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Avalon M5,2022, Grace, Earthworks?

Discussion in 'Preamps & Processing' started by coldsnow, Feb 26, 2002.

  1. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    May 14, 2001
    Mogadore, OH
    Looking for a very detailed mic pre to go with the more colored units I have, Neve, 737, 610 on order. Anyone compared or have experience with the M5, 2022, Grace, or Earthworks pre's.
  2. erockerboy

    erockerboy Guest

    How about the Buzz Audio, or the Great River (not the 'Neve' one, but the 'original flavor'... MP-2MH I think?). I have both and would call them both very transparent and 'detailed'. The Buzz might be a shade more hyped or 'forward' sounding than the GR which seems to have more of an open and uncolored top.

    You could probably also add Millennia and/or John Hardy to your audition list. Good luck!
  3. I use M5s a lot and love them. I think you'd find the sound to be amazingly neutral but not quite as sterile as the Earthworks. I don't mean to fault the Earthworks, they're awesome pres, but the M5s just have the slightess bit of character that I can't quite decribe. I haven't run the 2022 and the Grace is sort of hard on the high end in my experience.

    I have a pair of B&K 4012s and the M5 is one of the few pres that can supply their 130 volt power (it's an option on the M5.) The combination of the B&K mics and the M5 pres is simply breathtaking.
  4. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    I've liked the 2022's from afar, because of the variable impedance input option, which for a while was about the only thing out there with that feature. Now the VIPRE, Universal, and others have that.

    If you run across one, another nice option in a really clean preamp is the DACS MicAmp. Not exactly a household name, but a few years ago when I was doing a little preamp shootout I played some really piercing rosewood claves into an earthworks QTC through various preamps. These claves actually would give you a headache in a small room, and the DACS was the only pre that gave me the same headache on playback!

    But, I don't think you would regret any of the options you are considering - I wouldn't mind having any or all of them!
  5. dbijan

    dbijan Guest

    The Ad2022 is simply stunning. Great for vocals, guitars, overhead drums (obviously depending on the mics you are using as well) The sound is probably one of the thickest I've heard. Detail is brilliant (maybe a little too sharp for some vocalists which in that case a decent tube mic should solve the problem. Neve's maybe a tad warmer and rounder in the top end, but the 2022 definetly more detailed and definately has it's own character and colour to it. Can't really go wrong with this pre, I love mine.
  6. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    May 14, 2001
    Mogadore, OH
    Thanks guys,
    Hey syntheticrhyme, I almost always use tube mics for vocals usually the Lawson L47MP sometimes the ADK 51TC. Do you think the 2022 would be a nice alternative to my Neve 1272 and Avalon 737? Is it very different that the 737?
  7. dbijan

    dbijan Guest

    Hi Coldsnow. I definately think the 2022 would be a nice alternative to your 1272 and 737. Especially when using a tube mic. With a tube mic you should have better results through the 2022 than the 737 because the 737 already has a tube in it's path while the 2022 is solid state. I try to compliment a tube mic with a solid state pre and vice versa for best results. I actually heard and tested the 1272, 737 (flat with no eq), and 2022. The 2022 definately has the most detail and air out of all of them. The 737 is still decent with a tube mic, but you should have better results with the 2022 . I use my 2022 with a Neuman M149 for a majority of the vocalists I work with and the results are stunning. It makes life easy when mixing down. The signal is full bodied, detailed, and still has a distinct color. In the end, I think all three of these mic pre's complement each other pretty well. As far as recording vocalists, the 1272 and 737 will give you better results with mics such as a U87. Keep in mind all three pre's will give you very different results for different situations, all with their own distinct amount of colour. You can't really go wrong by owning all three.
  8. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Guest

  9. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Guest

    Mr. Synth, you probably have figured out some great mic/preamp combinations but I would like to point out a small error. The Neve 1272 is solid state.

    This is really just a technicality because the Neve 1272 is round and fat like what we think of with tubes. I am told the secret to the Neve sound is in the iron, i.e. Jensen transformers.

    I have two channels of 1272 from Brent Averill with which I am thrilled but I am looking for another flavor of mic preamp in the same vintage (as opposed to hifi) ballpark. The 2022 and 737 look like contenders are others like the Mellinia Media, M5 and Grace.

    I also need a top flight condensor mic and am considering either the Soundelux U195 or the U 99, you know the one that copies a U 67. (I think the U195 copies a FET U47.)

    I've had one recommendation that I should get two U 195's for recording stereo rather than one great U 99. I don't have any stereo mics and I need to graduate from a C1000S. The upcoming Rode release looks promising in the small condensor field.

    I record in a bedroom studio combining midi with a portastudio but I expect to graduate to Digi 001 and abandone midi forever. I favor Tweed guitar amps (I can't stand Pods) and Martins for a roots rock/country/blues sound. My best mic is an Audix CX-111 which is rather un-hyped as compared to a TLM 103 or 414BUL.

    As long as I have your attention :roll: ?).

    Nashville, which loves easy formulas for everything, must have a traditional mic, preamp and compressor combo for that kind of big vocal sound.
    I am referring to the classic Nashville recordings not today's pop music coming from Nashville much of which sounds as bad as Brittany Spears' vocal tracks.

    There is a great thread ("Differences in 3 classics") going on now on this page comparing the three versions of 1176. I suspect that a compressor may have something to do with Merle's vocal chain.
  10. jack2cannon

    jack2cannon Guest

    I'd check out the BUZZ MA2.2
    it would complement the pre'syou allready own, and ad just the flavour you are asking about.

  11. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    May 14, 2001
    Mogadore, OH
    Hey Sir Bob ,
    Actually Neve's do not have Jensen Transformers in them nor does Bret Averill use Jensen. The original I believe were St. Ives which are still used to make the 1272's that others are making except for Great River which uses Sowter replica tranformers. But anyway, if you are looking for a high quality mic, I think the best deal is Lawson mics. They make 47 tube mics and Fet based along with an Elam. They are better priced than the Soundelux (only sold through Lawson. REal high quality parts.
  12. dbijan

    dbijan Guest

    originally posted:
    Mr. Synth, you probably have figured out some great mic/preamp combinations but I would like to point out a small error. The Neve 1272 is solid state

    Hey sir Bob, I do know that the 1272 is solid state. I has referring to the 737 which has a tube. Both are very coloured units, but the 2022 is a nice alternative for a clean, less coloured critical pre.
  13. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Guest

    The 2022 looks like a good deal for two channels for about $2,000 or so. But I was wondering if the 737 would be worth it with the compressor and other options? Maybe the 737 would be ideal for vocal tracking? My compressor is the RNC, which ain't bad.

    I'll look into the Buzz and Lawson stuff. I figure with a minimum of three good preamps, I can recording drums in my living room, which has a high ceiling.

    Thanks for the feedback. :D
  14. MJOwings

    MJOwings Guest

    FWIW the first quality preamps I bought were BA 1073s. VERY nice. I then found myself in the same quandry. I wanted something that would be quite different. I ended up choosing the 2022 over Flamingo and others. First I liked the way the 2022 sounded with my 67s in comparison with the 73s. NOT better, but different. I liked the detail of the 2022 and the impedance matching, and output output optins very nice.

    I have since added GML 8304 and with these three in different combinations with 67s, 121s, 414s, etc. I have a fairly large variety of sounds available to complement a given source.

    I don't think you would regret the 2022, but you should audition side by side with others for yourself in your application. Yeah, we all say that, but there can be no better advice; first received by me from Fletcher.

    More mics to follow...

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