Pre amp comparison/decision

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Kurt Foster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Originally posted by Ferd Berfel:
Originally posted by Kurt Foster:
The one thing in common to all the classic designs is large power supply.
What do you mean, "large" power supply? Large in physical size? Or "large" in electrical size? While you were making these observations, you may have also noticed (depending upon which decade you made these observations) that the equipment that has *REALLY* impressed you were more than likely housed in a standard EIA cabinet. Is that a cause of sonic quality or just a correlated relation? Ditto the color of the cabinet.

I mean a high headroom large capacity power supply. On the basis of JMJ, I am sure you knew what I meant. And yes, I like black equipment best. I think it sounds better! :D

Originally posted by Kurt Foster: Or JMJ as you coined. API pres are relatively inexpensive.. what costs is the lunchbox rack and power supply.
Actually (from a manufacturing standpoint) the audio transformers are the most costly part--if they're of decent electrical performance. Besides, there's probably little correlation between expense and power supply "quality" anyway (we can go through an actual costing exercise if you'd like).

From what I have seen, APIs can go for as low as $400 per… it’s the lunchbox’s that cost ..

Originally posted by Kurt Foster: Some things can fall under the heading of science and some things can fall under the heading of sounds good.
I'm not sure what you mean here, but I'll assume that you're trying to discredit the application of scientific methods to discussing "good sounding" gear. If that's *NOT* your intent, I apologize. Otherwise, this is subterfuge.

It means that sometimes no matter what the numbers or the specs are or any of that other science stuff, something just sounds good. You know not all producers and musicians are rocket scientists. Some of us just have to use our ears.. It’s easy for you to attack me for not being a scientific type.. I do what I do and I’m going to keep doing in spite of whether you approve or not. After all you are not required to read my posts. Ultimately, you can even send a PM to Chris and complain to him. Perhaps he will make you a moderator..

Originally posted by Kurt Foster:
My experience in real studios, has led me to believe that good gear is usually associated with good power supply design and implementation.
That's good, but as we discussed in another thread somewhere, the "weakest link" argument still applies. But your observations have nothing to do with your sound bite (i.e., "JMJ!"; do you even know what a "Joule" is and how it relates to electrical devices, in general, and micpres specifically? That's a rhetorical question...).

It’s a description of the rate at which resistance in a circuit converts electric energy into heat energy. (I know how to use a dictionary) :D

What I mean it to mean is a power supply and device that run at high current sound better to me that something that is designed to be more efficent and to run on lower current demands. The best sounding audio devices are often the least efficent. They put off lots of heat. You could reheat a grilled cheese sandwich on most of them.


Originally posted by Kurt Foster: ...My duties as such are to respond to queries. When I don’t respond, I get comments like “Where are the moderators” and PMs asking why I haven’t been contributing on threads...
Your right, I certainly don't know the pressures of being a moderator here (and it looks like your plate is very full). I guess that I've supposed that no comment or "I'm working on it" is preferable to incorrect information. As you pointed out, that is *my* judgement call and yours is different! God Bless the WWW!

Well, you must have missed the thread where one guy complained that there were no “helpful pros” here because I didn’t respond to a question he posted. It happens and we get all types. It seems that some people find it easy to poke and throw stones. A person doesn’t have to be ripped a new one just because you are so superior to them. Does it make you feel like a big shot or are you just trying to discredit me because you don’t like my general message ?

Originally posted by Kurt Foster: ...I tried to give the RNC a favorable nod but I am not going to suggest it is the last pre amp you will ever use.
Forget the RNP! Personally, I couldn't give a $*^t...I've got plenty of great preamps to use, I don't need it. It's your dogmatism, not the products! The following passage really helps illustrate my main point...

Originally posted by Kurt Foster:...since they are so good, I am surprised I have never encountered them in studios I have frequented.
Once again, if I'm misinterpreting what you're saying here, I'm sorry. *BUT* the implied logic to me as a "casual" reader is:

IF RNP's have been around a while,
AND,
the studios I frequent don't have them,
AND
the studios I frequent only have good/great gear,
THEREFORE
the RNP must not be a good/great piece of gear


I think you are putting words in my mouth. For a person who is a scientest, you seem to assume a lot of things. Or you are simply trying to make me look bad by twisting my words. I have never tried the RNP. I have said this many times. They are better than a Mackie and not as good as a Neve. Is it ok for me to say that?

The problem with this ad hominem logic is that any *NEW* piece of gear (like Sebatron) would be dead out of the gate. The four studios that I frequent here, have never even heard of Sebatron. I, for one, won't let that deter me from trying a Seb unit over several sessions to make up my own mind about it...

