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I have been using my Mackie VLZ mixer for a few years and would like to get a preamp that is a step up from that...My price range is ~500. There are many mic preamps in this range (grace 101, Summit 2BA-221, "The Brick", RNP etc.) and some of them are tube...Since my main vocal mic is a RODE NTK should I avoid a tube pre and go with something cleaner to bring out the NTK sound? or does that not matter much.

Ideally I could get a stereo pre and use it for stereo guitar recording...but my main concern is recording vocals, bringing out the best in this mic AND getting something that is a noticeable step up from my mackie.

I appreciate your help in advance and please recommend any other pres I am missing?

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anonymous Sat, 08/13/2005 - 09:42

I use the NTK through a Sebatron vmp- 1000e, and it's rich and chewy tube goodness..I really don't think you can have too many tubes....
It sounds like your price range is 400-600 bucks and out of the pres that you listed I personally like the Brick...I've used the RNP and I like it also but the Brick is...well...A BRICK!! It makes a nice weapon...(defensive of course!)
Or you could save up a pinch more and get a 1 channel Seb! mmmm!
Good luck!

CoyoteTrax Sat, 08/13/2005 - 10:09

You may really enjoy the sound of the new electro harmonix 12AY7 tube pre with an NTK. It can be transparent or thick, whichever you choose, and it has the kind of dimensional qualities and focus that would play well with your NTK. Especially for vocals and acoustic instruments. I especially like it's combination of focus and dimension. At less than $200 a channel it's a great deal IMO. Works also as a mic splitter and if you put a passive DI box in front of it it's a great tube DI box.

KurtFoster Sat, 08/13/2005 - 11:19

I really don't think you can get "too many" tubes in the chain. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that tubes mean dark and thick ... to the contrary, some of the silkiest and smoothest highs I have ever heard come from tubes. The old V72s and an AKG C12 are both perfect examples. I love The Brick. I have been tracking some overdubs with these pres and my clients seem to like The Brick over even the MP2NV in some situations. The Brick absolutely holds its own against even the best pres. For an extra $150, you're gonna get something that will last you your whole life. It's not a toy like so much budget gear is.

As far as the Electro Harmonix pre goes, it's hard to go wrong at $200. I am nosing around to see if I can dig up one of the EH pres to check out .... however, as far as I am concerned the 12 volt power supply is probably going to be an issue. There's a reason the old school and high end boutique designers use high volt and high amperage in mic pres .... I don't profess to know the whole story. Just that this has been the accepted way to do it for 100 years is good enough for meeeeeee! :lol:

anonymous Sat, 08/13/2005 - 14:09

Hey guys, i own an Ntk as well, so i'd like to suggest mindprint's envoice which to my ears fits the ntk sound pretty well, the adaptive compression mode is a killer as well and it also has some eq functions. Mostly a channel strip and price range is close to what you are looking for i suppose:>

Have a look @