mic/instrument preamps

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Stevo57, May 26, 2005.


  1. Stevo57

    Stevo57 Supporting Member

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    I'm looking into the GT Brick and an Avalon U5. Any opinions on these or possibly some other less expensive ones would be appreciated. It will be used for guitar to efx and acoustic micing
    and maybe as a bass pre occasionally.
     
  2. Hard2Hear

    Hard2Hear Member

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    I havent used the brick, but it gets alot of good nods for a no frills tube pre in the recording world. I have thought about trying one but right now I have too many pres as it is.

    The Avalon U5 is very nice. I have used one as a vocal mic pre and as a di for acoustic guitar. It did excellent in both situations. I don't think there is a better one out there, different flavors, yes, better, no.

    Another killer bidget box is the M-Audio Tampa. No tubes in it, but excellent clean amplification and a very usable limiter built into it. Some people whose opinions I value put it as the only pre under $800 worth buying.

    For bass direct I have yet to find something I like better than the "el-cheapo" Art Tube-Pac. I take it with me to every studio I use and prefer it over anything else I have used at any price. It just has the fat gritty bass sound that I really like. I guess a personal preference thing.

    H2H
     
  3. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    The U5 doesn't have a mic pre. You'll want the M5 if you need that. Can't go wrong with either. Summit also makes a DI and a Pre/DI in that price range. My vote for budget tube DI is the Studio Projects VTB-1.
     
  4. Hard2Hear

    Hard2Hear Member

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    Yep, thats right. I always get the u and m mixed up cause theyre not right in front of me. Its the M5 I have used.

    H2H
     
  5. Stevo57

    Stevo57 Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I will check out some of those other models you mentioned.
     
  6. loudboy

    loudboy Supporting Member

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    Not a personal preference, the little squre ART Tube MP is usually our first choice for bass, too. It's a great DI box.

    Loudboy
     
  7. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    I just bought an M-Audio DMP-3. I haven't gotten it yet, but based on alot of research that I did, it seems to have gotten alot of good comments from users for a preamp in the low-end range.

    It costs $159, and I think is about to be discontinued if not already. Musicians Friend has some.

    I'm returning an M-Audio Audio Buddy ($50) because it is too easy to overload the input when recording a guitar cabinet.
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    The U5 is the best DI for the kinds of bass sounds I like that I've owned; it also has gobs of headroom, which I like very much. It also has useful tone controls, level controls, and other features that make it quite worth owning. The Demeter tube DI is also great sounding, a little darker, but has nearly as much headroom, and a very open sound.

    I liked the GT direct box very much, though it didn't have quite the headroom. It was darker than the Demeter, but actually produced a sound that was an awful lot like my Mesa Bass 400+, so it was a very useful DI for rock tracks, etc.

    The DI on my Focusrite ISA 220 doesn't have the headroom of the U5, but it sounds good, and has EQ and compression one can switch in, and a terrific mic preamp.

    I'm picky about DIs and dislike most of them.
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I've said many times that I don't feel the preamp makes a ton of difference on electric guitar. It's more about your tone up front, mic choice and mic technique. But the preamp is not irrelevant. I use an Avalon VT737 (very different from the M5) or Focusrite Red for electric guitar. I use the Avalon for lead voice and bass, sometimes the Focusrite for background vocals to give them a different sheen.

    Without going into a long description of my bass chain (which took me months to nail !!), for a DI I use the SansAmp Bass Driver into the Avalon with some EQ (downward bass shelf) before compression (for general shaping), then into a Focusrite Compounder for more punchy compression and EQ (bass boost) on the back end.
     
  10. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    While I do like the color you can get from certain preamps on electric guitar, I do feel it is a small part of the overall color you add to a track compared to all the other parts of the chain.

    The GT stuff is indeed pretty nice and I have worked with lots of fancy stuff, but the past year I have used nothing but the FMR "Really Nice Preamp"and haven't felt the need to do anything else. Just a honeslty "very good" natural good sounding preamp.

    I owned a few fancy DI's (including a Demeter Tube DI bought from Les) and indeed, there are a ton of great DI"s out there... the Avalon being one of the standards out there.

    In the end with DI's it comes down to what you desire tonally for each track; the even and IMHO tonally balanced FMR sounds great to me.

    In the end, I am totally happy to give props to affordable gear that truly holds up to even the highest end stuff and the FMR stuff truly holds its own against even the stupid high money stuff.

    :D
     

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