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Mic preamps under 1k

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by TheFraz, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    i am setting up a DAW right now, and i need to get my hands on a nice mic pre.
    I have been looking at Focusrite TWIN-TRAK-PRO. also i have looked into both the Joemeek twinQ Dual Channel and the Joemeek OneQ.

    any advice on any of these would be great. or if there is something killer sounding in this price range that i am unaware of, feel free to inform.
  2. fourone3

    fourone3 Active Member

    Has anyone checked out the API 512c? I've heard a lot of good things about them. I think those go for about $1,000 with the Lunchbox.

    I haven't tried it out myself, but I am curious to know opinions on those (what you've used them for, etc.)
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Are you only in need of a single mic pre?
    Are you looking for "color" or transparency?
    What other gear do you have? (Specifically mics and A/D conversion)

    If I had $1000 to spend on a *single* mic pre, I certainly wouldn't consider either the Focusrite or the Joemeek. If I had $100, I probably would avoid them still!

    So to answer my own questions above - assuming that there's a quality mic and a quality AD and a quality source, and I had to choose only 1 mic pre for the money:

    "Colored" -
    Summit 2BA-221

    "Transparent" -
    Grace 101

    In response to the API...yes, they are VERY nice pres. Well built - very solid and quite good sounding. I wouldn't call it strongly colored nor would I call it transparent (though I would consider it to fall more on the transparent side of things with perhaps a slight *emphasis* on tight bass)

    The lunchbox idea might not be a bad one. I would check with Nathan at Atlas and see what a rackmounted API style lunchbox would cost with a unit in it. He's got several different modules to choose from including Buzz, Purple, OSA and others. Not to mention, there are pres available from API, Brent Averil, Shadow Hills and others that fit the same frame.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  4. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    "Transparent" "Very Slightly colored"

    True-Systems P-Solo
  5. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    I am getting (in the proses of buying every thing) an fire wire Mbox II into my mac. i am getting an AT4040, perhaps an NT1 and some rode NT5s.

    thats for the recording set up at least. my set up is going to be more for MIDI and editing then any thing els. but i still want to be able to do some decent sounding overdubs.

    Its going to be a simple set up, so all i want is a single or duel channel preamp with a compressor (if possible). i would prefer a transparent preamp, but if one happens to colour every thing real nicely i would not be apposed to considering it
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I would honestly suggest you *not* go with a preamp with a built in compressor given the price range. Very few good pres and compressors exist within the same box and I honestly don't know of any within that price range and know of even fewer which have compressors which are what I would consider to be "universal."

    I would stick with a good pre and use a compressor plug in for the time being. Then, save up for a good versatile unit such as a Drawmer or a good dBX.



    PS -
    TVPS - I recently tried a friends P8 again after years of bashing and I must admit, it didn't leave me cold like my last experiences with my own previous P8. Perhaps it was a function of the Schoeps ext bodies, certain cables and the precision 8 together which didn't jive. In fact, I actually found that I preferred the P8 to the DAV which I have used extensively for the past 2 years.
  7. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    well that grace has really grabbed my attention. i cant find any bad words about it, and the price is right thats for sure.
    depending on how cheap i can find one i may pick up two of them. my ears are still open though.

    thanks for the advice.
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Good to see ya comin to yer senses Jeremy. :wink:

    Theres a certain something about the True Systems stuff that goes beyond the specs. I LOVE the P2 Analog pre.
  9. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Those in the know, and I'm not one them, note that the P2 sounds different than the P8. My limited experience with the P2 was that is was real good, but not really my cup of tea or of real bragging rights yet miles ahead of Focusrite and Meek. I likely pick the Grace over the P2.
  10. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    i think the grace is in the lead right now
    i just need to see if my dealer can order me one
  11. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest


    The Grace is by far the cleanest most transparent pre I have ever heard.
    I had one, but needed to step up to more pres, and the Grace 801 was out of my budget, the next choice was True-systems P8.
    I just like to give Cucco a friendly nudge!!!!
    The Grace might also be a little TOO transparent for some peoples tatses.

    One note you should be aware of, the Grace 101 is an economy model compared to their 801, a wall wart power supply, and a lower quality gain knob, and a lower output section.

    The True-Systems P-Solo is identical to their P8.

    Here's why I have a fondness for the True, I had a scratchy pot after 6 months of non stop use, I spoke directly with Tim Spencer at TS about getting it fixed under warranty. I sent it in, Tim personally replaced ALL 8 gain pots the day it arrived, I would have had it the next day if Tim didnt insist on scoping out the whole unit, and doing a 48 hour burn-in.
  12. tifftunes

    tifftunes Active Member

    I hear great things about FMR's stereo pre. If it's in the same vein as the comp/limiters it should be the best pre under $2000. I'd heard it compares well with the Grace 101. Anyone here tried the RNP?
  13. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    Having used both the Gale 101 and the P-solo, which one is the better preamp?
  14. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    They are in the same league. Like most things in audio in that same league, one is not clearly better than the other as much as one is different than the other. Many variables as well as subjective opinion, are the usual things that make one thing better than another.
  15. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    well thanks allot for the advice, my mind is set on the p solo right now
    i think it takes the cake for value, as it is a single channel version of a professional preamp. plus from what i have read the grace seems to be a bit to transparent and bright.

    i have to say, thanks allot for all the advice. it been truly helpful.
  16. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I would say that the Grace is anything but bright! It has a very "liquid" smooth sound on the top. The other reason I love the Grace is the detented switches. It's REAL easy to reset the gain knob where you had it before.

    I've used the 101,201, and 801 and while I did find a *slight* difference between the 101 and the others, it was slight.
    Sorry to confuse matters...
  17. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    no confusion, i am glad to hear others experiences with preamps. my only experiences are with the ones in my schools studios, and they are not exactly affordable.

    i will most likely get the Psolos first, but i have another channel that could use a preamp so i may get the grace when i get more money. have both of them. best of bother worlds.
  18. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Cucco is right, the Grace is not bright, it's just very accurate, and transparent.

    What some might be referring to, is that the Grace is revealing, if you plug an economy mic like the NT1-A, yes it will be too bright. Plug a Neumann in it and its "liquid"!!
  19. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    i can't afford a Neumann yet, but i will start with an AT4040. i prefer it over the nt1a. will it preform well with truly revealing preamp?
    i plan on getting better gear when i can afford it, but i am just in school right now, and i want the recordings i do at home to be at the same quality as the study, or as close as i can reasonably get it.
  20. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The 4040 is an excellent mic. As are ALL the Audio Technicas. For my money if you're looking for a 'one-mic' operation, it would have to be the 4050 due to the patterns as well as the increase in 'attitude' in the mic sound . The 4040 is kinda bland. Not in a bad way as it does reproduce its source accurately, it just doesnt do it with flair.

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