Best preamp for vocals/budget??

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by Mercuri, Feb 10, 2002.

  1. Mercuri

    Mercuri Member

    Feb 10, 2002
    Kind of a funny question...

    I need to do vocal recordings (country & pop lead/backup) with an AKG-414C/BULS. I've got every piece of the chain save a decent preamp. I would prefer not to spend more than $400 on one (1/2 channel, preferrably 2).

    HOWEVER, a friend of mine who has worked in a studio extensively claims that when using a mic of that quality it doesn't matter if you spend $400 or $4G on an pre because you can't really enhance the sound?? Is this true?

    Anyways, what I'm really looking for is some opinions on what preamps you guys think would be best.

    P.S. I've had my eye on the Roland MMP-2 that just came out but it seems a little unrealistic to be able to imitate so many preamps accurately??
  2. drumsound

    drumsound Active Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Bloomington, IL
    It sounds like your friend doesn't like that mic. I personally believe changing preamps will make a difference. There are preamps in your price range. ART and Presonus come to mind. I use the ART and it is not great, but it has some character. For vocals I like color and character in my preamp. YMMV.

    I doubt the Roland will sound like anything they claim. But I must admit I have a bias against Roland products.
  3. I'm not sure what kind of work your friend did in a studio, but boy is he way off base with that comment.

    Any mic changes character with different pres, that particular 414 is no exception.

    At $400 you might find a JOEMEEK or a Presonus used, both are pres you should check out in my opinion.
  4. Ted Nightshade

    Ted Nightshade Member

    Dec 9, 2001
    Not sure what kind of performance you can get for the price mentioned, but the preamp sure does make a heck of a difference.
  5. I'm not sure this is what you want to hear but I think the best advice I could give you is to wait and pile up more cash before heading to the store so you can get something you're gonna get to use **and** enjoy for a long time.

    The most accessible units I can think of that are worth spending money on would be an Earthworks Lab101 or a Grace 101, probably in that order. Of course the upcoming RNMP may bring a viable option at a lower price point in the near future, so my advice is still valid.

    Personally, I once tried the whole ART line some years ago for a friend's homestudio after a referral from a local seller. I would hardly be able to find any use for the stuff other than as a doorstoop or something similar. :eek: Again, this is just my opinion

    As for the Roland stuff, you have to realize that there is little precious odds that they can pull such a stunt. :w:
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    This month's issue of Pro Audio Review (February 2002) is the 2002 Gear Guide. I found it fascinating that there are over 110 manufacturers of preamps listed! (And of course, many of them have multiple offerings). It's a real eye-opener as to just how many options there are - and of course there must have been quite a few not included (like Buzz).
  7. Mercuri

    Mercuri Member

    Feb 10, 2002
    Thanks for the help guys.

    I'm going to follow GroundControl's advice and simply save enough cash to plunk down about $8,000 for a decent combo. I have that funny personality where if something isn't utterly awesome, I will tire of it quickly. I'd rather get it right the first time and enjoy it forever.

    Last time I'm listening to my friend about preamps. =) Actually, he loved the 414, he just didn't have the greatest ear for sound quality.

    Again, thanks. :cool:
  8. regisfunk

    regisfunk Member

    Oct 28, 2001
    Then he is definitely no 'friend.' I would drop that guy like a bad habit. NOW!

    (okay, maybe a slight overreaction)

  9. sjoko

    sjoko Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    For that budget I'd definately give the small Grace 101 a good listen

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