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  #1  
Old 02-21-2002, 05:30 PM
jiagap jiagap is offline
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Default $500 for Mic Pre

Ok, I know many of you are FAR more experienced with taste than I. I have $500 or less to spend on a mic preamp (preferably 2 channels). I want just a preamp with no other effects - except possibly some limiting or compression. I have been looking at the Aphex 207. What should I be looking at in this price range?

Any and all comments and tips will be appreciated. I will use it to record vocals and acoustic guitars. I have recently bought a Rode NT1000 if that offers any suggestions.

Thanks
Richard
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2002, 05:36 PM
jamlaw jamlaw is offline
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Default Re: $500 for Mic Pre

I like the Joe Meek stuff for the money. See ebay there is a VC1 studio channel pre - compressor which I'm sure will go for less than $500 (we bought ours for $800 I think)
Its always nice to get a good compressor with your pre!
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Old 02-21-2002, 05:56 PM
Len Grantham Len Grantham is offline
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Default Re: $500 for Mic Pre

Although it is only a single channel I bought a HHB Radius 50 for $379. It sounds great on vocals and acoustic with my AT4033. It also has a built in compressor.
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2002, 06:18 PM
whosmatt whosmatt is offline
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Default Re: $500 for Mic Pre

i've been thinking of getting the presonus mp20, anybody have this?
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2002, 06:24 PM
Kamurah Kamurah is offline
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Default Re: $500 for Mic Pre

Richard,

Mic preamp preferences will run the gamut when you talk to engineers. I am sure you will get a lot of recommendations....

That being said....you might want to think about what kind of sound you want out of your pre. You said in your post that you are going to use it to record vocals and acoustic guitar, but what sort of character do you want: do you prefer ultra clean and accurate, or something with a "sound" all its own. This will help to narrow (or widen) your choices.

Also, I would HIGHLY recommend that you save up a few more pennies before you make this investment. The difference in quality will be enormous if you can double (or triple) your current budget. There are a few "bargains" that can be had in the audio world....but generally speaking mics and mic pre's are not one of them. You will most likely get what you pay for.

With that long preface aside.....

Here are a few names that pop up frequently on this (and other) boards when the dreaded "Mic Pre" thread comes up. They are, unfortunately, all more expensive than your current stated dollar amount...but this will give you an idea of what the "budget" pre's are competing with.

For ultra clean:

Millenia HV-3

Grace Design Model 201

George Massenburg Labs 8302

Amek 9098 Dual Mic Amplifier

For "color":

Vintech Neve copy

Brent Averill Neve repackage

Great River Neve copy

API Pres


This is just a few. They are all very VERY good pre's. There are many more that I could have listed, and I didn't even mention any "toob" pre's, but this will get you started. Another good thing would be to talk to Fletcher at Mercenary Audio.

Mercenary Audio

He mostly deals in high-end gear and is very knowledgeable.

Save those pennies! You won't be sorry!

Cheers
[img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
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Old 02-21-2002, 08:05 PM
popps popps is offline
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Default Re: $500 for Mic Pre

Great post.... (above) ... but as for the topic of staying under $500 .....

I also like Joe Meek's lower priced stuff. (VC1, et) Also...I always recommend the ART MPA dual channel compressor.
Great sounding unit. I think it's a bit over $500 new, but used.. it's around $300, usually.. sometimes less. Bellari and Presonus also make affordable, nice sounding pre's.

I just bought a Neve from Averill (mentioned above) (33122a) ... and it was worth every penny. But, there are plenty of nice options under $500 or $600. I use several of them in my studio.

Good luck!

Popps
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Old 02-21-2002, 08:26 PM
joshua d joshua d is offline
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Default Re: $500 for Mic Pre

From what I've heard the Grace 101 is a great buy for a super clean pre, although it too is only 1 channel. The RNMP is supposed to be shipping soon- I hear it's going to retail for around $450 for 1 channel as well.
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Old 02-21-2002, 09:37 PM
jiagap jiagap is offline
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Default Re: $500 for Mic Pre

I too have heard great things about the Grace 101, and I love the name as I have a daughter named Grace.....but......

I am fairly new to quality audio engineering. I am finding that mics and pres are like wines. Some are really good and some are really bad, and of the good there are many varieties that are all good but different. I do not have the maturity to discern at this point. I do need to get started in 'using " something. I now have digi 001 with Waves Native Power Pack, Reason, nice guitars and vocals, and want to get started with something that is in the "good" category - and a step up from the digi pres. But as to the differences of color and cleaness, I really am pretty naive. So I set my mark below $500 for now. If I get to using it, with my NT1000, I am sure I will start to learn and be able to make a more mature decision in the future. Then as more money comes in I can upgrade. I know there are better mics than the NT1000, but on the other hand it is better than what I had before.

So........ I appreciate the advice so far and am looking into it. I previously asked about the Aphex 207, any thoughts? I had it recommended by a friend. I would like to hear if this is in the "bad" category, or just different in the, at least semi good category. Please keep the comments coming, as I read ya'll I am learning.

Kamura, thanks for your great post, and you are probably right on, but I do need to stay below $500 for now. As for clean or colored, I am not real sure what that looks like, but I want to get started.

Again, any comments about Aphex 207?

Thanks mucho,
Richard
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2002, 09:59 PM
valvebrother valvebrother is offline
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Default Re: $500 for Mic Pre

I personally have never had a taste for the Aphex budget line; just sounded cheap and noisy.

My "budget pres" of choice are bellari rp220 2 channel tube mic pre's.

I believe they sell for around 450.

They are warm, but not overly so. I upgraded the tubes to vintage Mullards and they sound even nicer and very mellow sweet in the mids. They also have 2 instrument inputs on the front; handy for keyboards, etc. I used them regularly on vocals and acoustic till I upgraded and still use they quite often.

My recommendations in the more elite pre's are inline with Kamurah; I recently picked up the Great River MP-2NV and it's everything promised and more. Absolutely stunning. I knew the pre's were phenomenal, but I hadn't heard as much about the instrument ins. Plugeed my P-Bass in an ALMOST WEPT! Stunning, natural, warm bass tone.

Just had to share that!
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2002, 10:41 PM
jiagap jiagap is offline
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Default Re: $500 for Mic Pre

Hey thanks for your post, but you do not realize how hard you are making this, as I am a guy who loves GREAT sound, but also on a limited budget. The Great River MP-2NV is like 2k, 4x my budget. Yes, in the future, should I have income to cover it, I would love to go for the gold, but in the mean time.....

What about the exact model of the Aphex 207... I hear they have reworked the innerds somewhat from previous stuff like the 107. I will look into the Bellari. Keep the comments coming, but stop wetting my whistle for that which I am not worthy yet.

Thanks,
Richard
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