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Preamp Recommendation?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by diz, May 17, 2005.

  1. diz

    diz Guest

    I am looking for a dual channel pre-amp in the price range of $300-$500. I want a preamp that will add a lot of warmth with low noise to a variety of instruments and vocals. It needs to be good quality and something that I can be happy with for a long time. If you have a recommendation could you please let me know what it is.
     
  2. Boltino

    Boltino Guest

    I'd probably save a little longer and spend a bit more money. You might look at the Focusrite TwinTrak Pro. It's a pretty good unit w/ built in compressor and eq. A lot of people highly recommend the Groove Tubes Brick (single channel so you'd need two). My 2 cents.

    Wes
     
  3. diz

    diz Guest

    Is the compressor and eq on the Focusrite pretty good quality? If it was between the Focusrite and the Groove Tubes which would be better in adding warmth and good sound quality with low noise? One thing I like about the Focusrite Twintrak though is that it comes as a rack.
     
  4. Preamp Recommendation

    Nothing beats a direct comparison. See if you can locate a pro audio dealer in the area that will allow you to audition or try out more than one unit at a time. If you can't arrange that, see if you can at least use some of your gear with preamps in a store (bring your own microphones, etc.).

    If you aren't able to do direct comparisons, other people's comparisons may help. 3D Audio (http://www.3daudioinc.com) has a comparison CD with a bunch of preamps (3D Pre CD). Also, there are some comparisons on this forum in the Pro Audio Reviews topic (Microphone Preamp Comparison by Kurt Foster).

    I really like my Aphex 207. You can pick it up for less than $400 on eBay (I saw it go for about $250 at some point - an amazing deal).
     
  5. bap

    bap Member

    DIY is always a possibility if you are looking for best value and don't mind a little more 'involvment' in your gear acquisitions.

    http://www.hamptone.com has a couple of outstanding kits in the $500 range - maybe a little more than your ideal budget but they would most certainly fulfill your other criteria:

     
  6. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    the brick has been getting good reviews around here, people seem to be real happy with them- 2 of them will set you back 700-800 bucs but you'll be happy with them and keep them forever...
     
  7. poprocks

    poprocks Guest

    Keep in mind the brick is only a preamp and not a channel strip, i.e. no built-in comp/limit, EQ, etc. In my experience, I need comp in the live signal path when recording vocals. You'll have to budget for a good compressor(s) if you go the brick route.

    The Focusrite gives you a decent cost/features ratio. The Platinum stuff is middle of the road, but I don't think you'll being throwing it in the trash anytime soon.

    AG
     
  8. diz

    diz Guest

    But between just the pres which is better quality, the focusrite pre or the groovetubes pre?
     
  9. I have been doing a similar search, I've raised my budget a little though. I am going to probably go with the Hamptone (http://www.hamptone.com). For under $500 the FMR RNP gets rave reviews on almost every forum but this one. Read the reviews http://www.mojopie.com and sound on sound. the Brick looks very cool too. Pick up any of these and an RNC and you'll have a pretty good front end for not a lot of dough.
     
  10. Boltino

    Boltino Guest

    I haven't been able to compare the Brick and the Twintrack head to head, so I can't really comment on which preamp is "better." Some consider the brick to be more of a real preamp (better power supply, etc.), but I think the TwinTrack is great for the money. I like having the compressor and the eq options. It also has an available digital option which is handy. I was out of analog ins on my AD so I use the TwinTrack's SPDIF out. Good Luck!

    Wes
     
  11. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    When you get in the 'great for the money' type of descriptions you know you should get sometime else that is just plain 'great' The brick might not have bells and whistles but its 'great' and you wont have to replace it down the line. If you want a little compressor that 'can do' get a RNC for just $175 to add to your brick, if you must compress as you track, that is.
     
  12. diz

    diz Guest

    Actually I prefer not to compress as I track. I like compressing during mixing.
     
  13. diz

    diz Guest

    By the way, what does RNC stand for?
     
  14. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Real Nice compressor- and I usually don't compress as I track either, especially vocals. 8)
     
  15. bap

    bap Member

    The Hamptone JFET has transformers in/out but is relatively clean and nuetral with huge gain, bandwidth and output. Very low noise as well. Two channels of outstanding pre with DI's for under $600 is not a bad deal!

    Scott [Hampton] will have a compressor kit out sometime in the not too distant future. Following is a quote from an e-mail I got:

    Not as inexpensive as RNC but it will probably kick butt!
     
  16. diz

    diz Guest

    The Brick doesn't have a digital out so how to I run it into my Digirack 002 system? Do I just run the xlr out of the Brick and then the xlr back into the Digirack?
     
  17. poprocks

    poprocks Guest

    If I recall correctly, the 002r has 4 XLR ins and 4 line ins, right? Go line-out from the brick to a line-in on your 002r. The brick may have an XLR connector on the line out, in which case you'll need a cable that goes from XLR to TRS (1/4"). Otherwise just a 1/4" cable will get it done.
     

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