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Mic Preamp Suggestions

theHoss

Member
Messages
1,248
Howdy,

I am looking to get a reasonable (good value, but not crazy expensive. Under $1000) mic preamp for home recording. I am thinking about getting an MBOX2 using ProTools. I would like to get something that will work for both Vocals and Acoustic guitar. Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated it.

Thanks.
 

Dan Desy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,212
Dang, can't you get a lot of preamp for $1000???

I use a Presonus Blue Tube, which I paid like, $75 used. Dual tube pre, no issues...
 

theHoss

Member
Messages
1,248
Sweet! I haven't started pricing them yet. I was reading that the Mic Preamp is where you want to spend the money though, so I was figuring that they are going to be way expensive. $75 seems like a great deal.

Thanks, keep them coming.
 

Dan Desy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,212
Mind you, I'm totally knowledgeless when it comes to those things. I got the preamp just to get phantom power, which my audio h/w (Line 6 Toneport UX1) didn't provide. Now it sounds fine to me, but I don't know how much better I could do, for home recording...
 

Hiwatt Bob

Member
Messages
1,007
i recommend the groove tubes Brick. it's a very well built tube mic pre/di box. sounds great, very low noise.

also, look into the joemeek stuff. i really like their stuff, although it's not everyone's cup of tea. really warm, very colored, but in a good way imho. great bang for the buck.
 

pickaguitar

2011 TGP Silver Medalist
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,189
I recommend a Motu 8-pre.
It's about $540 and will give you 8 excellent preamps...firewire based.

My friend uses it with a Mac and has wonderful results!
 

mdog114

Member
Messages
3,741
I have both the 610 & the 110 by UA. Great pres for the money and right in your budget.
 

cochese

Member
Messages
2,170
For acoustic guitar and vocals you might want to check out the FMR Audio RNP. Good bang for the buck. You want a transparent mic pre for your purpose.

For really great vocal sounds you're microphone will make a much bigger difference than the mic pre. I found this out when I bought my Great River ME-1NV (Neve based) mic pre. As great as that pre is it couldn't make my AT4050 sound like the Neumann I use at my producers studio. Your best bet is to examine the quality of mics you have and start from there. You can also buy some mic pres that you can return and try them in your own studio first. That way you'll know. This has saved me a lot of $$$ in the long run.
 

IPlayHamers

Member
Messages
1,223
I have both the 610 & the 110 by UA. Great pres for the money and right in your budget.
+1 I have the 2-610 which I love on guitar as well as other things. The one thing I will say is that it's not as usable on drums/percussion as the preamp is a bit slow due to the tube nature. If you want something more versatile check out Trident S-20. I really like this pre alot. It sounds good on pretty much anything you throw at at. Although it doesn't have the warmth of the 2-610, with the right mic it will do everything you need.

P.S. The 2-610 is about $2000. The 610 is $800 and doesn't have all of the features of it's big brother. The S-20 is $1000 and IMO a sleeper among the current crop of modern pres.

Just my 2 cents
 

thesedaze

Member
Messages
1,682
i recommend the groove tubes Brick. it's a very well built tube mic pre/di box. sounds great, very low noise.

also, look into the joemeek stuff. i really like their stuff, although it's not everyone's cup of tea. really warm, very colored, but in a good way imho. great bang for the buck.
The Brick is a great DI option, but on the teetering end of being considered a Preamp. It's got all the basic necessities of a preamp, but when comparing it to a quality no-frills preamp such as the Universal Audio Solo 610, it falls short in options. A typical/quality preamp will have a few EQ switches/selections, thus allowing you to really tailor the tone to your needs.

The UA stuff is hard to beat for the money...The ole Peavey VMP-2 is a great 2 channel tube preamp to be had for $800 or so on the used market.

For transparency, nothing beats the Grace Design model 101, IMHO. They can be found for around $500 for a single channel.

Does the MBOX2 have line in's for you to use external preamps?
 

thesedaze

Member
Messages
1,682
I recommend a Motu 8-pre.
It's about $540 and will give you 8 excellent preamps...firewire based.

