Preamp shopping -- which "Neve" do I want?

Messages
1,500
I'm starting to shop around for a new mic pre or maybe a pre/EQ (I'll entertain a full channel strip too if it's in the budget), something versatile that can handle a few different sources:
  • Bass DI
  • Vocals
  • Voiceover
  • Guitars (though I'm not that picky about pre for guitar)

Right now I have a Daking Mic Pre One and a two-channel Chameleon Labs 7622. The Daking is great, detailed and punchy, and I would be totally happy getting another channel, but it lacks the harmonic distortion and transformer "weight" of the Chameleon Labs, even though it's a classier sound overall.

The CL labs adds thickness to bass and my voice, but it's too fuzzy and sibilant for voiceover work with my mic of choice, the EV RE-20. Sounds best on guitars, synths, and bass DI.

Here's what's on my list right now:
  1. Daking Mic Pre/EQ -- I already like my Daking, so maybe if I get the version with EQ then I can dial in the low end that I want on my voice? Not sure if it has enough character for Bass DI though.
  2. BAE DMP -- seems like a cool Neve-ish option, and it has TWO thru jacks so I can easily split my bass out to two other sources. Maybe too noisy for voiceover work?
  3. RND Portico 5017 -- seems like a very pristine, detailed preamp, also low noise. But will it have enough "weight" and thickness? I do like the feature set, with the thru, blend, variphase control, and the opto compressor. I don't need any of that stuff but I would definitely use it if I had it.
  4. Vintech x73i -- the closest thing to a Neve 1073 that's in my budget (sort of but I could stretch). Seems like a popular choice for Neve on a budget. I wonder how noisy it is?

My budget is about $1000 for a used piece, although I could stretch for something like the Vintech (which is a few hundred more) if it's really that much better.

Anyone have experience with these pres? Anything I should add to my list?
 

Captngeetch

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
916
Be interested to hear the end result. I just dove into the 500 series game myself. Waiting on a couple modules to arrive. Just have an Alctron MP73a and the matching eq75a as well as a GAP 73mkii. Waiting on a Black Lion Auteur and a Lindell 6x. I know your not going 500 series, but most offer both versions so Id be interested in the end choice and thoughts after testing
 

TwoHandsTenThumbs

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,226
Although more of an “inspired by” piece than any sort of knock-off, I’ve gotten a lot of use out of my Great River MP2NV. They make a single channel or 500 series version that would meet your price criteria. It excels at weighty but clear, and is a darn good bass DI. Has an insert point for your eq or compressor of choice.
 

Ed DeGenaro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,727
Well you already have a Chameleon, if I wanted a budget Neve I'd go there.
For low end stuff like bass or guitar with a 57 I like the Chandler Germanium.
Not a fan of the RND stuff.
 
Messages
1,500
Although more of an “inspired by” piece than any sort of knock-off, I’ve gotten a lot of use out of my Great River MP2NV. They make a single channel or 500 series version that would meet your price criteria. It excels at weighty but clear, and is a darn good bass DI. Has an insert point for your eq or compressor of choice.
Ah yes, I forgot to put that one on my list! I'm definitely interested in the Great River.
 

russ6100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,550
Thanks. I'm trying to avoid 500 series for now because I don't have a rack, and really I only need about 4 channels of outboard mic pres atm.
Well according to some with loads of experience with real-deal 1073s, part of the magic recipe is a device running on 24V rails, so maybe you're headed in the right direction.

Before I pulled the trigger on a WA73-EQ, I read WAY too many gearslutz threads in order to kind of get the "lay of the land".

Depending on who you listen to, the unit is everything between a total joke of a paper weight, to being declared the ONLY clone that gets it right in the xformer department. Lots of new accounts were made over there when the unit first hit the scene, possibly (likely) by some that were affiliated with competing companies that feared for their livelyhood.

All I can tell you is that I'm beyond satisfied. Great unit. The HPF doesn't merely "taketh away"! Variable impedance "tone" button's state can make all the difference in the world, depending. Output metering is great to have.

Great on guitars, whether micing up the amp or DI.

Bass DI sounds amazing.
 

Kronos147

Member
Messages
406
I have been rocking the Aurora's for years. I have two GTP8's and two GTQ2's (a Mk. II & a Mk. III).

I am selling off some of my Aurora pres as I got 10 channels of Brent Averill 1272's recently. I like them better, but, if this wasn't a pro studio I probably would stick with the Aurora's. I do think the 1272's are better, but maybe not 2 times as good, which is what I am paying now compared to the GTP8 (about $500 a channel vs. about $1000 a channel).
 

tazzboy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,936
BAE is my choice. I have the BAE 1073MP Dual Channel with the Steve Stevenson Blend Mod to blend two mics like a ribbon mic and dynamic mic.
 
Messages
1,500
So there's several decent options out there for a Neve clone. Here's my question -- how clean can these things get? My issue with my Chameleon Labs pres (if you can even call them Neve clones) is they are kinda harsh/sibilant on vox. Ideally whatever I get would add that transformer weight/low mids thing to the signal but would also stay fairly clean as long as I'm not overdriving the input. I'm hoping the higher end pres can do this.

Does the impedance selector help with this?
 




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