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my first good preamp...

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by Krou, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. Krou

    Krou Active Member

    Sorry for yet another "which preamp" thread, but after a few years on the Digi001 and now Digi002R pres, I'm now ready to invest in something better. Here are a few specs which could help you help me deciding on one.

    I'm mostly synth and sample-based, electronic, soundtrack type stuff. The goal of the preamp would be mostly for tracking female vocals (ie: Portishead, Massive Attack, Tricky, etc.), as well as - for me - the occasional live bass and guitar I may want to add into the mix (Fender Jazz and Fender Strat, the latter going through the POD), so one that can do a nice DI job on those as well. I'm definitely in favor of a little warmth and colour.

    I was looking at these with interest:

    - Vintech Dual 72
    - UA M-610
    - UA 2-610
    - UA 6176
    - UA 2108??? (don't see much talk about these, any good?)

    The reason for all the UA's is that I love their aesthetics and reputation, but I'm also torn betwen getting a 2 channel with no eq/comp (for beefing up synths on the way in), or a single channel with the compressor (6176), but I don't know if having the compressor on the way in that crucial (I'm assuming such a unit would be more useful as insert at mixdown?). I know the Great River units are highly praised but I'd like to stay in the $1800 or less.

    Anyways, that's the jist of it. I just spent some mad ca$h on MiniTraps, treating the room, new monitors, etc., so I'm ready for the next step - the gear...

    Thanks for any advice...
     
  2. Krou

    Krou Active Member

    Forgot to mention I have a Studio Projects C1 mic, but considering adding either a Rode NTK or a Neumann TLM-103. Any advice on this is also appreciated...
     
  3. heyman

    heyman Guest

    I use the 2-610 and I fing the eq can be quite helpfull, but I would also look into the 6176 because the compressor section is quite nice..

    So its a toss up, go into Guitar center and try them both out..
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    The UA 2108 is a solid state pre. It uses 1176 FET amp topology that has an aggresive gritty sound, while the others you mentioned are tube based and are a bit warmer and smoother.

    All of them are about as good as it gets.

    There's a lot to be said for both having a stereo unit as well as having the compressor .. in the best of scenarios, you would have both ...
     
  5. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    that price difference is abismal!!!

    i never tried the tlm 103 but i really think that mic is like a cheap Neumann! compared with 500$ mics at best...

    but just my opinion...
     
  6. Krou

    Krou Active Member

    huh?

    that's quite an opinion, given that you never tried it...
     
  7. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    the tlm costs around twice the rode! between that price i think there are better options than the "cheap" tlm
    it like when you have 2500 bucks you are better with other stuff than the digi 002... (my opinion...)
     
  8. JeffreyMajeau

    JeffreyMajeau Active Member

    The UA 2-610 works on some stuff and absolutely does not on other stuff. This is why you want to have a variety of flavors. There's a lot of positive and negative opinions on them. I have used one a bit and can't say it'd be my first choice, but it doesn't suck. It sounds good and doesn't get in the way. I like the Sebatron better. The Chandler stuff sound REALLY good, too, as well as the Great River MPxNV.

    I know that aesthetics are important to some people, but that shouldn't be a concern when looking for a piece of recording gear. I know that it IS, but think about it, would you rather the manufacturer spent the time and effort on the box, or the stuff INSIDE the box? Not attacking you, just offering up some food for thought. The preamps you mentioned are all probably workable. There's a lot of gear snobbery out there. Make the best of what you hve and purchase new things carefully using your ears to evaluate.
     
  9. Krou

    Krou Active Member

    Good reply,

    I agree, aesthetics are nice but I won't base my decision just on that, function over form prevails. It's only recently (and on this very forum only) that I hear about the Sebatron, who in the US carries this stuff?
     
  10. JeffreyMajeau

    JeffreyMajeau Active Member

    I think Steve at Granite Rocks is a dealer:

    http://www.graniterocks.com

    I have to say though, that the MP2NV can't really be beat as a massive sounding 2 channel direct box. Sounds absolutely fabulous on PBass. I'd go with something like the Great River or the Vintech and then something a bit cleaner, maybe a tube unit like the Sebatron, which can go from clean to aggressive.
     
