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Apogee 8 Mic Preamp - Symphony I/O Module Reviews

5.0 stars based on 2 customer reviews
Questions about the Apogee 8 Mic Preamp - Symphony I/O Module?

Questions about the Apogee 8 Mic Preamp - Symphony I/O Module?

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  • from A2, MI August 31, 2015Music Background:
    Guitarist, Producer/Engineer, Hobbyist

    Great Preamps for the Symphony

    These preamps are fantastic. They have a tiny bit of color - in a good way - but still sound very natural, warm, and open. Plus, having that 85dB of gain is incredible. It can push my Fat Head II ribbon with ease, along with any of my other dynamic or condenser microphones. They do have a little noise when you really push the gain for quiet sources or on certain microphones, but it's manageable. I'd imagine adding a Cloudlifter might take care of many of those issues. The DI sounds great too; I'd say it's certainly on par with my Avalon U5 - if not better - for DI sounds on both acoustic (magnetic pickup) and electric guitar (of course, without the Tone/EQ on the U5). I certainly prefer using an external DI to split the source for more options with the great Symphony conversion, but in a pinch (or if you like DI sounds?) this definitely has a good DI input. I have yet to use the inserts, but having that feature alone had me choosing this for my Symphony over other external multi-channel preamps at similar price points. I'd eventually love to have different flavors, but for an all-in-one, flexible pre with multiple DIs (and inserts!) for this price, this thing is simply incredible.

  • from January 11, 2015Music Background:
    Recording Artist/Engineer/Hobbyist

    Excellent choice if you have a Symphony and need 8 extra mic preamps

    I was building a small mobile/home studio based on a 16X16 analog in/out Symphony and I needed more preamps. I was looking at items like the ISA 828, JDK Audio's 8MX2, and various setups involving some mixture of any of the similarly priced dual and four channel preamps that you can find on the market. I ended up going with this one as the price per channel (at this quality level) is virtually unbeatable, and because it saved space. I had also heard some comparisons with pres like the well respected shadow hills mono gama and great river 500-NV, and I hardly detected any difference in tone, so I figured that the Apogee pres were probably just as good as anything else.

    So far I have used the pres with dynamic, condenser, and ribbon mics, primarily on drums, but also on vocals, bells, and room mics. They by and large sound fantastic. If you are recording a soft source and have to turn the gain almost all the way up (they have up to 85 db of gain), this will introduce a little bit of noise, but it's negligible. I did my own comparison with a BAE 312 and my own GR 500 NV, and there really was little difference in the characteristics of the sound.

    Some essential things that the Sweetwater page and Apogees own pages do not say - these pres come with high pass filters (I think they roll off starting at 80hz), phase reverse, and limiting capabilities (Soft Limit). It's all digitally controlled within Maestro.

    I would consider giving these a five, but I need more time to judge whether or not they are truly on par with other top of the line stuff. They might deserve it anyway simply due to the price point. In any case, I would definitely recommend these to anyone who needs to add channels to their Symphony setup while both saving space and money.

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