Preamps: Presonus M80 WITHOUT Jensens vs Mackie 1604VLZ

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Dubmaniac
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Preamps: Presonus M80 WITHOUT Jensens vs Mackie 1604VLZ

Post by Dubmaniac » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:59 am

I'm looking to upgrade and add more channels of mic preamps to my recording system (a Tascam US-2000). I currently own a Mackie 1604VZ which works, but generates a lot of hiss- too much to be useable. I also have an opportunity to buy a Presonus M80 8 channel preamp, but it's from 2006, which means itstransformers are NOT Jensens. I have two ways I could go with this- either pay someone to get the Mackie running cleanly again, or go with the M80. Which one would have better preamps? Before you ask, no, I can't afford the M80 with Jensens. I'm not sure if it's worth paying someone to fix up the Mackie just to use its preamps, and is the non-Jensen M80 even an improvement over my Tascam's internal pres? As always, any help is greatly appreciated.
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Re: Preamps: Presonus M80 WITHOUT Jensens vs Mackie 1604VLZ

Post by markjazzbassist » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:11 am

what is your budget?

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Re: Preamps: Presonus M80 WITHOUT Jensens vs Mackie 1604VLZ

Post by Dubmaniac » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:34 pm

The M80 is selling for $200, and that would be about as much as I could spend right now.
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Re: Preamps: Presonus M80 WITHOUT Jensens vs Mackie 1604VLZ

Post by Drone » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:35 am

I'd go with the Presonus on the theory that any transformer is better than no transformer atall, and you aren't guaranteed the Mackie is fixable. Trying to get a noise fix on a prosumer mixer you'd have to find a tech who understood what you wanted from it.
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Re: Preamps: Presonus M80 WITHOUT Jensens vs Mackie 1604VLZ

Post by Drone » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:39 am

I also don't know how handy you are, but I started this thread viewtopic.php?f=14&t=88011&p=704738 about making a simple 8 channel mic preamp, I ended up not doing it because I got a phantom powered mic, but the theory is there. If you have some soldering skills it's eminently do-able. But $200 might be a steal as well. :mrgreen:
The previous statement is from a guy who records his own, and other projects for fun. No money is made.

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Re: Preamps: Presonus M80 WITHOUT Jensens vs Mackie 1604VLZ

Post by Dubmaniac » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:33 am

I'm leaning toward buying the M80. You make a good point about transformers vs no transformers. I'm going to go check it out tomorrow with cash in hand. I might still get the Mackie cleaned up, but only for use with my band when we play live.
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Re: Preamps: Presonus M80 WITHOUT Jensens vs Mackie 1604VLZ

Post by Drone » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:07 pm

Image
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Re: Preamps: Presonus M80 WITHOUT Jensens vs Mackie 1604VLZ

Post by cgarges » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:00 pm

The Presonus will sound totally fine and it will give you individual phantom power, polarity reverse, individual outs, AND a mix buss. Mine has the transformers in it (and so does another one I've used) and those sound GREAT, but I'd be shocked and amazed if the transformerless ones don't sound every bit as good as, if not better than the Mackie. Plus, you get lots of nice, totally pro features that almost all inexpensive mixing boards lack. And $200? I mean, why not?????

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Re: Preamps: Presonus M80 WITHOUT Jensens vs Mackie 1604VLZ

Post by Dubmaniac » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:27 pm

Wha happen? I bought it. But not for $200... for $160! So far, all I've used it for is some direct guitar and bass tracks, but it worked great for those. I may use it this coming weekend for some vocals. FWIW, mine does have transformers in it. They're just not Jensens. So far, I'm digging it. Maybe I should sell the Mackie...
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Re: Preamps: Presonus M80 WITHOUT Jensens vs Mackie 1604VLZ

Post by Drone » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:11 am

There's always a situation where having a spare crappy mixer comes in handy, at least in my experience. :high:

Glad it worked.
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Re: Preamps: Presonus M80 WITHOUT Jensens vs Mackie 1604VLZ

Post by Dubmaniac » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:20 pm

I tried it out this past weekend, not on voice but on drums. It seems to have more detail and clarity than the stock preamps in the Tascam, so I'd call this a winner. 8)
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