New gear help (preamp, mic, etc)

Member for

51 years 4 months
Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 01/07/2009 - 02:27

Hey guys what’s up. After asking some questions and reading many pages of info on this forum, I’ve come to the point where I need to finally buy some stuff. Which is always a good thing : )

Here’s what I currently own:

Rode NT1A mic

Presonus FP10 audio/midi firewire interface

Logic Pro 8

Here’s what I’m looking to buy:

Shure SM58

Shure SM7b

Preamp: I have no clue! This is where I need the most help.

I’m pretty much sold on the Shure mics listed above and would like to purchase a quality preamp that really makes my NT1A, 58, and 7b mics sound great! I would like to spend less than $500 on the preamp if possible. I’m just not that familiar with preamps and would really appreciate your input and insight on all this. By the way, feel free to recommend both single and multi-channel preamps.

Once again, thank you for all your help and I really look forward to your replies. Take care.


The quality preamps use a discrete solidstate solid state opamp or tube. They also, include audio transformers at the input or output or both. The power supply is linear to keep the noise level down. Considering all these components you usually find the better preamps starting at $500. The Brick, RNP, and API 312 are some good ones.

Hello yannfan8 and RO fans,

The thing I really like about this forum is that nobody is afraid to just say it like it is.

I run a very similar setup to you yannfan8,

Logic Pro 8
PreSonus Firestudio
TLM 103
Pair of Oktava Mk 319
Akg c4000b
Sure 87

Speaking of Preamps, I too have little experience with expensive ones. Years ago I settled for a ART DPSII. Really, they are no different than the pres in the PreSonus box.
I just recently bought a Neumann TLM 103. I know a lot of you have experience with better mics and bigger budgets, this is just the best mic for my voice and to my ears for the money, so I bought one.
I use it with my presonus firestudio. I am pleased with the results, but along with all the other mics in my collection I know that they can sound better. I know many have said that with the proper preamp you can really sound great, get a different tone than that of an inferior preamp.

I am looking at the Summit Audio 2BA-221. It's both tube and solid state, looks very tempting, has anyone had experiences with it? Its a little more than $500USD

Thanks and Rock on RO!

The Summit 2BA-221 is a great pre for the money. It won't replace a high-end, high-voltage tube pre, but it is a well-designed pre capable of a broad range of colors and working with a wide range of microphones. Also, it's a GREAT DI for fat sounding bass!

In that range, you may also want to consider an API lunchbox with a basic 500 series unit in it. It may cost a little bit more, but it will be far more flexible in the long run.