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Best Mic Preamp for around $1,000

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by teddancin, Mar 25, 2002.

  1. teddancin

    teddancin Member

    Yeah, now that you've all helped me so much to decide what Mic to buy, I realized that I really need a decent mic preamp to compliment the Soundelux U99 (I don't think I can wait for the Lawson for 3 months to get assembled). Any Idea's?

    I only require three things from it.
    1. As good sound quality as I can get from a mic in that price range.
    2. At least 2 channels
    3. Priced at around a grand.

    I found an MTA iX one 16 channel mic pre for around a $1,000. I don't need that many inputs, but if it's the best thing for that price, I'd be happy to buy it. Any opinions on this?

    Thanks again for all your help... RO ROX!
  2. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    I think if you need 8+ channels, then that one is probably one of the best ways you could go for the money. If you *really* only need two channels, you should start looking at the Great River and pre's like that, for something you'll never regret or get rid of.

  3. teddancin

    teddancin Member

    Looked at great river.... Cheapest thing I could find was their 2 channel mixer for $1,750. I'd really like to keep more around $1,000 because I'm breaking the bank with just about anything after I buy my interface and U99. I'll buy something that expensive as far as pre's go if it's really the best thing to do, but if there's another way to get great pre's, then I'd like to explore those options first. Thanks for the help though, that great river stuff sounds cool.
  4. radioprof

    radioprof Member

    You might want to check out the Grace 101 or the basic John Hardy pre's.
  5. teddancin

    teddancin Member

    If I got the John Hardy M2, would you suggest I get the 20db pad, or the 20ohm mic switch? Aren't they pretty much the same thing?

    Also, what do you think about the Grace Design Luna Tec V2? And don't you NOT want transformers in mic pre's? I mean, you always look for transformerless mics, right? Just new to the preamp stuff and curious, thanks for the input.
  6. teddancin

    teddancin Member

    WOW, I found a great river mp-2 for under $1,500. I was thinking of maybe buying it. Is the difference between the mp-2 and the mp-2mh really worth it? Thanks again for the help.
  7. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member


    Yes, if you want to send me any crappy transformer coupled pres you run across (like Neve, API, Telefunken, Manley, and others) I'll be happy to dispose of the junk for you. Same with any transformer output mics (such as the U-47, M-49, U-67, C-12, Ela M 251, and other old junk). Just send a private message and I'll give you a mailing address. ;) To hell with this "part x is always good, part y is always bad". BS. If the gear sounds good, it is good, even if it's running audio through twigs and snot.

    BTW, my take on the Hardy M-2, I think everyone should own at least 4 Shure variable pads, so since you have that covered, do the loading option. Hard to go wrong with the Hardy stuff, though it may not be everyone's first choice.

  8. faganking

    faganking Member

    Earthworks LAB-102

  9. teddancin

    teddancin Member

    -Bear's Gone Fission
    HAHA, sorry about my Naive'ness. I would say that you wouldn't guess how new to this I am, but obviously you just did. hehe.

    I just looked at the Soundelux and Lawson mic, and it said "tube and transformer design", I don't know where I thought that I read tranformerless, cause I guess I didn't. And of course the U67 and U47's had transformers, cause that's what the lawson and soundelux emulate. Jesus, sorry bout that. I'm just a guitar/computer guy that's trying to get into pro recording stuff.

    So you like the john hardy stuff huh? How does it compare to Avalon or Great River pre's? Thanks for the laugh and the help.
  10. Malpasoman

    Malpasoman Member

    If I were you, I would be looking at second hand pre's.

    Post indie electronic
  11. teddancin

    teddancin Member

    oh yeah? any suggestions?
  12. rivers

    rivers Member

    Take a look at the 4 channel Sytek...You can find them used for about 800$.Its kinda tough at the 1k price point,most of the "pro pieces" are 1.5k and up.I've been real happy with my Sytek(I choose it over Great River NV for some vocals) and for the price it's unbeatable and probably something you would keep for the long haul.
  13. teddancin

    teddancin Member


    As I've been looking around at pre's more and more, I've noticed that I'm going to need to spend more $$$ on them. My new budget for them has gone up. I want to now keep it around the $1,500 range, give or take a couple hundred. I looked at the sytek, and noticed they have 3 models (MPX-4A, EQ4X-M1, MPX-4D).

    The firt (cheapest) one MPX4A looks like the one I'd probably get. The EQ4X-M1 is only a one channel mic pre, but it has EQ also. Probably won't get that one because it only has one mic pre in it, and I need at least 2. The MPX-4D looks to be the same as the MPX-4A, but with a digital interface. Is it really worth the extra bucks for the digital interface? Do you know of any online store where I can buy these for a decent price? Thanks again for all the help.
  14. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Sorry 'bout that, Ted, but you set it up so well. Some folks are in fact adamant about no transformers, but that's pretty much a matter of opinion and personal taste.

    Hardy pres are very good, on par with Great River and not dissimilar in character. Not enough experience with Avalon to comment. (All three makers use input transformers, I believe.)

    The Sytek is probably the best suggestion, really. The price is unbeatable, and the performance is close enough to the big guys that you'll put them to work until you have many channels of the top of the heap stuff. Definitely get the Shure variable pads, though, since it isn't pretty when you run the Sytek out of headroom.

  15. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    What he said...
  16. Linwood

    Linwood Member

    Recently I bought a pair of Brent Averil 1272's with the power supply for $950.00. They sound great on most everything. Maybe buy used.
  17. rivers

    rivers Member

    I'd get the 4 channel Sytek MPXii (or whatever model # it is)with the 2 standard and 2 burr-brown channels.Check out Ebay I saw one there a few days ago....I don't know about the digital units.
  18. Destron

    Destron Member

    Why buy a mic pre with a digital interface? The only thing that could possibly happen is that the interface will become obsolete.
  19. CyanJaguar

    CyanJaguar Member

    I am not really perspecous so bear with me.

    The sytek has a very "unique" sound.

    It has what I would call a tapey sound, but in a very simulated sort of way.

    it adds a sort of gargle to all the mics I have tried on it. As if it add some low level graininess that should sound great but again in a simulated way.

    Anyhow, if you want to hear it, I used it on the vocals in the song

    " I'm begging please" @
    http://www.creamware.de/en/Products/A1 6ultra/default.asp
  20. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Member

    He meant $1,950.

    I'm very happy with my BA 1272 (pair). But I am shopping around for at least one more so I can track drums and have something a little different.

    The new Great River looks interesting. Should I look for something a little more different than the 1272 or would the Great River be a smart move because it is similar to the 1272?

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