(Grammy Award winning engineer/mixer - Michael Jackson, Quiet Riot, Steve Vai, Larry Carlton)
"Now that I have the BF-S, the Avalon is going back in its crate and it's going bye-bye."
(Grammy Award winning engineer/mixer D'angelo, Emily King, Anderson .Paak, Chris Dave and The Drumhedz)
"I look at engineering and recording as an art. Sometimes the sound coming off the microphone is perfect and I just want to run it through a high quality preamp with little coloring, and other times you just need to add some more color and vibe to a sound and need to do it quickly. The Useful Arts SFP-60 has become an indispensable tool. The ability to shape the sound by choosing how hard I am driving the input while having a separate control of my output level as well as the ability to effortlessly dial in tube color to taste makes the unit an easy choice for any application. The SFP-60 is a beautiful sounding set of preamps that I would recommend to anyone who wants gear that will sound amazing while having the ability to fuel musical ideas and creativity with its versatility."
Voted "One of the 20 most influential bass players in the history of jazz" and "Most Valuable Musician" at the 1977 Monterey Jazz Festival, Friesen is meticulous in his attention to tone.
Friesen's Hemage bass is now plugged straight into his new BF-1 DI/preamp for live performances and recording. The BF-1 design itself was created to compliment the dynamic content of Friesen's playing.
Friesen used the SFP-60 Mic Pre on tracks for his recent release "Triple Exposure," and we look forward to hearing him play through the brand-new BF1 on future releases.
"To say that the Useful Arts dual mic pre revolutionized my recordings is an understatement. I’ve gone through dozens of mic pres including just about every 500 series, tube and class A design on the market and came to the conclusion that no “holy grail” existed. Several years ago I paired down to a few of my favorite flavors and ended my search. To be honest, the thought of demo-ing any more mic pres made me queasy.
But when Peter called to tell me about a new mic pre he had developed, I was intrigued. Peter had built me some phenomenal pieces in the past so I knew his stuff was top notch. Upon receiving the unit I called a few friends and organized a day of recording with tempered expectations.
I threw up a couple of mics and was immediately blown away. The SFP-60 had a quality that I gave up searching for years ago. The recordings had a three dimensional quality that I’ve never been able to achieve, especially since switching to a DAW many years ago. I could hear the air in front, to the sides and behind the recorded sources. The difference was astounding, like going from black and white to technicolor. Everything sounded so much better, acoustic and electric guitars, vocals, piano, percussion. The other thing that struck me was that my not so perfect room just sounded fantastic. To sum it up the SFP-60 just sounds “correct” to me. It dawned on me that I had finally found the pre of my dreams.
The most interesting component of the SFP-60 is the color knob. On low settings the quality is more modern and transparent. Things get very interesting on the higher settings with a more “classic” sound reminiscent of the golden age of recording. Suffice to say the color knob lived on the higher settings for the recordings.
These days the SFP-60 is the heart of my setup. EVERYTHING goes through that machine and my recordings have never sounded better. It has really re-invigorated my passion for recording, i couldn’t recommend it enough."
Engineer, Full Well Studios
"The SFP-60 preamps were very well built with no compromise in the construction. On snare, I Eq'd the signal for 5 minutes before tracking the snare with 0 processing. Thats right. No compression either. The snare slammed to the top of our Pro Tools rig with 0 clips the entire 5 hour session. I then ran to a 14 inch floor tom with a Sennheiser MD421. With no processing, this preamp wrung and vacuumed every bit of signal from the 421. I am a huge fan of the 421 and I have never heard it better.
I've used Neve 9098 pres, Avalon 2022 and 737 pres, Focusrite ISA, Tangent, Amek, Vintech. You name it! I can NOT get past the SFP-60. Now on vocals? I can't ruin that for you. It's like telling you the punchline to the joke before its done.. The vocal sound is so personal it needs to be heard. I have heard the SFP-60 on vocals with a 57, a U87, and an NTK. The SFP-60 was abundantly musical and outstandingly sonic. All in all, this preamp would make a great versatile improvement to any studio."