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  #1  
Old 11-17-2001, 08:27 AM
MarkGenero MarkGenero is offline
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Location: Natick, MA, US
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Default Help me spend $1,000 !!!!

setup

pro tools LE
digi 001
neuman tlm 103
focusrite platinum voice master
lexicon pcm 91 reverb

I'm looking for the optimal upgrade in the above chain. I do mostly folk style in my home studio, recording vocals, acoustic guitar, and synthesized keyboards. I've got about $1000 to spend and I'm guessing a good tube preamp is the way to go. Agree?

If so, can you please give me some recommendations for a good tube preamp in the $1000 dollar range? Single channel is okay as I've never used more than one mike at a time in my home studio.

or can you recommend a better way to get the most bang for the buck with the above chain? I've already got good musical instruments (taylor 714, Korg N1, Roland JV 1010) so I want to put the money in the recording side.

Thanks,
Mark
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2001, 08:57 AM
Sugarite Sugarite is offline
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Default Re: Help me spend $1,000 !!!!

Joe Meek pre's are probably the best back for the buck in that range, and would certainly be a welcome improvement paired with the TLM-103.

If there was another upgrade you were considering, the ART MP1 tube mic pre is a decent pre when the stock tube is replaced with a Telefunken ECC83, otherwise it's nothing special. Still for about $150 it's a significant improvement on the 001's pre's, and would let you afford other upgrades, like perhaps a second TLM-103. (I'm a proponent of stereo micing techniques)
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2001, 09:28 AM
marcoustic marcoustic is offline
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Default Re: Help me spend $1,000 !!!!

Hi there!

If you want to go for a pre that´s about 1000 $ look for SPLs channel one. It sounds incredible. It´s a channel strip with mic/line pre, de-esser, gate/compressor and a very fine eq.

But I would think about uprgrading the converters... perhaps a RME ADI 8 Pro or something like that. The digi converters aren´t bad but I was surprised about the sound when recording stuff with another converter...

Markus
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  #4  
Old 11-17-2001, 10:50 AM
M Lawrence M Lawrence is offline
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Default Re: Help me spend $1,000 !!!!

if you wait until the middle of next month (maybe even earlier), fmr are finally releasing their really nice mic pre, and i think it'll be listing for $400 (which means it should hit the street at about $300), and if it live's up to the really nice compressor's price to quality ratio, it'll smoke all that mid/semi-pro crap (i.e., art, focusrite, hhb, presonus, joe meek, et. al) that's aimed at making those who can't afford the stuff will actually improve their mackie-pre's, and making them feel (via a lot of marketing hooey) that they're at least getting a "taste" of "pro-audio" for an affordable price. anyway, after the rnmp. you'll have close to enough dosh to get a lucid ad2496 ($750!), and between the both, mate, you will indeed have mucho bang for buck, becuase it is a bit of a waste to improve your mic pre if you're gonna be routing it through the 001's a/d converters. and the lucid's sound as good, if not better, than apogee's (their "rosetta" is also $200 more!)


good luck. i'm envious.

ml
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2001, 10:57 AM
M Lawrence M Lawrence is offline
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Default Re: Help me spend $1,000 !!!!

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:<HR>Originally posted by M Lawrence:

aimed at making those who can't afford the stuff >>that<< will actually improve their mackie-pre's,
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


sorry. left a word out. doh!

ml
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2001, 11:14 AM
Kamurah Kamurah is offline
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Default Re: Help me spend $1,000 !!!!

My vote would be to upgrade your A/D conversion.

You have a great mic, and a useable pre already, but if you are just using the stock Digi A/D then you are cheating yourself.

My recommendation would be to go with either an RME 8 channel unit or an Apogee Rosetta (2 channel). Both units are of excellent quality and you WILL notice a difference in your recordings, especially if you are doing dense multitracking. I use the Rosetta and have found it to be excellent in all respects.

If you have your mind stuck on just upgrading your pre to something "Tubish"....

You could check out the Manley single mic pre( a long time designer of Tube equipment)

I hear good things about the Mindprint EnVoice (But have never tried one)

or you could....

Save up another few pennies and look at:

Avalon 737(includes EQ, And compressor)

D.W. Fern

Aphex 1100 (BTW, this one also has an A/D converter so you could kill 2 birds with 1 stone)

Summit Audio

Alternatively....

There are some great pre's that would work well with your setup that are not TUBE, but have a reputation for "character" and "Warmth"

Brent Averill (Neve repackage)

Vintech (Neve copy using new components based on original specs)

Great River (Neve modeled)

Crane Song Flamingo (Expensive but reputedly very very good)

Amek 9098, or Channel in a Box (again, Neve designed)

If you notice, the word "Neve" comes up a lot in the above crowd. There is a quality in those designs that has become legendary, and you wouldn't be going wrong by choosing that route, as I am sure you are aware- since you already own one of the Focusrite project series (their ISO line was Neve designed).

I am currently in the same boat as you, and have narrowed my choices down to three.....

