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altec, ampex, other old mic preamps any good?

Member for

20 years 3 months
Hello, I'm attempting to purchase some good mic pres. I just got a Pendulum audio dual pre and am looking for a couple of less expensive pres to complement the Pendulum and get a Beatleish sound. Lately I've seen some Altec and Ampex tube mic pres on Ebay going for a few hundred. Has anyone used these or are there other vintage pres in this price range that are decent. Thanks, Don


Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 03/05/2002 - 16:05
The only Ampex mic pres I can recall where in their MX-10 series. Not especially a great unit. There are a lot of old tape recorder electronics that had a courtesy mic input and are being hyped as "vintage tube" preamps. Save your money. :td: A couple of hundred dollars will only be the beginning of your expenses and the results aren't gonna be good.

Altec did make a very good broadcast multi-channel mixer. 1567A or something like that. Somebody else on here may remember if thats the right model.

FWIW, there are a number of current mic preamps that are much better than the items you are asking about. Symetrix and Grace are just two.

YMMV :w:

Member for

20 years 9 months

Punchmo Tue, 03/05/2002 - 16:44
1567A is the model #. It is a 2 rack space unit which may or not be delivered in a 2 space rack w/ front and back covers. It is a 4 channel xlr in to 1 mono xlr output, micpre amplifier. There is also 1 rca input for a cd, tape deck or turn table that can be mixed to the output. There is also a low eq and hi eq, don't know the frequencies but my best guess is that they are centered at 100 and 10k. There are a few things to ask about if you are considering the purchase of one (which btw, will most likely be in the $400 to $700 range) 1) does it have the vu meter, 2) does it have all the functioning transformers on each xlr input and the obvious...does it work ;)

I have one and have used it for bass guit, elec guit and kick. I have also used it as a side mixer to combine several guitar mics to a mono channel. When I got mine, I had my tech check it out first and to bring it up to speed. I was lucky enough to get a unit that just needed new tubes. IMHO, it has a sound similar to my VMP2 although, w/o all the switches. I paid $550 for 1567A and $650 for the VMP2. Neither one gets used every day but I ain't gonna sell em.