Shure designed this Mixer 20 years ago …………( I could stop there but , That wouldn’t be any fun would it ?)
Is 20 Year old Tech , BAD Tech …… No ..
I recently acquired a Pristine , Shure FP33 Mixer, and in just the first few days , I made it a point to test almost every mic I have with it , and Different Levels of Power and Power sources .
This is how you know what works and what doesn’t .
Pros : I like the Mixer ……… ( what ? You want a full dissertation? ) Oh , ok .. fine here……
Variable power sources ( Voltages between 12 – 30 on the box , I would stay under 24 to be safe) Get above 12 to be happy , It Likes about 15 Volts best .
3 Inputs with actual PAN controls instead of LCR switches . ( OHHH Let me count the ways I will use this )
Halfway decent HP driver ( A Little Noise but not what ends up on the recording .)
The Heaphone noise is Misleading as the recorded files were actually pretty clean coming from the main output .
Adjustable Output Limiters ( and they work) I pushed them a bit to see .
12 V and 48 V Phantom switchable . ( as well as T voltage if you set up the DIP switches) which means Lower Voltage mics that will use 12v phantom will save you Precious Battery Juice !
Built like a Tank….. I mean like if this was in my Backpack and I was assaulted , 1 good swipe across the attackers noggin with my Backpack would end it.
Balanced Outputs Switchable between Line and Mic . And they are clean
Okay the Bad stuff now
CONS: The Sonic quality Varies with the Voltage supplied .
Yes , It does . At 12 volts from either my folding Solar panel with regulator , or Wall Wart there is some Noise in the signal path , Not Much , but the Sound quality is a little Closed feeling But still Very Very useable .
When I stepped up the Voltage to 15 Volts the Preamps Changed considerably , I mean a Seriously Childish Grin spread across my face with a Stereo mic attached and I could hear how much the sound-field widened out and the clarity increased . Which tells me that the Circuitry is probably running on at least a 15volt Dual Rail Voltage supply being run thru a conversion from the Voltage input stage. Go Above the Rail supply voltage conversion isn’t needed the machine breathes better .
Non Locking Power Connector ( Hirose connector may be in its future I will see if I can Mod it )
It has Somewhat Sharp Edges , don’t just throw it in your Backpack , You wont like the rips you get .
Is it a “Sound Devices” (Brand) level of Sound ? No , it is not . Is it a Bad Sound , NO definitely not . I love it .
But in Searching for a 15 volt Wall wart I have found a great many Obstacles for that quest ( Like , They don’t exist kind of obstacle ) or at least are not easily obtained , and with the right Plug to match the Pins on the FP33 .
For Field work, you use Batteries , a 15 volt supply is easily made with the right number of Batteries (10 x AA = 15 ) . The Wall Wart , though , I may have to build it ( Not a problem I can do that with a Nicely Filtered Better than factory ever thought about type of supply)
All in all , after I round off the edges a little . I have to say this is not a Bad Purchase at all , It will serve me well . ( It sounds way better than the RME Quadmic preamp I had , ( I sold it …. just nowhere near enough gain )
Oh and the Slate Mic …… Actually sounds much better than the on on my SD preamp