Mic Pre-amp-Tube Mic ???/!!!

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by ricoh, Oct 4, 2004.


  1. ricoh

    ricoh Member

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    I'm sure this has been discussed before but...... I was satisfied -w- the GT Brick which was suggested here. What about tube mics like the Audio Technica model or AKG Solid Tube. Any thoughts?
    How about RNP's? Comparable -w-the ART tube pre-amps. Any others come to mind that are reasonable$$$$$
    Thanks Rico
     
  2. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    I have a tube conversion mic I did with the kit from Mojave Audio; I like it. It made a cheap $100 condenser mic sound like a $750 mic for $400. And I learned a ton doing it.

    I will tell you right now - as a RNP/RNC user/owner - that the FMR stuff will BLOW away anything ART has or will ever put out. The preamp will compare with most any solid state preamp up to the $1000 a channel (think clean, detailed) ala the John Hardy school of clean preamp design (and I prefer it over the Grace stuff). I have owned a few preamps in the $1000 a channel level (A-Design Tube and Phoenix Audio). I speak as someone very happy with the FMR stuff.

    The FMR RNC compressor I will put up against anything up to $1500.

    IMHO - and very strongly - there is nothing that compares for the money. At all.

    :D
     
  3. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I don't what you mean by "reasonable," but forget ART mic pres. A tube does not guarantee quality audio. There are great solid state pres and great tube pres; don't base a buying decision solely on whether the thing has a tube or not.

    I'm not familiar with with either mic you mentioned.
     
  4. jzb

    jzb Member

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    I agree with Scott about the Really Nice gear. However, there really is something special about a great tube circuit preamp. Some "tube" gear is simply not really a tube circuit. The ART gear is such an example.

    I'm currently using Manley, Drawmer, and Avalon pre's. Each has a personality as distinct as each of the members of the forum.

    The only tube mic I own is a Lawson L47mp. If your gonna do tube mic's... now your talking $$ and taste.

    ... explore and enjoy...


    -j
     
  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    The Manley preamp is very, very nice. I love the way a vocal seems to appear magically from a velvet background.

    I like the higher end focusrite preamps, transformer based, and that is what I use. They're Rupert Neve designed, he was one of the focusrite originals after he left Neve audio. I actually prefer solid state mic preamps for general use, even though I greatly love the Manley.

    I also prefer solid state mics, it seems. This is not an ideological preference, my favorite mics just happen to be solid state.

    The best tube mics aren't good because they employ tubes to add "warmth"; they're good because they were designed to sound good in the first place.
     
  6. heinz

    heinz Guest

    I'll trade you an RNC for a Distressor any day.
     
  7. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Got that right. Or a Tube Tech or Daking... I mean, come on.
     
  8. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Word; the point being that this little sub $200 box can hang with most stuff up to that level.

    I'll take any of the fancy pants stuff you guys are offering up vs. the RNC; you are right.

    And that was my point.

    Name one other box in this little thing's price range or up to 3X or 4X the price (new price, now let's be fair) that'll beat it in the real world.

    You can't.

    You can name $1500+ boxes all day that'll kill it; and I would hope so!

    Dat was my point man! I mean come on indeed!
     
  9. jzb

    jzb Member

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    You can spend alot or a little money and still get crap!

    You can give someone the best thing made and watch them procede to **** up the track from lack of understanding or simply too complicated operating mechanics.

    If you need to be able to get the sound your looking for from the piece. This transcends the idea of cost, size, and circuit design.

    To illustrate this:

    I've used many different mixing boards and their preamps. I've found that I don't care for most of them. Then I went out and listened, auditioned, and bought a number of outboard preamps. I've settled on a couple of brands that I can count on to get me the sound in my head to tape. Drawmer for Kick, Snare, & bass. Avalon for some vox and acoustic guitar. Occasionally I'll use it as a DI for bass too. Manley for drums, guitars, some vox, and anything else I want a total rock and roll sound for.

    If I had my druthers I would roll around with 16 channels of Daking pres and compressors. For everything!

