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Best preamp for vocals/budget?

Member for

19 years 9 months
Kind of a funny question...

I need to do vocal recordings (country & pop lead/backup) with an AKG-414C/BULS. I've got every piece of the chain save a decent preamp. I would prefer not to spend more than $400 on one (1/2 channel, preferrably 2).

HOWEVER, a friend of mine who has worked in a studio extensively claims that when using a mic of that quality it doesn't matter if you spend $400 or $4G on an pre because you can't really enhance the sound? Is this true?

Anyways, what I'm really looking for is some opinions on what preamps you guys think would be best.

P.S. I've had my eye on the Roland MMP-2 that just came out but it seems a little unrealistic to be able to imitate so many preamps accurately?

Comments

Member for

20 years 9 months

drumsound Sun, 02/10/2002 - 20:44
It sounds like your friend doesn't like that mic. I personally believe changing preamps will make a difference. There are preamps in your price range. ART and Presonus come to mind. I use the ART and it is not great, but it has some character. For vocals I like color and character in my preamp. YMMV.

I doubt the Roland will sound like anything they claim. But I must admit I have a bias against Roland products.

Member for

21 years 2 months

archived member Mon, 02/11/2002 - 16:02
I'm not sure this is what you want to hear but I think the best advice I could give you is to wait and pile up more cash before heading to the store so you can get something you're gonna get to use **and** enjoy for a long time.

The most accessible units I can think of that are worth spending money on would be an Earthworks Lab101 or a Grace 101, probably in that order. Of course the upcoming RNMP may bring a viable option at a lower price point in the near future, so my advice is still valid.

Personally, I once tried the whole ART line some years ago for a friend's homestudio after a referral from a local seller. I would hardly be able to find any use for the stuff other than as a doorstoop or something similar. :eek: Again, this is just my opinion

As for the Roland stuff, you have to realize that there is little precious odds that they can pull such a stunt. :w:

Member for

21 years 2 months

Guest Mon, 02/11/2002 - 22:55
This month's issue of Pro Audio Review (February 2002) is the 2002 Gear Guide. I found it fascinating that there are over 110 manufacturers of preamps listed! (And of course, many of them have multiple offerings). It's a real eye-opener as to just how many options there are - and of course there must have been quite a few not included (like Buzz).

Member for

19 years 9 months

Mercuri Wed, 02/13/2002 - 18:17
Thanks for the help guys.

I'm going to follow GroundControl's advice and simply save enough cash to plunk down about $8,000 for a decent combo. I have that funny personality where if something isn't utterly awesome, I will tire of it quickly. I'd rather get it right the first time and enjoy it forever.

Last time I'm listening to my friend about preamps. =) Actually, he loved the 414, he just didn't have the greatest ear for sound quality.

Again, thanks. :cool:

Member for

20 years 1 month

regisfunk Wed, 02/13/2002 - 18:58
Originally posted by Mercuri:
Thanks for the help guys.
Last time I'm listening to my friend about preamps. =) Actually, he loved the 414, he just didn't have the greatest ear for sound quality.
Then he is definitely no 'friend.' I would drop that guy like a bad habit. NOW!

(okay, maybe a slight overreaction)

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