Originally posted by Jabber53:
I believe that I read in a couple Bose Message Board posts that some PAS users were using outboard tube preamps to "warm up" either their vocals or acoustic instruments...
I had noticed that on my previous sound setup which consisted of a Mackie mixer and 2 SRM450's that when I added an outboard tube preamp to my vocals it really added a nice microphone sensitivity which picked up alot of the intimate nuances that previously were missing.
I would do an A/B comparison but I have since sold my ART MP Studio tube preamp...
I'm quite positive that the PAS pre's will way outperform an ART. As a recording engineer AND a tube freak (refuse to use anything but tube amps for my guitars, anyhow!), trust me when I say that there are no magical properties about a tube that make a preamp "warmer." A lot of manufacturers will simply stick a tube in something as a marketing ploy - "Hey, it's a tube! It'll sound better!" - even if the design and build quality of the entire circuit is suspect. A very well designed and built solid state pre is always going to sound much better - and even much "warmer"
- than a cheap tube pre. Not that I've never found ART pre's useful for anything, they can be an interesting "flavor" - but very high fidelity they ain't.
Now if you want to talk about a $2000 tube pre vs. those in the PAS, then you might be onto something. But I doubt you want to take a $2000 pre on the road with you.
And really, as far as the mic sensitivity issue, the pre's on the PAS have VERY good sensitivity, and do an excellent job of picking up nuances. They're MUCH better than the Mackie pre's that way.
If you DO end up doing any experiments with other mic pres, another thing to keep in mind is that even if you keep the trim on the PAS all the way down, you'll still be going through its preamp, which means you're passing through two preamps. That usually does nothing but muddle up the sound, plus you aren't really hearing your external pre, it's still being "colored" by the PAS pre as well. The only way to by pass the PAS's pres is by using the inserts on channel 1 or 2 rather than the inputs. So don't forget to do that if you do use any other pres.
But I wouldn't bother too much about it. You'll do better to experiment with different mics using the PAS pre's, as well as different presets/EQ settings, and keep the chain as simple as possible.