    Funny... I just happen to pick on the high end... but I can hear the difference many others can't.

    -j
     
  10. heinz

    heinz Guest

    No ill will intended Scott. It's just that I've learned it's dangerous to generalize in audio gear. Because it always (for me) comes down to the application.

    For example, if I want to compress a rock snare, most times I'd reach for a DBX 160x instead of an RNC. That's because I've found the RNC to be a bit mushier in this application than the 160x, which gives me nice crisp snap. And the 160x a sub-$200 box.

    The RNC and all FMR gear is indeed a great value. But comparing it based on price alone may not always shake out.

    Cheers
     
  11. ricoh

    ricoh Member

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    Reasonable to me would be $ 200.00 to 400.00 The high end stuff would be great but the recordings are done for my own satisfaction. I can't afford 2000.00 on a pre or comp or I can't justify it at this time. Just looking for more sonic colors, more sounds to have at hand at that more reasonable price and checking out other thoughts on the subject...... Thanks Rico
     
  12. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Cool - but he didn't ask about drums in particular; had he I would have suggested the same thing. We cool on that. :D

    I was coming from a "all-around" general use. I would not let a dbx 160x anywhere near my vocals for instance.

    Everything has a use, every tool has a purpose.

    I suggested the FMR stuff because it is indeed affordable and can be used on a variety of sources with great results.

    Dat's all.
     
  13. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    I personally wouldn't mess with a tube mic unless you've got a few thousand dollars to spend on a sweet high end mic...but that's just my opinion.

    You'd do better to get a tube pre and a higher quality condenser if you must have tubes in your signal chain.

    If you want a mic that will give you some variety in coloration...go with a Soundelux ifet7. If you want a pre that will give you a lot of bang for the buck, get a Crane Song Flamingo. Both are a bit out of the price range you have suggested...but both will serve you extremely well.
     
  14. ricoh

    ricoh Member

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    Thanks for the advice. Where would I look into this item?
    How much out of my price range? Thanks
    Rico
     
  15. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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  16. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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  17. ricoh

    ricoh Member

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    Well somewhat!!! Looking for new stuff can take many twists and turns. At any rate 2700.00 is way to much for my budget!!!
    I would like to have some of these high priced rigs but ......!!!!!!
    Probably the FMR stuff will be more like it.
    The thread was about reasonable Tube Mics and how they sound but there is not much feedback on this subject.
    Rico
     
  18. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    >> 2700.00 is way to much for my budget!!!

    So how do you know it's "worth every penny?"

    I've used some Crane Song gear (though not this one) and my impression is that it's very good, but at their prices no way would I say they maximize one's "bang for the buck."

    >> The thread was about reasonable Tube Mics and how they sound but there is not much feedback on this subject.

    That's because, as far as I know, none exist in his price range.
     
  19. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    I know it's worth every penny, because I have used it. I made no mention of this particular piece being ouy of MY budget.

    Reading is fundamental, Michael. :p

    As for reasonable tube mics...I agree that there is no such thing. Any tube mic that costs less than a grand is suspect IMO. Properly executed pro-audio tube circuits are not what I would consider affordable.
     
  20. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    Seems to me that this thread is about trying to help a brotha out, and not throw his money away over the mistique of a tube mic...or tube anything for that matter when you consider the budget. I offered a solid-state solution that would be more flexible by a TON without consideration for budget. :)

    Now, i will offer an alternative in the interest of helping a brotha out, instead of nit-picking over the content of a post ;)

    Studio Projects VTB-1 - allows you to engage the tube or leave it out of the circuit. sure, the tube is in the pre, as I suggested before...but I prefer this at this price point, since you will basically have 2 pre colors...making it more flexible than a tube mic in this range. Here's a helpful review:

    http://www.mojopie.com/vtb1.html

    I'd also go with a Studio Projects mic...probaby a B3.

    Good luck in your search. You'd be much better off staying away from tube gear in your budget range, but what do i know? Horses for courses :)
     

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