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Which preamp should I get ?

Member for

21 years
Hi everybody, I'm new to, and I wonder what preamp tube I should buy (I wanna buy two differents, for recording in stereo with two large diaphragm condenser mics) with my external audio interface, a Tascam USL 122. I don't want to put more than 200$ canadian for both, before taxes.

I want to records strings, guitars (acoustic and amplified), vocals, bass, and maybe drums.

I saw the one made by studio projects, the VTB-1. I looks like a good and versatile choice for micing almost everything. My choice is pretty stopped on this..

The other tube preamp should be in between 60 or 100$ max.

There's the V3 Art,. Reviews tend to talk about the mediocre quality and the noisy when you give a little juice.

Also, the Presonus' Tube Pre looks good, but is it a good machine ?

What should I do ?


Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 12/21/2007 - 03:30
The US-122 (or at least the US-122L which is what I found on the Tascam website) already has two built-in pre-amps. Their quality may not be great but they will meet your initial needs. As has been discussed in another thread, cheap tube pre-amps aren't much better than cheap non-tube pre-amps. So, why spend money on another pair of cheap pre-amps? And why are you looking for tube pres?

If you want a better pre-amp (non-tube) you could consider something like the Rane MS-1b or the FMR RNP. THese might be a bit above your suggested price point but would be a step above the US-122 built-in pres.

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 12/21/2007 - 05:22
the $100 tube pre is very good i would go with 2 of them if i was you.
Im going to get the ereka its $500 but im really thinking about not and staying with this one.
the only thing I want to test it out and it has a limiter and a compresser on it so ill go with the ereka but this tube pre is very good.

Member for

16 years 7 months

moonbaby Fri, 12/21/2007 - 05:55
The $100 PreSonus "tube" boxes are cheap junk. They have a TERRIBLE reputation for noise and microphonic issues. The ART units aren't really any better. NONE of the units discussed are "true tube" units in the first place, nor are they "pro audio" gear. They are designed to be marketed to novices who don't know any better, and are grossly over-hyped. At least the SP box has a decent preamp chip that can deliver a moderately clean signal when needed, and the non-linear harmonic distortion when you drive the output tube hard to "fuzz" things up when you want to.
Addendum: The Rane preamp suggested in an earlier post would be a very good upgrade to anything else listed...just because a piece of gear uses a tube, doesn't make it "better"...

Member for

14 years 9 months

dickiefunk Fri, 12/28/2007 - 00:52
In this price range I recommend the M-Audio DMP3. I have used the Studio Projects VTB1, Focusrite Trakmaster pro and SPL Goldmike 9844. The DMP3 was my favourite! The VTB1 uses the same chip as Behringer pres where the DMP3 uses the same chip as the Rane MS-1b (Burr Brown INA 163). The DMP3 is also very clean and transparent and would be more suited for stereo recordings!