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Help with outboard pre's and a Roland 2400.

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by bigdaddybluesman, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. I have decided to buy the Roland 2400 unless I can come up with more cash for the 2480.

    I also want to buy a few different preamps to use with it since I know the quality of the pres on the Roland are just OK.

    I already have a UA Solo 610, I am also looking at the P Solo and even the GT Brick. I want to hook them up more as a line DI into the the Roland pre with a XLR cable.

    Is this the correct way to do this?

    The reason I want to buy a few different types is to get different flavors. I really believe getting the correct sound/tone I want before I record anything is the way to go. I don't believe in the concept of fixing it in the mix.

    I don't think there is a way to bypass the Roland pre and there is no insert in the 2400.

    Since these are more of just a simple DI type preamp and do not have tone shaping or compression, going into the mic XLR seemed to be the best choice or would the TRS 1/4" input be better?

    I am trying to get the best possible tone/sound to 2400 from the beginning of the singal chain.
     
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    You are asking if you can take the line level output of a mic preamp and run it into another mic preamp (that's what the XLR inputs on the Roland are)? NO!!! You are just adding noise and distortion, even if you drop the gain down. Line level outputs go to line level inputs. This will be especially true with the Brick, which has a particularly strong output level and no onboard means of attenuating it.
     
  3. The solo has 2 types of outputs. One as a line the other as a mic. The mic output goes into the the mic input of the board.

    So I guess I need to use them as mic pre's and put them into the mic input. That is if the unit has that flexibility like the solo 610.

    I'm also guessing it's best to get a pre with a true volume control then a post control or some type of gain control so the next stage(the mic or line input) isn't being hit too hard.

    Also if the unit only has a line out then it should go into the line in on the board.

    But anyway you look at it you are increasing your noise floor. Unless you could some how bypass the first stage of the board's preamp and hit the EQ section. Since these boards probably don't have one(EQ section) because they are digital I will have to find out a better way to use these pre's. I'm sure any of the high quality one's sound better than what Roland is giving you on their boards.
     
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Big Daddy:
    You are mistaken about the P-Solo!! You have assumed erroneously that the XLR output on the rear panel is "mic level"...NOT!! It is a balanced LINE LEVEL output that can pump +31 dBu into the destination piece of gear!!! Just because it is an XLR connector doesn't mean that it's a "mic" connector! I have a True Systems P2, the XLR outs are provided for "pro" line level connections, the 1/4" TRS outs are provided to interface the pre to other types of gear (monitor consoles, patch bays, etc). All of the analog outs are LINE level. And think about it; there are really no reasons to provide a mic-level output from a mic preamp. The only exception I can think of is if you need to split a live mic to (2) different consoles, but pre's in this price range aren't usually used for that. The whole idea for an outboard preamp is to boost the weak mic signal up to a manageable line level to begin with.
    And for what it's worth, I also have a Grace 101. I think that the 101 provides a more transparent, cleaner signal for, say, acoustic instruments, than the True gear does. And, yes, it does help to have an output level control on a pre like a Brick. Most manufacturers do not provide this feature, especially in that price range. I had to fabricate external level attenuators for my Bricks when I had them. I got the tech data from this website, in fact.
     
  5. So what would be a good preamp under $1500 for my purposes?

    I build guitar amps so I can build thing, but I don't want to anymore, I can't.

    My health issues are limiting me more and more and I want to get this thing up and running with the least amount of hassle.

    I just want a few flavors, simple into the Roland. The unit has a lot of expansion cards and software once something is recorded.

    But I have noticed that using the same gear makes everything kind of sound the same.

    Like most Fender amps sound the same no matter what speakers or model you use, you know it's a Fender. Same for Vox and other guitar amps.

    I figure by having a few different pres I would be able to have different tastes available to me.

    There are a lot of choices out there. Although spending a grand on a unit that uses a wall wart kind of scares me, if you know what I mean.

    Some channel strips have inserts for compressors and EQ and that sounds like something good to have.

    I don't like the channel strips with all the bells and whistles, even though they might be a grand or less they are probably crap. The good one's are $2000+ and up.
     
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Well if I had $1500 for a mic pre, it would have to be the Langevin Dual Vocal Combo. I had one of them until a couple of years ago, but made the decision to sell it to purchase the True P2 for a special project. I miss that DVC so bad... :cry:
    Great build quality, awesome sound, sweet and simple EQ, and musical optical compression...all times TWO !!! Something to consider. One thing that you have to beware of is that there will be a point of no return with your rig. This is because of the data compression schemes that Roland uses in their recorders. Depending upon your selection, the fidelity of the recording may be slightly compromised. To use your amp analogies, kinda like pluggin' a Korean-made Epiphone into my 64 Princeton. It will do OK, but you KNOW that a '59 LP will sing even better.
    Both of the pre's- the Solo, and the 101 use wall-warts. I don't like that, but they actually do fine. If you want some different "flavors", and maximum flexibilty, how 'bout a Summit 2BA-211 and a Grace 101?
     
