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Here’s what Audio Professionals have to say about our products.

ADD your conmmnents e-mail: dwfearn@dwfearn.com

Just received my VT-3, purchased through Vintage King. I've had two excellent guitar players in and they are stunned by the tone of their guitars into the converters through a VT-2 and VT-3. A touch of compression and Lexicon 960L reverb creates a tone I've been missing for years in a multitude of high end guitar amps. Can't thank you enough for the obvious quality and fantastic tone of your products. Your gear has exceeded my expectations in every way. Big smiles all around. Thanks,

Paul Carter

Over these last four days my use of the VT-2 and VT-7 (in series) encouraged the composition of this message.
Both units are quite honestly, astonishing. Never have I experienced anything like their innate ability to add palpable beauty and detail to anything, even on less than desirable sources in need of serious attention.
Their versatility is off the charts good; Flute, Baritone and Tenor Sax, Lead Vocals, Backup Vocals, Close mic'd B3, Cello, Violin, Melodica, Acoustic Guitar, Bandola, on and on and on...the tones blew everyone away.
Yes I am glowing, but I am also very slow to pay compliments to all but the very best and the VT-2 and VT-7 are some of the most intelligent and amazing pieces I have ever come across. Dan Malsch from Soundmine Studios introduced me, and now both he and D.W. Fearn have a wonderfully enthusiastic new client :-)
Thanks for your designs and dedication to sonic excellence. In my opinion, your products are SEVERELY underrated, but will CERTAINLY become part of every record I produce or mix from now on. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Lowell C. Thompson
producer/songwriter/mix engineer
lowellcthompson@gmail.com 

I adore my VT-7. Every audio that runs through it sounds better! This is a great unit.
Philip Opdebeeck, Senior Mastering Engineer
Little Major Audio Mastering Antwerp, Belgium

My VT-2 is still the best sounding preamp I’ve ever heard.
I just bought a flea 47 slovakia U47 clone that sounds perfect through the Fearn! Thanks again for being the King of Preamps!
Nick Kranz

I remember the first time I plugged my bass guitar into the Passive Direct Box then into my VT-2. I had no idea of what I was going to hear. I played a few notes and stopped. I had to look up at my monitors because I was not believing what I was hearing. My bass sound went from a normal sound to the giant, clear, deep, 3 dimensional sound like it now was a 12 inch bass speaker. I could not believe my ears. Wondering how could a mic pre do that to my sound. I was taken back. I was hooked in 5 minutes. My next purchase was for the VT-7 compressor. Wow , what that red piece of equipment did was so natural. Compressing sounded like it wasn't but when you really listened to it you knew it was doing a might fine job. Every thing sounded open huge 3-dimensional. Transparent was the sound...the D.W. Fearn sound. Next I got 2 VT-4's to compliment the rest of my Big Red Rack. Now this was quite the experience. Any guitar player knows that when he strings are dead the sound falls away dramatically. I was going to change my strings when I got the VT-4's but decided to leave them on. Wow was I surprised to hear what I was getting in sound. Dialing in anything I wanted as far as sound. It took me a week to finally find my sweet spot I like. I had so many before I really like but decided on one. Then I was going to change my strings and see what kind of a change I would get. I was flabbergasted when there was no change in sound with the new strings. With old dull strings, plug into the VT-4, voila... new-sounding strings. The sound I am getting from the D.W. FEARN line of products has changed the way I listen to music. I can not even try to tell you what the VT-4 can do for you. It opens up a new world of possibilities of clear transparent huge 3-dimensional sound. Any of my musician friends that come over, I blow them away with my sound...D.W.  Fearn sound.  I have RED IN MY RACK:
2 PDB Passive Direct Boxs
1 LP-1 Line Pad
1 VT-2 Mic Preamp
1 VT-7 Stereo Compressor
2 VT-4 Equalizers

BIG D STUDIO


I've been tracking with the VT-2s for some time and enjoy using them on everything from vocals and bass to drum and guitar recording for that polished expensive sound you get from D.W. Fearn gear. I was then recommended the VT-7 when I was looking for buss compressors last year. I Chose the VT-7 as it seems as at home on tracking individual instruments as it does over a whole mix. It's not like any compressor I've ever used before, and does bring something very unique to the table. It really is like having very fast hands on a fader. Totally transparent compression ideal for glueing your mix together without colouring the sound or transients, and keeps tracking in check while bringing a warmth and pleasing top end to the sound. All in all I really like it and its a great and versatile addition to the gear I love to use.
I'm currently working on some new and old Simply Red material and have also been mixing for Snow Patrol and Aussie band Day of the Dead among others.
Andy Scade, London
 