Any company that would like me to be familiar with their product is welcome to contact me. At that point I will try the gear. If I like it I will write a review. If a company doesn’t send a piece for me the best I can do when someone inquires is to relate to them what I have heard from the other members on the board. I’m not going to go purchase one just so I can relate to members how it sounds. I may relate to an article I saw or perhaps relate some review results. I get a lot of publications free, EQ, Mix Electronic Musician, Pro Audio Review, Audio Media. But I don’t base my opinions on only magazine articles. I will reserve judgment usually until I hear the piece in action. Until then, I will always state if I have not used the piece if someone inquires. If you have some kind of personal experience with the piece, by all means, chime in and tell us all what you have to offer. But you don’t have to make someone else look bad in the process, unless you get off on that.

Originally posted by Kurt Foster:
If I had ever tried to use them on a project most of my clients probably would have questioned my choice. Most of my clients were coming to me for the MCI, Neve and vintage United Audio gear that I had.
Since I've been a recording engineer for hire for about 25 years, I can understand what you mean. But the implication I see is that because it's an unknown quantity (like the Sebatron) it certainly isn't going to get used in your sessions. That's cool! I'm just glad I haven't done that or I would have missed out on some great gear (like my Great River, Cranesongs and even some DIY stuff...all "Johnny-come-latelies" compared to the classic stuff I've been using for far too long)!


Well that’s not so… as you know. I don’t know why you would say that. Everyone knows I am always looking for a new quality mic pre, eq or compressor. If you are slamming me for not being willing to sample the latest Behringer or Rolls piece, I going to have to plead guilty. In the case of the RNP, I am very interested due to comments that have been made, some good and some bad and I would like to hear what all the hub-bub is for myself. I wish they would send me one!

Originally posted by Kurt Foster: Yes I want to enjoy the exchange of information with the music and recording community, which I have been so fortunate to have been a part of now for 40 years and which has been so good to me and my family. I have been very fortunate. So I try to give a little back.
Well, it's clear that "you like what you know and you know what you like". My apologies for assuming that maybe you'd want to know that some of your responses run quite loosely with the facts (we could actually go through them one-by-one if you'd like). It's just that you seem so earnest and sincere, it's hard to believe that:

(a) you'd be so resistant to wanting to know more factual details and principles about equipment operation/design, and,
(b) you're OK not giving other, less-experienced board members exposure to foundational principles of audio equipment operation.


In response to your comment that my “responses run quite loosely with the facts”, I do the best with what I have. If you wish to point out my mistakes or misconceptions in a polite manner through all threads, that would be most helpful. But once again you don’t need to do it in a way that seems to be intent on discrediting me. If you want to use science and math to make me look bad, your fighting an unnamed man. But I still know hat sounds good and I have done a lot of good work. I have owned and still do own a lot of nice gear. And a lot of people seem to like me and my opinions. I’m sorry this seems to bother you so much.

Oh well...I shan't piss-up-this rope anymore! Best of luck, Kurt!
The same to you!
 

Guest
Hi all!

Let me semi-reluctantly weigh in here. I prefer not to comment on how each of the above posts somewhat twists the content and intent of eachother's quotes - that's a patch of quicksand I would just as soon avoid.

Instead, let me just put forth a small suggestion to Kurt. I understand that as a moderator, or even as a good R.O. citizen, you feel that the board should be perceived as active and responsive, so that others will be encouraged to stay around and participate further. Ask Doc about the time when the two of us were posting up a storm all by ourselves because for a while we were among the very few active members, and we hated to see cobwebs all over the forum.

But one of the things that enticed me back to R.O. were the repeated assertions that the forum was overflowing with thousands of new members, and setting all kinds of records for posting activity.

Now to be honest, that activity seems somewhat exagerated, as R.O. seems to have less new postings per day than most other similar forums, at least the ones I have seen. But that's not important - the main thing is QUALITY of responses, not QUANTITY. What has kept me coming back here these last few weeks was NOT just the flame wars, but that there are a number of people like Ferd, Ethan, Stephen, and others who are capable of filling in a lot of the gaps where I am particularly weak, i.e. technical theory.

So my suggestion (which I'm finally getting around to) is that maybe you (Kurt) should re-evaluate how important it is for you to continue to answer everything and anything just for the sake of keeping post counts up, seeing as R.O. is, according to all reports, getting more and more active. At the very least, allow some others who may be more knowledgeable on a particular issue to have the chance to weigh in first. Which is, I think, the real crux of some of the criticism above. Like it or not, continued repetition of unsubstantiated information (even with disclaimers) does tend to solidify that info as "more likely to be true than false", especially when done so by a well-respected moderator.

