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$1k Preamp to complement an RNP

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by imissthewar, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. imissthewar

    imissthewar Guest

    So I'm pretty sure I'm going with an RNP this week, with leaves me with about $1K for another preamp. I want something that will sound good for vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, snare, bass DI and I'll probably throw some keyboards through it. Would it be wise to get something more colored considering the RNP is described as being so "neutral"?

    Here's my shortlist, please throw in your 2 cents or suggest other options:

    Averill 1272 - $1039
    Averill 312a - $899
    Sebatron VMP-2000e (2 channels!) - $1150
    Universal Audio m-610 or 2-610 - used $800 or $1100
    John Hardy M-1 Personal - $950
    Great River ME-NV1 - $1075

    The other option would be to get a 2 channel version of something like the 1272 or the Great River, but that would shoot down my budget for the RNP and I would lose a channel (leaving me with only 6 including the Focusrites on my Digi 002).
  2. heyman

    heyman Guest

    I use the UA 610. I think it has a great tone... Go try one out for yourself (Guitar center carries them, I believe... )

    Also keep in mind that you are gonna want to try them out with a compressor at some point., especially for Vox.

    See if the other models have a return policy where you can try it out for a week, then return it if you like...

    Also, check out the API pre's... Quality stuff that sounds good with just about anything..
  3. imissthewar

    imissthewar Guest

    Warning: Possibly Stupid Questions

    I noticed some of these don't have inserts....how would I track them with a compressor?

    Where's a good place online to check out those APIs?
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    API has a site . http://www.apiaudio.com . All their stuff is there.

    You place the compressor after the output of the mic pre, before the recorder. Use the gain control on the compressor as the overall master gain.

    The 1272 does not have the sound of the coveted three stage Neve clones. It is a two gain stage pre amp and while it is very useable, it does not deliver the sound like the Great River. Build quality is an issue also IMO. I had a friend that bought one and it just fell apart in the rack. I used it a few times and was not floored by the sound like I am with the MP2NV. The 312 is out of the BCM (broadcast) mixers and is not the same thing as the 1073 / 1081's either.

    Sebatron has just released a one channel version of the VMP. Maybe that can fit your budget?

    The Universal Audio m-610 or 2-610 is a great time tested design. Before people even had a concept of outboard pres, these things were making classic recordings. Of course you have to consider the talent too!

    Please let us know your impressions of the RNP once you get it. I am particularly interested in your opinion of it compared it the other pre amp you decide to buy, what ever that may be. I would also be interested to hear how you think it compares to a Mackie pre..

    I did one myself several months ago. Here is a link to it in case you haven't seen it yet. RNP comparison
  5. sonixx

    sonixx Guest

    hey Kurt,

    I just listened to your RNP comparision. Thanks... Why do the RNP/Great River clips have significantly more bottom?

  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Do you mean all the RNP clips or just the one with the Great River? Because that's not what I am hearing at all (extended lows with the RNP). But if you like it, that's what it's all about. It's a way for me to let you hear it for yourself and make your own decision ...

    When this example was first posted, it was as a double blind test. In that scenareio, the RNP placed last everytime... read the whole thread in the archives.

    Each pair of audio clips was a seperate performance and is intended to be compared only to the audio clip it is paired with.

    1/2-RNP vs. Mackie
    3/4-RNP vs. Amek/Neve 9098
    5/6-RNP vs. Sebatron vmp 4000e (green ink)
    7/8-RNP vs. Great River MP2NV

    It may be a slight difference in mic position or performance. I did the best I could to keep the levels even and to keep mic placment the same, but they should not be compared with each other if you really want an accurate comparison.
  7. sonixx

    sonixx Guest


    Let me make sure I have the clips correct...

    I loaded the DEMO MP3 and divided it into 8 segments.

    In segment order:

    1 = RNP
    2 = Mackie

    3 = RNP
    4 = Amek

    5 = RNP
    6 = Sebatron

    7 = RNP
    8 = Great River

    Is this correct?

    It was immediately noticable that waves 7 and 8 had a higher average level. The first 6 clips were more similar. 7 and 8 sound very similar, as from the same take, but the overall bottom is much larger than the first 6 clips. I expected to find the RNP clips to all sound virtually identical, but I didn't. I must be doing something wrong.