First I have to say that you guys build the best Pre-amps all over the Planet!!! I bought 6 Pieces of the VT-2 and they sound just amazing. I use them for mostly drum recording. The warm and glassy sound with 12 channels together is just great!!!! Keep up the great work!! A happy customer from Austria/ Europe with best wishes. (I think about getting 2 more of them.....)
Didi Konzett
(see a photo of his rack with the 4 VT-2s)

 

The VT1 arrived today. Wow! Wow! WOW!!!!!  I can't thank you enough for building such a quality product. If you'll forgive the very short soundfile attached it'll give you an idea of what we were sending to our clients, followed by what we can do now. Both parts are flat, completely unprocessed, no compression or de-essing, same mic etc. I think the sound speaks for itself.
You've made my work a thousand times more fun and a million times more professional overnight. I've been searching for the magic all my working life, you've delivered it in spades. As we say in London, I am well and truly bloody well gobsmacked! Well done Doug and your team! From your newest and biggest UK fan
Colin Day  http://www.voiceover-uk.co.uk/
 

Just to let you know what the VT-1 has done for me...it makes my mixes come together so much more easily... everything gels much better and is still clear... it makes me sound like I know what I'm doing :-) Thanks for your vision and creating a great great product. I know how challenging it can be to insist that quality is the most important thing. Some people don't get it, but the ones that do benefit greatly. Thanks!
Kenli Mattus  KenliMusic.com


Owning my VT-1 is certainly not by happenstance. I’m fortunate enough to be able to use whatever I want and even though I’ve tried just about every top pre out there, since acquiring my VT-1 about ten years ago, there is no other pre I’d want to use because still nothing comes close! The sound is really amazing. As I’ve said to anyone I refer the VT-1 to, it’s like taking an Ansel Adams picture of the sound; it’s larger than life and amazingly clear and open. The bottom is as majestic as the Grand Canyon and as solid as granite. The top is as bright and shiny as a glistening lake, yet in no way unnatural or harsh. The front of this unit may seem simple but don’t be fooled, it’s loaded with magic. It seemingly has a pseudo form of super subtle compression, and the ability to make anything that passes through it sound so amazing! It really does make any mic you plug into it sound many times more valuable. I seriously, literally can’t imagine not having this pre as part of my career every single day. Once you experience a D.W. Fearn mic pre you’ll know that there’s at least as much to say about a pre as there is about the mic! You just have to try it … it’s the reason why they’re spotted in so many top studio’s around the world, and without a doubt, its part of my signature sound. Literally, I’m often asked what I do to accomplish my sound and I credit so much of it to my Fearn, it makes adding anything else to the signal chain so unnecessary. Thank you Doug!
 Donald James http://www.voice-overs.net

 

The DW Fearn line of recording equipment is "hands down" the best I have ever used. I have been accustomed to the API and Neve pres I normally use but when I ‘plugged in’ a VT-2 mic pre for the first time, I simply could not believe what I was hearing. The electric guitar (U87 to VT-2 to Pro Tools) was warm, open, HUGE and exactly what I thought I would have to compress and experiment with mics to attain. I was ready to record, literally within 1 minute of plugging the mic in! I recommend DW Fearn gear to everyone. You will believe!!
 Brian Bricklin, Producer, Engineer  http://www.brianbricklin.com
Production and engineering credits include major label releases on: A&M, Columbia, RCA, PolyGram, Hybrid/Sire, Bingo Records, and Ruffhouse. Feature films: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, MTV/Paramount - Election. Television credits include: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and ESPN.
 

To explain it in the simplest language I can think of, Doug Fearn's mic pres make my ears smile.... a great big silly, euphoric, lunatic grin. Glorious.
Ian Schreier - Producer/Engineer/Mixer - www.iansproductions.com - www.osceolastudios.com
 