In music (and art) "less is more" is a valuable axiom. The same can apply to moderating. The best-loved moderator who ever graced these pages (Jules) was always the first to say - "Hey, I don't know anything about that sort of stuff. Let's see if we can find someone who does..." (Which made people feel like someone was listening and caring about their issue, without legitimizing rumours and hearsay by repeating them.)

The beauty of that style is that rather than losing respect of people by pleading ignorance, he gained tremendous respect for honesty and lack of ego.

Once again, I understand your disclaimers that when you give possibly inaccurate information (like headroom on the sytek vs. RNP) you try and preface it by saying you are just repeating hearsay. I think what some of us are saying is, let the people with direct hands-on experience weigh in first. You can always present the hearsay later, in a form of a question, like "does anyone know why preamp x is rumoured to have lots of headroom, when it appears everyone's direct experience has been to the contrary?".

I hope you don't view this as any sort of personal attack, and I realize that I am stepping way out of line in suggesting you change the way you moderate, but in the event you are open to constructive criticism it may make this a better place for everyone.

Naturally, you are free to tell me to insert myself into a handbasket and head for a drastically warmer climate! :D
 

Doc@BeefyTreats.com

Guest
Let's compare the thread called "Understanding Phase..." with this one. Both threads have people with contrary opinions, yet this one seems to have degraded into the realm of ugliness. One difference, I think, is that the other thread has remained more civil. Another is that the other thread is a hell of a lot more informative and not such a drag to read.
L.dog is right when he says that quality is the draw for RO. I am not going to name names here, but there are other sites on the www that are 75% flame wars and don't really have much good info to offer. Want a good, current example of the kind of quality I am talking about? Be here Monday for Carol Kane- Yeah, THAT Carol Kane, from the Wrecking Crew, one of the most prolific session musicians on the west coast.
This thread sucks because Ferd is putting as much effort into proving that Kurt is a big dummy as he is to supporting his positions regarding mic pres. Ethan, Kurt, Steve@Speed, RM, myself and others have posited opposing opinions on the other thread without this sort of negativity.
Ferd- what outcome are you aiming for with all of this? Are you hoping Kurt is going to suddenly admit that he is a big dummy and apologize for all the dumb things he writes? Are you trying to hound him off the board? Are you trying to poison the air around here?
And you can quote me on that. Doc
 

Ferd Berfel

Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Originally posted by Doc@BeefyTreats.com:
...what outcome are you aiming for with all of this?

A1: To reduce the creation of audio myths at their sources. As littedog jr said so eloquently:
"Like it or not, continue repetition of unsubstantiated information (even with disclaimers) does tend to solidify that info as 'more likely to be true than false', especially when done so by a well-respected moderator."

Are you hoping Kurt is going to suddenly admit that he is a big dummy and apologize for all the dumb things he writes?

A2: No. I don't think Kurt is a "big dummy" and I don't believe that anyone here does (does he write "dumb things"?). In an ideal world, I think that it'd be cool if a bbs moderator (I thought maybe this one):
(a) wouldn't speak out-of-school when possible,
(b) defer to other forum members (moderators? resident experts?) on topics outside of the moderator's expertise to either: i) help the moderator fill-in-the-blanks (he'd probably learn in the process) or, ii) facilitate someone more skilled-in-the-art to directly answer such queries.

I assumed--incorrectly, I guess--that Kurt was this type of moderator 'cause he's:

* Sincere
* Smart
* Experienced
* Eager
* Respected
* Mostly lacking in hidden agendas

Unfortunately, I didn't learn that challenging silly statements was verboten until after trying to clarify technical points that were eluding Kurt in a similar thread elsewhere. I'm sorry, but I honestly didn't know that this was frowned upon or disallowed by the rules...

Are you trying to hound him off the board?

Absolutely not! I'll leave long before that happens! Besides, Kurt's got the investment here, not I. He's got good friends and an apparently cool gig. Frankly, if relevant, technical details aren't wanted/needed here and there's nobody else 'round here that can discuss such things with foundation, there's no point in me hanging around. I only joined 'cause I heard the atmosphere here was different, that people were really eager to learn, discuss and push their way through the rampant "myth-making" BS of this industry. I guess that I misunderstood and/or mis-heard...

Are you trying to poison the air around here?

No (see A1 & A2 above), but why would you want myth and misinformation on this board to go unchecked, mo matter who the source is (including ourselves)? If this board has a policy/rule of "checking critical thinking at the door", I'll gladly smile and abide by that(!), it's not obvious upon entering here nor overtly stated in the board's rules/policies.