  7. Believe me the Roland is not my dream machine.

    It fits the budget and leaves me some money to fill in with extras.

    It also saves space since this is all going in my bedroom, along with my 15 guitars and who knows how many amps. I build both........

    I can't do that anymore because of health issues and decided before I can't do anything I want to leave some type of legacy in terms of my playing and music.

    I think with the right choices I can get the same quality I hear from the late 60's and 70's with the Roland and the right gear around it.

    Take the Epi guitar, put some good pickups in it and plug it into a maintained and modded SF Fender and you can get a GREAT sound if you play well.

    I think if I choose the right combination of things I can make some good music. Think everything from SRV to Z.Z. Top to Johnny Winter, blues rock but I would like to add more than just hot guitar. I want to bring the creative aspect of the Beatles and the Stones at their peak. Some old R&B, Soul too, black crowes, Dave Mason.....Delany and Bonnie.

    Not just 12 bar blooze.......more progressive. Think standard guitar, bass, drums but with some Hendrix stuff, maybe some percussion, some different sounds but without going away from roots music. Different flavors....maybe some Mex stuff? Gospel even flavors of Rockabilly and country.

    An album I really liked because he did try to stretch was Johnny Winter's Still Alive and Well. Better production than his early blues stuff(which I love too.)

    I even have a song that mixes Spaghetti Western music with a blues rock progression and guitar. Spurs and bull whips and all......

    So getting back to pres, anything that will give me flavors but no reason to spend more on a pre than what the whole 2400 costs, which is less then 2 grand.

    I think you would loose what makes them more money, the sound quality would be lost somewhere in the chain. No reason to buy an Avalon preamp only to have what makes it so much money lost by the limitations of the Roland.

    I was looking at the Grace and the Summit, I think the Summit might be the way to go.

    But my amp building brain likes Iron, heavy iron, I use mostly Mercury Magnetic transformers in my amps. My guitars are warmoth and USACG parts with Duncan antiquity pickups or Duncan Custom shop stuff.
     
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Seventh Circle. Thats all you need to know.


    Start with a rack, power supply and one of the pres.....They are the real deal. The next pre will cost you very little and since you can build, its a no-brainer. THESE are the sound you're looking for as well as many other sounds you can imagine.
     
  9. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    SCA makes nice KITS. I wish that I had built some of those when my eyes were sharper and my hands were steadier. After 40, these have slowly degraded, however subtely. I, too, used to spend a lot of time huffing flux over a Fender chassis. That has had to be curtailed lately.

    Big Daddy seems to have similar issues. He stated that, due to health issues, he wasn't interested in building something. I still say that the Langevin DVC is a great piece for what he says that he wants to do. It has classic discrete mic pre's with IRON!! It has classic opto-compressors!!
    It's made by Manley!! You can't lose!! So what if it's $1650 from Fletcher!!
    (It's even more from Sweetwater).
    If you decide to go with a less-expensive piece like the Summit, check out the FMR RNC and RNLA for your dynaimcs processing. These are way better than the software versions in the Roland...I have a 2BA-211 and they both work well with its insert loop.

    Whatever you decide to do, the best of luck to you, Big Daddy!!!
     
  10. How about the Great River ME-1NV?

    I think that might be a good companion with the SOLO 610.

    I would like something more English, Neve sounding maybe. I heard the Phoenix stuff and they have more brightness to them, makes American stuff sound dull.

    I have 5 chassis to finish and my amp building days are over, just maintain the one's I have. I should be done in a week or so, then my bench in my bedroom is being turned into a recording studio..LOL.

    One chassis is going to a friend in Texas. It's a single channel BF type Deluxe head but with KT-66's. It's a weber PR type chassis called an 6A14, I also use the brown/white era PI with a presence control. Very similar to what David Allen makes. But in all honesty I'm a bit of a hack and not a pro at all. They sound good and work once I get the bugs out and little details right.

    I still have some guitars to finish up, a little electronics work, frets, another coat on the neck, small things.

    Then a new chapter, I hope my hands can still do things by the time I get it all figured out.

    So what's your opinion on the Great River ME-1NV?

    Does that have a Neve sound to it? I just read that is does.

    I have decided to stay away from wall warts and plate starved tube pres. I will not spend $700+ on any wall wart or plate starved pre.

    I need iron!!!
     
  11. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Great River has a great rep on these forums, but I've never experienced the product. Up until last year, I had an '70s Neve Melbourne broadcasting desk, so I didn't need many outboard pre's...
    I'm getting ready to sell off some of my old Fenders to aquire a Drawmer 1969 and a DVC...
     

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