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Good Mic Pre for under $500?

Member for

13 years 9 months
It's finally time that I invest in a proper mic preamp. I have less than $500 to spend, the cheaper the better but I wont skimp if I don't have to. I only need 1 or 2 channels. It will be mainly used for mic's on guitar cab, and very rare use for vocals. Don't need an EQ, Comp, etc I already have those covered. Any suggestions?


Member for

14 years 9 months

dickiefunk Mon, 12/03/2007 - 10:19
What preamps do you already have? I'm not sure putting all your money into a RNP would be the best upgrade? If it were me I'd put most if not all of that into a mic.
What are you recording?
There are a couple of really decent budget pres that are in the same league as the RNP - Rane MS-1b & M-Audio DMP3. If it were me I'd get one of these and use the rest on a really nice mic or two!
If you don't need to get a pre now, Studio Projects are releasing a new pre in January called Envy which could possibly raise the bar in this budget!

Member for

13 years 9 months

MrJesus Mon, 12/03/2007 - 13:59
Other than the gain trim on my Fantom's 1/4" input, we have no preamps whatsoever. I guess my Soundcard has a preamp, but a shoddy one at best. We've gotten away with running everythhing direct thus far because we've never needed to make a proper recording.

Now we do, and we need some preamplification, and fast =O

Currently as far as mics go we have 2 Sm57, 1 Apex 435 LDC, 1 Sm58, and some no-name brand dynamics that were free.

Would I be better off getting a good mixer such as a Mackie Onyx and using its onboard preamps over getting just 1 dedicated preamp?

Member for

21 years

Member Mon, 12/03/2007 - 14:18
Dickiefunk's and Groff's suggestions are worth looking at, especially since the price is a lower than the RNP.

When you say 'soundcard', are you referring to the standard sound card in your computer? If so, you will need to look for some other way to get the pre-amp signal into the computer. It would be waste to take the signal from a good pre-amp and then send it through a Soundblaster line-in AD. You might have a look at the E-MU 0404 pci card to replace the internal soundcard (around $100). A combo like a Rane MS-1b and a 0404 pci card would give you a good solid single channel input. You could add a second MS-1b in the future if you need a second channel. Of course, some of the other options would work out well too.

You could go the mixer route. But, the pre-amps suggested above would be better quality then a mixer in your price range.