RO has a great opportunity to lead other forums if it wants through careful application of a little discipline, rigor and less acceptance of hearsay and myth-making (Lord knows that there's no shortage of opinionated, sloppy and intellectually dishonest boards out there already to choose from...). What's the upshot of a little more careful approach? Things like:

* Making us less susceptible to audio "snake-oil" salesmen,
* Becoming better consumers,
* Saving money,
* Helping to sculpt product offerings with more relevant features/quality to our needs with less cost to us in time/money,
* Increasing the rate at which we improve in our record-making skills,
* Allowing us to realize our creative visions with less wasted resources,
* Allow us to be in control of our creative choices rather than letting gear or other people constrain us, etc.

It's no coincidence that a little more intellectual rigor has brought us the unparalleled technological advances (for the world-at-large and our recording community) in a few short decades compared to the thousands of years preceding it...
 

Rod Gervais

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2003
Ferd,

I jusr read - and then re-read - your last post - and i find myself agreeing with most of what you say -

I would however point out that there are many manners in which one may differ from other people - and even in the process (gasp - dare i say it? ) educate them.

And attack isn't generally one of those ways.

It doesn't bother me that you have a different opinion - or experience - than Kurt.... in fact - i have found Kurt to be quite receptive to people sharing their experiences with him - i know i have - and he has never been disrespectfull to me......

it is the manner in which you do it that i find distastefull.

if the people in here operate in a respectfull manner - then - only then - do we wind up learning. But when it begins to become what appears to be a personal afront - then nothing constructive can ever come of it.

It just winds up another flame.

I really appreaciate everyone involved in the thread entitled "Understanding Phase......... Again", so many different opinions - challenges - voices - and yet - so damned much respect - no one is slinging mud.

Isn't that really the way things should be?

Happy Hunting

Rod
 

Ferd Berfel

Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Originally posted by Rod Gervais:
Ferd,

I jusr read - and then re-read - your last post - and i find myself agreeing with most of what you say -

I would however point out that there are many manners in which one may differ from other people - and even in the process (gasp - dare i say it? ) educate them.

And attack isn't generally one of those ways.

I'll assume that you're saying that I've attacked Kurt (you?...someone else?). I'm sure that there's nothing I can do to change your view of this, but I can sincerely tell you that I was/am not attacking Kurt (or anyone else). It's a tough thing to tell another (or be told, for that matter) that some of their/our "facts" are incorrect. It's tough enough in person, but IME even tougher where critical elements--posture, body position, voice tone, voice volume, beer, etc.--are missing.

It doesn't bother me that you have a different opinion - or experience - than Kurt....

IMO, diversity is good. I don't know what you do for a living, but if you are lawyer and I misuse a legal term or misapply a legal concept, I'd appreciate it if you corrected me. What would you do if I continued to say the wrong things despite your repeated admonitions? I suppose that you've got three choices:

* Continue doing the same thing, expecting different results (definition of insanity),
* Change your tone/approach...particularly if it looks like that I'm reasonably capable of understanding you (just assume that for this discussion)...maybe just increased exposure will shed some light,
* Give up.

These are the three steps I took. I'm not saying it's correct, it's just what I did. It seems reasonable to me.

...in fact - i have found Kurt to be quite receptive to people sharing their experiences with him - i know i have - and he has never been disrespectfull to me......it is the manner in which you do it that i find distastefull.

If I new what that manner was, I'd probably opt to use it, 'cause it would/could increase my communication effectiveness/efficiency. The problem is, I have no way of knowing that for either you or this community until, I guess, I "step in it". Although, I've yet to find a PC way of telling someone that their facts are wrong...someone is always left with their "nose out of joint". If you've got the time and wish to, I'm open to your suggestions! But, I'd request that you're very specific about which words or phrases were/are offensive (That's probably more trouble than its worth to you, so I understand if you'd rather not get that specific).

if the people in here operate in a respectfull manner - then - only then - do we wind up learning. But when it begins to become what appears to be a personal afront - then nothing constructive can ever come of it.

It just winds up another flame.

This seems to be one of the views about this thread.

I really appreaciate everyone involved in the thread entitled "Understanding Phase......... Again", so many different opinions - challenges - voices - and yet - so damned much respect - no one is slinging mud.

I was only slightly involved in that thread, but gave up expounding upon the details 'cause for Steve's purposes, it would have just gotten in the way...even though the answers to his questions are in the list that I posted. Sometimes it's better to just let people figure it out for themselves. To what extent should we go to assist someone else's understanding? How long should we spend? How abrupt should we become? Should we be brief to avoid emotional words only to be viewed as "terse"? Should we more detailed and "flowery" only to be called "condescending"? It seems to me without guidance, we're always (as Kurt as pointed out), "damned if we do or don't".

Isn't that really the way things should be?

