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  #11  
Old 10-26-2000, 12:11 AM
Dean Bohana Dean Bohana is offline
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Default Re: Getting a good mic pre amp. Any suggestions?

Iwilliam,
So I guess the folks at Mackie aren't kidding when they run ads that boast the quality of their new (XDR) mic pres...astounding when you consider 4 of them can be had for $330.00 or so...oh yeah...they throw in an 8 channel mixer with that...hmmm
You stated "I think the Mic makes a bigger difference than the preamp. In other words, I think more people (laymen) would hear a difference in switching mics than if you switched preamps." I guess this helps explain why I don't mind the sound of my cheapo little ART MP1 (were any ART pres on the CD?)...the sound of my Shure KSM32 can't be held back.
Anyway, thanks Iwilliam, for coming across with your findings. You have the guts to put yourself up for scrutiny when you say you like gear that may not be considered by some (those darn self proclaimed audiophile types) to be worthy of high praise. I look forward to more of your posts, DB

[This message has been edited by Dean Bohana (edited October 26, 2000).]
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  #12  
Old 10-26-2000, 12:44 AM
lwilliam lwilliam is offline
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Default Re: Getting a good mic pre amp. Any suggestions?

Hey, if I was always right, I'd have a bunch of platinum records on my wall and be posting in the TDM forum!

I do think that virtually any mic will sound better on a better preamp. Even a lowly 57 will sound better on a Manley than on a Mackie.

But as I said, those observations above were made in a blindfold test, so I was unbiased by any pre-conceived notion of brand name or whether they were tube or Class A or whatever. The mic that was used on the CD was a Manley Gold Reference, BTW, which is a pretty fat-sounding mic by itself. I think it's quite likely that I would have picked different favorites if they had used an Earthworks or a Lawson 47MP or a Neumann TLM 103.

I didn't think the Mackie VLZs were the "trash" that a few of the r.a.p. guys seem compelled to state. My "blindfold" comments on the VLZ were things like, "very clean, a little bright, but useable". My comments on the Flamingo were more like "very nice, rich, clear, lots of depth". My comments on the GML were more like "great warmth and depth, yet still very clear". Whether that difference is worth $2000 more than the Flamingo is the big question. Personally, I'd rather have a second stereo pair of Flamingos.

Your comments and selections would, of course, be different as you have different tastes. I just suggest that you listen to the CD without prejudice as to how much money the preamp cost or whether it has a "respected" manufacturer's name on it. Consider it an ear-training CD.

Opinions definitely vary...


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  #13  
Old 10-26-2000, 12:54 AM
Cherryfields Prod Cherryfields Prod is offline
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Default Re: Getting a good mic pre amp. Any suggestions?

Hi folks. It looks like there's a lot of poeple on the list using Röde NT2, I use one myself but I was really suprised when I tested a U87 the other day!!! The sound was really dull and I got the feeling that the voice never came out of the mixer!! .... Does anyone else have the same feeling about Röde NT2 and U87?

Anyway! I use a DBX576 and I think it does the job pretty nice.
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  #14  
Old 10-26-2000, 07:28 AM
slotools slotools is offline
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Default Re: Getting a good mic pre amp. Any suggestions?

I had a client purchase a Langevin (manley owned) Dual Vocal Combo, for a project that
I am currently involved with. In a word, big
bang for the buck. With a street price of around $1600.00, it is not by any stretch
of the imagination cheap, but it has a small
eq, an opto limiter, and a beautifully transparent-loud preamp and sterio. What a suprise! I had no preconceived notions before unpacking this beaut. I favor a isa 110 as
my fav, the old one's, have'nt heared the
new one as of yet. I believe that a pro
can make just about anything work, they just tools after all....
ok. ok. I am wrong- they are ear candy.....
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  #15  
Old 10-26-2000, 09:36 AM
MichaelK MichaelK is offline
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Default Re: Getting a good mic pre amp. Any suggestions?

Larry - good points, as always.

Very true, the Avalon is not what I would call neutral, nor punchy. I use the VT-737sp, not the M5. With no EQ or compression it does round out the edges, but I would not characterize the preamp as particularly warm by itself. I dunno, it's so hard to put these things into words sometimes. I find it adds clarity, presence and air to everything that I run through it - vocals, guitar, drums, output from the Pod, you name it.

Sorry to rave on about it so, but it's the sexiest piece of gear in my studio and sometimes I get carried away.

That CD sounds interesting; too bad it doesn't have Focusrite or Meek. I have a Mackie board with XDR pres that I use live - they are perfect for what I need there. I have not tried them in the studio yet. Soon.

Speaking of the Pod, I read an interview with Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding in EQ magazine recently. They were talking about their home studio where they recorded Wasp Star. Andy was saying that he ran nearly everything through the Pod, including vocals and drums. In their rack they also had a couple of TubeTech pres and a Focusrite Red EQ. It's one beautiful album - I was intrigued!

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  #16  
Old 10-26-2000, 07:11 PM
nuke nuke is offline
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Default Re: Getting a good mic pre amp. Any suggestions?

Try out a Peavy VMP2. They are in the $700 neighborhood, and it's a pretty good sounding all tube mic preamp with good transformers in it.

Great bang-to-buck ratio.
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  #17  
Old 10-27-2000, 11:00 PM
mrmatta mrmatta is offline
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Default Re: Getting a good mic pre amp. Any suggestions?

I have two things to add to this discussion:

1. Please, please, please do not buy into the whole "tubes"="warmth" myth. Most of the cheap "tube" preamps are...guess what???... cheap preamps with a tube in the circuit. They do NOT "warm up" digital recordings. Most of the great preamps are solid state: Neve, API, Trident, Millenia, Hardy, the list goes on and on...

2. I just got done mixing a 4 song project. I recorded the basic tracks on 2" analog and then did all vocals/overdubs and mixing entirely in PTLE. Two of the vocals were done with a Neve/LA2A/Rosetta chain, one was with an API/Tubetech/Rosetta chain, and one was done on a bad tech vibe day in which none of my gear wanted to work. I decided to punt and recorded the lead and backing vocals through the 001 preamp/converter. It sounded OK and we got a pretty good vocal.

About a week later, though, when I started to mix I learned (re-learned) a valuable lesson. The vocal I recorded with the 001 preamp just wouldn't sit in the mix like the others. It wasn't a simple matter of EQ or compression. It was more about depth, excitement, and "sparkle". If you're using the built-in 001 preamps, it makes a lot of sense to get one really good external preamp. There are plenty of options. Brent Averill racks up old API preamps for a very reasonable price and the Great River gear seems to be really nice. I'd stay away from anything with a glowing 12AX7 in a little window, but that's just me.
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  #18  
Old 10-27-2000, 11:47 PM
lwilliam lwilliam is offline
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Default Re: Getting a good mic pre amp. Any suggestions?

I have to agree. There is a certain "depth" or "3 dimensionality" to a quality preamp that just isn't there on a cheaper one.

The cheaper preamps just seem to sound flatter and more one-dimensional in a mix.



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  #19  
Old 10-28-2000, 03:58 PM
Eric.D Eric.D is offline
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Default Re: Getting a good mic pre amp. Any suggestions?

Has anyone checked out the Aphex 1100
thermionic pre? It might be a real good
alternative to some of the mid to high
price range tube pre`s, around $1,900..

Eric
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