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Thread: ACM & ACMP Reviews by Nuemes

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    ACM & ACMP Reviews by Nuemes

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    So I'm starting a thread that I'll add to over the next few days as I test the gear.

    I've heard there have been noise issues from some people who've gotten ACMP pre's so I've been listening carefully with that in mind.

    First up: DI bass on ACMP73

    Chain: Hamer American Cruisebass (very similar to Fender Jazz) > pre > Lynx Aurora 8 AD/DA. All gear racked together, on at the same time and going through the same power supply. The exact same cords were used for every single test.

    Pre's tested against: Avalon M5, UA 610, Pacifica

    #1: Noise/Lack Thereof
    I am very happy to report that the DI on the ACMP73 is not at all particularly noisy, in fact it is quiet. With the bass plugged in and no playing, the least noisy to most noisy was as follows: Avalon M5, UA610, Pacifica (no pad), ACMP73, Pacifica (with pad, gain nearly maxed). The difference between these was minor (except w/ the Pacifica pad engaged, gain maxed). DI noise is not an issue for the ACMP73 I received.

    #2: DI Sound
    The ACMP with or without EQ engaged sounded the most like an amp compared to the other preamps. It has more color - I want to say midrange definition - than the other 3 pre's. It sounds big and frankly has balls. The M5 & UA610 sound refined compared to the ACMP73. The ACMP73 has distortion but still excellent clarity for the purpose of a bass DI, if that makes sense. The closest I could get to the 73 sound was by engaging the pad on the Pacifica but even then the Pacifica wasn't nearly as good as the ACMP73. The ACMP73 does not have the extreme deep lows of the Avalon M5 but that's fine with me for a bass DI; I like the kick to be way down there rather than the bass. I gotta say it: I was expecting to be heavily disappointed and holy Chinese preamps Batman, this is now the best bass DI I own.

    So I'm expecting to wake up tomorrow to find out my ears were just bad today, or that some nasty noise will suddenly appear, or that it will break. Considering the ACMP73 cost less than a typical low end bass DI and sounds better than those as well as the ($800+) preamps I own (at least in regards to a bass DI), I am cautiously very, very impressed and damn happy that I've got a tool that will get use on every bass session.

    Chance, you've heard it a many times but once more: thank you for making this opportunity available.

    Mind you, I'm going to post a lot more tests on this thread. So far so good

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    Quote Originally Posted by nuemes View Post
    I gotta say it: I was expecting to be heavily disappointed and holy Chinese preamps Batman, this is now the best bass DI I own.


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    Very cool to hear.

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    ACMP's on Kick Drum

    ACMP73 & ACMP84

    Mic: RE20, just outside the kick aimed at beater.

    All pre's (ACMP73, ACMP84, Avalon M5, UA160 & Pacifica) sounded good on kick. Each is useable. Without the EQ engaged (and without someone kicking the beater), the order from least noisy to most noisy: Avalon M5, UA610, Pacifica, ACMP's. Very slight difference, not enough to matter.

    So here's the deal: once I set the EQ on the ACMP84 (I didn't try the EQ on the ACMP73) I dialed in a kick sound on first try that easily beat out all the other preamps with ease. Likely the best kick sound I've gotten as of yet. As far as kick goes the EQ on the ACMP84 sounds better than any plugs I have.

    However, once you engage the EQ a noticeable noise floor appears. It sounds similar to me like the hiss you'd hear with tape. It's not terrible but it's definitely there. And imagine with compression...ugh.

    For some perspective I was watching The Charlie Brown Xmas Special with my son for a few minutes tonight. The recordings used on the show have noisy snare brush strokes with a big tape hiss noise floor.

    There's clearly a trade to make. If you already have a good outboard EQ then there's no need to use the EQ on the ACMP84. In my case I'll likely take the chance as I've no other hardware EQ. Will require the context of a mix to know for sure.

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    Thanks for these reviews, Nuemes. Much appreciated!


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    Quote Originally Posted by nuemes View Post
    For some perspective I was watching The Charlie Brown Xmas Special with my son for a few minutes tonight. The recordings used on the show have noisy snare brush strokes with a big tape hiss noise floor.
    That hiss probably is the snare brush strokes The Vince Guaraldi Christmas album is pretty noisy, but when the snare brush strokes start, that's above the level of the tape hiss. For example, on the first tune, "O Tannenbaum", the tape hiss limits the dynamic range to about 50dB, but the snare strokes are about 10dB louder than that when they come in about a minute into the track.

    Either way, the tape hiss is objectionable by modern standards throughout the entire recording. A lot of old jazz records are like that, unfortunately, and modern remasters don't seem interested in removing even some of the noise.

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    I love the old tape hiss on those lazz records. I would hate it if they removed it.

    Nuemes, did your great kick sound come with EQ engaged or not.

    BTW, thanks for the great reviews.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redddog View Post
    I love the old tape hiss on those lazz records. I would hate it if they removed it.
    I could do a hiss simulator plugin for you if you'd like Add it to all your favorite recordings!

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    I'm on board to follow your tests.
    So far I have only the AMCP73s (4 of them) but and have compared them to RNPs, DMP-3s and ART MP(Pro?) On drums I dialed in a really nice Snare sound with a SM57 I could never get equing after the fact, the Kick has Balls for once. I used the 73 on my Neuman TLM-49 and modded T-3 and the voices came out punchier and beefier than my other pres.

    I have yet to use the DI but hopefully this weekend.
    My pres are as quiet or quieter than the DMP-3s and RNPs.
    Tom Menikos
    T-Mix Studios
    Mansfield Texas
    WWW.tmixstudio.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmix View Post
    My pres are as quiet or quieter than the DMP-3s and RNPs.
    The spec on the AMCP stuff is -120dBu vs. -128dBu for the DMP-3. The noise of a particular mic might cause the preamp noise floor in either case to be inaudible. But I don't think one could conclude the ACMP was as quiet or quieter, at least without taking a comparative measurement.

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