Great River ME-1NV Mic Pre

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by jcshirke, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    This mic pre comes highly recommended from a couple of dealers I've spoken with, but I'm trying to get some more feedback from guys who have used it specifically with ribbon mics (like a Royer 101/121). Another guy I heard from said it sounds "okay" with ribbon mics, but is great with dynamics and condenser mics. There are other mic pres out there that seem to be specifically made for use with ribbon mics, so I was just trying to see if maybe I should consider some more options.

    I have a couple pretty good dynamic mics, no condensers, and I'm on the verge of getting a Royer. Would the Great River be one of my best options for a mic pre? I guess that's what it boils down to.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Jeff
     
  2. Donn Rowe

    Donn Rowe Member

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    its a good amp :) I have a couple . It was designed with R121(Royer) in mind if I remember correctly..I've used it with a AEA ribbon and it worked very well..it will do a very good job for you ..at this point it is about the source, room and mic more than anything.. IMHO of course . Good luck in your quest :)
     
  3. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I've got a really first-class fleet of amps, so I've got the sources covered. lol
    I should soon have some pretty nice mics to try to capture how they sound.
    Room? Well, I make the best of what I've got at the moment.
    I do hope a good mic pre will help bring out the best in my mics, though, and that I'm not just pissing away money.

    Thanks again,

    Jeff
     
  4. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    I compared the Great River in the 500 series format with a number of other mic pre's with all kinds of mics.

    Though I didn't spend a lot of time with the Great River, I can say generally, I preferred the John Hardy M-1 mic pre as an overall winner.
     
  5. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    It's kind of a must-have pre, for rock guitar and vocals... One of those pieces that everyone seems to like.

    Sounds fantastic w/a R-121.

    You can get some different tones out of it by driving the input/output and using the switches.

    Works great on snare drum, too.

    Completely different flavor from the Hardy - which is clean and detailed.
     
  6. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks...I didn't even know about the Hardy M-1. I just did some quick reading about it, and it seems to be another great mic pre. But I also read that it's maybe not the best choice for rock/blues. Instead, it's best for really clean stuff--maybe acoustic stuff. Agreed or no?
     
  7. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks...Would you say that a Great River (or the Hardy) would also enable me to get more out of my dynamic mics (SM 57 and Sennheiser e609 and 906)? Is the difference going to be negligible, or is it going to be quite an improvement?

    I'm wondering if I should just spring for a dual channel pre, if I want to put two mics on my amp(s) and get the most out of them.
     
  8. jmoose

    jmoose Member

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    Ummm.... no.

    It was designed with "microphones" in mind and probably more specifically, microphones run through an old Neve amp that wouldn't have all the cloudy low-mid buildup that occurs with old 10xx Neve amps.

    The Great River, being somewhat biased IMO is a killer "do-all be-all" mic amp which is what was intended... have a piece that could be as clean as a Grace (like Dan's original designs) yet be as fat and ugly as a big old Neve 10xx module if that's what 'ya wanted.

    If you plug a microphone in and things sound bad its really not the preamps fault...
     
  9. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    I've never understood what all the fuss is about with this preamp. It's not a bad preamp but it does have a character that dominates the track, which I found kind of annoying after a while. I use some form of API style preamp probably 90% of the time so maybe I'm just not a Neve guy. Use a dealer with a good return policy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  10. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    I love the Great River. I had the MP-2NV and it was fabulous on rock + acoustic guitar. Just killer. It was great with the Royer, great with dynamics, and great with condensers. It's a class pre - one that people will covet 20+ years from now.

    That being said, it's just one flavor of pre. If you are recording "rock guitar in a mix" mostly, I'd think the Chandler TG2 would be a stronger choice. If you wanted versatility, maybe the Great River or API 512.

    Bottom line - great pre, you can't make a mistake by buying it. Worst case is that you learn what its character is and decide you don't like that. If you buy it used, you can generally resell it quickly and for +/- $50 of what you paid.
     
  11. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    You will get a lot more out of any mic-dynamic, ribbon, condenser-with a great mic pre.

    The Hardy is more in the clean camp without the output transformer option, but when you add that, it gains some low end fatness.