My friend uses it with a Mac and has wonderful results!
While I'm not necessarily familiar with those, it sounds similar to the Presonus Digimax's....works via ADAT output/input to an existing interface...I don't believe the MBOX's can handle something like that. He probably only has 1 or 2 line inputs to work with.
 

sloanfiske

Member
Messages
88
you might want to try something with a little more flavor.

I have a couple of the Chameleon Labs 7602s. It's a neve-flavored preamp (no...it's not just like it...but its also not 4 grand) with a decent preamp and a fantastic eq for the money. all handwired. they go for 799 with a power supply. on the used market I've seem them as low as 5. it's a great tool with shaping capablities.

most banjo marts have them in a rack. take a listen and see if you like it.

i think they sound pretty darn good and having the eq is great when stacking guitars and vocals.

http://www.chameleonlabs.com/

other than that, sub-1000 mark...

Great River
Used Demeter VTMP-2
Used Chandler Germanium
John Hardy
Sytek
Grace
FMR RNP
 

theBruce

Member
Messages
288
One channel or two?

If you need only one channel and can pay just over a grand, I highly recommend the Great River ME1 NV.

For just under a grand, a used Demeter VTMP-2B 2 channel tube pre from fleabay.....wonderful on acoustic and a good all-rounder.

In the budget zone, nothing beats a pair of Rane MS-!b preamps with Burr-Brown opamps. $300.00 new for a pair. The best under-$500.00 per channel pres I have auditioned. I use them quite often and have many other more expensive preamps to choose from.
 

jzb

Member
Messages
573
My 2 Cents would be...

For a clean and colorless

John Hardy M1

For a colorful or "warm tone" (aka Iron in the path)

Amek 9098
Dan Alexander Mic Pre (daaudio on ebay)
Single channel Manley
MA 2.2 Buzz audio (Buzz audio was my favorite on the Mic Pre shoot out disc however you gotta look around to get a good deal)
Focusrite Red 8 or 6 (the 6 is a single pre and eq combo, the 8 is a dual pre)

If money is an issue

The RNP would be a fine choice.

Peavey VMP-2 if you can find it is also a sleeper hit!

Any of the above can be found for around 1k or less is you look around. The Gearslutz board has a great 2nd hand forum.

I personally like to use a Manley tube pre and Lawson L47MP for Acoustic guitar most of the time. However, I like an Avalon 737-SP on finger players.
 

jzb

Member
Messages
573
I like the clip of the 7602... I might just have to get one to play with ...

you might want to try something with a little more flavor.

I have a couple of the Chameleon Labs 7602s. It's a neve-flavored preamp (no...it's not just like it...but its also not 4 grand) with a decent preamp and a fantastic eq for the money. all handwired. they go for 799 with a power supply. on the used market I've seem them as low as 5. it's a great tool with shaping capablities.

most banjo marts have them in a rack. take a listen and see if you like it.

i think they sound pretty darn good and having the eq is great when stacking guitars and vocals.

http://www.chameleonlabs.com/

other than that, sub-1000 mark...

Great River
Used Demeter VTMP-2
Used Chandler Germanium
John Hardy
Sytek
Grace
FMR RNP
 

mdog114

Member
Messages
3,741
I have a couple of the Chameleon Labs 7602s.

other than that, sub-1000 mark...

Great River
Used Demeter VTMP-2
Used Chandler Germanium
John Hardy
Sytek
Grace
FMR RNP
I've got a Chameleon, Sytek, RNP and VTMP along with the UA stuff. All good choices!

I'd have to agree that the CL is looking pretty good so far, I just got it a month ago.
 

theHoss

Member
Messages
1,248
Thanks everyone who has contributed thus far. As for the info I have reviewed thus far.

1) Having 2 channels would be nice because I like to record in stereo quite a bit.

2) I like the "All in oneness" of the Joe Meek stuff, beucase I don't really have the budget to buy the EQ and Comp seperately.

I do have a couple of questions.

Do you use the MIC pre for all mics, including the MICs on your guitar amps?

Currently, I have a Maudio fasttrack USB interface, so I just run everything through that.

Thanks again!
 

LSchefman

Member
Messages
13,435
>>Your best bet is to examine the quality of mics you have and start from there.<<

Best and truest advice so far.
 




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