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Unusual valve unit before tranny amp

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by ohitstiptop, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. ohitstiptop

    ohitstiptop Member

    Hi,I'm new here,so first of all.....Hello.

    Just been digging around some recordings I started a few years ago and I've found the most terrific sounding late sixties/70's Rolling Stones type guitar sound I've ever heard outside of "Honky Tonk Woman" and similar,it's that good (I wish everything else I'd recorded was),works in mix not just solo.

    I got this by running a Les Paul copy through an ART MP tube pre amp,the cheap basic one complete with Chinese valve into a 10 watt Crate practice amp,no valves and recorded on an SM 57 into a 16 bit Zoom MRS 1608.

    My point is this.

    Having used the ART MP for vox,bass etc...I've had no joy but a bit of noisy distortion/colouration and I much prefer my tranny Joe Meeks but somehow the ART MP's seem to have imparted a pleasing musical tone to riffy Stones style guitars,anyone had the same experience with cranky cheap "studio pre amps" as guitar distorters/colouration devices?

    I'm of a mind to over use it as a distortion device for vocals in future and forget about the signal to noise ratio which is technically terrible and then re-send it through some cleaner compression to squash that distortion into excitement.

    As I said,any similar experiences?
     
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Usually budget gear kinda share that trade of having narrow sweetspots and not handling hard gain very well specially in the preamp department.
    Althought the Pro MPA-II seems to get nice review but I never tried one.
    It is clear that at nearly any gain, highend preamps will keep an even audio quality by keeping lower noise ratio.

    My go to vocal distortion units that I own would be the UA 710 which is very easy to overdrive and in fact is being hated by many for that reason. And the classic UA LA-610
    I'm not using them for that purpose very often but I know they can deliver if needed.
     
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I forgot to say that the Sm57 is kind of a low level mic that needs a lot of clean gain or very loud source to sound at it's best.
    You'd be surprise to hear the same mic thought different highend pre... ;)
     
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I do get what you are saying...

    Occasionally, those cheaper models do impart a certain "nastiness" that can sound - depending on the context of course - quite pleasing in their own strange way.

    I have one of those ART pre's lying around here somewhere - I don't use it much, but I agree that there are times when it's kinda cool to have, to get a certain guitar or bass tone.

    I think I even used it on a vocal track once or twice... it is what it is.

    I look at it as more of an "effect" than anything else, knowing what the results will be by using it... as you mentioned, regarding the guitar tone you got out of it.

    Sometimes we don't want "smooth, rich and pleasing". Sometimes we need a bit of fugliness, a certain charcter that just seems to work as a texture in the context of what we are working on at the time....

    Or, if for no other reason than to make the other tracks around it sound better. LOL
     

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