Sure, as long as we have some understanding of what the specific topics/words/expressions are off-limits. I suspect that we've both experienced travelling in social circles where our usual day-to-day behavior with our collegues/friends would be considered negative in some way. I understand that. That's probably why I've chosen, over the years, to avoid people and situations that don't share my values. Maybe RO is another...
 

Kurt Foster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Originaly posted by Doc@BeeffyTreats [ "Ferd- what outcome are you aiming for with all of this? Are you hoping Kurt is going to suddenly admit that he is a big dummy and apologize for all the dumb things he writes? Are you trying to hound him off the board? Are you trying to poison the air around here?
And you can quote me on that. Doc


Originally posted by Doc@BeefyTreats.com:
...what outcome are you aiming for with all of this?
reply posted by; Fred Berfel
A1: To reduce the creation of audio myths at their sources. As littedog jr said so eloquently:
"Like it or not, continue repetition of unsubstantiated information (even with disclaimers) does tend to solidify that info as 'more likely to be true than false', especially when done so by a well-respected moderator."
reply posted by; Kurt Foster
(Dead Link Removed)

Originaly posted by Ferd Berfel;
I don't think Kurt is a "big dummy" and I don't believe that anyone here does (does he write "dumb things"?). In an ideal world, I think that it'd be cool if a bbs moderator (I thought maybe this one):
(a) wouldn't speak out-of-school when possible,
(b) defer to other forum members (moderators? resident experts?) on topics outside of the moderator's expertise to either: i) help the moderator fill-in-the-blanks (he'd probably learn in the process) or, ii) facilitate someone more skilled-in-the-art to directly answer such queries. I assumed--incorrectly, I guess--that Kurt was this type of moderator 'cause he's:


* Sincere
* Smart
* Experienced
* Eager
* Respected
* Mostly lacking in hidden agendas
Thanks you for the left handed compliment. But ya’ know Ferd, it takes all kinds. Some people don’t respond well to negative criticism.. I am one of them. I know what I know by way of the hard way. I am mostly self taught. But just because I can’t attach a load of scientific data to an answer doesn’t make my approaches or opinions wrong. If you were to walk into one of the studios I have constructed over the years, you wouldn’t find any crappy gear or see any kind of faults or problems. I have always done very well.

As far as your suggestion that I …

Originaly posted by Ferd Berfel;“defer to other forum members (moderators? resident experts?) on topics outside of the moderator's expertise to either: i) help the moderator fill-in-the-blanks (he'd probably learn in the process) or, ii) facilitate someone more skilled-in-the-art to directly answer such queries’ ….
.. I often do that. Actually it is the reason I am so glad to have RecorderMan back here moderating on this Forum. RecorderMan is the Forum leader as far as I am concerned. I have not been active in the commercial recording business since I retired in 2000. RM is very active and he brings tried and tested news from that segment. But if someone says I something I disagree with, I am going to say something. You seem to suggest that by reason of your educational merits, no one should ever voice an opinion that is in contrast to yours. I find this type of attitude often among people who claim to have high educational achievements. Just because I can’t express something in a mathematical or in “scientific speak”, doesn’t mean I can’t hear it happen. I am a good engineer and musician and I have made some records that are very good. I have worked with some very well known artists and have records /CDs that are available world wide in Tower Records and on Amazon.Com.. And I think it is very rude of you to make me have to defend myself.

You make some suggestions to

· Making us less susceptible to audio "snake-oil" salesmen,
* Becoming better consumers,
* Saving money,
* Helping to sculpt product offerings with more relevant features/quality to our needs with less cost to us in time/money,
* Increasing the rate at which we improve in our record-making skills,
* Allowing us to realize our creative visions with less wasted resources,
* Allow us to be in control of our creative choices rather than letting gear or other people constrain us, etc.


Those are some pretty idealistic suggestions there. Who are you referring to as “Snake Oil Salesmen”? I haven’t seen any around here. Do you mean anyone in particular, or are you just raising the specter to frighten us?

Regarding saving money, yes that is what I want to do. I tell people all the time, don’t waste your money on crap gear. You can buy this stuff once, or you can buy it 10 times. You will end up in the same place eventually. If you buy good gear and you decide to quit, you can get back more of your investment if you have purchased quality in demand “standard” pieces. Are there any inexpensive pieces that are of this caliber? I don’t think so, at least I haven’t heard one yet myself. Do I want to help in
“Increasing the rate at which we improve in our record-making skills,
* Allowing us to realize our creative visions with less wasted resources,
* Allow us to be in control of our creative choices rather than letting gear or other people constrain us, etc.”