Back in the 70s I worked with Doug in his studio when we were recording engineers in Philadelphia. When I started producing this new artist, Steve Wilson out of Raleigh NC (SteveWilsonBand.com), I called Doug and bought the VT-2 for all of the vocals and the acoustic guitars.
“When I brought the Fearn gear into Osceola Recording Studios in Raleigh, Ian Schreier the studio engineer and I were extremely pleased at the open, transparency of the voices and guitars. We had many other choices but settled on the D.W. Fearn equipment.
After I decided to complete the debut CD for Steve at Abbey Road, I called Doug and asked him if he wanted to bring some red boxes to London and join us for the experience. Remember, we had full access to all of the vintage gear at Abbey Road, including the Fairchild 660s and the home-made EMI limiters made over 40 years ago just for EMI Studios’ use. Ian, Doug and I compared all the fantastic old gear and I decided to use the red boxes… just amazing gear for the best sound. We used the VT-2 mic preamps and the VT-7 compressors on all vocals, acoustic guitars and the grand piano.
Michael Thomas, MT Productions, Raleigh, NC


“Thank you for a beautiful-sounding product. I run a recording studio in Chicago, and we do a lot of Latin music. We used it yesterday on violins, trumpets, trombones, tuba, guitar on, guitars, voices -- everything sounds great. We are calling it the magic box. It is like the sound fits itself in the spectrum without competing with other sources -due to eq & compression- the low end is tight, the mids are clear and the highs are open. We also have avalons, buzz, api, but VT-2 is the go-to pre for sure. Thank you for helping us get to the next level”
Sam Boumoujahed STUDIO 2020 CHICAGO
 

I have owned your VT-2 for years now and I just wanted to let you know that I will be buried with that piece of gear someday (on second thought, I'll give it to my daughters to use!). Heard so much about Neve 1073s over the years that I decided to try one out. Well, nothing beats a Fearn! It was no contest. Thanks for such a great product.
Paul Presto, Skylight Recording Studios


It's Pure, Big, and Large ... the VT-2 is a true blessing in any recording situation!
Let me tell you how much I love my VT-2 (#25, by the way), and how much I thank (whatever his name) god, passionate and talented people like you exist. This preamp you designed is a true blessing for music, it is art made with heart, really.
The day I fell in love with the VT-2 I had a guitar session at BMG's studio where they rented a VT-2 and a pair of U47 for micing in stereo, the moment I put the headphones on I did a triple flip!! I couldn't believe what I was hearing!!!
My job and the pleasure I have doing it wouldn't be the same without your preamp. I know whatever mic I use, it will give me a "rock-solid," "colourfully-transparent" picture of the instrument I want to record.
If it doesn't sound right, I know it's only me and the way I positioned the mics, and nothing else in the chain.
I think it's really important I tell you all those nice things because in these days of "everything digital" and everything "built to never last," it's darn important to support craftmen like you; you're a rare species and I sincerely hope you're not near extinction!
Tom Van Den Heuvel, VDH RECORDINGS , France
 

Loving the Fearn VT-2. When I buy any piece of gear now I think, “is it great for the ‘money’ or is it great?” I AB'd two mics the other day first through my Summit Audio and then through the Fearn. The Summit gave me almost identical sound from both mics, but when I ran them through the Fearn I could hear a large difference between the two. The Fearn has spoiled me big time.!! Maybe someday I can afford your EQ.
Jerry Paquette, Raincoast Studio, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
 

The D.W. Fearn VT-1 has given my production elements credibility through quality. I wouldn't dream of putting local voice talent in front of anything else. Superior engineering, crafted to enhance the integrity of whatever sound you put through it.
Chuck P., KIIS FM Creative Services Manager


I can't tell you how important D.W. Fearn products are to the music that I make. The VT-2 is simply the most elegant mic pre that you can use. The sound is incredibly clear and warm. Instruments seem to come alive when I record them with the VT-2. On Gato Barbieri's new CD ‘The Shadow of the Cat’  Gato's tenor was exclusively recorded using the VT-2 and the results are just stunning. In the modern age of digital recording and DAWs the VT-2 gives you a sound that has the warmth of tape no matter what HD system you are tracking to. I have used the VT-2 to record such artists as Sting, Chaka Khan, Vanessa Williams, Gato Barbieri, Steve Gadd, Vinnie Coliuata, Michael Brecker and many others. It is the Rolls Royce of mic pre's.
Jason Miles, New York
(Jason's production of Sting's "She Walks the Earth" won a Grammy for Best Male Vocal)
 

After extensively researching and listening to almost every preamp on the market, I finally made the decision to purchase a VT-2. There are no adequate words to describe the realism and musicality of this magnificent preamp. Every frequency seems to take on it's own unique personality with the VT-2. I can finally hear the actual overtones of acoustic instruments translated beautifully onto a digital recording medium. Synths get a little less brittle with the VT-2 (processing through an LP-1) and gives them some personality as well - especially when overdriving the tubes hard. I am so in love with the VT-2 that I bought an additional 2 channels for myself, and one more for my partner! Needless to say, Doug's amazing creation will be cherished by all of us for many years to come.
Sruly Nachfolger, Pres., Soundscape Studios


