Budget Mic Pres

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Dirty Dan, May 23, 2006.


  1. Dirty Dan

    Dirty Dan Member

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    I'm in the market for a mic pre, but am trying to keep the cost down. Does anyone have any recommendations? I'd really like to keep it under $200 or $300 if possible. I'll most likely be using it with several different mics, and I'll primarily be recording guitars (obviously) both acoustic and electric as well as male vocals. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    You can find great deals new or on ebaY:

    Symetrix 202 (or newer 302)
    Joe Meek VC3 (or newer ThreeQ)
    Groove Tubes Brick
    Presonus BlueTube
    Focurite Trakmaster (or newer Trakmaster Pro)
     
  3. wopr

    wopr Member

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    This maybe a little out of your range, but the buget pre that gets the most praise is the FMR RNP at around $475 new.
     
  4. sears

    sears Member

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    Until you get to the RNP or Brick (which is mono), none of the cheap ones is any better than the Mackie VLZ Pro that they have in their 1202. So pick one of those up used; four channels for $200.
     
  5. Dirty Dan

    Dirty Dan Member

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    Would upping my budget to something more like $500 for a brick or RNP give me a large improvement in quality? I guess what I want to know, more bluntly, is this the sort of thing I should save a little more for and do it right the first time versus going budget now and upgrading later?
     
  6. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    IMHO, your recording rig budget should go in this order:

    1) Monitors
    2) Mic
    3) everything else

    :D

    Seriously, if you can, step up to the FMR preamp; I stepped "down" to it about 3 years ago and never blinked, never doubted the decision and never second guessed it. Still using it today for everything I record. Fantastic clean preamp with some character, but not too much character. It is worth the money.
     
  7. MK50H

    MK50H Member

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    You could break out the soldering iron, and build the JLM Baby Animals. I have a pair, but they are still in my "to do" pile :(

    Rave reviews from the few people that have already built some. http://www.jlmaudio.com/Baby_Animal_Mic_Pre.htm
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    >>is this the sort of thing I should save a little more for and do it right the first time versus going budget now and upgrading later?<<

    Yes, if you truly need a good mic preamp.* But remember that in order to get the most out of it, everything else in the recording chain should be comparable in quality, from mic to monitors.

    I can tell you from long experience, a studio is an endless money pit. And there are also drawbacks. ;)

    *Lots of people have perfectly adequate microphone preamps but have bought into the usual gear hype. While preamps do all sound different, the differences are very small compared to the sonic differences between transducers such as microphones and speakers.
     
  9. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

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    The advice I'd been given was spend the most money on your monitors, Mic-pre(s) and converter(s).

    I started with Studio Precision 8's, UA LA-610, and a lucid AD 9624.

    I have no reason to sound like **** other than my lack of knowhow.

    I'm learning though and have an excellent tutor, allthough he's a PITA like most engineers are in their own endearable way. They love to slap wrists and call people stupid. Or maybe that's because he's a bass player.

    :D
     

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