I Need a Quality Preamp with Lots of Clean Gain

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by ampload, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. ampload

    ampload Guest

    I just bought two Mics a Shure KSM44 and a SM7b now I just need too get a nice quality matching preamp to go with them. one of my worries is too get enough good clean gain from the preamp for my SM7b Mic .which I know is going to take alot of gain 60 to 70db any good seggestions to power it? ...I found a good used Grace within my budget. I would appreacate your advice and suggestions? Thanks again for all your help.

    Heres a list in my price range.$450.00 Id also consider used or ebay to get quality per price.

    1.) M-Audio DMP-3 66 db gain
    2.)Art MPA Gold mic Preamp w/Mullard or Funk Tubes (12ax7 ) 75 db
    3.) JoeMeek ThreeQ Studio Control 60db gain
    4.) GT The Brick ( Groove Tube ) 55db gain
    5.) ?? Any other seggestions would be apprecated. Thanks
  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    DAV BG1 (59dB)
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    What makes you think you need a lot of gain? You are recording pianisimo oboe at 30 feet?? On a Shure SM 7?? I think not.

    In effect for close Miked rock-and-roll, you need but 30 DB of gain. Clean? Everything is clean even the worst sounding pieces of junk.

    Do you always go out and purchase a car engine without a body?

    How about a Mackie or Beringer mixer with a built-in audio interface that connect directly to your computer?

    Since you don't know what you're doing, any mixer/preamp will do you fine.

    You need more than just the preamp, you need a complete interface to the computer. Buying a nice preamp and plugging it into a Sound Blaster is kind of like murdering your mother and then asking for what's for dinner.

    Sweeney Todd
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    I'm definitely with Remy...why in God's name would you need that much gain for an SM7? Are you recording a harp at 30 feet?

    If it's for vocals or drums (probably two of the most common uses of the SM7B), you'll not even need 30dB of gain (well, for VO maybe, but not screamo, rap, etc.)

    Of the choices you listed, the Grace would be the sure bet. On the other hand, just about any moderately priced pre nowadays will put out plenty of gain to get an SM7 up to level (shy of recording cricket flatulence).

  6. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    My first response would have been the Grace as well.

    I'm not going to rag on the guy for his question, but this does bring up a good point and a pet peeve of mine (as Remy & Jeremy have already pointed out). Sooooo many people have fallen into the same mindset: gotta have these insanely expensive and highly detailed pre's for just normal work, which gets squashed into MP3's and med-fi broadcasts. (Again, no swipe at the original poster here.....just pointing out today's mindset...)

    WIth a decent mic, good positioning and proper cables, almost any normal, workaday mic pre can bring great results for you. It's just one link in the chain, albiet an important one not to screw up.

    I've made some wonderful (IMHO) recordings using whatever preamp was on hand; as long as the colorization was minimal, gain structure was set properly (No distortion unless desired specficially), and the performance was good, we'd do fine.

    My own needs for classical and jazz are of course "Get the best possible", but I don't turn my nose up at all the other choices out there, esp. if we've simply got a job to do, on a specific budget. (It can't ALWAYS be Grace's and Milleniums. ;-) )

    I'll tell you this: if it does the job you want, 2 days after you get the thing and set it up properly, you'll forget it's even there. :cool:
  7. ampload

    ampload Guest

    I do apologize Im a newbe/greenhorn here and building my first home recording studio and learning from you guys as I go.buying each piece as I can afford it. I read in another forum that it needed alot of gain with the SM7b and my voice is certainly not over powering. a quality mixer like a mackie would be very usefull and I found a DBX DAV-BG1. If the BG1U w/DI wasn’t out of my budget I would purchase for the DI for my guitar
    Im running Inerface a EMU 1616M PCI Digital Audio Soundcard

    Remy I was wondering which Model # Mackie onyx w/4 Pre’s Mixer/Pre you would recommend?
    Thanks again for your suggestions and good advice.
    Ive been using another Computer/Asus Xonar D2 card streaming my live guitar/vocals on the web so I need my soundcard for streaming my audio on the net in live music rooms but if I have to I can do this on my second PC if needed or I will probably need two PCI/PCIe slots for both cards the other PCI slot for my EMU 1616M PCI Digital Interface.
  8. ampload

    ampload Guest

    With using both Computers for each use might work better. one for Recording and the other PC for Free Streaming my live music and pod casting :)
  9. MetalGod

    MetalGod Guest

    Just out of curiosity, why do you need a preamp if you have the EMU1616M? I have one myself, and it has quite nice preamps, and should provide you with more than enough gain for recording just about anything...unless you need to record with more than 2 mics at the same time, which is not the impression I got from your post...
  10. ampload

    ampload Guest

    Metal God I received my EMU1616M two days ago and hadnt checked to see if it have anough DI jacks foe both my guitar,organ and mic as well. another pleasent supprize was that it has 60 db gain ... which my I know that I dont need that much but certainly dosnt hurt to have. Did you find the EMU to have low noise when cranked up? Im going to install the card today and test things out.. yes as I add more instruments I'll need the Mackie mixer.. thanks :)
  11. MetalGod

    MetalGod Guest

    Ah, ok :)

    Personally I'm very happy with the preamps on the 1616M, and I get hardly any noise even when I crank it up to 3/4s. For the price it's an excellent card, and with the M-version you also get very nice converters.

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