I run a small 24 track studio on Vancouver Island, BC Canada . We have a wonderful musical community here. Although most of the recording budgets are small. I wanted to provide them great sound. The VT-2 has elevated my level of sound quality to world class. Everything I run through the Fearn sounds great! Bass guitars sound big and fat, acoustic guitars and dulcimers sparkle and vocals are completely natural and open. The more I use it the more I love it. I just want to thank you for this amazing Mic-pre!!
Jerry Paquette, Raincost Studio, Nanaimo, BC Canada


I purchased one of your VT-2 preamps in November 1997 from Alan Stewart at ASAP. I then got your VT-I/F D.I. Interface. I haven't had a chance to thank you for these wonderful pieces of equipment.
I have passed nearly every instrument through them and they never fail to blow me away. I did a bass track using your D.I. today and I'm staggered at how good it sounds. I didn't even bother with e.q.
My twin brother walked through the door on the first day that I started using the VT-2 (he already owns API and Telefunken preamps) and he bought one the following day!
Paul Stacey, London


D.W. Fearn mic pres have an amazingly clear, yet warm, character to them. I used them extensively on the Paul Simon album, "Songs From The Capeman." At least 90% of the vocals were cut through VT-2 or VT-1 mic preamps. The vocals came out so clear and present that in most cases little or no EQ was needed. I also used them on most of the electric and bass guitars. A D.W. Fearn VT-I/F Instrument Interface stereo DI was also used for anything having an instrument-level output. It is, without question, the best sounding and best built DI I've ever used. I think in the end, the new Paul Simon album has a clarity without being sterile that speaks for itself.
Andy Smith, recording engineer for Paul Simon


I love the VT-1, it is simply outstanding, and I can't thank you enough for the killer-great customer service. Please add my name to the list of enthusiastic Fearn owners.
Jim Cutler, Jim Cutler Voice Overs, Inc., New York


I've just started using one of those D.W. Fearn valve mic preamps -- it's the only valve mic amp I've used that sounds really good on drums. It's really punchy on bass drum and snare. I'm also using it extensively on keyboards and acoustic guitars, as well as electric guitar. It manages to sound fat while still retaining a nice, very open top end. Highly recommended!
Alan Douglas, Engineer for Eric Clapton, The Jam, Queen, Grace Jones, and many others in a Mix Magazine interview (August 1998)


As the voice for many television and radio stations all over the world, it was important for me to find a mic preamp that would give me all the warmth and still deliver a powerful sound for my clients. The first time I plugged into the D.W. Fearn VT-1, I knew I had found what I had been looking for! Immediately I started to receive positive feedback from many different producers. Comments like, 'I don't know what you've done to your microphone ... but keep doing it!' Or, 'I can't put my finger on what's different about your mic sound, but I love it!' It's the one piece of equipment in my rack that I could not live without. You can take my microphone, but don't take my Fearn preamp!
Paul Turner, Paul Turner Productions


As one who records classical music soloists and ensembles, the whole point of making recordings for me is to make beautiful recordings. When classical music, produced by real acoustic instruments comes to my ears through transistor-based preamplifiers, my musicianship tells me that something has been 'strained out' of the sound. Sure, there are a couple of great transistor preamps out there; I've made fine recordings with them; and one day I may again purchase one.
But my VT-2 allows those musical aspects of acoustic instruments and classical music that solid-state preamps 'strain out' to shine through on the recordings I make, delivering significantly more 'real,' and unquestionably more aesthetically satisfying picture of the instrument and performance to the ears of the listener. Whether I've used it on choirs, organ, piano, strings, woodwinds, or voice, my VT-2 never fails to deliver a beautiful recording. And for me, that's what it's all about.
Thanks, Doug, for a sonically outstanding product a musician can love!
Douglas Thompson, M.M., Producer, Engineer, Conductor, and Musician, Minneapolis, MN