…of course I do and I don’t think you can point at anything I do or say on RO that would suggest I don’t. Thank you for attempting to define the mission of RO. However neither you or I have anything to do with that ....... Kurt


***************************************************

(Dead Link Removed)

This is the last chance to speak with Ms. Kaye we will have for a while as she is entering the busy part of here work season so don't miss this exciting opportunity to exchange comments with this studio ledged..


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[="http://www.carolkaye.com/www/library/basshits.htm"]Carol Kaye Bass Hits[/]
 
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Guest
kurt,

please come back and re-read the entire thread after a week or so cooling off period. i think you are badly over-reacting. a thicker skin might be a useful life-asset.

i guess i'm the only one here who feels Ferd has a lot to contribute. I'm not suggesting anyone has to kiss his ass, but i wish we didn't drive him out of here just because he didn't kiss ass himself. Of course, I don't know if he will leave or not. I know there were quite a few that wanted me to take a hike too. Maybe they still do... i'm just too thick skinned to pay much mind...

Who was it that asked... "why can't we all just get along?" And is it self-delusional to keep insisting that this forum operates on such a higher plane than others of its ilk? :confused:
 

Rod Gervais

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2003
Originally posted by littledog, jr.:
Who was it that asked... "why can't we all just get along?" And is it self-delusional to keep insisting that this forum operates on such a higher plane than others of its ilk? :confused:
LD,

that quote would have been mine, and i do believe we CAN operate on that "higher plane" - we can survive based on talen and knowledge - we don't need to resort to back biting.

By the way - i am not one of those who wishes you would leave - i happen to like you - i also agree that our other friend has a lot to offer as well - i just believe that we can do it without offending anyone as well.

Sincerely,

Rod
 

Bobby Loux

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2003
Strictly as an objective observer, I would vote Littledog Jr. "The Voice Of Reason" :D ..without sounding too corny, he seems to have put a lot of this into perspective...

there's room for all here and one thing I've learned (the hard way since getting involved with various boards) is the "Thick Skin Thing"..I've found myself getting too ramped up over some faceless dude somewhere in cyberland, who I know would never address me in such a manner if he were standing right in front of me!..

Now I'm certainly not implying Ferd or Kurt are faceless cowards, I'll just second Littledogs take on "this" subject and then remind us all how short life really is.

:p:
 

Doc@BeefyTreats.com

Guest
Ferd,
I appreciate your clarification about your motivations regarding Kurt and RO. There has been a lot of negativity on other boards, and direct negativity towards RO, recently, and some folks coming around here with antagonistic attitudes. As a result people have twitchy trigger fingers around here.
Your standards for what you think a bbs should be are laudable. However I think you could get your point across without all this acrimony. I am not suggesting that you are the sole reason for all the negativity, or that if you dropped acid and became a peacenik this place would turn into Shangri-La.
Here is a standard I consider when posting- How would I phrase this comment if I was in a bar? If the person is a friend, and in a good mood, I have a lot more lattitude than if the person is someone I don't know, especially if they have a chip on their shoulder. I speak my mind, but I give a little consideration to how the other person is going to take it. My chances of bringing someone around to my point of view is better if they don't feel like I am putting them down.
I wouldn't expect you to run out and get a personality transplant, and I know that different people have different styles, but consider what I am saying. I also acknowledge that many of your contributions here are valuable even if I don't dig your style. Doc
 

Kurt Foster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Originally posted by littledog, jr.:
kurt,

please come back and re-read the entire thread after a week or so cooling off period. i think you are badly over-reacting. a thicker skin might be a useful life-asset.

I don't need to do that. I am not upset, angry or hot under the collar over this. Ferd is trying to discredit me in public. There are lots of ways he could make his points without taking shots at me so I don't believe his little act. I will respond if I feel it is needed. But please don't misconstrue that I am angry. I am curious who this mysterious Ferd Berfel is and why he is doing this. The more he posts the better the chances I can figure out who he is.
 

Guest
Originally posted by Kurt Foster:

According to you and littledog. It seems as if you are attempting to get me to cease and desist from telling board members that one piece of quality gear is better than ten pieces of rack garbage. I will continue to say what I wish in the manner that I wish. I am entitled to my opinion and the right to speak it. I know that what I say is correct. I have not had too many people come back to me and say, “You know that advice you gave to me? … Well it really sucked”, and I have been moderating for over a year now. If you don’t like it, you can complain to Chris.
Well, Kurt, it's hard to know what to make of that whole thread (of which the above is only an excerpt), which is quite an eloquent and impassioned argument against nothing I ever said or even implied. Perhaps you have me confused with someone else. Slator, maybe? Although in my short sojourn here, I can't recall anyone saying some of the things that you attribute to me and Ferd. Maybe it was before I got here...

