Mic Pre Suggestions?

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minorkeylee
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Mic Pre Suggestions?

Post by minorkeylee » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:05 am

I'm just about ready to buy a nice pre. At a price point between $400-$800, what would you consider?

Groove Tubes Brick

Focusrite Million$ Pre

UA 610

Really Nice Pre (RNP)

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Post by the finger genius » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:18 am

Don't forget the Sytek MPX4A. An awesome set of 4 pres for the $.

It would be helpful if you could let everyone know what your looking for in a pre (color? realism?) and what are you going to be recording (instrumentation? style? mics?).
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Post by mattwhritenour » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:54 am

I hear the 610 is a little picky with what it sounds on, so if you're looking for just 1 pre right now you probably want something a little more versitile. I read some good reviews about the Universal Audio 4110 which is very expensive but there is the Solo 110 which is solid state instead of tube. I'm gonna guess the 110 pre sounds just like the 4110.

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Post by minorkeylee » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:58 am

To be honest, I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for. I currently use Mackie VLZ3's for pretty much everything (into 2 Layla 24/96's)...and if I run out of pres on that, I use an old Teac Model 5 board for pres.

I guess my biggest problem right now is vocals and acoustic guitars. I feel like I need something else to elevate these particular sounds. Especially acoustic guitars. Damn, I feel like I can never get them right.

I'm not as concerned about DI, although it will be nice to have something other than the Countryman. The only thing I ever use the DI for is bass, and I'm pretty happy with the sounds I'm getting.

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Post by BOWIE » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:17 pm

Of the ones you listed, the 610 is the coolest but most distinct sounding. Unless you do a calculated tube sawp, wherything will be smooth and soft. Which isn't a bad sound, but you might not want it on everyuthing, depending on what kind of tone you're after.
It's killer on guitars and most vocals.

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Post by calaverasgrandes » Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:45 pm

i always find the mackie VLZ pres to be kind of lacking in low end solidity and high mid snap. maybe check out something a little more modern? Like a true p1 or Grace 101.
OTOH I think everything sounds better when tracked thru transformers. Good ones, bad ones, fat ones, skinny ones. You could pick up a yamaha PM180 or PM700 for cheap, or an old soundcraft live sound mixer. I also find the pres on most of the allen and heaths to be usable, though I dont think they are transformer based at all.
Also, Daking makes a single channel pre now in a little DI looking box. I believe its less than $700 if not $600.
oh here we go
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Re: Mic Pre Suggestions?

Post by Huntlabs » Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:34 pm

minorkeylee wrote:I'm just about ready to buy a nice pre. At a price point between $400-$800, what would you consider?

Groove Tubes Brick

Focusrite Million$ Pre

UA 610

Really Nice Pre (RNP)
I had the UA Solo 610. I liked it but it was picky on what mics sounded good. Good DI for electric guitar.

Personally I'd recommend the Hamptone JFET. The kit if you can build it or get it assembled. Great Bass DI box too. Really good mic pre's IMO.
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Re: Mic Pre Suggestions?

Post by DrummerMan » Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:49 pm

Huntlabs wrote: I had the UA Solo 610. I liked it but it was picky on what mics sounded good.
I had the same experience. Great with my Oktava 319, a bit weak with an sm7. It's funny, I now have the LA-610 and I feel like even with the comp bypassed, it's tons more versatile than the solo 610. I know it has that EQ section that seems to work really well, but it seems almost like a completely different beast to me. Then again, I never had the two at the same time to compare side by side, so...
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Re: Mic Pre Suggestions?

Post by BOWIE » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:27 pm

DrummerMan wrote:
Huntlabs wrote: I had the UA Solo 610. I liked it but it was picky on what mics sounded good.
I had the same experience. Great with my Oktava 319, a bit weak with an sm7. It's funny, I now have the LA-610 and I feel like even with the comp bypassed, it's tons more versatile than the solo 610. I know it has that EQ section that seems to work really well, but it seems almost like a completely different beast to me. Then again, I never had the two at the same time to compare side by side, so...
Most folks feel that the LA-610 is a tad brighter which may be why you find it more versatile than the dark solo610.

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Post by rwc » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:08 am

rwc wrote:Image

get a 48v supply for phantom with 6.8k resistors, and a 15v supply. or make them but it's so cheap to buy a GOOD one that it doesn't make sense not to. one decent sized one should be able to fit. get some PCBs printed for that, and try fitting 8 of them in a box. be creative with the kind of conector you'll use to supply power to them - I like MIDI connectors and cables myself. 48v, +15, -15, and ground. and I leave one pin blank.

for the color, paint it yellow.

