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Mic Preamp for $150 or less?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by Tonato17, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. Tonato17

    Tonato17 Active Member

    Hi Everybody. I know that this topic has been discussed on lots of threads, but i need your advice on wich pre is better for my case.
    From what i read the conclusion is that for that money all the preamps I could buy are more or less the same, but as there is a lot of preamps for that money, i can't decide...

    I will buy a mic for record things in my pc. I am thinking in a rode nt1 or an AT 3035. i am wondering a sound with body, very full but at the same time with and sweet and beatifull brights...(sorry for my unorhtodox explanation =) ) .. So i think a TUBE preamp would help a lot to achieve that sounding im looking for. I looked over inet (and ebay) and found a lot of tube mic preamp for that money...some of them are..

    - Studio Projects VTB-1 (130 dollars)
    - Art Tube MP Studio V3 (around 100 dollars)
    - Presonus tube pre (100 dollars)

    well the list could continue and continue...but i think you know them better than me...so, wich pre do u think i should buy? i understand that for that money i can't wait a pro sounding..but is what i can afford now.... It doesn´t necessarily have to be one of the mentioned above....anyone you think it's ok for that money just tell me ;)One last thing..the pre should have Phantom Power ... =)

    well, i wait for your answers...and thanks a lot, really from now =))

    PD: I forgot...i will record guitars electric and acoustic, a piano, sintetyzers and voices... ;)
  2. M-Audio DMP3

    Those ones you've listed are not as nice as the DMP3, in my opinion. Plus the DMP3 is dual channel.
  3. Tonato17

    Tonato17 Active Member

    Hi ..Thanks for your post...i didn't listen to that pre, but i was thinking in a tube pre, so it make the sound more warm and 'sweet'. For that reason i thought in a tube mic preamp, is it ok? if so wich one would u recomend me..and if not.. what one should i buy ?
  4. ShellTones

    ShellTones Guest

    The mic pres you listed are starved-plate design. They are not true tube preamps. Out of the ones listed, the VTB-1 has the best reputation. However, I agree with cominginsecond, the DMP3 is the best value out there. It is based on the same INA163 Burr Brown chip as the $600 Grace 101.
  5. Tonato17

    Tonato17 Active Member

    Hey! Thanks again for the post. So should i buy the DMP3 for that money? is it better than the VTB-1? once again (sorry for being so repetitive) i want a warm and sweet sound. (Thats why I tought the best way to aproach it could be with a TUBE pre), but if you say i should buy the DMP30 i ll do it.
    And finally: how much it would cost me a passable tube mic pre?
    waits for your answers...and once again thanks a lot... :)
  6. drbam

    drbam Guest

    You won't get a warm or sweet sound from a budget tube pre. They generally just sound dull, muffled and/or muted in my opinion. I can't personally comment on the DMP3 but I have used the VTB1 and like all Studio Project gear, I think its quite decent for the price - Not great but certainly better than the ART or Prosonus you listed.

  7. ShellTones

    ShellTones Guest

    Like I said, the DMP3 is based on the same chip as the Grace 101. It sounds neither dull nor muted IMO. On the other hand, compared to strident pres--like the ones in cheap mixers, the DMP3 will sound warm. YMMV, of course. And it has lots of gain--clean gain.

    If you want great value in a true tube mic pre, look at the Sebatron stuff ($850). I love mine, but in the < $200 range the DMP3 is an amazing value.
  8. Tonato17

    Tonato17 Active Member

    Okey! Thanks a lot.
    I still have one more (and last) question. I will buy a sound card too so i can record the music on my pc. I have read that with a sound card that supplyes phantom power and balanced ins i don't need to buy a pre.
    However, I think the best way to approach a good sound is with a pre, independently on the sound card and mic(wich bouth have to be good too) Is my tought ok? and i should buy the pre ?(the DMP3)
    Thanks a lot for your answers, which are really important to my decisions :)
  9. ShellTones

    ShellTones Guest

    IMO a soundcard (in this price range) you get the best sound quality and value by buying a relatively inexpensive dedicated PCI soundcard like the M-Audio Audiophile ($149), the M-Audio Delta 44 ($199), or the Ehco Mia ($179). No preamps or phantom power on the soundcard. Just let it do the AD/DA conversion for you.

    Let your dedicated microphone preamp (DMP3 or other preamp) provide amplification and phantom power for your condenser mics.

    Most inexpensive equipment that trys to do all things does all things poorly. The M-Audio Audiophile and Delta 44 provide outstanding audio quality for the price.

    Balanced "ins" on a soundcard are the least important feature IMO. AD/DA conversion is much, much more important. The Audiophile has two unbalanced "ins/outs" whereas the Delta 44 has four balanced "ins/outs" built into a break-out box. The Audiophile has SPDIF. The Delta 44 doesn't. Both use the same high-quality AD/DA converters.
  10. Tonato17

    Tonato17 Active Member

    ShellTones, thanks a lot for your advices, they are really usefull to my decisions :)
    So, i decided to buy this 3 things to start recording on my pc

    1) Pre M Audio Dmp3
    2) Mic Audio Technica 3035
    3) Sound Card M Audio Delta 44

    Well, thats all from now, with those things i think i could start to record my music and achieve a good sounding from what i want to do now (learn, learn and learn, and could have something mine that i could show to the world ):)

    So, do you have any suggestion? After find out a lot Ithink this is the best choice......
    Well, once more, THANKS, you and all the people here are cool..
  11. ShellTones

    ShellTones Guest

    The gear you've listed is tried and proven great bang-for-the-buck gear. I haven't heard the 3035 but I've heard good things about it in the < $200 mic range. For another $50 ($245 - $250) I see the AT 4040 new on ebay all the time. A lot of people love the new AT 4040, including Steve Langer at Mojo Pie.

    You will also want to eventualy invest in a modest monitoring system ($400 - $700). A lot of folks think the monitoring chain (amp/monitors) is just as important--or more important--than the recording chain.

    Have fun spending your money.
  12. Tonato17

    Tonato17 Active Member

    Hi! once more thanks.... i would like to ask you ..do you know or heard about the delta 44 with the omni? is it better than the box coming with the delta 44, and is it convenient to spend a little money more for that?
    i was thinking in buyng the sound card used in ebay =)
    Well, thanks a lot once more, and forgive my awfull english!
  13. ShellTones

    ShellTones Guest

    From owning the DMP3 and knowing many others who have owned/used it, I know the DMP3 is a terrific value for the price. I'm sure the Omni is decent, but it does not have the great bang-for-the-buck reputation that the DMP3 has.

    So you'll have to decide for yourself. I already told you what I would do.
  14. Tonato17

    Tonato17 Active Member

    OK! THanks a lot!! :)
    I decided (thanks to your advices!) for the dmp3/at 3035/delta 44

    Thanks a lot, you are cool!! :)
    c ya!!

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