We were doing percussion overdubs and had (2) AKG C-451s over the setup (congas, shaker, etc.). We switched from the Focusrite Red 1 to the VT-2 and then came the single most exhilerating moment in our careers. None of us (including the artist and the percussionist) have ever heard anything that sounded even close to the VT-2. It totally and completely blew away the Red 1. I could not believe the detail, depth, presence, warmth, and ‘bigness.’ It was as if the player was standing on the meter bridge. I expected to be impressed by the unit but I did not expect THAT!! In the 2 minutes it took to install it, our studio went from a solid project studio to the foundations of world-class. By the end of the session, the client had re-cut all the percussion with the VT-2 and booked additional time for re-cutting lead vocals and bass on 5 finished tracks. We're already making room for our second VT-2 as soon as the budget allows.
Alan Mazzetti, Artifax Studio, Chadds Ford, PA


We used the VT-2 on the latest bluegrass album. It really sounds amazing on acoustic instruments!
Ricky Scaggs, Nashville


I've had the opportunity of using and testing most of the recording equipment of the last 30 years, and this is the first time we recorded a vocal track in this room with no EQ and no compression. I'm amazed, and so is everyone else who has used the VT-2 and do not want to use anything else for their vocals. Thank you very much for helping us get better sounds.
Dominique Blanc-Francard, Paris


...this is a world-class preamp, bringing all the depth and detail to a microphone signal that one could hope for. A straight comparison with my console preamps was almost embarrassing, revealing aspects of the sound the desk circuits missed completely.
Dave Foister, Studio Sound magazine (December 1996)


This mike preamp has the warmest sound I've ever used on the air...
Rick Dees, KIIS-FM, Los Angeles


The VT-2 mic preamp sounds deliciously open and neutral with just a wisp of added warmth, resulting in a near perfect example of how a mic preamp should sound.
However, the real reason you gotta buy one is to discover how well a professional audio product can be packaged and packed, and to read a 40 page mic preamp owner's manual that is well both written and extremely informative. More than anything, your first impression upon opening the box will confirm that Mr. Fearn takes great pride in building his products, which immediately translates to even greater pride for the new owner.
Barry Lubotta, owner, Pizazzudio Recording Studio, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


I really love this thing!!! I've run drum overheads thru it -- great bottom and I don't have to worry about going over 0dB and hearing the headroom end. Great on acoustic guitar, electric guitar and bass. Lovely on vocals. I find I'm using my compressor less when I track. I'm passing the word around. The price is steep, but the unit is well built and sounds great.
Mike Clapis, Clapis Associates, Inc., Hartford, Connecticut


After trying many high-end mic pres, looking for 'the sound' I was hearing acoustically, I finally tried a Fearn VT-2. WOW! It buried the competition. As soon as I can sell off these other pre-amps, I'll load up on more channels of Fearn. Thanks for hearing what I'm hearing.
Todd Green, multi-instrumentalist, Bozeman, MT


Accuracy, warmth, a low-end definition that has to be heard to be believed, and headroom for days. This is how I would begin to describe the VT-1. It has the special quality of improving whatever it hears. The results are stunning on R&B, classic soul, pop, or alternative. Instruments as diverse as violin and saxophone sound great with the VT-1. I have yet to find something that is not enhanced by going through it. Well worth the price of admission.
Rick Kraushaar, Amber Sky Music Productions, Sherman Oaks, CA


... the VT-2 blessed any vocal sent through it and minimized the need for EQ and compression down the road. I was also impressed with the ease with which it handled difficult-to-record acoustic instruments such as solo oboe and Celtic harp.
Arthur Bloom, Mix Magazine (April 1998 issue)


I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how I have made out with the VT-2. In a word, 'fabulous!' I have just about finished a jazz/funk group's tracking sessions and I used the VT-2 extensively throughout. It performed flawlessly recording drum overheads, Rhodes suitcase piano, all kinds of auxillary percussion, saxophone and vocals. In all cases the sound was highly neutral and relaxed. I compared the mic feed from the VT-2 against a Manley 40db mic pre, an AMEK 9098EQ and DMA mic pre and a Night Technologies PreQ3. While subjectively accurate, none of the others had that 'relaxed' just-right kind of 'feel.' In setting up for the sax overdubs, I spent some time comparing the different mics with the different mic pre's to see which combination yielded the most pleasing and accurate representation of the instrument. We tried the above mentioned mic pre's with a Manley Gold Ref, an AKG C12VR, and a Neumann M-149. The most pleasing, by unanimous vote, was the VT-2 and the Manley Gold Ref. Thanks again for having the vision and tenacity to undertake the design and construction of such a wonderful tool for sculpting audio.
Jim Fitch, TownHouse Studio, Chicago