Actually, I thought I was making some reasonable suggestions, but i can understand where one man's reason is another's frothing at the mouth...
all a matter of perspective i suppose.

Anyway, sorry we seem to have gotten off to a bad start. I respect your right to call 'em as you see 'em (although I still stand by my suggestion that you at least see 'em before you call 'em. Of course, plenty of people have ignored my advice before and gone on to fame and fortune... ;) ) I'd like to think I have almost the same rights to call 'em as I see 'em too... I guess we'll see what happens.

Anyway, with me, at least, be assured it's nothing personal. I have found that communicating privately tends to de-escalate confrontations, as there is no public ego at stake. Hoping it works for us.

Regards,

David L. Sparr
aka littledog
 

Ethan Winer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2001
David [thanks for coming out],

> i guess i'm the only one here who feels Ferd has a lot to contribute. <

I too think Ferd has much to contribute. I have enjoyed his posts a lot, and I agree with him that exposing audio mythology is a worthy goal.

--Ethan
 

ckevperry

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2001
In response to the original question....I'd vote for the RNP. Pretty dang cheap for 2 channels of usable preamps.

As for everything else, I do want to respect whose "house" I'm in....but I detest hearsay when it comes to these audio boards. Myths attain cliche status for novices that make them feel like they have some deep knowledge of audio like: PT's mix bus sucks, 48 bit sucks compared to 32 bit float, x is the best preamp, Y is the best mic, Mac's suck, PC's suck, digital sucks.....on and on. Audio is so subjective when you get to a certain level that all you can do is use your ears. And your ears might very well disagree with your neighbors.

That said...moderating is job that where sometimes you just can't win.
 

hargerst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2001
Geez, I'm not even sure I should even get involved in this. But, here are my thoughts on this whole discussion. BTW, yes, I own an RNP, and no, I haven't heard the Sebatron. We do own a GR MP-2V and a GR MP-2, and a Millinia Media SST-1 Origin.

1. Regarding the headroom issue: The RNP has a ton of headroom, and we've NEVER had a problem with a lack of headroom, regardless of how hard we've driven it.

2. The RNP outboard power supply (wallwart) puts out 1.5 amps, and that's more than sufficient to do the intended job required of it. Why? Precisely because the RNP doesn't have 8 million tubes, power-absorbing transformers, and discreet circuits.

3. The "Vega/Corvette" comparison doesn't really hold up when discussing the RNP - it's a whole 'nother thing. Mark McQuillken is a very clever designer, and he marches to a different drummer. Saying it's like a "Vega" is very misleading. It compares very well to the MM SST-1 and to the Great River. Yeah, it looks dinky compared to the Millinia Media Origin (which is really built like a tank), but the sound of the RNP is amazing - even directly compared to the SST-1.

4. Tubes and transformers vs. LSI and solid state. That's really not the issue. It's really a question of good circuit design vs. bad circuit design. You can build a good circuit using any topology, if you understand what you're doing. Tubes don't always make something "sound good", any more than transistors always make something "sound bad".

5. Class A design means something very specific when it comes to circuitry. The RNP is a Class A design. Period. In addition, by use of some highly unusual choices of components, the RNP is flat out to 200 kHz, and only 3 dB down at 300 kHz, using a "forced rolloff" (my choice of words to describe the 18dB per octave Butterworth filter Mark used to keep the top end from going out to several MHz). Not many other preamps can make that claim, tube or otherwise.

6. Robotic assembly. Possibly the funniest assertion of all. Beth McQuilken is not a robot. They're all hand assembled, and they don't use cheap parts.

So, what's the bottom line here? The RNP is not a "Vega" - it's a damn fine preamp, that can hold its own against a lot of higher priced preamps.

I think Kurt made a few mistakes in spreading unsubstantiated rumors about how it works without checking the sources. A good reviewer is known for the accuracy of his reviews.

Saying that the power supply is "insufficient", implying that it suffers from a lack of headroom, that it's not Class A, and that it's robotically assembled, are all opinions that were presented as facts (at worst), or hearsay (at best).

It's compounded by the fact that Kurt hasn't even heard the RNP, yet he compares it to a Vega; not exactly the most flattering image a reviewer can use.

At the same time. I can empathize with Kurt's position. A few years ago, I publicly trashed all Marshall mics - without ever hearing them. Someone nailed my ass on that one, by asking nicely if I had heard them. I had to admit that I hadn't, and I made arrangements to actually try them.

Well, I had to eat some of my words. A few of them surprised the hell out of me. They were damn good. A few of them really sucked, so I didn't feel quite as bad about my original statement.

But oddly enough, I was glad that I had to retract my original statement about them, because I did find some models I really could recommend, and people appreciated the fact that I could set aside some pre-conceived biases and still deliver an honest review of them.

