SSLtech

UA 8110 versus Portico mic pres...
« on: March 20, 2007, 11:15:51 AM »
Last week I and amorris ran a line-check on a quick installation in an SSL 9k room. We were setting it up so that some bigwigs from Neumann could make some refrence recordings using some of their new microphones.

We had 8x porticos, and a rack of 8x UA 8110 preamps, plus SSL 9k's galore.

A rather hurried linecheck before the Neumann suits filed in, to make sure that we weren't left looking silly in case or mispatches or whatever (this was a temporary setup of the outbnoard preamps though an improvised ELCO and DL connector chain)... -Amorris was there. Everything worked well enough, so we checked with both dynamic and condensor mics for reasons of common sense. The mics happened to be an SM57 and an AKG C414.

Amorris and I then slipped away before the 'suits' got there, as soon as we were assured that everything was running top-notch. When we got outside, we shared our impressions (which we'd kept quiet up to that point, in order to keep everyone focussed on making sure that things worked, and not to distract anyone into a discussion of quality) on what we heard...

We were both astonished. Struck by how much -in a side by side comparison- the Portico utterly outclassed the UA. I mean, it was shocking. I really didn't think that the UA was all that bad, but alongside the portico, it lacked size, stature and 'majesty' in general. It sounded small and 'vague' by comparison. We both heard it, and I don't think that either of us expected to hear it. -That was what was astonishing.

Don't get me wrong, the UA sounded alright... But great gosh-a-moly... those Porticos are outstanding.

Stunning quality. I wish that I could afford a rack myself.

Keith
"A waist is a terrible thing to mind"
Quote from: PRR
Ah, but that was 1999; we don't party like that any more.


Gus

UA 8110 versus Portico mic pres...
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2007, 11:22:39 AM »
What new neumanns?   I saw new SD with built in A/D  and the newer 49 in ads.

SSLtech

UA 8110 versus Portico mic pres...
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2007, 11:28:43 AM »
I didn't stick around for the session, so I don't know. Crisply-pressed suits appeared, so I disappeared. I know that we were using the mic pres, so it wouldn't make sense for it to be the digital mics...

I can't comment on the microphones, I wasn't there for that bit.

I CAN however, bear personal witness to the stunning beauty of the Rupert Neve porticos. -And if this had been a case of "I can't wait ti hear these beauties" making me expect to hear a gorgeous sound, then I wouldn't have been so stunned. -I was there to make sure that there were no ground hums, no buzzes, no crackles, and that everything was clean and quiet. I wasn't even paying particular attention to sonic quality so much as the absence of problems, if you catch my drift.

The darned things are so 'majesterial' sounding that they DEMAND attention. -It really is that simple.

Keith
"A waist is a terrible thing to mind"
Quote from: PRR
Ah, but that was 1999; we don't party like that any more.

usekgb

UA 8110 versus Portico mic pres...
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2007, 12:09:09 PM »
Which Portico were you using?  5012, 5016, 5032?

Cheers,
Zach
Zach Griffen Audio
EvilTone

dissonantstring

UA 8110 versus Portico mic pres...
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2007, 12:13:43 PM »
Quote from: "SSLtech"

The darned things are so 'majesterial' sounding that they DEMAND attention. -It really is that simple.

Keith


'majesterial' will by my new word of the day (which I will attempt to use at least 5 times today)!  :grin:
thanks for the enlightening comments and comparisons keef! :thumb:
-grant

SSLtech

UA 8110 versus Portico mic pres...
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2007, 12:32:31 PM »
5032's. EQ was in bypass, no filter, just a big, beautiful preamp, set to about 30dB gain.

Keith
"A waist is a terrible thing to mind"
Quote from: PRR
Ah, but that was 1999; we don't party like that any more.

amorris

UA 8110 versus Portico mic pres...
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2007, 01:01:29 PM »
the UA sounded quite soft to me. then right into the portico, fantastic. piano, gtr, and drums. all thru each. and the observation was the same throughout.

we had our resident engineer darren s. get sounds and man, oh, man, it was amazing. best Ive heard in that room.

the other funny thing about it was, when the "real" guy came in to finesse the mic placment and make adjustments, everyone commented on how it sounded better when they first got there! (our quick line check)

the mics were brought in by the real guy and they were from his personal collection . km 84s ? 184s overheads and acoustic gtr, m149 vocals, some nuemann tube mic in kick i was not familiar with, some new sennheisers on the piano,

SSLtech

UA 8110 versus Portico mic pres...
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2007, 01:43:49 PM »
It was a rather nice jazz outfit. -They sounded great in the room acoustically, which of course helps a lot!

Keith
"A waist is a terrible thing to mind"
Quote from: PRR
Ah, but that was 1999; we don't party like that any more.

pstamler

UA 8110 versus Portico mic pres...
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2007, 01:52:56 PM »
How were the Shape switches on the 8110 channels set? Modern, vintage or saturated?

Peace,
Paul

 

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