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DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

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DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby MusicMadMax » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:38 pm

Hi All,

First, please forgive me, there was a topic I found via Google from a few years ago asking a similar question but I couldn't find it to post in that thread... so sorry for that.

I'm going to get a Focusrite Saffire 6 audio interface and was recommended to buy a DAV BG1 pre-amp to go with it. However, there was an article on SOS which made the following two points:

The output level is pretty high with intended peaks to +21dBu, so this is not the ideal preamp to match with semi-professional recorders. Operating at a lower output level, while obviously possible, is not recommended, as it will compromise the noise performance significantly. So, professional recorders and A-D converters only please!

Don't even think about partnering this preamp with a domestic DAT or Minidisc recorder, or any semi-professional -10dBV recorder — even a lot of so-called professional equipment will struggle to deal with transient peaks which reach above +20dBu.

Unfortunately, I'm very new to this whole recording malarky and am somewhat baffled, especially when technical talk and numbers comes into it (probably another apology due in there somewhere).

Cutting a long story brief (I know you're all short on time), I would be very grateful to know whether the Saffire 6 will work at all well with the BG1 or if the latter will be limited horribly by the former.

The tech specs (which I'm struggling to interpret) for both are here:

Focusrite Saffire 6
DAV BG1

If anyone also happens to know, is the combination any good for miccing (sp.?) up an electric guitar amp with a cheapo combination of an SM56 and SM57?

Thanks so much people - very much appreciated. <3

Max
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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby Dave B » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:48 pm

In your shoes, I wouldn't bother with the BG1 as it is an unnecessary complication. Get the Saffire first and the mic pres on that should last you until you need to change up to something better. Any benefit of using the BG1 will be compromised by putting it through those combi inputs as they will usually use the mic pre circuitry for gain which will colour things slightly.

The only time you might want more than just the Saffire is if you are using mics which require a lot of gain (expensive ribbons,etc).
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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby twotoedsloth » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:44 pm

You might consider getting a Focusrite interface from the Scarlett line, as it appears that firewire is fading away.

I have a DAV BG1 and I have to say, it is dramatically better than the pres in my Yamaha O1V96, Scarlett 2i2, Mackie Onyx/VLZ3 and MOTU Traveler. It's no better or worse than my Benchmark, Audient Mico and Sound Devices USBPre2. Just different. I guess the point I am trying to make is that you won't ever regret purchasing the DAV BG1. It will be useful long after any audio interface will have to be retired, and if you do need to sell it, it is likely to retain its value.
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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:56 pm

The DAV bg1 will be fine with the line inputs of your saffire, or any decent interface, and offers a useful improvement on the mic preamps of that interface... If you have the recording environment and sources to warrant it.

The issue is with semipro devices that expect nominal levels of -10dBV. It's still possible to make the DAV work in that situation, but you won't be getting the best from it which makes it a pointless investment in that situation.

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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby Ariosto » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:36 pm

I don't know if this is relevant (probably not) but I've just got two Royer R-101 ribbon mics and I'm using the BG1 into a Tascam HD-P2 recorder and I'm getting very fine results. Although the recording level is low at about 2 or 3 on the Tascam gain knob, I'm using the DAV on nearly all of its input gain at around 3 O'clock or higher with no pad in use.
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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby Wease » Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:08 pm

Hi Musicmadmax

you said you were very new to this recording malarky.....so I would really just stay with the focusrite for now

I dont know who recommended the dav to accompany the focusrite - salesman in the music store perhaps???

The Dav is a very 'pro' end pre-amp - designed to get the most out of great mic's and great rooms and accompany great converters etc etc
The focusrite is an able device that is simple...and a great device to learn recording on - when you get a great recording from the focusrite, you'll know you're doing the right things.

The DAV is excellent, don't get me wrong, but probably overkill for what you want right now - which is a simple, straight forward audio I/O device with serviceable mic pre's that will let you get on with actual recording, rather than gear set-up....which is why i recommend just the focusrite (you can always buy additional pre-amps later!)
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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby MusicMadMax » Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:54 pm

Thank you all for your replies, I do appreciate it.

Hugh mentioned the importance of the recording room. Sadly my recording space will be a bedroom with little opportunity for sound proofing, as I rent (perhaps there's another topic of discussion here). However, I was viewing the BG1 as an investment and felt that as my requirements progress, perhaps this would hold its own for a while.

Yes, the BG1 was recommended by a salesman, however he was kind enough to suggest he might lend one to me to try before buying. So hopefully I'd be able to make an informed choice (within the boundaries of my limited experience).

Maybe I'll spend any surplus money on a new guitar... :tongue:
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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:47 pm

The DAV preamps are very good, but here's where I'd place it's importance when recording electric guitar (which I glean is your area of interest):

Musicianship
Experience at recording/ mixing
Guitar quality
Guitar amp quality
Mic selection and placement
Room acoustics (maybe this should be up one)
Preamp selection

So only when you've sorted the top six, would it be worth investing in better preamps.

From what you've said (and assuming you have a good guitar and amp) I'd be thinking microphones and room acoustics long before preamps. You could consider portable acoustic treatment.

Bob
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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby Dave B » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:49 am

The only 'big' changes that I have made to my room are hooks for hanging things. If the worst comes to the worst, these can be taken out, holes filled and painted over. My room sounds pretty nice. Oh, and I have a couple of reflexion filters that take it to insanely dead sounding as well.
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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby Ariosto » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:09 am

If you close mic (say at about 1 foot or 1/3 metre) you will mostly lose the room sound, but then you may need to add some small amount of artificial reverb if the sound is too dry. (I sometimes add a little Pro-Tools plate reverb to just warm the sound up a bit, but not sure how well this would work on a guitar).

You would possibly benefit then with the DAV BG1 as you will get a clean signal into the recorder. (The DAV has excellent qualities).
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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby MusicMadMax » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:51 pm

I've got a DAV BG1 to test over the weekend with a Shure SM58, a Shure SM7B and my RME Fireface UC.

People say the BG1 is quiet but when I plug it in I get a load of noise - even when I turn the gain right down (near zero). I should mention that it happens more with the SM7B (dynamic mic) than the SM58. Have tried pushing the buttons and twiddling the knobs, but they all seem to do nothing (except occasionally make things worse).

Anyone able to offer me some advice on how to get the best out of it and the noise levels low?

Thanks,

Max
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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby Persuazion » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:06 pm

Something odd going on there. The buttons are just for low cut and polarity reversal so won't be doing anything dramatically audible. I'd say you should check connections and the gain on your interface. The BG1 should NOT be noisy. Particularly with a dynamic. Very strange.
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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby BigAl » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:28 pm

Bob,
And don't forget the old chestnut:-

And a decent player playing well. ;)
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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby Scramble » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:05 pm

BigAl wrote:Bob,
And don't forget the old chestnut:-

And a decent player playing well. ;)

Isn't that already no. 1 on Bob's list?
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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby Henry Olonga » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:36 pm

Persuazion wrote: The BG1 should NOT be noisy.

Yup. The BG1 may well be one of the best mic amps out there. Noisy it ain't! Or shouldn't be
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Re: DAV BG1 and Focusrite Saffire 6

Postby _ Six _ » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:58 am

This is a wind up.. innit :headbang:
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