Kurt has already mentioned some things that I would view as "pre-conceived biases", but I know Kurt, and I'm sure he's more than willing to be admit he was wrong if any of his statements about the RNP are unfounded.
 

Guest
Once again, with that last brilliant post, I have to take my hat off to Harvey. It's not just because of the way in which he presents information, but the manner in which he can do so in a completely unthreatening manner.

I suspect that Harvey could find a way to tell me that i had the personality and intelligence of a tree stump and that my whole family was illegitimate descendents of slime eels, and do it in such a way that when he was done, I'd thank him profusely.
 

Davedog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2001
Hi all...Let me just preface this in saying that Kurt is one of my friends and in this context this really means nothing.
Ferd seems to be a fount of knowledge in the recording arts.As is Kurt.As is littledog jr.As is Recorderman.As is Harvey.We all have something significant to add to this mix from time to time.Even I can get in a truism here and there.
In reading this entire thread a couple of times, I get the sense that Ferd is not really attacking Kurt as a person but is out to erradicate erroneous snake-oil untruths in this industry.He has openly blessed the WWW. as being a powerful source of information and by its power, also a source of mis-information.He cautions Kurt about making statements gained second-hand, and does this because he sees Kurt as a person able to influence through his position as moderator, and he repects this.
Knowing Kurt, hes not so much pissed, as hes a bit defensive because he also respects his moderator position and wants this site to re-achieve a semblance of its past quality.

Nuttin wrong with either position.We need people like both of em here. We all need this site to be successful and not become one of those homerec things. The noise content here is low due to strict adhereance to the rules of engagement.

As has been stated, its so so hard to know though the wonders of the internet, just what a persons true feelings are in conjunction to a statement made.There arent any eyebrows on the typewriter...(my quote...use it if you like it).It would seem to me that we all agree that were in an industry that has so many parts and nuances, that it would be impossible to pigeonhole any one thing into being the apex of perfection in its role it plays in making recordings.Its all subjective with the objectivity of science ruling its realities.

Makes us all unique.Those that strive for sonic perfection.

Peace to all of you...and just for the record, I'm always right............. :p :d:
 

Kurt Foster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2002
I am searching for the thread where I made the Vega / Corvette and robotic assembly comments. In this thread I actually referred to an Escort and a Lincoln. I can’t recall if these statements were made directly to the RNP or in general in regards to products at that price point. Perhaps some one can point me to it. If the comment regarding robotics is incorrect I stand corrected. It is hard to imagine a product at that price point that is not assembled automaticly. If it is hand assembled, I aplologise. But there really is no info like that available as far as I can find. I wonder if you could post a link to something like that if possible. As I said so many times now, I am out of the loop on this one. RNP has not answered any of my inquiries.. but I don’t need to eat a sh*t sandwich to know it’s going to taste like sh*t. Now I am not saying the RNP is the proverbial sh*t sandwich but I am saying I expect to get something that performs at it’s price point. If it were so good I suspect it would sell for much more. If this weren’t true at $250 a channel and sounding like an old RCA pre only better, you would think that this wunder-pre would be putting all the high end mic pre manufactures out of business. But some people seem to think that Mackie pres sound good..

My opinion is going to most likely remain as it is. I think there is a marked difference between prosumer and professional recording equipment. The area in which these differences are most apparent are in front end gear. At some point if a recordist is serious, they will end up with pro gear and a rack of unused prosumer stuff that they can’t sell for half what they paid for it. Why not skip the cheap stuff and just get something good?

I seem to be caught between two camps of thought on this. There those who contend that “You can build a good circuit using any topology, if you understand what you're doing. Tubes don't always make something "sound good", any more than transistors always make something "sound bad". Then there are the “tubes” and the “it’s in the iron” guys and another school of thought that says “solid state but all discreet, all class A.” This is where I go… “It’s in the iron, solid state but all discreet”. I also like tubes. I just hear a difference. In the end product, when it all is mixed it just sounds better than something that was recorded on the Mackie. Yes it’s all opinion.. I am not a scientist it’s all subjective. Am I wrong? I don’t think so. A lot of people seem to want to stop me from saying it!

Last I have always said,

Originally posted by Kurt Foster:


Sometimes I attempt to convey information on equipment I have never sampled. Perhaps this is a mistake on my part but I am trying to be of some help. Please don’t construe this as an opinion in situations when I say that I have never used a piece. I am just conveying the information I have available to me at the time. If I say I have used a piece of gear, then what I say can be taken to the bank. In any other instances, I am only telling you all what I have heard. I do attempt to make a distinction. :tu: Kurt
 
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