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mooseherman 04/20/2010

Altec Lansing 1567A : mooseherman's user review


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This is a tube pre-amp, one of the best products of its era. The only way this could be hooked up to a modern DAW would be through the patch bay, as those are the only connections. There aren't any effects on this pre-amp, just a simply great tube sound. It is a rackable pre-amp but it works best as part of a console or in a similar position.


The impedance levels for this pre-amp are pretty high, so make sure you know how to solve this problem before you blow something up! Other than that, it's not a difficult pre-amp to use, it has your basic functions. It has an input gain knob, an output knob, and a 3 band EQ. It isn't really the most complex piece of equipment around. You will never find a manual for one of these machines, considering that the machines themselves are almost impossible to find nowadays.


This being an old pre-amp, it is really not transparent at all. I happen to think that this is a positive, rather than negative, trait. The color that this pre adds to vocals is pretty much unparalleled. It grew out of an era where there really wasn't any such thing as a transparent pre-amp. This is part of the reason that rock and roll records used to sound much better. That's really where the best use of these pre-amps comes from. You certainly wouldn't use these on a classical recording, or for foley recording. While the pre is limited in it's applications, there really aren't many better pre's for getting that warm, vintage vocal sound (Think Beatles, Buddy Holly, Elvis). Considering that I love this sound passionately, I am thrilled that the studio I work at owns one of these.


These are probably only worth getting if you are fanatical about vintage tones, like I am. I think that in general, most people wouldn't want something so expensive that is so limited in its application. I'm usually the same way, however, with a good vocal mic, you can't really top the sound that you can get with the combo. It's so warm and dynamic, and even when the instrument clips it still sounds OK. I think that most old-school engineers would find much to love here. Just be careful again with the impedance.