Skip to main content

I can pick up a 737sp for about $1600 (used), so I'm trying to get some feedback. I know they're well renown, but I also know that a lot of other pres have come on the scene since it has at roughly the same price point.
I'd really like to get another pre to experiment around with and since this puppy has built in goodies it seems like a pretty decent idea.


Topic Tags


moonbaby Thu, 02/07/2008 - 21:55

A quick look at e-Bay says that the price ain't that good a deal. As to whether it will fulfill your needs and desires, that depends on what you're using it for. I used mine for VO's, it was OK-pretty good -for that. It did alright for many solo vocalist's projects. BUT if it's going to be you're main "go-to" pre for projects, look out, baby! You have to watch your comp and EQ settings on it very carefully to keep from "muddying up" your mix. This is true with any piece to some degree, but the 737 will thicken up your initial tracks to the point where the mix will be blurry very quickly. I had issues with tube stability and compressor time constants so I sold it to my brother-in-law. He's ditched it since then. That may tell you something. Also, if you REALLY want to get a 737, do some homework. There have been a couple of variations and revisions to them over the years. The earlier ones and the latest ones have reputations that are not stellar.
FWIW, I'd look very hard at a Langevin Dual Vocal Combo if you want that vintage vibe with some EQ and limiting. It's simpler to use, twice the input capability, and IMHO sounds a helluva lot better. $1600 new.

sshack Fri, 02/08/2008 - 05:27

That's what I'm talking about that candid voice of reason.
I'm not really looking for a 'go-to' preamp, I'm quite happy with the GR that I have; it takes everything that I've thrown at it quite well. I'm simply looking for something else....just another addition to have/use/play with, etc.

My buddy is pushing me towards a DW Fearn, but I'm not certain I'm ready to dump that kind of money just yet. Especially given my level of experience (or lack thereof)

Thank you.

bent Sat, 02/09/2008 - 17:30

Hey SS, Kin 'ell, Up the irons!

If you want my input, I say look at the Groove Tubes ViPre or SuPre.

The ViPre is killer, the SuPre is a dual channel version for about 1500 bucks new, minus some of the bells and whistles...

Or, if you really want to step it up a notch - Earthworks 1021 (single) or 1022 (dual), very, very transparent pre's.

Davedog Sat, 02/09/2008 - 18:09

I gotta second the Langevin DVC. Its a truly underrated pre.

As far as a DW Fearn goes...Well, they are killer of the highest order...highest price too. Its kind of a luxury jet item. Any jet will get you there, this has a bigger drink cart.

Check out the Chandler stuff too. The Germanium pre is supposed to be really good.

A perfect complement to your Great River would be something along the Vintech style. Or Dan Alexander...

For my money, and seeking something for the future, I would look into a lunchbox with power supply and maybe a couple of outstanding modules to start with. Less money than the Fearn, more options available, you can mix and match manufacturers if you get the right box and power supply, more room in the rack!....For the future, once you have the box and power supply, the cost of the modules is a lot less than a free standing pre or comp or an EQ. Look at the Atlas site.

AudioGaff Sun, 02/10/2008 - 00:23

Fearn is firmly colored. You may or may not like, need or want that color or even want that color all the time. But if you want beautiful full tube tone, that is it. I picked the ViPre over the Fearn for the flexability and the deal that I got on it. While I plan to own the Fearn mic pre one day, the ViPre is outstanding and I surely would like another.

Assuming that your GR is a GR-NV and not the other GR version, the perfect compliment would be an API 512 or 3124. The Chandler germ also has it's own unique tone. The Langevin is a sleeper as many are unaware of it. It has a nice and round tone. Works well with with cheap and harsh mics.

As Dog says, a wise long term investment would be to buy a 10+ slot API style rack and then fill it with mix and match modules.

sshack Tue, 02/12/2008 - 12:45

Once upon a time it used to be Fender, Gibson, Marshall, Vox.... it's Suhr, Grosh, Tom Anderson, Baker, Germino, Roccaforte, Goodsell, Bruno, etc.

So, I reason that once upon a time it was Neve, API, SSL...and now there's a whooole buncha stuff out there cloning the originals.

Am I wrong?

sshack Tue, 02/12/2008 - 13:33

BobRogers wrote: you say that like it's a bad thing.

Not bad at all...just overwhelming sometimes.

FWIW, pretty much all of my guitar/amps are of the boutique breeds and I enjoy the hell out of them. But I think it's a lot easier to have exposure to say an old Blackface Fender amp, or an AC30 and then to hear a newer clone/ opposed to hearing an old/original Neve or something like that. The old preamps and consoles just don't seem as readily accessible, so how does one compare? If you tell me Preamp "A" is the best Neve clone out there (for instance), how will I know if I've never heard the original.

Now, at the end of the day, I could really care less about who is cloning who, I just want it to sound good. But if you say something has a "Neve" kind of sound (again, for instance), then I'm not sure what that sounds like exactly.
Tell me AC30 and I know exactly what you're talking about.

I'm not bummed, contrary, I'm diggin' the hell out of it all, but compared to what I know about guitars and amps having played for over 20 years, I'm back to square one with the recording world....I know virtually nothing, and just want to get it right the first time.

sshack Wed, 02/13/2008 - 06:47

AudioGaff wrote: Your resarch skills are lacking. The Great River GR-NV is not a Neve clone. And Great River makes another preamp other than the GR-NV that would compliment the GR-NV very well.

I stand corrected. I have another attribute lacking. I hope my wife doesn't find out.

What other GR preamp are you referring to if I may ask? The only others that I see on their site is the 2 channel version of what I have and the 500 rack version. They all look like the same offering for the most part.

BobRogers Wed, 02/13/2008 - 08:19

AudioGaff may be right that the GR-NV is not a Neve "clone" since they don't use exactly the same circuit or components, but when a company's stated design goal is to sound like a "1970's era 1073 preamp" and it uses a class A circuit with iron core input and output transformers...well, I wouldn't insist on a paternity test.

sshack Wed, 02/13/2008 - 09:17

Yes Bob; and those are the points from GRs documentation that gave me the impression of being a clone. However, in re-thinking and realizing what a clone truly is, I can see that they're not. Though they do appear to want to give the user the option of 'getting there' in a round about way. At least that is my impression.

Maybe the best way to go about this is to commit "x" amount of dollars to my local Pro Audio store and just take a few things home and try them out. Of course that makes it a little less desirable in that new gear usually costs more and, well, most of us like bargains.

Price one has to pay I suppose. Risk too.