Mic pre amps!!! insanley expensive

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by fuzzface, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. fuzzface

    fuzzface Active Member

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    In about 2-3 years time, after know more about recording, I really want to get a neve 1081 or the liquid Focusrite, but man---3000-5000 USD!!! crazy...
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    After you know more about recording you will see that while that stuff is nice - I use several high end preamps myself (focusrite red, and ISA) - it isn't necessary, and sometimes isn't even what you want.

    The boxes look pretty in your rack, but...

    You can get very desirable preamps that sound extremely good for much less. Just my two cents.
     
  3. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Agreed. They really shouldn't make THAT much difference. Yes, they make some difference, but their importance is overplayed to the "prosumer" because they are more affordable (and profitable) than high end fine mics, which make a much bigger difference. But for electric guitar, you don't even need a high end mic.

    If you've got a great song, great feel, great chops, great tone and a SM-57, the lack of a $2500 preamp shouldn't keep you from making a great recording. And if you don't have the first things in that list, no one will care what else you have anyway. :)
     
  4. muddy

    muddy Member

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    that liquid processor is a joke! you do NOT want that. scheffie is right, though.you can get great, world class pre's for just under a thou (single channel). the fmr audio pre has 2 ch's for just under $500, and it's a great pre!. just try to avoid the guitarmarts because they will try to steer you in the direction of garbage by promoting boxes with "features." rather, go by the psw & gearslutz forums & see what the engineers are using & talking about. they like to save a buck, too.


    ml
     
  5. elambo

    elambo Member

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    fuzzface - I sent you a PM.

    FMR does make a good preamp, and there are some other companies that make good pres for under $1k, but Neves are in an entirely different league. Like with a U47, it's hard to make a bad recording with a Neve.
     
  6. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    Dude, how can you even mention those two in the same sentence!

    btw, Les is right on the money.
     
  7. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    I have owned $1000 a channel preamps, tube (A-Designs MP-1) and SS(Phoenix Audio DRS-1); they were awesome, but in the end you pay *dearly* for that final 1%.

    I ended up selling all that and running with the FMR RNP; and man, that was two years ago and it hasn't bothered me once. The FMR stuff is seriously good; money factored in or not. Once you realize the money is such a value; it is a slam dunk IMHO for a great all-around do-it-all pre.

    Just my opinion.
     
  8. Orren

    Orren Member

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    I'm a huge fan of the "API Lunchbox" form factor. There are an armload of companies that make boutique-quality preamps for it (API, OSA, BAE, Purple Audio, A-Designs, Shadow Hills) all for between $450 and $700.

    Once you get a lunchbox (there are a bunch of different ones, from many different companies, that hold anywhere from 2 to 11 modules, prices from $450 to around $800), the cost of adding preamps modules is quite affordable.

    Not as cheap as the RNP, but you can end up with 4-6 high end preamps in a lunchbox for less than the price of one of those $3000 preamps, and there will be no loss of quality.

    Orren
     
  9. Antero

    Antero Member

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    Top-of-the-line costs, and recording is not a cheap pastime to begin with. If you're going to kick it out professionally, like really hardcore professionally, you need the best stuff possible. If you're just doing demos for yourself, you don't. Match the gear to your goals and your tastes.

    And yeah, don't talk about the Liquid Channel. The very idea of that thing makes my head hurt.
     
  10. zenpicker

    zenpicker Member

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    I upgraded from a cheap MAudio DMP3 to an ADesigns MP2 and I can say there is a significant improvement in sound. That's solid state to tube, for one thing, but the airiness and clarity and naturalness of my steel-string fingerstyle guitar is dramatically better.

    This being said, I decided after much noodling to skip the "middle" price point, best represented by the FMR RNP that so many people love, and just go up to the next bracket. I don't want to have to upgrade again in two years, or re-record otherwise good performances because the audio didn't measure up. But that's a big decision. I was looking for two channels, too, so even bigger $$. Nonetheless, I am happy with that decision. It's a matter of budget and tolerance for sticker shock, as well as your overall goals.

    I still record on relatively cheap mikes--Behringer B1 LDC and MXL 991 SDC, plus some nicer Nakamichi SDCs sometimes. Upgrading the preamp made these modest mikes shine. I may cave in and one day buy the de rigeur Neumanns, but for now I am content. That is thanks to the preamp.

    Last thing - if you do upgrade, especially to tubes, plan to spend some time learning the new tool. A good preamp is so much hotter and more sensitive than what you're probably using that it will shock you at first.

    I feel your pain in making this decision! It's serious money.
     
  11. fuzzface

    fuzzface Active Member

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    Hey dudes... Yes I am going to research this for as long as I need. I am shocked how many said the focusrite sucked. I was recommend this by a fairly reputable studio ( though small )... A bigger San Fran studio (an employee from there bought my WH-1
    pedal) said the Neve 1272 was not too hot, that there were many others that beat it out for cheaper. However he did mention that 1081 was the shi#. What do you guys like recoring vocals with? Guitar? I like like coldplay's overall warm sound, but I don't know if that neve sound will rock for recording my marshall, probably.
     
