Preamp Shootout - JLM Baby Animal vs Focusrite ISA428

| Dec 8, 2009 | 4,243 Views | Share


These are separate takes. I was careful to match the levels and mic placement with the vocals and the acoustic guitar. Samples 1-3 each have the same start point, as do 4-6 so you can sync them up if you want to hear a "mix" with the same preamp stacked. This JLM version is the least expensive version using an OPA2604 IC as an opamp and the JLM14 input transformer. The DI is a FET DI. Fun kit to build, btw. I think I like the BA on bass, but I think I prefer the ISA on vocal. They do have a different sound. The ISA sounds "tighter" whereas the BA sounds beefier, to me. I'd love to know your opinions.

Audio Clips

  • ADK Cremona 251 - JLM Baby Animal OPA2604

  • ADK Cremona 251 - JLM Baby Animal OPA2604

  • DI - JLM Baby Animal OPA2604

  • ADK Cremona 251 - Focusrite ISA 428

  • ADK Cremona 251 - Focusrite ISA 428

  • DI - Focusrite ISA 428


  • I think I'd like to try another baby animal with the JLM99V opamp and the output transformer for comparison.
    By tenchijin on Dec 10, 2009 at 9:58 pm
  • The ISA is brighter, but it felt like the BA was dynamically tighter. It felt more under control where the Focusrite jumped around and the S's were a bit sharper on the Focusrite. A good compressor might tame the ISA but if I were going to take these takes as-is I'd go with the BA clips. Just seems like they'd be easier to fit in a mix.
    By rackrecording on Jan 29, 2010 at 9:09 pm

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