Just bought a pr of U87s - now I'm broke for the pre-amp...

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Aaroneous, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. Aaroneous

    Aaroneous Guest

    Hey everyone! New to the forum, but I've been at this a while now. I recently purchased a house with a finished detached garage (a-frame, 20'+ ceiling) that I am planning to use as a project studio for myself and freelance recording gigs. Mostly rock/funk/jazz - transparency is important to me and I don't want to lose the room sound that I bought the U87s to attain.

    My setup is:
    Macbook Pro running ProTools 7.4.2 & Logic 8
    Digi002r + Presonus Digimax LT
    Mackie HR624s

    2 - Neumann U87s (matched)
    3 - Sennheiser e604s
    1 - Shure Beta 52a
    3 - Shure SM57s
    2 - Shure SM58s

    So my question is what is a (relatively) inexpensive pre-amp that will do the U87s justice as overheads/room mics or single one as a vocal mic? My budget is limited as I just blew my wad on the Neumanns :shock:. I've looked at the black lion mod for the 002 (upgrading ADCs and Pres), and that's an option. I'd like to keep it under $600 if possible.

    Suggestions? Let me know if there's any other info I can provide!
  2. Greener

    Greener Guest

    "I just blew my wad on the Neumanns"

    That's an expensive thrill. Gross isn't it?
  3. Aaroneous

    Aaroneous Guest

    Of course, the other option is to live with the 002 for a few months and save for something really worth it...
  4. Aaroneous

    Aaroneous Guest

    I shed a single tear when the bank teller counted the hundreds.

    Gotta love craigslist, though - $3k for the pair. Mint.
  5. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Stop it with the body fluids. I get it, the mics are nice.

    What kind of conceivable budget do you have for pres?

    Like, can you save for a few months extra and get something drool worthy or do you need to get something slightly slick now?

    For one thing, dropping 3k on mics then feeding them into ten bucks worth of electronics is decadence.
  6. Aaroneous

    Aaroneous Guest

    That's exactly my thought. After researching and talking with some former colleagues I think the best thing to do is "suffer through" some months with the 002 pres and save some cash for a tube pre/compressor like a UA LA-610 (or a pr of them for that matter). I think I need to take some time to see how everything sounds on the stock pres before I jump at something.

    I could probably save and throw $2-3k at it in a few months. Probably the best idea...
  7. Greener

    Greener Guest

  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    As long as you operate under the assumption that you can very easily overload the preamps in your 002, and you use this as your absolute limit in your gain staging, and you get to know the sweet spots in the pattern of those mics and adhere to it closely, you'll make great sounding recordings.

    You could go with the RNP and be very very happy with it until something else comes along. They're fairly transparent and the soundfield through that circuit will be a bit clearer and more defined than the 002 pres.

    Thye LA 610 is anything but transparent. If you're going to save up then look into the likes of the John Hardy stuff or George Massenburg. Sytec is another decent unit that doesnt add much to the noise.
  9. Aaroneous

    Aaroneous Guest

    What are your thoughts on Manley gear? I've been looking at the dual mono pre as an option.
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    You cannot go wrong with that choice with those U87's. Period.

    That piece is a cornerstone piece in any studios' arsenal.

    I would also consider the Focusrite Red, the True Systems Analog P2, or a real sleeper like the ADK AP-2.

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