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A-Design the REDDI maker **New Preamp**

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by svtb15, Mar 19, 2009.


  1. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I posted this in another REDDI thread and figured i should start a new thread for this pre amp.


    I wanted to post some pics of the newer Preamp by A-Designs that i just got . Peter Montessi is the maker of the REDDI.

    They make a few different types, each with custom wound input and output transformers , depending on the application.

    Peter told me that Reggie Hamilton is a big fan of the GOLD the one that i just got.

    http://www.adesignsaudio.com/p1_emseries.html this link describes the differences between the models.

    Now the pics with the GOLD in its 500HR Rack Power Supply unit.


    em500GOLD.

    em500GOLDa.

    500hr.

    em500GOLDc.
     
  2. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I was commenting in another thread about . .. I wonder how this would sound on a Bergantino IP cab
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well, I guess I'll ask the obvious question...how does it compare to the REDDI?
     
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    For one thing, it has no tube. For another, its transformers are like 1/8 the size of the one in the REDDI.

    I haven't used it though so I can't comment on the actual sound.
     
  5. Kurisu

    Kurisu

    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    And yet the EM500HR is a preamp, and the REDDI is a DI... I'm still trying to understand why the REDDI would need such a large transformer if it doesn't boost the signal to +4db... You would need to put a preamp in between the REDDI and a line-in on a console or an interface card, right?

    The EM500HR is designed for instrument input as well as Microphone? I can't seem to find the input impedance on their website...
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Not necessarily. If it gets enough signal to the recorder you could plug it straight into the recorder with nothing else. And the transformer...that's there for the excellent tone.
     
  7. Just to point out the obvious for those who may not have picked up on it:

    These are modules for an API 500 series "lunchbox" and not intended for stand alone use. The rack that they are in is a half-rack unit that can accept two 500 series modules. Look at the A Designs site and you can see the balanced connections on the back panel. http://www.adesignsaudio.com/500hr.html

    A really sharp setup, especially if you already have some API modules or want to start small.
     
  8. Kurisu

    Kurisu

    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    An alternative that I've been looking into is the Seventh Circle Audio system, which is similar to the API 500-series module approach, but may be a better fit for some people. It's DIY (or you can buy them assembled) and a bit cheaper I think.

    http://www.seventhcircleaudio.com/index.htm

    As far as I can tell you still need a DI in between your bass and one of these preamps. You can get a DI kit for less than $100 which will give you two instrument inputs and two balanced outputs which you can then direct to any of the types of preamps you have in your rack.

    Man, I have spent way to much time reading about this stuff today. I should have been doing work! :/
     
  9. Kurisu

    Kurisu

    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    I'm not an electrical engineer, so I really don't understand why a big transformer would lead to better tone. I mean, intuitively it makes sense (you know, related to headroom and all that), but I just can't wrap my head around why the REDDI would need that much iron when something like the Radial passive DI is supposed to be extremely good as well.

    Oh well, I'm used to not understanding the mysteries of pro audio. :)
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Me neither, but I'm learning. And one thing I've learned is that the reason the REDDI sounds more tubey than the Radial is because not only because it has tubes, but because of its big output transformer. It's the reason Jonas Hellborg uses them in his Warwick Hellborg amps. Wish I knew why but I will soon ;)
     
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yeah, it's not as simple as "big transformer = more volume", it's that running a signal through any one component adds a certain coloration, and the massive xfo in the REDDI adds a different coloration than the smaller xfo in 1RU and 500-series rackables. That said, there are some very very good sounding smaller xfo's. I have an ADK 1/2 RU unit with a custom xfo that has a super thick tone, and I used to have a Phoenix Audio UK 1/2 RU preamp with custom (made by them) xfo's and they sounded insanely fat and deep. In both cases the sounds were very different flavors than the Radial JDI's Jensen (which I also owned, and directly A/B'ed against the others). I'm not saying the Jensen wasn't as good, only that there were three identical-sized xfo's with significantly different sounds. The giant one in the REDDI just happens to be the one that produces "that tone".
     
  12. DocBop

    DocBop

    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Transformers affect sound and size isn't much of a factor except in power amps. For example when a transformer dies in an old amp and you get a new replacement. It could be same exact part but amp now sounds different. A lot of guys who collect amps go thru this and will pay good money for old parts especially transformers.
     
