because it goes to 11 does not mean it's better.



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dcook

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2006, 01:45:07 pm »

Haven't used one myself but I've heard the brick is very clear and uncolored. Anyone care to very this I'm thinking about getting one myself.
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Gilliland

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2006, 02:27:20 pm »

dcook wrote on Mon, 08 May 2006 18:45

... the brick is very clear and uncolored.

Yes, absolutely.  "Clear and uncolored" is an accurate assessment.
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blueboy

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2006, 02:28:17 pm »

Gilliland wrote on Mon, 08 May 2006 07:04

runamuck wrote on Mon, 08 May 2006 07:00

Of course, it's never a good idea to bow down to authority. But me thinks it's an even better idea - at least in this case - to know who you're arguing with.

True, I suppose, and that goes both ways.  The internet does tend to be something of an equalizer among its participants.  In any event, my only goal here was to report my own direct experiences with this pre - isn't that what the original poster asked for?  It's a good pre - I just think that its reputation has overreached its actual capabilities to some degree.  Others are free to form and hold their own opinions.  As I said before, YMMV.

I liked the Brick.  It's extremely well built and will probably last damn near forever.  The tubes are run conservatively enough that you can probably run it for 10 years without worrying about replacing them.  It sounds fine, nothing magic about it, nothing wrong with it either.  It's not a "boutique" mic pre.  And while it does have tubes and transformers at each end, they don't create a huge "stamp" on its sound.  At its price point, I don't think it's a bad buy.  But there are a lot of other tube pres out there in the same price (per channel) range.

I also like my SP828s.  On the sources that I tested, I didn't find significant difference between them and the Bricks.  So perhaps that's what you should take away from this - that the SP828s are really quite a nice bargain, very good sound for very little money.  They're probably not as rugged as the Bricks, though I've certainly had no trouble at all with mine (and I've got three of them).  Also, they won't serve as a DI.  They are really quite dissimilar from the Brick, which is why the comparison is interesting.  What I take from it is that the tubes and transformers aren't a big part of the Brick's sound.  So someone who is looking for that sound may be better served with a different pre.

I'd like to post some sample mixes for comparisons sake, but I'm out of town this week (and sadly, I probably won't have much time even when I do get home).  So that will have to wait.




http://www.epanorama.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=11707&si d=11a9cf85b00def4ea2e7aa0eb462d872

Jim Gilliland wrote on Sun Nov 13, 2005 6:18 am

I used the 828 on a recording last night. I haven't started work on the actual mix yet, so I can't really give it a fair review, but based on the safety mix that I captured last night, it's going to turn out to be a keeper. It seems to be quite a good sounding preamp for so little money, and the limited mix capability worked well for me yesterday.

Don't expect any "magic", just a good clean signal. Preliminary
listening suggests that it's cleaner than the pres on my Spirit mixer (which I like quite well, btw), but I don't have any really high end stuff to compare it with. And of course, there's nothing blind about my listening experiments, so you shouldn't put too much stock in them.



Damn, I wish I had drawn on your vast experience with preamps before I bought the Brick. I should have never listened to Terry, or believed all those positive reviews. I guess I overpaid about $325 per channel for all those inconsequential tubes and transformers. Oh well...live and learn.

JL
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Gilliland

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Re: the brick?
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2006, 02:53:11 pm »

blueboy wrote on Mon, 08 May 2006 19:28

Damn, I wish I had drawn on your vast experience with preamps before I bought the Brick. I should have never listened to Terry, or believed all those positive reviews. I guess I overpaid about $325 per channel for all those inconsequential tubes and transformers. Oh well...live and learn.

You needn't take me seriously if you don't choose to.  But I've got plenty of experience with equipment in this category (we are in the "Budget" section of the board, no?).  And if you overpaid when you bought your Brick(s), that's unfortunate.  If so, though, that's your own conclusion - it's certainly not one of the points that I've made here.
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