  12. Red Ant

    Red Ant Member

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    Best value-for-money deal out there right now is Toft Audio. Trident A-Range/80B quality mic pres at prices normal people can afford.

    www.toftaudio.com

    I have special pricing with them, so if anyone is interested, PM me :)

    All that said, i'm a HUGE fan of Neve 1066, 1072 and 1081s... if one can afford them.
     
  13. Antero

    Antero Member

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    It's not like it's going to destroy your sound, but it's basically an overpriced toy - a cheaper preamp with a fancy digital EQ being sold for the price of truly top shelf preamps.
     
  14. elambo

    elambo Member

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    The comment about the 1272 vs the 1081 made me laugh. I had to show a coworker, who also laughed when he read this. Seriously, I think you might want to steer clear of anyone who drives such a large wedge between these two amps as to call a 1272 "not too hot" and a 1081 "the shi#". The 1272/1073s are Class A, and prefered by more engineers than the the Class A/B sound of the 1081, which lacks some of the classic mojo which makes Neves what they are. For the record, a 1272 and a 1073 will sound exactly them same up to a point of very high gain, where the 1073 has another stage and an extra bit of gain. The 1081 is a newer Neve design (early 70's), but not considered an improvement by most.
     
  15. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    It's funny how many opinions you get from people who claim to "know" regarding the gear, when so few have experience recording world-class talent in great sounding rooms.

    Fortunately, this forum has several members who do have that experience, and it's well worth giving some consideration to what they have to say.

    A few observations: the talent is the most important factor. A mic or electronics may be wonderful on a great voice, but on a less than interesting voice, it really doesn't matter what you record with. It's still going to suck.

    After that, finding the right mic for the source is IMHO far more important than the preamplifier, assuming you have reasonably acceptable preamps. This doesn't necessarily mean expensive. Bono records with an SM58, for example.

    I believe that the compressor and EQ will have a more significant impact on the final sound than the preamp. Just my opinion. Hell, the summing buss on the console is every bit as important to me. A great mastering person makes a big difference. The variations and permutations are endless. Endless! And shaping the sound YOUR way is what it's about.

    There's no such thing as gospel when it comes to recording equipment. The magic, if any, is in the performance, the talent of the engineer, the producer's choices, and on and on. Like...um...the song, the arrangement, etc.

    I say this often: It ain't about the gear. :) I've recorded in various terrific studios here and in Europe with engineers who could make good gear sound really bad, could not get a sound to save their asses, and engineers who could make the same damn pieces of gear sound amazing in no time at all.

    PS - I'd love to have a Liquid Channel just for the fun of it! (and yes, I regularly use Neve 1073s, Telefunkens, etc etc etc and respected modern gear; I think there is room for having something that might give one lots of choices, and I could care less what those 'in the know' say. Know why? I'm in my OWN 'know', ie, I decide the usefulness of equipment based on MY needs and not someone else's say-so, tho I do try out things people I respect have to say ;)).
     
  16. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Good point, Les. I couldn't agree more about the importance of talented people operating this gear. It's more important than the gear itself.

    But in this case, the author of this post is the one using this gear. That variable is out of the equation. Whether he's an amateur or at the top of his game, his skill level will be the same whether he uses a Radio Shack preamp or a rack of Neves. So, outside of recommending better ways to use his current gear (which, in a sense, you've actually done by recommending paying close attention to matching singers to microphones), it's only going to help if we can recommend the "better" gear, which is what we've been trying to sift through.

    For the record, I've heard only a few positive comments about the Focusrite Liquid and those have tended to come from people who bought the damn thing and might be trying to curve some of their buyer's remorse.
     
  17. fuzzface

    fuzzface Active Member

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    Which pre amps are better for rock guitar and which is best for vocals? Can you use a 1272 or 1081 for both?
    What is best pre amp? NEVe?
     
  18. fuzzface

    fuzzface Active Member

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    BTW I found Brent Averill and Vintech's websites. Both make the Neve 1272, but which is better? Does anyone know?

    Please let me know asap

    thanks
     
  19. muddy

    muddy Member

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    go with the averill, hands down. btw, you should SERIOUSLY consider rupert's new "portico" range mic pre!! and you can get them cheap(er) right now (at $1400 for a 2 ch pre, that's $700 a pre from the man himself!!):

    http://www.rupertneve.com/

    [​IMG]


    ml
     
  20. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I don't think there's a wrong decision between them. I don't personally own gear from either company, but I've heard quite a bit a positive stuff about both. I'm not even sure that you could call one better than the other. People who own the Averill will likely suggest that Averill is better. Same for Vintech. Honestly, they're both very good companies.
     

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