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ultimate modern mic pre?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by jimbo_baby84, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    hi guys, i'm slowly nutting out exactly what stuff i want for my studio, and in terms of mic pres, there's alot of "must have" vintage classics, but i don't see alot of discussion on nice clean modern units. so i was wondering what you guys consider the ultimate pre of this kind. the one i was considering was the avalon ad2022, but i've since heard some bad things about it. this thing should be very transparent and although i don't have unlimited funds, i want the "if money is no object" response from you guys. ideas anyone?
     
  2. heyman

    heyman Guest

    The Grace 101 Pre
    The Earthworks Pre
    The Millennia stuff...

    There you go...
     
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I agree with most of that except I would have said the Grace 201 ... (not the 101 IMO) ... the Millennia HV-3 is a standard in this feild. True Systems and Earthworks make very accurate pres as well.
     
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Clean and money is no object....okay...

    Daking Mic Pre/EQ.....GML.....True Systems....Focurite Red....John Hardy
     
  5. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    I've got the DIY bug right now. I'm going to build a few channels for kicks in hopes that I can kinda create my own signature sound. If the DIY bug ends I've been looking at John Hardy stuff.

    Is the Hardy considered transparent or does it have a little character?
     
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Look for pres that do not have transformers on the inputs or outputs if you want "transparent" (uncolored) performance. Transformers bump the low end a bit and can introduce tiny amounts of distortion. I like that but I would hardly call them accurate, uncolored or "modern". I call them mic pres "that sound good", meaning they add a sonic signature.

    The vintage and boutique type pres like the Neves, Daking, Focusrite Red and in some instances John Hardys all use at minimum, transformers to accept a balanced input. Some also have transformers across the outputs as well.

    The Daking is a "Trident type", the Focusrite Red is Neves answer to the API approach and some of the more desirable Hardys have Jensen transformers across the input.

    It's the electronically balanced pres like GML, True System, Millennia and the Grace 201, that are usually considered to be "transparent" uncolored or as you put it "modern" designs.
     
  7. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    http://www.buzzaudio.com/index.htm
     
  8. slideout

    slideout Guest

    pre mic

    Mackie 1604 VLZ m runnunng direct out of it for good gain!
     
  9. JWHardy

    JWHardy Active Member

    My mic preamps always have an input transformer, the Jensen JT-16-B. This is Jensen's best mic input transformer, and I consider it the best mic input transformer on the planet.

    http://www.jensentransformers.com/datashts/16b.pdf

    Thank you.

    John Hardy
    The John Hardy Co.
    http://www.johnhardyco.com
     
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Hey John,
    Great to have you respond! Thanks.

    I apologise for the inaccuracy of my comment ... I thought I remembered reading somewhere that the Jensens were an option. Pehaps that was in regard to output x formers?
     
  11. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Hi John,

    yes,
    John does like his Jensens.

    George M. just hates all transformers and so builds without them.

    What is the ultimate modern mic pre?

    mmmm ...
    perhaps there isn't just one
     
  12. JWHardy

    JWHardy Active Member

    Kurt;

    Yes, it is the output transformers that are optional. I use the Jensen JT-11-BMQ, their best output transformer. I consider this the best output transformer on the planet. They don't list this particular model on their site (long story), but it is essentially the same as the JT-11-BMCF:

    http://www.jensentransformers.com/datashts/11bmcf.pdf

    Thanks.

    John Hardy
    The John Hardy Co.
    http://www.johnhardyco.com
     
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I have just spent the last hour going through the article links on John Hardys web site, http://www.johnhardyco.com .

    There's some very good stuff there explaining all the things I have been so woefully inadequate at relating for quite a while.

    I heartily recommend that anyone really interested in what goes into the make up of great mic pres take a look, especially the article titled; "Outboard pre amps. What's the deal? :cool: :!:

    That all out of the way, .... John, if you are still following the thread, I would love to do a review of your pres .. I have been trying to get an e mail to you but I keep getting failed message reports.
     
  14. JWHardy

    JWHardy Active Member

    Kurt;

    Thanks for the compliments on the stuff on my site. I did receive your e-mail today, but have not responded yet. Too many fires to put out here at the moment. Later tonight I'll get to it. I would be happy to provide a preamp for review. Thank you.

    John Hardy
    The John Hardy Co.
    http://www.johnhardyco.com
     
  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Cool! OK folks, get ready to hear some audio clips ... any input on which mics I should use and what you want to hear the M1 on?
     
  16. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    I'd love to hear one of John's beautiful preamps on vocals, accoustic guitar and how about drum overheads if time allows.
     
  17. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    thanks for all the replies guys. i've been reading that different pres are good for different mics on different sources, which makes sense. so i've been thinking about what mics i'll be using for what, and i came up with this:

    kick: m88
    snare top: sm57 + one pencil from a pair, not sure what kind yet
    snare bot: sm57
    hats: the other pencil
    toms: md421
    overheads: b&k/dpa 4011s or 4003s
    room: korby kat4
    bass cabs: m88
    gtr amps: r121/421/57
    acoustic gtr: b&k/dpa 4011s or 4003s
    vocals: korby kat4/rode k2

    based on this, can anyone recomend a type of pre for each of these mic and source combos? i'm pretty sure i'll get some of the chandler gear. maybe the tg2 and ltd-1? i'm pretty well read on the kinds of pres available now, but the studio i worked in had only the console pres, and one n72, so my hands on experience is practically non existant for picking and choosing them for specific sources. any suggestions at all with this would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks!
     
  18. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    kick: m88
    snare top: sm57 + one pencil from a pair, not sure what kind yet
    snare bot: sm57
    hats: the other pencil
    toms: md421
    overheads: b&k/dpa 4011s or 4003s
    room: korby kat4

    API / JLM TMP 8 / Sebatron vmp

    bass cabs: m88
    gtr amps: r121/421/57

    GR MP2NV / Neve 1076 / 1081 / Sebatron vmp

    acoustic gtr: b&k/dpa 4011s or 4003s

    Millennia HV-3 or Origin / Earthworks / Amek/ Neve 9098 / Sebatron vmp

    vocals: korby kat4/rode k2

    GR MP2NV / Millennia Origin / 9098 / API / JLM TMP8 / Sebatron vmp

    Really almost any decent pre can be pressed into service on many different things. It really depends more on what the instrument sounds like, rather than what instrument it is.

    A dark guitar might need something very transparent, while a brighter guitar would call for something that might warm it up a bit.

    The most important thing is to just have some very good pres .. a few with color and a few that are more transparent. How much color or transparency you want, is really your call.

    BTW, I think you will have a lot of phase problems with 3 mics on the snare .. I try to keep from even using a bottom mic if at all possible. Less is more, the fewer mics used the more solid the sound is. Even with tom mics, I draw out or gate everything except the actual hits, allowing the kick, snare and ohs handle most of the chores. I don't like multiple mics on the kick either and I do not use room mics when tracking. If you have a good sounding room, you can always run a feed to some speakers and re mic that. This allows much more control over what is in the "room" tracks and affords the chance to process them as you record them, with compression or supplemental reverbs / delays.
     
  19. ShellTones

    ShellTones Guest

    I'd like to hear as many SDs as possible on acoustic guit (Oktava, Studio Projects, Shure, Josephson, etc.).
     
  20. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    hey there kurt, thanks for the suggestions. not a fan of the 1073 eh? i do the drums that way to give me options in the mix, i rarely (if ever) actually use all the 3 snare mics. i'll check out that sebatron though.
     

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