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Old December 14th, 2003, 05:26 PM   #1
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Not a Beach Tek but a Peach Tek

http://campressor.com/

I just stumbled on this today. I haven't had time to do any digging yet.
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Old December 14th, 2003, 06:53 PM   #2
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Pretty cool looking. I've always wondered why nobody made something like that. I wonder how well it works?
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Old December 14th, 2003, 07:11 PM   #3
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It does look cool, but I'm suspicious of anything that has that many knobs in such a small space. Wonder how good the quality is on them?...
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Old December 14th, 2003, 07:29 PM   #4
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I posted the same link on DV.com. Jay Rose saw it and said he was going to ask for a unit to review.
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Old December 16th, 2003, 01:57 PM   #5
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Not willing to do a free ad, but doing it, this is a preamp I designed:

http://www.preciseaudio.com/brochure.html

It was introduced at NAB 2000, and the idea was to fill up a niche which not too many were taking care of which is a simple audio tool for not technical people to use on portable stuff. Affordable, of course.

In my opinion the Peachtek is also a bit crowded, and there are two things I do like: the battery arrangement and using a compressor for dialogue. If the compressor can be set up as just a limiter then it's fine. There are also too many buttons for the amateur.


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Old December 16th, 2003, 01:59 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Carlos E. Martinez : there are two things I do like: the battery arrangement and using a compressor for dialogue. If the compressor can be set up as just a limiter then it's fine. There are also too many buttons for the amateur.
-->>>

Sorry, pressed the wrong button again. It should say "there two things I do not like"... As you guessed probably.


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Old December 16th, 2003, 02:15 PM   #7
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My guess is that it wouldn't take much to accidentally brush your hand against the knobs and screw up all those delicately tweaked settings. Even though the detents on the Beachtek may not be the most subtle, it helps keep this from happening. Best mechanism I can think of to help this is the buttons that normally sit flush, then when depressed pop up to allow for adjustment.
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Old December 16th, 2003, 02:17 PM   #8
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There are a couple units around that are very similar
in concept.
I ended up getting the well-regarded Sound Devices
PS-2, which is nearly identical to their more-popular
MixPre. These I belt mount as there is no provision
for cam mounting, though perhaps it could be mounted to the bottom with some industrial-strength velcro. The only other similar unit I considered was the PSC Mjr, which is also well regarded. I went with the Sound Devices because it offered an *adjustible*
limiter and also because I had gone and made a
mock up of the PSC size and it was too big for
the bottom of my cam except for with tripod mounting.
The one other device I looked at is that Glensound
Glenbox, I think it's called. This is the one that is made for the VX2000 BBC audio "fix". As I recall, that unit was a pre-amp but didn't offer phantom. They said they left that out to reduce weight and expense.

http://www.professionalsound.com/catalog/mjr.html
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Old December 16th, 2003, 07:49 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Charles Papert : My guess is that it wouldn't take much to accidentally brush your hand against the knobs and screw up all those delicately tweaked settings. Even though the detents on the Beachtek may not be the most subtle, it helps keep this from happening. Best mechanism I can think of to help this is the buttons that normally sit flush, then when depressed pop up to allow for adjustment. -->>>

Both things you suggest (detented pots and pop-up pots) are hardly used, except on specific functions. Like pan-pots or filters.

No commercial mixer or preamp uses any of them. The Beachtek has detented pots because you will be using it under your camera, and you will probably brush by it. Other Beachtek clones use continuous pots, so it did not become a fashion.

The Beachtek can afford doing what it does because it's not a preamp really, but an attenuator. It also counts that you will be editing the video audio tracks and fine balancing the levels during mixing.

But if you plan to record audio on a portable DAT or MD you need separate continuous pots.

That's why you hardly see detented pots in most mixers and preamps.

The pop-up mechanism is not a commercial option from Alps, Noble or Panasonic, that provides most quality pots around. At least not one that I had seen.

But you have to see these tools with a sound recordist mind, and no sound recordist will like to have the tool he uses more than any other (a level pot) flushed or detented. So that is really the key for it all.


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Old December 17th, 2003, 08:19 PM   #10
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Boyd raised the question of quality. Well, we just don't know, do we. Although as an old electronics hand, I read the specs and they are saying all the right things about the construction and components of the device. (although they don't say what brand the "nice" pots are)

It sure is a busy little rig. I gotta wonder why they don't just call it a Campressor (a nice unique sounding name) intead of something that can cause confusion and irritate the good folks at Beach Tek...to say nothing of having the connotation of being a cheap imitation of something and not the original of a new item that it apparently is.

Can you say trademark infringement, boys and girls? :-)
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 02:23 PM   #11
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Actually, they say in their FAQ that they will be changing the name to the "Campressor" shortly, in newer production runs of the device.

Can't seem to find it on their site anymore, but there was also a comparison of this unit with a popular BeachTek model, referred to as "that other" black box; good thing they decided to change the name, or I tend to think it really WOULD be a bit unethical.

I'm anxious to hear opinions from experts who end up trying one of these out--doesn't seem like a terribly comfortable device. "Only four fresh nine volt batteries at a time? How convenient!"
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 02:51 PM   #12
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"Only four fresh nine volt batteries at a time? How convenient!"

That's just what I was thinking! Lots of fun, eh?

I don't know why they even bothered to compare to the Beach Tek, it's not even the same type of device...this is a mic preamp with compressors--a fairly ambitious affair--while the Beach Tek is merely a simple adapter with attenuators.
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 06:24 PM   #13
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If the prices are going to be at all similar, seems like a great comparison. Both are designed to improve the signal path to a minidv camera or other device with a 3.5mm input. This one just does alot more than convert impedence.
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 06:36 PM   #14
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This one just does alot more than convert impedence.


That's exactly what I mean. Yes, they both have XLR inputs and 3.5mm outputs, but the "Peach" adds several functions. That's one reason why the name "Campressor" is much better.

Oh yes, and the prices aren't really close, the Peach is more than twice the price of the Beach, as can be expected.
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 07:30 PM   #15
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"Oh yes, and the prices aren't really close, the Peach is more than twice the price of the Beach, as can be expected."

Then, sadly they may be pricing themselves out of the miniDV camcorder market. MiniDisks and PDAs are probably still a viable target. But with the new crop of $2k cameras coming with balanced inputs and better preamps, owners of miniDV cameras who are interested enough about audio quality to invest in a campressor will probably getting fewer and fewer.
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