We now have 4 VT-2's in our studio in Sydney. This enables us to mic up a complete drum kit using only pure hard-wired VT-2 valve pre-amp power. The results are AWESOME realism, with nothing lost at either frequency extreme. The midrange is just REAL. With our ATC SCM-100 monitors we really can hear what Doug Fearn has achieved with this classic pre-amp. Our Crookwood Paintpots now make excellent doorstops.
Mark Taylor, Phil Taylor Studios, Sydney, Australia


...I couldn't imagine how anything could possibly sound better than the Manley mic preamps... How would the VT-2 stack up? In a word, the VT-2 is a killer. The best sounding, smoothest mic preamp I have ever auditioned. If you can afford one, buy it.
Dr. Frederick J. Bashour in Pro Audio Review (July/August 1996)


Since purchasing my VT-1, I find that I have been using it on darn near everything. Aside from the superb sound quality of the unit, I was extremely pleased with the quality of the construction and the high degree of service -- definitely first rate. The only problem is that I have to start saving for a second unit.
Craig Markley, Lone Raven Music


As a professional voiceover artist I had been looking for the right preamp that would give my voice that "phat, warm and wide" bottom that would not throw away the crispy highs. None of the solid state boxes seemed to make the grade. After seeing the VT-1 advertised in MIX magazine, I almost wanted to buy it just for the looks! When it finally arrived I plugged it in and lit up the tubes and then went to heaven. Someday every voiceover artist and sound designer will buy one. Yes, the price of the D. W. Fearn VT-1 is a little steep, but perfect diamonds don't come cheap...
David Croft, voiceover artist and sound designer - Xeximian Productions, Tampa, FL


One rarely encounters a modern electronic product that embodies vacuum tube amplification as well as the D.W. Fearn VT-1.
Eddie Ciletti, EQ Magazine (June 1995)


Acoustic guitar sounded bigger through the VT-1; not that it had more bass. It was as though you were hearing less of the strings and more of the wood.
John Diamantis, Radio World Magazine (February 23, 1994)


Just wanted to let you know that recently in my studio I used your VT-1 with a Neumann TLM 103 to mic a 3/4 harp, midway, about 6 inches off the sound board. The sound was incredible! The harpist remarked on the clarity and faithfullness of the sound, and pleasing a musician in this class in no easy job! The 103 is a great mic, and the VT-1 is a great mic pre. Together, well, you can't lose! Thanks for the care you put into your product.
When I first got a Neve 1272, the sound was awesome compared to the TL Audio, Symetrics, dbx & Aphex mic pres I was used to. It seemed as though everything opened up when using the Neve. The VT-1 is fuller and slightly more robust than the 1272. There is not the wide gap in sound quality between these two units as when I jumped from the others to the Neve. The difference is more subtle and flavorful. I prefer the VT-1 over the 1272 for vocals. I'm very impressed with the style and construction of the VT-1. I like having a piece that is hand-made and so well thought out. I believe I now own one of the finest (if not the THE finest) mic pres in the world.”
Eliott James,Wateree Studio, Atlanta


The Fearn sound was much easier to listen to for extended periods of time; that is to say, whenever I switched back after listening to the Manley, I experienced a sense of relaxation and relief. And, when I switched to the Manley from the Fearn, I felt a sense of constriction, or claustrophobia.
Dr. Frederick J. Bashour in Pro Audio Review (July/August 1996)


One of the particularly unique things about the VT-1 is how open and airy the high end sounds versus other mic preamps. It is also the fattest sounding of any tube mic preamp I have heard.
Tom Tucker, Director of Studio Operations, Paisley Park Studios


I had the privilege of testing the prototypes of the VT-1. Though we were not a big operation, we had to have one. Since then our clients have been constantly impressed, and the level of artists has gone consistently upward. We went from a small ADAT facility to doing major label work in a relatively short time. We are the proud owners of VT-1 #1 & #23, as well as a VT-2 and the VT-I/F Instrument Interface and LP-1 Line Pad. They all perform as well as the day they were delivered. Thanks for the great gear!
Tom Altman, Attic Studios, Chester, PA


The VT-1 is an outstanding example of current tube mic preamp design, with solid commercial construction. It delivers classic warmth and openness with clarity.”
Stephen Jarvis, Stephen Jarvis Rentals, San Francisco


We've got just about every mic preamp made, and the VT-1 has become the preamp of choice at Southern Tracks.
Mike Clark, President, Southern Tracks, Atlanta


