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Choosing a Sebatron pre

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Gary.T, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. Gary.T

    Gary.T Guest

    hi seb,i'm not sure if you remember me.I was the one that helped you back on stage when you fell off during that gig at the station hotel ( back in '93).First let me say congratulations on your success ,you certainly didn't let on you were such a whizz back then although i think you mentioned you were playing through one of your custom amps at that show.
    my dilemma is this; i am in the market for a top notch preamp to take my recordings to the next level.up to now i have been using my mackie mixer as my recording front end and have been considering the RNP after reading so many good reports about it.
    then a good friend of mine , Zac , told me you sold him one of your preamps recently.
    all he does is rave on about his seb pre and how much it has changed his life , it was only after he descibed you that i knew it must be you.
    RNp sounds interesting but also maybe seems overpriced compared to your valve preamps besides they're hard to get down here.
    will your preamps change my life?
  2. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    WOWO Seb man

    you animal , you never told us you were such a rocker hahaha

    just funnin man


  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Don't feel like the Lone Ranger. I have been trying to find a RNP, to hear and/or review without having to purchase it first, for over a year now. They don't have a very extensive dealer network. In the case of the RNP, I want to hear it first as I am usually a bit skeptical when it comes to this type/level of product. I mean when you buy a Neve clone type pre, you pretty well know what to expect. But with a solid state "affordable" kind of pre, it is difficult at best to know what it really is.

    The Sebatron (which I have reviewed) is a glorious mic pre. It is very warm and makes everything you run through it sound huge. It makes my U87 sound great. Usually the 87 is pretty smooth and a bit too vanilla for my taste, but as I said, it is killer through the vmp. I love it on my Martin D28! If you try the Sebatron vmp, I am sure won't be disappointed! Kurt Foster
  4. Sebatron

    Sebatron Well-Known Member

    Go for the Seb I say ,
    not just because I am he .
    ...But because the RNP is much of the same species as the Mackie pre.

  5. Bowisc

    Bowisc Active Member

    Can you elaborate a little bit more on this? What's your finding on how the RNP compares to Mackie pre-amps. Sound? Build?

  6. Sebatron

    Sebatron Well-Known Member


    This was a totally impartial objective comment,…
    Not meaning to put down the Mackie pre at all.

    I have received several emails from RNP owners who are Mackie owners as well.
    ..who have gone on to buy Sebatron preamps.

    Now , as you know the difference between the Seb pre and the RNP is quite wide…
    ..whereas , the Mackie and the RNP are relatively close….
    Some claim the Mackie is warmer.
    I could go on , but I really don’t want to cause a fuss or upset anyone….
    Oh, what the hell ….
    BOTH are excellent transparent preamps ,… but it’s the Mackie DESK summing amps and faders that really let the Mackie pre down….you’re better off taking the pre out direct or tapping from the insert point there.
    Specs sometimes will say a lot , then sometimes don’t give $*^t.

    Both spec up really close to each other ,…
    Both have a bandwidth of at least 300 khz … I know the RNP is the greater one here. :d:

  7. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Hey Sebatron,

    Here i am - hanging with the chimps - getting a little potassium........ and just noticed.... you haven't read your PM.......

    And for me they actually blink.......


  8. Bowisc

    Bowisc Active Member

    Seb... thanks for taking the plunge there. Don't inhale too much lead brothah.

    You need to come to NYC, by the way.

  9. ozraves

    ozraves Active Member

    the fmr rnp is better than the mackie level. i've had an rnp for almost a year now. i've got some different pres and i've had some nice ones come through such as the Millennia td-1 or the speck mic pre 5.0 or the great river mp-2nv or the a designs mp-2. it gets used as much as anything in my rack as i love it on acoustic guitar. it doesn't get used for much else around here as something else does what i need to do better such as the a designs mp-2 gets the call for most lead vocals. the most versatile pre i've used this past year has been the great river mp-2nv. kurt, if you want, then maybe we can work out a deal for you to send me your sebatron for a month and i can send you my fmr rnp. we'd both get to add a needed review.

  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I wish we could do that but I am in the middle of an album project for clients and I need the vmp 4000. I will ask Chris if he has one for you to hear. I understand the frustration of wanting to get a stab at the vmp and there being no dealers in your area to go to and get one on trial. I have the same problem with the RNP. There are no dealers in Oregon and I have looked/ asked around ... and no one in town seems to have one I could try for even a day or two.

