Skip to main content
forums, blogs, song critique, support & more...

Great River MP-2NV preamp

Just ordered an MP-2NV preamp from Mercenary to compare to the Avalon 737. Anyone using it and liking it? What are you using it for? Any suggestions on mics for male vocals for this preamp? It is based on the Neve 1073.
Allen :w:



xqtion Tue, 02/26/2002 - 21:46

i'm also very curious about the great river mp-2nv. i've heard that it's good but can anyone be more specific. thanks

rivers Wed, 02/27/2002 - 18:31

I've had the NV for about a's my first high quality pre (other than my 4 channel Sytek) so I'm no expert.I wanted a pre with some color and the Nv has it in spades.The Nv is impressive on Drums,Electric gtrs and Bass Di has a nice drive/grind to it with a sorta 3d sound makes gtrs stand out and the Bass seems to fit in nicely.I've not been as impressed on male vox.Some voices it works great on other it just works...I have on a couple of occasions preferred the Sytek which kinda surprised me.However I think the take home message here is one pre may not be right for everything all the time(and the Sytek is a better pre than I thought).You'll be happy with the NV but it may not work on everything.

Larry Sheehan Wed, 02/27/2002 - 20:10

I picked up an MP2NV and an API 3124+ to complement my Sytek in January. I've tracked kick and snare thru the NV (kick mic'd w a KSM32 padded) and snare w/57 on the shell. Smokin sound like I've never been able to get before. Also tracked Vox (male/rock) thru it using a Lawson L47MP in cardioid and loved it. Let's see...also elec guit cabinet w/Royer R121, and Acoustic Guitar w/ a pair of KM184s in X/Y.

So far it's been a dream come true for me. Best thing is to do what you're doing and if it sucks for you (which I really doubt), take Fletcher up on the satisfaction policy.

BTW the API3124+ is no slouch either. Combined w/the NV and the SYtek it gives me a nice array of sounds to experiment with. For these sessions, I used it for overheads and room sounds, leaving the sytek for close tom mics and the bass cabinet.

rivers Wed, 02/27/2002 - 22:18

How does the Api sound compared to the Sytek and/or NV...I'm curious since I have both of these and thinking an Api may be my next addition.I would love something kinda in between the color of the NV and the transparency of the Sytek...but with punch.

Larry Sheehan Thu, 02/28/2002 - 07:25

I'm terrible at describing preamps! I can't say stuff like punchy, warm or in your face with a straight face.

Both the NV and the API sound huge to me. They also sound different from the sytek and each other. I got the variety of flavors I was hoping for.

The Sytek is still good sounding, but there's a certain sound to the API that I really liked. As I said I used it on overheads with my R121s and room with my Lawsons. As we get into mixing the tracks, I'm finding that the overheads and room mics are very defined sounding. Other tracks I recorded in this room using the sytek, I needed to work over the overheads and room mics a bit to bring them out. The mics are the same, placement is approx the same, so I'll credit the API.

One thing that is intriguing me about the API is that it seems almost like it limits itself somehow. Even on percussive sources, it rises quickly and it looks on the meters like it ought to clip at any time, but it doesn't. Maybe it's psychosomatic, but I think it takes transients extremely well.
In summary, I like the API a whole lot. It's complementary to the others for sure, but I don't have too much stick time on the NV or API yet. I've spent the last month with one band in here and they're taking up most of March too, so I haven't really had the opportunity to experiment that much. I can say that there's a distinct difference in sound among the 3. I'm sure I'll settle into a pattern of using the NV or the API or the sytek by default on certain sources, but I'm trying to shake things up every time we set up for a take, so I don't deprive myself of the opportunity to arrive at some fabulous sounding accident. I had to force myself to alternate between the NV and the API for guitar overdubs. I'm glad I did that, since it allows the tracks to stand on their own easier. So far for vox, I think I prefer the NV, but I haven't given the API a fair try there either yet. I may stop the clock for a while during the sessions next week and experiment with the API on vox some more.

Sorry I can't be more descriptive. It's never been my strong suit.

smokinjokin Fri, 03/01/2002 - 17:09

Sorry to but in with an off topic question, but I would love an opinion about these Sytek pres.

I have been hiring out two API 3124 modules a lot lately, loving them on drums - very good on transients, which translates into what I would call "punchy" drums. I am in Australia, and found sourcing a supplier for API next to impossible, so I contacted a good dealer in South Australia called Mixmasters - I have bought vintage mikes from them before, and have been happy.

The salesman tried to talk me out of API, stating that he PREFERS the Sytek (which of course he is the dealer for :roll: ). I said I was after that Steve Albini drum sound, to which he claimed to have engineered with Steve, and he too prefers Sytek.

This will be the first high end preamp purchase, all I have now is a Mackie 1604Vlz and a ART Tube. I need this pre to be as versatile as possible - mainly used for drums, but also needs to serve as a guitar, bass and vocal pre. Other contenders in my quest are Earthworks, Vintech, Chandler LTD 1, or Great River. Any thoughts or places to investigate?

Profile picture for user anonymous

anonymous Fri, 03/01/2002 - 19:40

Adam, good that you found out about that salesman before it was too late! :p

But seriously, comparing the API and the SYTEK is a comparison between two units that are about as far apart timbrally as I can imagine. The SYTEK unit is clean - adds very little to the sound. That can be good for some things, boring for others. The API is thick, for lack of a better word. That coloration may work against you on a vocalist who needs lots of added "air", but can be wonderful on most drums, basses, guitars, horns, percussion, etc.

Something else to consider: headroom. The API has tons of it - overdriving it a bit can actually be a nice intentional effect. The SYTEK? Not nearly the same headroom, and you DON'T want to hear what those babies sound like when driven to clipping. By the way, Larry's comments (above) on the API are right on.

Don't get me wrong, when I had a SYTEK years ago I bought it new for $900 - at $225 per channel it's hard to beat. I only sold it because I had too many damn preamps, not because I hated it. But methinks you could use a new salesman.

Oh yeah - don't forget added bonus: API gives you four channels of great D.I., and really superb metering.

rivers Fri, 03/01/2002 - 20:09

I agree 100% with littledog on the Syteks...I'm waiting to hear some Apis
The Syteks are nice preamps,the burr-brown mod adds a little character but not much.The Syteks are boring but in a good way(sometimes you want/need boring).I don't think you will regret getting the Sytek and it will probably always be useful but I'm not sure it's in the same league as an Api.Look around... I found my Sytek 4 channel (with mods) for about 800$ used.For that price they are impossible to beat for 4 channels.

Larry Sheehan Fri, 03/01/2002 - 21:15

Re:Sytek, Mike the Sytek guy is really helpful and generous with his time too. When I bought mine, I was all hot to play OpAmp bingo, and he steered me off replacing some of the 5532s that weren't doing anything but driving the clip indicator. IIRC they were the ones by the front panel.

Amen to Littledog regarding the Sytek clipping sound. It'll make yer teeth hurt and it happens very suddenly.

chrisgraff Sat, 03/02/2002 - 10:44

...back to the original question,

a '57, or FET47 would sound great on male vocals with the MP2-NV.

Allen Hallada Thu, 03/07/2002 - 14:00

A Shure SM57 on vocals? I've only heard of using them on acoustic guitar and drums. I'll have to give that a try. They are a dime a dozen.