I can't record without my Fearn preamps (I have 2 VT-1s and a VT-2). It lifts the veil ... putting your ears right next to the source and adding apparent volume and clarity in the mix. I also have the Fearn VT-I/F Instrument Interface, which has the same effect of guitar, bass, and synths. It adds clarity with hugeness to any bass. They're both amazing!
Glenn Barratt, Morningstar Studios, Philadelphia


Tube products typically add coloration. The VT-1 is surprisingly different. It is very natural-sounding, and one of the most transparent mic preamps I have used.
Tom Jung, President, DMP Records


...(the VT-1) assimilates the best characterisitcs of our vintage equipment and exhibits superior sound quality to any current solid state mic preamplifier.
Tony Bongiovi, Power Station, New York


Nuance, detail, accuracy, and humanity are readily apparent when utilizing the Fearn VT-2 preamp on acoustic guitar, and it reveals the harmonic integrity and density of the grand piano more than I've experienced with other products. Lush.
John Vanore, Producer/Artist, Angel/EMI Records


I just had to E-mail you to tell you what great mic pre amps you have created. I now have 1 VT-1 and 2 VT-2s. I really did not want to purchase 2 VT-2s but the Focusrite RED 1 was no match. After working with the VT-1, I had to buy more. Now I have to find someone to purchase my Red 1. Your work inside the unit is incredible. I have never seen such meticulous work. It is an honor to have such a great sounding product in my studio and worth every penny. They are extremely flexible and easy to use. Great tube sound -- clean and clear not tubby. And you can talk personally to the creator instead of a salesman.
Mike Mazzei, The Interior Castle, Pittsburgh


Thanks to Doug Fearn's very personal assistance and expert advice, my VT-1 has a prominent place in my rack and I continue to marvel at it's virtue in audio production. I find it reminiscent of my first guitar amp - a chrome-chassis'ed Stromberg-Carlson with huge tubes and a single aircraft-style knob for gain...”
Larry Homuth, professional voice-over artist and owner of Ad Lab Studio, Fargo, ND


Just wanted to drop you a note to tell you how great the VT-1 sounds. For the first time in my life, I did not need to eq the lead vocal after going thru your preamp. Acoustic guitars sounded really transparent. An electric bass sounded nice and fat. I never dreamed a preamp could make such a difference! Thanks again.
John Korman, Philadelphia, PA


I absolutely love the sound that your mic pre gives -- everything. It is amazingly CLEAR! I feel like my ears are that of a nine year old when I listen. And for that over-the-top aggressive rock vocal, I'll let it distort and compress and it gives the artist something most mic pres could not even attempt to do. I love it!! An acoustic guitar, like my Tony Rice model Santa Cruz, sounds like it's floating between the monitors with all the wood being captured and all the detail of its sound -- clarity, warmth, and rich harmonic detail. The top end is so open--AND smooth and pleasing; the midrange is REAL!!!. ... you have done a wonder with this mic pre. All the vocals I hear from other studios around here (which use maybe API or an AMEK console mic pre or a 9098 or a RED Focusrite--and I really like all those preamps) sound "covered" to me compared to the VT-2, because I'm so used to it. And most of the time I use an AT 4050, nothing esoteric.
Paul Colley, Engineer/Artist; Sunday Recording, Oklahoma City, OK


The VT-2 really makes my voice stand out with a fat, lushy quality, without sibilance, yet still very clear.
Sage; T.O.B., New Orleans, LA


I rely on big instrument sounds for my recordings, whether they are crunchy distorted guitars, acoustic guitars, vocals or drums. When I first got my VT-2 the studio had been down for a week or so with equipment upgrades, and my first tests were with my mic'd Marshalls. Although they sounded great through the Fearn, it was only when I switched to another high end preamp that I realised just how much more I was hearing from the VT-2: The bottom end was expansive, and the rest of the sound was more open. It was as if I had just walked into the room and was hit with the raw amplified sound, not baffled by doors or other obstructions. It was the first time I was experiencing the same feeling I get from standing in front of the cabs. As I began to fear, I got similar results on acoustic guitars, vocals and piano. I will need more channels! On top of the superior craftsmanship in the construction of his products (this thing is beautiful), Doug's service is second to none. Someone else said that if you could afford a DW Fearn, buy it. I'd say you can't afford not to buy one. My recordings are in a whole other league now. Thanks Doug!
Jeff Ulmer, Producer/Artist, Studio of Dreamz, Canada


