Could use help selecting a preamp

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Brian Scherzer, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. Brian Scherzer

    Brian Scherzer Staff Member

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    After several years of not using my basement studio, and having sold off most of my good gear, I'm looking to get going again. My main need is to catch up with preamps. The recording setup is old, but still quite servicable. Here's what's left:

    Mac G4 450 Dual Processor (SCSI)
    Glyph 9 gig external drive (SCSI)
    Glyph 40 gig external Drive (SCSI)
    CD Burner
    Digi001
    JBL LSR4328P Monitors (just purchased)

    I do realize that my gear is old, but I'm not ready to upgrade any of the current stuff until I'm feeling comfortable again with what I'm doing. I'm not in need of a lot of pre's since I tend to do one instrument at a time (no drums) and single vocals. In the past I owned an Avalon VT-737S, a Joe Meek, and a Great River. I liked the Avalon the best. It just seemed warmer and gave me a lot of control. I would consider buying another but wanted to ask for people's thoughts on a good main preamp that most things would be recorded through. I'm sure that a lot has changed since I last sat knew what was going on.
     
  2. jefesq

    jefesq Gold Supporting Member

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    Look through back issues of Tape OP. You know the free magazine that Larry Crane puts out. They always have great reviews with all kinds of high roller producer types chiming in.

    Or.... try here

    may find something in the gear section

    http://messageboard.tapeop.com/

    or try Fletcher at Mercenary Audio

    http://www.mercenary.com/

    He gave a lesson at a studio I took some classes at.

    HTH
     
  3. JCM 800

    JCM 800 Member

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    The Great River is excellent. Also check out API preamps.
     
  4. Jack Bulter

    Jack Bulter Member

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    If you got a Lunchbox you could gat a Great River and an API for less than the Avalon. Just a thought.
     
  5. 2leod

    2leod Re-Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Based on your setup, I would suggest the Sebatron VMP2000eVU two channel preamp. Great value at $750.00 per channel and very versatile in application. I think, though, the limitation is going to be the converters in the 001 - somewhat grainy and flat by today's technology.
     
  6. Glide

    Glide Member

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  7. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    I've tracked guitars through just about every one of them. My favorites, (in no particular order):

    Gordon Audio Model 3
    Neve 1073
    API 312 (although the 512c sounds pretty darn close).

    I love the Gordon because it makes everything sound bigger than life.

    I love the Neve for the low-mid thickness that makes guitar amps sound ballsy. Btw, it has been my experience that most Neve clones don't have that quality.

    I love the API because it is a perfect marriage of punch and clarity, and all the while ROCK. Works on anything and everything.

    FWIW, I own an API and am soon getting a Gordon. I used to own a Great River "NV"; sold it after a/b'ing it with the Gordon.
     
  8. teXum

    teXum Member

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    Does the 001 have SPDIF ins, like the 002/003 have? In that case, I'd look at getting a good two channel pres, among the several mentioned here (for Neve, go Brent Averill 1073, or Great River/API/Aurora GTQ2), AND get a good stereo AD converter to go with those pres. You'll really not be able to make full use of top end pres, unless you have better converters than the stock 001s, IMHO

    OR: you could take a closer look at some integrated solutions, like the API A2D, or AMS Neve DPD, excellent pres, which have good, built-in converters.
     
  9. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Even the Vintech? From what I understand they actually went back to the same schematics & components?
     
  10. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    The Vintech is fine. I've used their 1272 & 1073 many times. But a/b'd against the real thing, it "almost" sounds as good. It's a low mid thing.

    Just my opinion.
     
  11. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Hi Brian - if you liked the Avalon the best back then, you probably still will.
    You can find them on eBay for about $1000 - 1100.
     
  12. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    I'll third the lunchbox.

    Loudboy
     
  13. sethmeister

    sethmeister Member

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    I'll fourth that lunchbox.

    A channel of API, one of Great River or other Neve flavor, channels left over for future additions... You can even put a channel of API EQ in there later on!
     
  14. Brian Scherzer

    Brian Scherzer Staff Member

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    I'm going to take a listen to the UA solo 610 pre, which might fill the bill for a tube pre and leave me money left over for another flavor.
     
  15. jawjatek

    jawjatek Member

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    I am in a similar situation with my home project studio, and I went with an API lunchbox and a 512C to start. Then, I found a used Purple Biz, and next I will probably blow some of my tax refund on a P-1 or GR.

    I also am building a DIY "G9" dual tube mic pre. With these and the preamps in my RME interface and my mixer, I'll be pretty well fixed for preamps - time to start collecting some mics!
     
  16. mdog114

    mdog114 Member

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    I've had a 610 for more than a year, I love it! If that's you in your avatar, you'll love it on bass!

    My current favorite bass path is DI>610>Distressor and it sounds killer. Every bass I used it on has sounded great, it's a no fail signal chain for me.
     
  17. hobageeba

    hobageeba Member

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    I haven't personally gotten to tinker with some of the other pre's being mentioned, but I have a LA610 and I love it. I have some other great pre's like the Chandler TG2, but I favor the LA610 for a lot of things. The compressor/limiter on that thing is great too. It's a great deal price wise as well.
     
  18. mr breaker

    mr breaker Member

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    I'm also on the hunt for a preamp to add to my Apogee Ensemble. I'm debating whether to spend less on a lower end preamp like a Mackie Onyx 800R, so I can also pickup another nice microphone.

    Or just go for it and pick up something nicer like a Focusrite Red 1 or the two channel Great River.

    Any opinions on that? How will those preamps compare to the ones in the Apogee?
     
  19. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Member

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    I use the Great River and it's the best for home recording that I've ever used.

    However, if you didn't like it over the Avalon, then you should probably go back to the Avalon. That, or consider the lunchbox idea and fit in several differnt flavors over time.
     
  20. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    If I were you, I would spend all the money on just one type of pre. If you only need one channel, spend it all on a single channel. I'm of the mind that people don't need different flavors of pre's. They need one really nice flavor. Like the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, et al. They recorded all their records with just a single type of pre and it sounds great and cohesive.
     

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