    If you do reviews for a E Mag or site, I may be able to get Sebatron or Chris to send you one for an article. Send a PM to me if this is the case. Kurt
  11. ozraves

    ozraves Active Member

    As I've said before, I wish Mark McQ would come across with these for more reviews. It's a good unit and worthy of consideration.

    Here's a blurb by Steve Albini on the RNP:

    At Electrical Audio, we are not really in the market for more mic preamps. We've got dozens -- all the regulars and a bunch of special items. It was a shock to come across the RNP and decide we needed them. The RNP is quick, clean and easy to use, and works well with a wide variety of microphones. The first unit we got was serial number 2, and apart from a slight blow to my ego (that we weren't important enough to get unit number 1), I can't think of anything not to like about the RNP.

    Historically, studio equipment has been either good or inexpensive -- not both. With the RNC, FMR Audio spiked that preconception. Proving that the quality and performance of the RNC was no fluke, the RNP does a similar debunking of the notion that mic preamps can't be both exceptional in quality and affordable. Once again, my hat is off to them.

    -steve albini
    Electrical Audio
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    ozraves ,
    This is the kind of thing that I find so frustrating. I keep hearing all these comments, a lot of them from people like Albini (whose success is difficult to argue with) but I can find no way to hear what the hub bub is all about without shelling out $500. I just don’t need this type of pre amp. I already have 15 channels of quality front end.

    I guess I have to accept the explanation that McQuilken has provided and stop being so suspicious. The truth is (and I freely admit it) it pisses me off that it is so hard to come by one of these and I would like to hear one first hand, so when I recommend it I don’t come under fire for suggesting something I have never heard (as has happened). But I seriously doubt that I would want to purchase one to keep, I just don’t go in for these accurate type pres. I like pres with attitude and color. I also don’t want to have to purchase one, to review it. I would then have to return it and I don’t feel that is ethical and I would still be out the shipping costs.
  13. ozraves

    ozraves Active Member


    you're preaching to the choir.

    anyhow, this is seb's forum and i've hijacked it long enough. (((sorry about that, seb.)))

  14. Sebatron NYC

    Sebatron NYC Active Member

    You can hijack my Forum anytime you want man.
    That applies to everyone. :tu:

    All this mic pre talk though is getting a bit much now....

    Geez , i wish i could take back some statements i had made .... some of them made in different states of minds than others.
    For example , now i'm in New York State.
    Know what i mean???

    Lets face it , as i have mentioned before ,
    there are a handful of variables to play with in mic pre design.
    I like cats and dogs you know ,
    I like fish and chips ,
    I like a good scotch and coke ,...

    I like the sound fast , but then sometimes i gotta slow it down.

    That's a good mic and so is that one.
    That's a good record and so is that one.
    That's a good pre and so is that one.

    ...what colour's the box????

  15. jroberts

    jroberts Guest

    Have you tried an RNP?
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Have you tried a Sebatron? I doubt it, if you had you wouldn't ask such a question. Why would someone who builds pres as good as the vmp want to use an areenpee?
  17. JRoberts,
    I just today received my Sebatron 2000e. I also have an RNP. I did comparisons between the Seb and the Universal Audio 2-610, but didn't throw the RNP into the tests because I felt it was better to compare tube pre to tube pre. The 2-610 has been my go-to pre for over a year, and my conclusions after comparing the Seb was that the Seb is more detailed across the entire spectrum. I thought the 2-610 had a little more character in the low end, but was, as I said, not as defined. Layering multiple tracks with the UA gets muddy faster. I haven't done any head-to-heads between the Seb and the RNP, but I will post my observations as they come in. I like both the RNP (clean, transparent) and the Seb (coloured yet defined). David
  18. jroberts

    jroberts Guest

    Why would somebody who has never tried a RNP say that it's about the same as a Mackie? It just sounds like Seb taking a cheap shot at a competitor. I think manufacturers who do that just demean themselves. It makes them look bad.
  19. jroberts

    jroberts Guest

    Cool. I haven't tried the Seb or the RNP or the UA, but I'd like to. I just thought it was a little unfair of Seb to slam a competitors product like that, particularly when he probably hasn't even tried it. I'd like to try them both out though. It would be nice to find a dealer with both units in stock, but it sounds like that's not going to be likely when you're talking about two small boutique manufacturers like that. It'll probably be tought even to find one. Were you able to try either unit before buying?
  20. ozraves

    ozraves Active Member

    I thought Seb cleared it pretty cool on the RNP thing after I "hijacked" his the thread. I think that was good form on his part. :p:

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