#1
Hey all! Been away for a bit. Picked up a Daking Mic Pre One preamp and put it through some rudimentary paces and thought I'd share, for interest's sake, my findings.

I put the Daking up against the preamps in my interface, which are already pretty decent, the MR816, and the Universal Audio Twin-Finity 710.

Here's what I found:
The Steinberg MR816, UA710 and Daking all held their own, with the UA and Daking being a noticeable step up from the MR816, especially on vocals. The differences between the UA and Daking are largely subjective, and the two will probably excel differently on different things. I'd really hate to wager a bet on anything in advance.

In general, I liked the Daking better on my vocal, while I liked the UA in solid state mode best for solo bass.

The vocal file has four samples, each about 15 seconds for roughly a 1 minute wav file. (13MB) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwMDmdm6wl4wNU52V0lsZlZSQVE/view?usp=sharing I just sang the first few lines of Matthew Sweet "Girlfriend" once or twice for a warm-up and let it rip. I didn't worry too much about 'nailing' it. I used a Rode K2.

The bass file has four samples, each about 25 seconds for roughly a 2 minute wav file (19MB). https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwMDmdm6wl4wZnZhRGhHZkp0UkU/view?usp=sharing The bass is one I picked up at a pawn shop over 20 years ago that a buddy of mine put new pickups into ten years ago. The strings are old, but... it's a bass... and it's actually pretty alright. The bass line is from one of my original compositions.

The order in both of them is as follows:
1. MR816
2. UA710 full tube mode
3.. UA710 full SS mode
4. Daking


Each file was leveled to be within 0.1 db of the others, with one of the bass tracks given a little more room to go louder on one spot where the performance was clearly louder.

No EQ, dynamics, etc. on any of the files.

The performances are all different performances, so it isn't a perfect test, but that said, they are all very, very similar - similar enough, I believe, that the comparisons are fair.

Let me know what you think!
CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#2
Awesome comparison!

Personally, it's between the UA710 Full Tube and the Daking on vocals for me. The Daking is the winner for bass, imo.

UA710 seems to have more air and presence to it that I liked in the vocals. The Daking has that as well, but a little more body to it, which I liked in the bass.

While the MR816 wasn't bad by any means, it just sounded a little muddy to me compared to the others.
#3
Thanks, chaosmoon. I was curious if anyone else was going to weigh in, but none as yet, obviously.

I agree about the UA710 in full tube and the Daking being kind of a toss-up on the vocals. I thought the same thing, and tried to pick a winner. Interesting that the guy I bought the Daking from weighed in via email and said the same as you.

We both liked the solid state sounds for the bass. Similar, but objectively neither better or worse... just.... slightly different.

The MR816 had always gotten good reviews, with the preamps getting center-stage mention. And for good reason, considering the unit has 8 of them for less than a grand. Once you start comparing that to preamps that have a suggested retail price (no, not actual street price, and certainly not used price) of upwards to $1000 per channel, and it should be a whole new playing field.

I did a comparison before between the MR816 and the Behringer ADA8000 which bore some interesting results. Yes, the MR816 was a noticeable step up from the Behringer, the pres in the Behringer are really pretty usable. They're just basically a little anemic compared to the MR.

With the UA and the Daking in play, I thought running them up against the Behringer, too, was just a little redundant, but running them against the MR would give a solid point of reference.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.