Just a quick note to say the longer I use the VT-2, the more I love it; and, if you will remember, it was love at first sight (and hearing). Transparent, open, natural, unstrained, musical, subtle, clear, uncolored, alive, the VT-2 allows the microphone to be heard in ways that constantly amaze. I guess that about covers it. And then there is the way it is built. Beautifully. Obviously crafted with lots of love and care. A work of audio art. You have created a classic by any definition. Thank you!
The VT-2 made by D.W. Fearn is an elegantly-crafted and wonderful-sounding mic pre. It's one of those rare pieces of equipment that straddles the line between the past and the future. I just recorded Steve Gadd for my Project called "A Celebration of the Music of Weather Report." Joel Moss was the engineer and he was extremely impressed with the clarity and warmth of the VT-2. These days in America when everything is mass produced it's great to see someone with the commitment that Doug Fearn has to audio excellence and finely crafted electronics. I can't wait to spread the word on this wonderful product
.Jason Miles, New York


The VT-1 and VT-2 are the most beautiful sounding valve preamps
around. With striking realism and a warm, incredibly transparent feel 'The Fearn' sounds unlike any other preamp. I use them even during the mix (with a LP-1 line pad) to add harmonics or fatten things up a bit. Anything put through 'The Fearn' has such an astounding clarity, depth, and detail...and a fantastic midrange. With our ADAM S3-A monitors I can hear every nuance of it. Thanks Doug!
Lars Hidde, Rivery Productions, Los Gatos, CA


I've been tracking with the VT-2s for some time and enjoy using them on everything from vocals and bass to drum and guitar recording for that polished expensive sound you get from D.W. Fearn gear. I was then recommended the VT-7 when I was looking for buss compressors last year. I Chose the VT-7 as it seems as at home on tracking individual instruments as it does over a whole mix. It's not like any compressor I've ever used before, and does bring something very unique to the table. It really is like having very fast hands on a fader. Totally transparent compression ideal for glueing your mix together without colouring the sound or transients, and keeps tracking in check while bringing a warmth and pleasing top end to the sound. All in all I really like it and its a great and versatile addition to the gear I love to use.
I'm currently working on some new and old Simply Red material and have also been mixing for Snow Patrol and Aussie band Day of the Dead among others.
Andy Scade, London

I recently had a big job writing and mixing 43 tracks in a week. for the first time in my studio life i did the unthinkable and put a compressor over the mix bus. there just wasn't time for mastering at a proper mastering studio but i wanted that subtle yet essential glue you get from a decent mastering job/engineer. we rigged up all my favourite studio compressors and listened to them all over the master out. we even brought in a few contenders on demo. we tried comps by manley, thermionic culture, fairman, retro 176, millennia, inward connections, adl, chiswick reach, neve portico and more. Some of these are my favourite compressors in a studio environment but when put on the mix bus they were all pretty much left wanting. Then we tried the VT-7. I was just thrilled to hear the exact effect I was after. With the needles barely moving, the sound immediately became gently warmer, wider, utterly engaging yet subtle and discrete. I couldn't recommend it highly enough. I wish it wasn't so good on the mix bus as I'm sure it would excel in other areas too, I just can't unplug the thing from its current home as it's so special. I very rarely put my name to any gear in public as it can look queasy for both parties, but this compressor is just too good to go unheard.
Matthew Herbert, UK  www.matthewherbert.com
 

I recently purchased a VT-4 Vacuum Tube Equalizer manufactured by D.W. Fearn, to go along with my VT-1 mic preamp. I've never heard a processor bring as much to the table as the VT-4. I am a believer of doing things in moderation and more isn't necessarily better. However in the case of the VT-4, which sounds so natural, it seems that the more EQ I use, the better it actually gets. I never pictured myself enhancing the sound so much on the low and high frequencies, and I've never been one to cut mid's very much because it seems to thin the vocals--not so with this baby. Cut the mid's as much as you like--the vocals will remain full body sounding. The VT-4 has brought about the best combination of warmth, sparkle and detail that I have ever heard and it has enhanced my channel more so than any other processor. Other manufacturers are busy designing EQ's to solve problems that shouldn't exist in the first place. Perhaps the best one word to describe the VT-4 is musical.
Bill Manning, Baltimore, MD


I have been having an interesting afternoon listening to the VT-4 inserted across some multitrack tapes of a new outfit called "Ginger" who are the survivors of "The Wildhearts". On first listen we both agreed that there is a big warm musical sound from the VT-4. We used it on Kick, Snare, Bass and Lead Guitar. I think the most dramatic impact was with the Bass track which had obviously been DI'd. Suddenly with the Eq in, we had a live sounding rig in the room.
Chris Tsangarides, London

 

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