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Rode classic II need Pre

Dear Sirs,

I wonder if you could help me. I have Rode Classic II tube condenser mic, and looking for some high quality two channel mic preamp, up to 2000 $, for recording vocal and acoustic guitar.

I am working mostly on pop-rock material, trying to achieve detailed, rich, "in your face" sound, maybe with little bit of aggressivity. I tried with Tube tech MP 1 A (which is great) but, for me, this combination sounds not enough tight and a bit too softly. I am considering Manley Dual Mono pre, TLAudio PA 1, or Focusrite Red 8, but I am not sure is it the right combination.

Do you have any experience with Classis II and your preamps?
What is your opinion and suggestions ?

Thank you very much in advance


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Screws Sun, 07/18/2004 - 14:20

Except that the Rode Classic II was a bit on the bright side, IIRC. As such, you may want a preamp that doesn't push the highs forward a lot. Hardy is my fave (in my very limited experience) for rich without extra bright.

mute_transports Sun, 07/18/2004 - 20:42

I've found the Rode mics to be a bit bright and harsh sometimes too.. Nice with the right pre though, I've had best results with valve pres, to smooth out the top end a bit. My favourite valve pre at the moment is the Sebatron, a 2 channel would fit your budget comfortably as well, with a few $$ left over towards a better/different microphone. Keep yer gear Australian! 8-) :wink:

bigtree Wed, 10/05/2011 - 01:43

Its my night on the town with RODE. An old topic but a good resource for those in search. I own a RODE Classic II and the Great River MP-2NV sounded astonishing with it. Highly recommend combo.

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Davedog Wed, 10/05/2011 - 12:40

I was going to buy one of those Rodes and got to demo the one I was looking at for a bit. I ran it through a John Hardy M1 and was decently impressed. I bought my original U87 instead. again, the Rode was nice but there is a gap there.....

bigtree Wed, 10/05/2011 - 13:07

Hi Dave,

I found it very soulful and silky compared to my U87ai. And my U87 on the ADL600 was worse of all ( for the sound I was looking for). I can see why the Classic is liked for those more open smoky genres including Hip Hop and backup. When I used it with the MP 2NV, backed off the input and cranked the output to max it became lush. The mids filled in right where I wanted it. But I'm an airy baritone suited for harmony. I don't think this is the mic for women or busy mixes either. Testing this on quite a few preamps gave me similar results but nothing compared the the 2NV. It really excelled there.

The gap you are describing was where? In the low mids/low mids? If so, thats where pushing the output on the GR made this thing so sweet. I really learned something from the GR. That is some special pre..

I spent about a week reviewing threads here and mostly there and so many over at the sluts where so much Classic was off the mark. Its shed new light on what I believe. Seems like one or two key posters can sway a mass. I can't imagine what manufacturers are thinking when they read some threads.

I expected to like it but not love it. Go figure...

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Davedog Wed, 10/05/2011 - 14:52

Chris as you know, my 87 is not an ai. I've experienced ai's and while they are Neumanns in every aspect it seems the highs were a bit strident on them for the most part. At least in comparison to mine. And its not even something bad. The one I have has visited Klaus' shop for a cleaning and a restoration to factory specs. All of the frequencies seem to be in harmony with each other and it is a 'warm' yet crystal clear mic. Its not for every source but I really only use it on things that it is perfect for. The project I've been working on with a girl singer/songwriter who has that smokey warmth in her voice is not the voice for the 87. Its perfect on one of my ADK TT tubes mics. The Classic II would be another mic I would have put up for her.

The gap I refer to is the Neumann 'sheen'. I cant explain it any other way. They all have it, even the TLM's. The older mics have it in spades. Probably the transformers with whatever else is in those circuits.

The Rode does not have it. Nor does most other brands. I cant explain it any other way. Its that intangible thing.

So some might argue, why not use it on everything? Well, there is still the voicing and its not always right just like anything else. But its like that last perfect application of finish on a high-end paint job. Not every paint job has that thing that gives it that dimensionality. And , as you know, some of it is in the products and their mixture of chemicals and tints and some of it is in the application and the skill of the applier.

bigtree Wed, 10/05/2011 - 15:30

Yes, I'm aware you have the Neumann gem. Hang onto that. When I can afford it, I'm going to send a few mics away. The Classic II I have here sounds more pleasing to me than my new U87ai on its own. I often wonder if big companies aren't excessively top heavy and quality is suffering more each year. RODE Classic II are priced below what it would cost to build that now. Just announced , they are being discontinued. They are a great investment.

The boutique world is giving us far more for our dollar. I also hope the USA takes back their manufacturing. I miss the good old days.