  11. Bhennies

    Bhennies Guest

    I should probably chime in here, because you make very similar music to what I do, I also use a 002r, and I have the ua 2108. I really really like the pre. It sounds great for just about anything...BUT...it does have some flavor, epecially when the gain is cranked, which I don't know if you want or not.

    I would say "go for it" but you should consider the fact that I have two avalon u5's that I run all my synths, keys and vintage pianos through. So in other words, I'm not using the 2108 for everything. The 2108 sounds AWESOME on guitars. I mean amazing. One of the BEST tones I've gotten from this thing has actually been with a studio projects c4 SDC on my Fender blues junior guitar amp, with a nice FAT archtop. It really blew me out of the water. I had never used a small diaphragm condenser on that combo until I was testing out the c4 just screwing around and man...it sounded so fantastic. I've also had the opportunity to demo out a stereo pair of studio projects c3's through the 2108, and they sounded pretty good as well. NOt like a u87, like everyone keeps saying, not as nice on the high end, but you'll be pleasantly surprised with your c1 through the 2108. I personally use a BLUEberry for vox (I only really record myself so I haven't really invested in my mic locker), and I have to say that combo is brilliant. It really seems to perform well with bright mics- it adds some flavor and contrast- dark yet clear. Maybe check out the BLUE baby bottle or if you said you could swing a TLM103, the BBerry is the same price. That combo on female vox would be quite nice.


    Truth be told, I'm saving for a great river mp2nv to add to the 2108. BUt seriously, the 2108 is pretty dope. I liked the 2-610, which at one point was my first choice, but decided on the 2108 for its "versatility", even though at some point, like me, you're gonna want another pre to compliment. BUt honestly, that could be said for any one of the pres you mentioned. They all have character from what I understand.
     
  12. Mumbles

    Mumbles Active Member

    I actually have a couple of the old 1108's from UA... assuming that the 2108 is made with these in mind... I love them. My partner actually did a song using JUST the 1108's on everything and it sounds very nice.

    I've only used the 610 once (on trumpet) and it was great. I could see that it might not be the best for EVERYTHING, though.
     
  13. johnthemiracle

    johnthemiracle Active Member

    another opinion on the tlm 103...i own one and i've been using it on everything. it sounds absolutely great. this is not a "cheap Neumann" that they made so they have something to offer in a lower price range, it's a great mic in its own right. i can absolutely recommend it.
     
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Hmmm ... tell that to; Frank Sinatra, The Four Seasons, The Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, The Mamas and The Papas, Count Bassie, Hank Williams, Howlin Wolf, Nat "King" Cole (just to name a few).

    All of them were recorded by Bill Putmnam at either his Chicago or LA studios using only 610 pres.

    Every time I see that myth repeated, I have to smile to myself. The whole concept of additive coloration is amusing to me. good mics, a good ear for placement and some judicious application of EQ will deal with any problems that might pop up. Most important is great arrangements.. You could use 20 different pres and it's still gonna sound like sh*t if everyone is wanking away on the same chord in the same octave. Definition comes from arraignments, not mic pres.
     
  15. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    I have an ME-1NV from Great River.
    ... only one channel so is a little cheaper

    a fine unit and well made
    later you may be able to add an EQ unit right next to it in one rack space
     
  16. Krou

    Krou Active Member

    Thanks for all you replies so far.
    A friend of mine steered me away from the Vintech, saying that it's mediocrity reveals itself when making a true A/B comparison with a Brent Averill module. While I wouldn't have anything to compare it to, I'm sure I'd think it sounds great but regardless, this is why I narrowed it down to the Sebatron 2 channel or UA 2-610. The latter does cost more but if it's really worth it, I don't mind. Again, this is my first decent pre and I'm simply looking for something that will do nice things on direct bass, female vocals, as well as running my synths trough it for a little more thickness.

    Thanks again...
     
  17. Krou

    Krou Active Member

  18. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    I sold my UA-610 after owning it for 18 months and used the money to put in a sump pump and a toilet.

    My customers get much more use from the latter than they did from the UA-610.

    I have Great River, API, Sebatron and Focusrite, all of which were picked more often than the 2-610.

    Steve
     
  19. Mumbles

    Mumbles Active Member

    I'm telling you, man... DI bass/female vocal/thickening things...
    Telefunken V72 for me.
     

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