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Advice on a quality Mic Preamp for around $500??

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by Maverick87, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. Maverick87

    Maverick87 Active Member

    Ive been looking to pick up the FocusRite ISA One classic, and am feeling pretty good about it, but I was wondering if there are any other mic preamps in this price range that can rival it or top it. It will be for vocals, not instruments at this point so Im looking for a quality preamp in this price range that can bring a microphone to life so to speak... The mics that Id be using are along the lines of an SM58/Beta 58, EV RE20, Studio Projects c1, Sterling Audio ST-51, pretty much all in that range of mics. I want a nice rich, clear and crisp tone, so any suggestions would be very helpful.

    Im looking for a quality preamp, not quite at the entry level, but the next step, enough to hold me over for a while until I have serious money to invest in equipment like this. I was told the ISA is considered to be in the 'good pre' level so this is what Im looking for. However, if I can get similar results with cheaper mic pres Id love to hear about that also.
  2. Maverick87

    Maverick87 Active Member

    What do you guys think about the Golden Age Pre73 in comparison? I suppose I should rephrase, I dont HAVE to spend in the $500 range, but Im looking for something in the quality of the ISA One, the cheaper I can go without sacrificing too much sound the better, something low cost that will get the job done in a similar fashion to the ISA One
  3. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    I've not used the GAP pre but I owned the 428 isa. They are good pre's. For vocals they are awesome often beating out much more expensive pre. It is the best pre I've used in this territory.
  4. Maverick87

    Maverick87 Active Member

    The ISA One I can afford, the 428 however, is way out of my price range at the moment.

    What do you guys think about the Presonus Eureka at this price?? Im REALLY liking the fact that it was a compressor and EQ as well as the preamp going on. Is the preamp in it up to par with the ISA One and GAP Pre73? I like the fact that the Eureka may be able to pick up any slack that a microphone may be lacking, hoping to hear good, but honest feedback about it.

    I also have a question I should address before dropping a penny on a preamp, Im using an M-Audio MobilePre at the moment, and Im wondering, how do I know if plugging in an external/outboard pre in the Line In will bypass the preamps in the MobilePre. Is that a feature of the MobilePre or or the external preamp? If it doesnt bypass it, is it a bad thing to have both pre's running? Or should I ONLY be looking for an external pre that bypasses the interface pres? Noob question I know.. lol.
  5. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    Running the 2 pre amps into each other is fine. I've done it a million times. Turn the m-audio input all the way down and set the level from you external pre. I've used presonus gear and find it to be some of the best stuff on the low end market. I've not used the presonus external pres, eq's, and comps though. I can tell you that an ISA is a pre you'll want to keep for life. I'm not thinking you'll be able to say the same thing about the others.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    We've talked before about this. For a good classic studio mic preamp, you might want to look into the Seven Circle line of stuff? It's DIY but you get a great bang for the buck that's comparable with, Neve, API, Quad Eight, John Hardy/Dean Jensen. All of those are hard to beat. Most of those are transformer coupled. All of those have incredible head room. All of those are perfect for everything, vocals, instruments, you name it, colonoscopies. You and I have already discussed your Mobile-Pre. As I recall those are combo XLR/1/4 inch inputs on those. So when you go into the 1/4 inch inputs, it's basically a line level input. It bypasses the additional amplification gain stage for the XLR mic pre. Most line level inputs are designed to be fed by line level outputs from other preamps. Not sure why you keep asking the same questions over and over again? Make a decision, please. It won't be your last purchase. It's like perhaps the car you might own (or not) will not be your last car. It will be a car in a series of cars through your life. Audio gear ain't any different. Buy it, use it, learn it, sell it, lather, rinse & repeat.

    What shampoo should I use? I don't like Head & Shoulders. I'm a L'Oreal girl. Is Breck better? What about the drugstore brand? Is it as good as...
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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