Good and Cheap Tube Pre

F

fuzzy4dice

Can someone name me some great tube pre's for a budget of like $300.00?

I am recording at home and need something for vocals, some direct bass, and maybe on a Fender Rhodes.

Thank you ten-thousand times!

ezt
 

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
>> great tube pre's for a budget of like $300.00?

Sorry, no such animal at that price as far as I know.

But that doesn't mean you're stuck. Scott Peterson likes the RNP, an solid-state pre. Maybe he'll speak up.

If you've gotta have tube, at one time Brian Scherzer had an ART tube pre for sale at a good price. He might still have it.
 

LSchefman

Member
Messages
13,435
Cheap tube preamps have a tube in them just for show. Yeah, the run the audio through the tube for a little coloration, but in the tube preamp world, it's all about the hype until you're ready to spend a couple of grand.

An all tube preamp has a complete tube circuit, a mighty transformer (as important in a mic preamp as it is in a guitar amp), and all of the audio circuits are true tubes.

If you feel you must have a tube - and incidentally, it's not like the guitar amp world, where you're going to HEAR the tube cooking - get a tube mic, they can be had for $300-500, and they sound pretty good.

Though again, the best ones, the ones you'd really want, are a couple of grand.

My advice is to buy good solid state gear for recording before getting hyped on tubes. You will get better sound on a low budget. Some of the most sought-after mic preamps, like the old Neves, the focusrites, the Class A Avalons, etc., are discrete solid state devices.
 

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
Originally posted by LSchefman
Cheap tube preamps have a tube in them just for show. Yeah, they run the audio through the tube for a little coloration
Some of them put a tube in a little window and don't even run the audio through it, only a little bit of current to make it glow. No joke.
 

GaryNattrass

Member
Messages
738
I had a Behringer Tube mic amp and it was dreadful, if you turned up the tube gain it just made everything sound more toppy and grainy which is the opposite to what you expect.

Invest in a good solid state pre and if you can afford it buy a tube microphone to get the warmth.

The AKG Solid Tube is a good start or one of the Audio Tech tube mics.
 
F

fuzzy4dice

Wow, thanks for the great advice you guys! I really appreciate it.

Then can you recommend some great solid-state pre-amps.
 
T

Tom Horner

I got this for 350.00 at GC and If you don't like it you can take it back.
http://www.groovetubes.com/product.cfm?Product_ID=2084

I think it sounds good. I have never heard a 2000.00 on up
preamp so I don't know the diffrence. I brought it over to my friends, that is doing some recording of this girl and did an A/B and to my ears, the Brick sounded damm good. I also played a nylon Guitar through it, into a Mackie to his Mac G5 /DP sounded great....

Have the GC guys demo one for you .... they say they want 400.00 but they will take 350.00

Good luck...

Oh yea...it has two tubes in it. :D

Tom
 

Scott Peterson

Administrator and Co-Founder of TGP
Staff member
Messages
37,413
Well with all things recording, you can have "good" or you can have "cheap".

Pick one.

:D

There are bargins to be found, but IMHO you truly get what you pay for.

The only cheapie that I will even comment on - because it works fine on some things (though NOT vocals) is the little ART Tube MP. It is cheap, and if you keep the gain knob down below 12 o'clock it doesn't sound that bad on guitars, bass and instruments. I again would NOT use it for vocals.

But the RNP from FMR Audio (Real Nice Preamp) is less than $500 and gives you two *very* good sounding channels of preamp. The Presonus MP-20 is a very good neutral sounding preamp for about $300-400 used.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,346
Originally posted by Scott Peterson
Well with all things recording, you can have "good" or you can have "cheap".
Where does that put the SM-57? <vbg>

Expensive stuff just makes the job easier. I've heard some records made on cheap stuff that were great, through sheer force of will...

I love my toys, but I'm not sure I'm making better records due to them, or because I've got more experience and seem to be working with a better class of artist lately.

Loudboy
 

Scott Peterson

Administrator and Co-Founder of TGP
Staff member
Messages
37,413
Originally posted by loudboy
Where does that put the SM-57? <vbg>

Expensive stuff just makes the job easier. I've heard some records made on cheap stuff that were great, through sheer force of will...

I love my toys, but I'm not sure I'm making better records due to them, or because I've got more experience and seem to be working with a better class of artist lately.

Loudboy
Touche'. :D

I was just goofin; and mostly talking mic pre's; not mic's.

IMHO, most of the cheapie "tube" mic pre's are *nothing* to get excited about.

That's all.
 


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