1. The Vintech model
2. Avalon 737
3. Aphex 1100


In any case....good luck, and let us know what you decide to do.

[img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2001, 01:35 PM
M Lawrence M Lawrence is offline
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Default Re: Help me spend $1,000 !!!!

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:<HR>since you already own one of the Focusrite project series (their ISO line was Neve designed).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

that's exactly the kind of marketing ploy i was talking about, as if to infer that the fact that rupert designing one piece of gear for them will somehow "rub off" on their mid-priced line; which, of course, dear old rupert had absolutely nothing to do with, AT ALL. talk to any real-world class professional, and you won't see them touching the stuff with a 10 foot pole. and the "mindprint", in case you were wondering, falls into the same "throw-your-money-out-the-window" category. also, that rme 8ch a/d/a/piece costs about $1200 (or $75 a channel, for 8in + 8out), the lucid ad2496 is $750 for 2 channels of a/d; you do the math. seriously, there's no comparison. other than the few who whack the rme cards into their home pc's for muckin' around cheaply (they do sound better, just not $1200 better), you won't find any engineers using the for critical stuff. you will find heaps using the lucid stuff; in fact, if you do a search at rec.audio.pro for lucid, you'll find all of these guys not only using it, but actually preferring it to apogee's units (like the rosetta), and the kicker is it costs less!

and as you only have $1000 to spend, don't confuse yourself with, for instance, cranesong & great river pieces that cost $2000 & over. at the moment, there are realistically only 1 or 2 pre's that come in under your budget. earthworks make a really great (though very transparent, so don't look to it for any coloration, just the sound of your mic, which, if it's any good, will be desirable) mic pre, the "lab101", that sells for $700. peavey, believe it or not, have a decent sounding tube mic pre that sells for about $900-1000. then, there's the grace design 101, also $700, which looks like it could be decent, but i personally have not heard it, so i couldn't promise anything. and that IS it mate. and no money left over for a good a/d, which you really do need. that's why i recommended the lucid, & waiting on the really nice mic pre, which you should be able to swing. if you're not already familiar, their really nice compressor sells for $170-180, and sounds like a unit worth $1000-1500!!! seriously, do another search at rec.audio.pro for the fmr rnc. you will not believe what you find! that's fmr's legacy! so just try & imagine what they've more than likely accomplished this time around. and this is one of THE most eagerly anticipated product releases in the last year! so,taking all this into account, getting a world class 2 ch. a/d converter & a mic pre, which from advance reports, from people like fletcher at mercenery audio in boston, looks to be another winner, i'd say you'd be hard pressed to pack as much punch for dollar as you'd be getting for this killer duo. don't get confused by a list of units you can't afford, or by
empty marketing promises.

ml
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2001, 06:33 PM
Kamurah Kamurah is offline
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Default Re: Help me spend $1,000 !!!!

Mr. Lawrence,

Mate, I don't know who keeps pissing on your corn flakes, but I was honestly trying to give a forthright opinion. You have constantly degraded any opinions of the RME units on this board, while they have gotten spectacular reviews in every publication I have read. (And by the way, I happen to value LW's opinion highly as he has been a terrific contributor to this board for some time.....in case you don't remember who he is look at your scathing retort to him in another "converter" thread on this board)

As for the Rosetta....well....it's $1000 for two channels give or take a few pennies compared to the $750 Lucid so YOU do the math. As you well know, since you seem to know so much, you usually DO get what you pay for, especially in terms of audio equipment. I was a mastering engineer for 5 years, and we BYPASSED our Lucid unit on the Sonic Solutions system we used so we could use the Apogee we had in house. And for what it's worth....I haven't read a review yet that placed the Lucid above the Apogee or the RME in terms of quality.

As for the rest of my post....
I clearly stated that Mr. Rupert Neve was responsible for the "ISO" line, and did not mean to infer that he was in any way connected with the design of the Platinum series. The other "lower" end pre's I recommended were based on honest opinions of people who I have talked to that had them coupled with good reviews in trade publications to back the opinions up.

The "higher" end pre's that I recommended were preceeded by a "you could save up a few more pennies".

I knew they were expensive.

I was trying to provide food for thought by implying that if he was to save some he could get a pre that would make a marked improvement on his current sound.

Finally,
Please don't "slam" everyone who has a differing opinion. The thing driving the questions here is the give and take from our peers. I apologize for the tenor of this post, I just got a bit miffed at your condescending tone.

Have a nice day
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2001, 07:31 PM
athlone athlone is offline
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Default Re: Help me spend $1,000 !!!!

Another option, nice and clean, if you only record 1 mono track at a time: Grace Design single channel, about $550. Oh, I see someone already mentioned it. And are you using the TLM103 for both acoustic guitar and voice? Might want another mic, like a old KM84 for guitar, find one for about $650.
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2001, 10:40 PM
where02190 where02190 is offline
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Default Re: Help me spend $1,000 !!!!

You didn't list monitors. If you don't already have a second pair, that would be a good addition.
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