    You should buy from someone who will let you demo a few options and keep just what you like.

    Or rent some from a rental company and buy what you prefer.

    A great option is the API 500 series format-you can get a lunchbox (4 slot) and get a few different pre's so you have some options as opposed to one 2 channel pre that is all the same. With that format, you can add EQ's, compressors etc and have a high end signal chain in a portable box. Vintage King has a deal going now-if you buy 4 modules you get the rack/power supply free. Good deal-I'm not affiliated with them.

    If I were buying any high end pro audio gear (pre's etc), I would go 500 series for the future expansion possibilities. It has become a universal format that has taken off like a rocket in the past few years. So many new modules are available from some great manufacturers.

    You can get the Hardy in a four space frame loaded with only 2 channels, one with transformer, one without. He still has not offered a 500 series format pre.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  12. naburo

    naburo Member

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    Well I know it is a bit off topic,
    but has someone tried the Royer 121 with the Avalon M5 Pre?
    What do you think about the Great River in relation to the M5?

    I want to use a Schoeps mk4 g and a Royer 121 for recording a acoustic guitar and I am looking for a decent preamp.
     
  13. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    It is off topic and I'd suggest a new thread. It's not fair to OP to hijack his thread, is it?
     
  14. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    The only thing I can tell you is that if I end up with an Avalon M5 and a Great River, I'll let you know. But probably in another thread, as someone else said. ;)

    Jeff
     
  15. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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  16. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Member

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    I've got a Great River Mic Pre that I use on my old ProTools TDM3 system. I use it on most everything and it sounds fantastic. Highly recommended. I can't compare it to the John Nandy, because I haven't tried the John Handy, but I do understand that it's better for cleaner stuff, while the Great River does tend to flavor your signal. . .in a good way.

    I bought mine from www.mercenary.com and just called Fletcher a couple of times until I decided what I wanted. (I'm not affiliated with either, but just like the sounds I get with my Great River mic pre).
     
  17. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    I used the True mic pres a few times. Good bang for the buck-also in the clean camp of pre's.

    There are so many flavors you can get with all the pre's available for the 500 series format (I'm sorry I keep pushing that, but it just makes so much sense). Take the leap and get to trying them out for yourself.

    Descriptive terminology will help guide you, but you gotta use YOUR ears.

    One of the engineers that worked for me and got to use a lot of different pre's said his favorite was the Burl. Big iron.

    Get on some of the pro audio vendor websites and take a look at all the options. Call and talk to the guys that sell all those options and get their opinions about what might work best for you and see if they will let you try some.
     
  18. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I'm thinking the 500 series may be the way to go. I'd probably get the 10 unit box, though, so I can rack it. The Great River takes up two spaces, and, as you said, there are a lot of different flavors to try out. Plus, there are EQs, compressors...stuff like that I might want down the road.

    At the moment I'm leaning toward:

    10 space 500 series lunchbox
    Great River 500 series pre
    And one more...still undecided. I need a different flavor than the GR. I'm intrigued by the Chandler Limited Little Devil now, too. Other contenders: Grace Design m501, the API that you mentioned (512c?)...and I wish Hardy made a 500 series pre. Maybe at some point he will?

    Again, this would be for micing guitar amps exclusively--at least for the moment. I have a ton of amps, but nothing in the high gain/metal genre.
     
  19. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Member

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    Once again, I would suggest contacting somebody at www.mercenary.com. I called this morning, and was told that Fletcher sold the company about three years ago. . .But, they do sell Great River, API and John Hardy. . .and many other brands of mic pres. You should be able to get the information that you need from them.

    Good luck!
     
  20. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    I bought stuff from Mercenary a few times... at this point the company is not what it was. Everyone who built it up is gone. It's the same only by name under new ownership. Fletcher moved to Germany to be Telefunken’s vice president of marketing. Jay Fitz and a couple others started a new outfit called DSP Doctor.

    I also bought from Vintage King where I got my 10 space API 500 rack FREE when I bought enough modules (I think it was eight) to qualify for the deal.

    It pays to shop around for the best deal and customer service (exchange/return policies etc).
     

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