When I first started Tape Op I wanted to only talk about inexpensive gear (PZMs!) and records that were done on small budgets. Now I find myself stretching out a bit - my 8-track studio is long behind me and I just spent $10,000 on a used 24-track. And gear has piled up around me - some of it not cheap. The Geoff Daking mic-pre/equalizer is one of those pieces of gear. It's simple, a knob on the left for input buffering and output level, four more concentric knobs handle the EQ (which goes very high and very low), the last knob controls high and low pass filters, and four buttons on the right control mute, bypass (for EQ), polarity and a 20 dB pad. No frills or gimmicks but for $1350 you do get something special - one of the absolute best mic pres I've ever heard. I've run a RE20 into this for vocals and easily heard it become more open and clear than any of my other pres (and these aren't the cheap ones). At first I thought having the EQ on board was silly but then I found myself more likely to add just a little bump or cut (this EQ acts fast) of something while running to tape, which kept me from being lazy. This is no "home-recording" mass- produced toy - it's not cheap - but I've been recommending it to folks who are serious about recording and want one of the best. (www.daking.com)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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