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Thread: Grace Designed Felix Preamp/DI

  1. #1

    Default Grace Designed Felix Preamp/DI

    I saw this in my new Tape-Op magazine. This looks like it's about as well thought out as anyone could want. I bet it sounds like a million bucks. Or at least as good as its price.

    Anyone get their hands on one of these yet?

    http://www.gracedesign.com/products/felix/felix.htm
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  2. #2
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grace Designed Felix Preamp/DI

    I was just reading the SOS review yesterday myself. I am sure that as with all Grace stuff, it is top-notch in terms of design and performance. They never put out anything less than 'very nice indeed'. However, I get the feeling that pedals and preamps for live sound that incorporate a lot of EQ are rapidly becoming obsolescent in this new digital age. With the typical PA systems of yore, desk EQ could be quite limited, and there was often a need for something that offered, say, parametric as an outboard box for instruments. Things have changed massively in the past 3 years, especially. Now, running into a high quality digital console, you have multiple EQ options available right away: 3 band, 5 band, dynamic, graphic and various permutations of surgically precise parametric. Right there, on the channel. The performer can tweak it from the stage, or from the audience position, using an iPad (or iPhone, in some cases). They can even do a quick record and virtual sound-check while adjusting it to suit. The quality of these EQ's tends to be superb. Oh, and you probably even have RTA available while you do it, and can save everything as snapshots and presets.. so having a bunch of analog knobs up front is no longer the benefit it was 5-10 years ago. There is also the matter of whether you are using an active transducer system (in which case, 'absolute' fidelity is self-limited by the circuits in that) or a passive transducer, in which case, with a digital console as long as you put a suitably high impedance, high headroom active DI in front of the mic inputs, that is really all you need. Something like a Radial Stagebug 4. Even that has more than you really need now, as the HP filter and phase reverse is also going to be there already on a digital channel strip.

    I used to use quite a lot of 'front end' acoustic preamps/DI's, but now I just run stuff through something that is super clean with loads of headroom (Orchid DI boxes, in most cases, or the Radial SB-4 for bass and some guitars), and leave everything else to the DSP in the console.

    So, my take is that while it has nice features, and no doubt sounds excellent, things have moved on very quickly, and I see the need for such boxes disappearing equally quickly.
    Last edited by almeriastrings; Sep-26-2015 at 11:41pm.
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    Registered User mandowilli's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grace Designed Felix Preamp/DI

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    So, my take is that while it has nice features, and no doubt sounds excellent, things have moved on very quickly, and I see the need for such boxes disappearing equally quickly.
    I do sound occasionally at a large venue with a digital board and the difference between the pro's and everyone else is that the pro will show up with the sound that he/she wants, and has endlessly improved upon, on the end of the cable that they plug into my DI.

    There is nothing worse than spending 45 minutes of the sound check and the rest of the night trying to work out the guitar/mandolin/banjo players sound on the desk. And from the players perspective you never know if the sound person has any skills at all. You are giving complete control to an unknown.

    I agree that the future is in small digital desks that can do it all for the small to medium setup where you are running sound yourself, but when it comes to the big shows too much is at risk and there will always be the demand for such devices.
    willi

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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grace Designed Felix Preamp/DI

    I think people would have said there will "always" be a need for stables to park the horses and carriages, quite honestly....there are further big changes "in the works" already. Even the days of the physically large digital consoles are somewhat numbered. There are some really big things in development right now that will completely change how much of this is approached. The current digital pro audio stuff is absolutely nothing to what will be around in another 5 to 10 years.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Grace Designed Felix Preamp/DI

    Hi folks,
    i just got the felix and its a awesome product! There isn't a console either analog or digital that does a great job for a plugged in mando that I have found and I have both,digital boards are a pain for on the spot eq changes and requires pressing more buttons and then saving and storing to scenes,etc. I run my old Gibson with a KandK to the felix and then out to my bluesky and flanger and carbon copy delay into my acoustic amp and its so natural and sweet sounding. You do have to open the box up and reset some jumpers but real simple to do,playing americana type genre one needs to be plugged in and this is the best preamp I have found!

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