It seems every other post is asking for some magic box to add warmth and color and professionalism. maybe I'm nuts, but something simple like this hits me much harder than a lot of "colored" pres. its lack of color IS its color to me. I listen to the UA-610 a tenant has, and compare it to this, and it sounds better. I really hear more of what I'm listening to. I hear MORE of the mic's color, MORE of the source's color.

Since you can't hear a microphone properly without a preamp, there's no WAY of hearing what it actually SOUNDS like prior to the process of being amplified. So there's no way to tell if the preamp is adding color, or merely not stripping away the color that existed as the time of recording.

I don't buy that some preamps have color anymore.

What I DO buy, is that lousy preamps suck a little bit of the balls out of the recording.

With a nice preamp, for me, it's NOT in what it ADDS.

It's what it DOESN'T take away.

and compared to a 610, it's not 1.5K!

the less shit you throw in there, the less shit you're taking away. the beauty in the above is in its simplicity.

I look at those earthworks pres that are meant to be natural and neutral and flat, and think they sound dull as shit. You open them up and see 553* shit inside them. the ICs that make every discrete module sound amazing. go figure.

I truly believe with good preamps, it's not how it's fucking the sound up, but moreso in how it lets it through.

what transformers do, in neve designs, to my limited understanding of neve design, is get rid of RF and other bullshit. they even advertize the fact that their designs are transformer coupled, with that in mind(the new 5*** consoles he's making) It's not as much intended to be a distortion/color machine, but intended to get rid of crap.
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minorkeylee
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Post by minorkeylee » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:10 pm

OK.. First off, Calverasgrande.....modern pre...good suggestion. I really like what I've read about the P1 - do you have any experience with it?

RWC - the schemes/link you sited.....that's a 'build it yourself' kind of deal? If so, beyond buying parts...how hard is it to make/find a chassis to put it all in, let alone solder all this stuff together?? I'm not great at soldering...but I'm not scared either.

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Post by roygbiv » Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:15 pm

Hey, I'm interested in this too.

Would the "demo board" listed on the THAT site for the THAT 1510/1512 chip make this whole process easier? It seems to already have a built in circuit, and XLR in's and Out's wired up already.

The demo board apparently costs $100. However, if that plus whatever $5 or $10 for the chip, and another $30-$50 for the power would give you a low-pain high-gain great sounding killer pre-amp, I'd be in!


http://www.thatcorp.com/demobds.html

http://www.thatcorp.com/datashts/1500demo.pdf

One other comment: The following site about the THAT 1510/1512 states: "The THAT 1510 and 1512 are high performance audio preamplifiers suitable for microphone preamp and bus summing applications. The ICs are available in a variety of packages and pin configurations, making them pin compatible with the Analog Devices SSM2019 and SSM2017 (discontinued), and the Texas Instruments INA217 and INA163."

Is there any cheap pre-amps already using the above chips that could be improved by replacement with the 1510/1512?

http://www.thatcorp.com/1500-series_Aud ... r_ICs.html

EDIT/UPDATE: actually, it looks like the SC-1 preamp kits from fivefish uses that THAT preamp chip. Maybe that's the easiest way to go?

http://www.fivefish.net/diy/sc1/
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Post by daveg62 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:35 pm

Well if I didn't already have 2 of these or needed a few other things that I'm saving for I would grab this in a heartbeat. These are nice pre's, trust me. Much better than a GT brick for sure, I have one of those too. Can't believe they don't get more love than they do. I think it's because they were marketed wrong with the swappable tranny and opamp idea. No need to swap them though, they sound great stock but this one even comes with the xtra Jensen it looks like.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ADK-AP-1-microphone ... dZViewItem

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Post by losthighway » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:31 pm

the finger genius wrote:Don't forget the Sytek MPX4A. An awesome set of 4 pres for the $.

It would be helpful if you could let everyone know what your looking for in a pre (color? realism?) and what are you going to be recording (instrumentation? style? mics?).
The Sytek was a game changer for me in my upgrades. I can imagine getting a lot of preamps and quite a few 'nicer' ones, but I think the Sytek serves a purpose that will keep it around forever.

The Burr Brown on channels 3 and 4 is a good option. I find it offers a lot to vocals and overheads, a little smoother/richer. But the straight channels are so nice for kick drums, snares and the like.

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Post by channelcat » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:55 pm

That new Daking Mic Pre One does look nice, and it's in your price range. I'd try to get that in for a demo.

I don't have a Solo 610, but do have a 2-610. I like it for some stuff - vocals, acoustic guitar, bass, misc. hand percussion. It's not the most versatile pre though.

The P-1 is great. I like it on the same sources, as well as kick. If you already have a lunchbox, you should check out the Atlas Juggernaut too - amazing stuff - 4 pres in 1.

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