Does The Preamp Matter?

We've done a mic shootout, but what about the preamp? Does the preamp matter? A preamp is a device that brings up the level of the mic signal to a level that will that is appropriate for recording. For this test, I used the AEA TRP2 solid state preamp and the the on-board preamp of the Zoom F8n. Both signals were recorded into the Zoom F8n. The TRP2 was recorded at line level, to bypass the on-board preamp of the Zoom. The on-board preamp was recorded at mic level. The recordings are 2 separate takes, using the Schoeps CMC 64 mic (MK 4 cardioid capsule). Besides the fade out, there was absolutely no processing. Follow the link below to listen to the 2 tracks. Use good speakers or headphones. Write your guess down in the comments. I will post the results this weekend. Enjoy the mystery!

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