  13. fretlesssurfer

    fretlesssurfer

    Nov 21, 2005
    Its not for live use, but one can get just about any kind of tone with these.... the REDDI usually sits on the console.
    Kudos to you if you can name them all with this small image. SB


    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=122931&stc=1&d=1237690786

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=122932&stc=1&d=1237690786
     

    Attached Files:

  14. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    Sorry for the delay.. i have the flu.. real bad..

    One is a pore the other is a DI..One Tube and one not.. I know that you know that.. im just stating for any late comers.

    I am not an expert at describing this sort of thing.. I am going to use it this week with an engineer that i totally trust... i have name dropped him before,,the guy has ears of gold...
    any way this is the GOLD version.. Peter Montessi said that it would be perfect for bass recording... I was going to go for the RED one.. so it matched the REDDI:rollno::)

    But the GOLD is similar in tone to the REDDI..but still different..It is not a tube pre. and it doesn't have the huge output transformer that the REDDI has... it is clean for days..... it is small like a API preamp.. 2 units can fit in the 500HR rack unit.. i have a vintech that i used to use which i am now selling...

    the GOLD has the girth that the REDDI has and still has focus.. where the REDDI has about 16dB of gain i think, this EM500 has 60dB -70dB.. dont hold me to that i have not read the manual... But this has more than enough to drive a poweramp.. then i was thinking about folks that have the Berg IP cabs that want an organic phat sound pre to drive the BERG.... maybe this may be an option for them,,????? dont know???? It is a preamp though.. and in the 500HR powersupply there are XLR outs.. I may add one of his BAC500 compressors to it and call it a day.

    The reason i got this was 2 week sago i did a session with my REDDI into an API with my Alleva kbp4 with flats... it was huge sounding.. I was telling Peter Montessi about how i liked that tone... he suggested the GOLD. so i went with that.
    Peter must be one of the nicest folks on earth.. and he is commited to pure audiophile quality.. He lives and breathes this type of high end audio gear...
    i will be with that engineer this coming week and i will use the EM500 instead of the API...
    I am going to need a blank plate to cover the open slot for the time being if im stupid enough to bring it on a live gig:rollno:




     
  15. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    In one studio i there was an old MCI board, and the engineer asked me to lower the gain on the REDDI since it was hot.... i think we were bypassing th eMCI and th echain was BASS>REDDI>NEVE> TAPE
    then i did a gig an dit was REDDI>API>TAPE.. i dont know for sure...
    I do know that the REDDI can drive a power amp.. but not to clipping... this pre can light the clip light on a pweramp and keep it lit,, the pre has Lots O Gain.


     
  16. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    +1
    Yes there is alot of Iron in the transformer.. that is what gives it that vintage 60-70s fatness??? i think so...


     
  17. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
  18. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Just my two cents, as a big fan of all of Peter Montessi's creations:

    Very little gear I've ever used can give me the "width" of my DI tone with my REDDI. It's ended up being one of those things that I can't imagine not having.

    I don't have the EM-GOLD, but I do have the EM-SILVER. Also very big sounding, but in a way that seems decidedly "faster" sounding. But the REDDI wins as far as overall "plushness" of tone.

    On the road with Nine Inch Nails, I have a small recording studio setup in a flight case that goes with me in dressing rooms and hotels. In there, I've got the EM-SILVER, one of Peter's gorgeous EM-PEQ modules (a Pultec-style EQ module) both racked in the 500HR chassis shown in a photo above.

    What an incredible portable rig. And when I'm home, it just pops right back into my studio.

    Sorry to gush, I just had to give another subjective experience about Peter's sweet gear. I also own two of his Pacifica modules! My next item might very well be one of those cool Pete's Place 500 series compressors...

    Best,
    JMJ
     
  19. fretlesssurfer

    fretlesssurfer

    Nov 21, 2005
    Hey Justin, Steve Bailey here! Hope all is well.
    I totally agree with you on the Reddi, and I have the silver as well and the em-peq modules. they stay in my studio though. I also have the P-1's and absolutely love them for VOX, and just about anything.
    Pete Montessi is one of the nicest guys in the business... and a bass player. peace, SB
     
  20. I'm with JMJ . . . I really dig the A-design's stuff. I've had a pacifica in my studio for quite a while and love it. . . I'd like to add the as well as Peter's products being amazing I had a small issue when I got the Pacifica - he damn near flew to NY to fix the problem for me! It was like he couldnt do enough, fast enough to make sure the issue was fixed!

    Don;t get much of that these days . . . I'm hooked
     

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