  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    No, I probably got the mics a bit closer in the last clip or failed to get the levels right. Remember that anything that is louder is going to sound as if the lows and highs are enhanced, due to Fletcher Munson curve.. Sorry it's not perfect but you should still be able to make a decent comparison by listening like this;

    1 = RNP
    2 = Mackie (same pass) compare the RNP to the Mackie

    3 = RNP
    4 = Amek (same pass) compare the RNP to the Amek 9098

    5 = RNP
    6 = Sebatron (same pass) compare the RNP to the Sebatron VMP

    7 = RNP
    8 = Great River (same pass) compare the RNP to the Great River MP2NV.
  9. sonixx

    sonixx Guest

    Hi Kurt,

    Thanks... I adjusted the levels first thing.

  10. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Both the GR-NV and the API be it in the older or newer re-issue Averill 312 or the newer API 512 are going to sound better and likely be used more. Forget about the RNP altogether. Upgrade to the Hardy or the GR MP unit if you want a great sounding non-colored "neutral" preamp.

    And as for the 1272, I for one really like and get much use out of my older Averill Neve 1272. (not to be confused with the current Averill 1272 re-issue) It doesn't need the 3rd gain stage or need to sound exactly the same as a 1073 to have high value as a great sounding tool in my world. No question or problem with build quality on mine or the dozen I have encountered over the years.
  11. imissthewar

    imissthewar Guest

    Also, what are thoughts on the Manley Mono? I have a chance to get one of these at a price within my budget.
  12. imissthewar

    imissthewar Guest

    So, in changing my mind AGAIN I've decided forgo the RNP and hang on to the Safe Sound because I really do like it. So, I'm in the market for 2 channels now and on top of that my budget has expanded to $1.5k (many thanks to the wife). Here's what's in the running:

    1. Sebatron VMP-2000e - $1150
    2. Universal Audio 2-610 - $1250
    3. Vintech Dual 72 - $1250
    4. Averill 312A - $1500

    The Sebatron and UA seem to me to be the most attractive (plus the scratch I save can go towards an RE-20 or SM7). How would track "stackability" fare with any of these units? I will probably be using these channels on almost 50% of my stuff.

    Also, for reference, I absolutely love John Vanderslice's records and he's using Neve 33114s and 1089s. If there's anything in my budget that comes close.....
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Lots of really wonderful recordings were made in the 50's and 60's using only Bill Putnams UA 610 pres ... these were some of the very first mic pres available in a time when there were not that many other options. Those records sound just fine, in fact many think they sound better than a lot of stuff being done nowdays.

    Here is an example I recorded using only a Sebatron VMP 4000e. I think it "stacks up" quite well ....
  14. imissthewar

    imissthewar Guest

    holy crap that track sounds good....I have a feeling a vmp-2000e is in my future!
  15. mcguin

    mcguin Guest

    hi there
    i'll sell you a "not yet used" Seb 4 channel pre for less than your budget - i have 2 and only need one

  16. sdelsolray

    sdelsolray Active Member

    You might want to put the John Hardy back on the list. The 4-channel frame plus two channels of pres, loaded up, is in your budget. They are simply great pres, and versitile for your intended uses.
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    WOW!!! That's a great offer ... IMTW, you should jump on it! If you don't, I just might!

    On another note, I was wondering, how does one pre amp compliment another??? Does it say "Hey babe! Nice knobs?" ..... :lol:

    The Seb' 4000e has four! :shock:
  18. igloo

    igloo Guest

    Where do you find the UA at $1250?? It's selling for $1900 at Sweetwater...
  19. imissthewar

    imissthewar Guest

    That's used price, should've specified. 3 past auctions on ebay had two go for $1250 one for $1225....

    They seem to be in more steady used supply than anything else.

    In any case, I've made my decision, I think. OSA lunchbox and one L pre this month and a C next month (my budget shrank by $250 cause my freakin Camry ate my car key and I had to replace the ignition).

    It was that or the VMP-2000e, and the lunchbox seems like a way better deal in the long run.
  20. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Good call on the John Hardy's. Clean, but with balls. If you're looking for versitile, I think you may find something like that much more to your liking in the long run.

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