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World's Best Tube Preamps?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by mark4man, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. mark4man

    mark4man Active Member

    What's the world's best tube-based preamplifier; & why?

    Aphex 1100MKII
    Avalon Vt-737-sp
    Drawmer 1962
    DW Fearn VT2
    M.A.L. REDD.47
    Manley Mono
    Millennia M2-B
    Mindprint DTC
    Peavey VMP-2
    Pendulum MDP-1
    Sebatron VMP-2000e
    SPL GoldMike 9844
    Summit Audio TPA-200B
    Telefunken V72
    TL Audio PA-1
    Tube Tech MP-1A
    Universal Audio 2-610

    If I've left anything out...feel free to add to the list (or...if you want to throw anything out, go ahead.)



    BTW - Use? Primarily vox to digital or tape.
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    There are plenty that you have missed ... The Revolution Recordings REDD 47, a clone of the pres in the Abbey Road EMI studio desk used by the Beatles from "Revolver" through "Let It Be" ..

    Also, the Millennia HV-3 is a solid state mic pre, the newer M-2 is their vacuum tube offering.

    You missed the Pendulum tube pre the Telefunkin V72 types and most likely a dozen others as well. As far as which is best, I would say probably the ones I don't currently have .... :mrgreen: That seems to be how it works out all the time ...
  3. claude

    claude Guest

    Groove Tubes Vipre

    What about the Groove Tubes Vipre?
  4. Krou

    Krou Active Member

    I'd say the best one is the one that does what you want it to do on a particular signal.
    I doubt Pendulum or D.W.Fearn stuff excels at everything, which pretty much answers your initial question.
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Yeah...you forgot the Thermionic Culture stuff......and from what I can tell through all the sources I actually believe, theres yet to be found a situation in recording where the DW Fearn or the Pendulum didnt surpass by a wide margin anything else that could have been used..YMMV
  6. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    And there we have it. The only answer that is both correct and possible. There is no best for anything, including preamps. I wll say though that the DW Fearn is my all time favorite sounding tube mic pre with the Vipre not too far behind and there are plenty times that neither of them are perfect, best or better than others including those that are not tube based.

    Other favorites not mentioned. The Millennia TD-1, Groove Tube MP-1 and even the newer Brick as well as the mic pre option in my Evil Twin DI dox.
  7. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    there isn't a worlds best pre...tube or not....

    and you forgot the Peavey VMP-2's......
  8. claude

    claude Guest


    I second that Peavey VMP2. I just got a Peavey VMP2 and this thing sounds great!! I'm no Golden Ears but I'm impressed. I've got a GT Vipre which is more versatile but this thing rocks! Plus it's 2 channel with some pretty good sounding basic eq.
  9. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    From the pure perspective of a tube preamp and nothing else, if I had to pick the "best" I've worked with, it would be the Vipre, if for nothing else than its versatility. But there are a lot I haven't worked with, and I think trying to pick out one as the "best" would be too much of a generalization...maybe there's a best preamp for a certain source, with a certain mic, in a certain style, but even that's totally subjective.

    The only thing I can state with a certainty as far as the preamps on your list is that the AD2022 is not a tube preamp.

  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    If nothing else, this thread may help us to compile a master list of available tube pres ... perhaps we can also list the price of each pre and a link to the respective web sites? That would be a great resource for RO down the road..
  11. mark4man

    mark4man Active Member


    I was sorta hoping it would help me make a decision, too. I did (you'll note) ask the "why" for each posters choice.

    Thanks all,

  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member


    Much better components inside...
    Lots more engineering of the placement of said components
    Audiofile quality in sound
    Possible special switches,knobs,and options above and beyond the necessities...
    Transformers everywhere!
    Power supplies able to run a small nation.....
    A build quality that only handwiring can bring...
    Ablity to stack many many large phone books on the case...

    And last but not at all least...the sound makes you cry and smile at the same time...

    also.....studio WOW factor for undecided clients.

    BONGOMAN Guest

    The best tube IMO without a doubt is the SPL Gold Mike.

    Why? 'Cos its ours and the only one we have, thus beating all others!
  14. mark4man

    mark4man Active Member

    Oy Veh...

    Anyone have any experience with the UA 2-610?


  15. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    the fairman TRC

    transparent warm musical sound

    the best i've heard so far...


    i think..... gold plated switches throughout...... tightly matched tubes and generally a high-end approach to things


    and to all americans..... don't forget to vote...... the world is heavily influenced by your choice!!!!!!
  16. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    For my contributions can I check my pm's?
  17. theom

    theom Guest


    the one magic tube pre I came across was a tele V-76 that had been gone thru by oliver at tab funkwerk. I was really really nice on anything and everything.

    I'm not a tube freak, I like hardy M1's for most everything and GML or API pres.

    But that V-76 was A-Maze-Ing !!

    The pre was something that was laying around at Axis on 54th in NYC.
    I have dreams about that thing.
  18. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Active Member

    Anyone have experience w/ B.L.U.E.'s new tube mic pre?

  19. TTR

    TTR Guest

  20. AB2

    AB2 Guest

    Forssell Fetcode
    There may be equals or different ones, but there are none better!

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