Is there some reason why I wouldn't want to build a simple mic pre with a jfet or similar boosting the signal a modest 12db or so? I track my 57 straight into the converter, and the signal is at least reasonable with the boost maxed. My ribbon mic on the other hand picks up some white noise. It's not too bad, but I've thought about a really cheap booster. Why would my $15 2n5457 based mic pre be a whole lot worse than any of the $500 offerings out there? Do they use magic transistors? Is the input transformer that importand? I'm not gonna worry about phantom power or a level knob, but that doesn't make up the other $475. I figure 1m input imp, probably sub 10k output imp... what's wrong with this picture?