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pre for $400 USD

I have a buddy who wants to do a little acoustic record here at my home.

I told him I'd do it for free for the experience and I'm wonder if you guys had any experience with a single channel pre that you can find used for around $350 USD. He will be playing a Gibson acoustic and has a nasal type voice. I have a Rode Nt1000 currently that I will be using for his vocals and his acoustic guitar. He also would like to line in some electric guitar so the pre could hopefully handle all those signals.

Right now I'm thinking the Grace Audio 101. I'm hoping to find one used for around that price, if I do that would probably be my best bet... anyone used it?

Any other reccomendations?

Thank you


chessparov Wed, 02/25/2004 - 18:57

The quality (or lack thereof) of the room you record in will be more of a factor than "which pre".
Is your room acoustically treated and/or do you have access to one?

An even bigger factor to improve the recording would be to help your friend "de-nasal" his voice.

One way that can help would be to record him as it normally sounds. Then have him balance the vocal tone for another take, and compare both versions together.

The typical response is that he will think his voice sounds too "bassy"-until the playbacks...
(been there done that!)


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maintiger Mon, 03/08/2004 - 15:15

I have a grace and it has a very clean sound- it copmplements any mic you use it with- they usually go for about $450 + used and you can find them new on e-bay from sound pure for $529- I've never seen them below $400

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maintiger Mon, 03/08/2004 - 16:15

I just did a search for Grace designs in completed items on E-bay and the lowest one went for is $529- of course, that's new but you'll be lucky to find one in the used market and if you do they usually won't go below $450- if you see one for $350, grab it!

ShellTones Mon, 03/08/2004 - 18:22

I've seen mixed reviews on it but the M-audio Tampa can be had for $349 at

This unit had been selling for $650 when it first came out. It has two mic pres and 2-channel optical compresser. Perhaps overpriced at $650, I suspect it may be a real bargain at $349.

Of course you could just get a Mackie board.

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Screws Mon, 03/08/2004 - 19:46


I haven't used or heard this preamp personally, but Roger Nichols says he's used the Rane MS-1b on the Steely Dan live album -- which says a lot! It also scored high in a shootout he did.

Read his comments here:

The Rane will only cost you $150 --

This leaves you $250 for another microphone choice, since the NT-1000 may not turn out to be best for the particular vocalist you're bringing in. For a nasal voice, I might try a Marshall MXL V67 ($100) or V77 (a bit more than $250) to smooth him out a bit.

If the V67 works, look into an Oktava MK012 ($99) small diaphragm mic for the guitar.

My personal experience is that with a lower budget, various mic choices often make a larger difference than preamp choices.

Just my opinion.

Bill Park Tue, 03/09/2004 - 05:48

Most any manufacturer has mic pres that end up being around $500 a channel, so if you buy used, you can knock that number down.

I bought an ATI 8MX2 used for $1400, which gives me 8 channels of Paragon pre and 8 limiters for under $200 a channel. New it would be about $400 a channel. Toft, Oram, Prism, and others make mic pres in the 2 to 8 channel per box configuration that cost about $500 per channel.


kidtexas Tue, 03/09/2004 - 06:48

Just so you know, soundpure also has a site (not ebay) - The guy (Todd) has been very helpful to me and will beat advertised prices. I'm sure he doesn't stock most of the stuff he sells, but it does seem like a decent organization when I did business with them.

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maintiger Tue, 03/09/2004 - 07:08

I bought my grace from the soundpure guy- I paid $560 for the high gain version to be used with ribbon mics-