Mic Pre - Single or Dual Channel?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by brad3e, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. brad3e

    brad3e Guest


    Please advise on your opinions......on a budget of around $1,200, Do I buy a higher end 1 single channel pre-amp or would you opt for a 2 channel preamp for stereo recording for acoustic, electric guitars, vocals. What would you do? I have never done any stereo recording, only mono.

    I was looking at the Vintechx73i, Great River ME-1, John Hardy M1 personal, M1 Dual channel, Speck 5.0, Amex 9098, UA2108.

    I would like a little color as I am recording into a DAW, and as I have never heard the sounds from any of the above, any help is greatly appreciated!

  2. DKeenum

    DKeenum Active Member

    Oct 16, 2004
    Do you need to record in stereo?
  3. brad3e

    brad3e Guest

    stereo recording

    Hi, I guess I don't need to, but as far as enhancing the sound, is stereo a more alive and fuller sound? or am I just thinking that.
  4. boheme6

    boheme6 Guest

    I'd go for the single channel Vintech or Great River (the Vintech gives you the EQ, though).. it's a LITTLE more than 1200 with the power supply, but...

    I picked one up about 2 months ago - it rocks.
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Vintechx73i, :cool: a 1073 clone .. Nice color ... thick and fat.

    Great River ME-1, :cool: another Neve clone but with a few new twists ..

    John Hardy M1 personal, :cool: this is a 990 op amp pre .. Pretty accurate, without a lot of color. This pre is a lot like the pres in older MCI consoles ... listen to Derek & The Dominos ... early Eagles records for the sound.

    M1 Dual channel, :cool: ditto as above.

    Speck 5.0, :cool: I have some examples of this pre posted in the Reviews section. It's very clean and pristine sounding. There's a transformer that may be switched into the signal path if the operator likes that adds a little color ... but not a lot.

    Amek / Neve 9098, a very vanilla pre. No transformers, instead it employs "TLA" (transformer like amplifier) circuits. I have a pair of the 9098 pre / eq combo (there are examples of this pre in the reviews section as well). It's a pretty good pre but I don't think it's what you are looking for.

    UA2108, :cool: I haven't heard this one ... but it is essentially an 1176 circuit modified as a mic pre ... in theory, this approach is my least favorite application of the classic Bill Putnam designs by his sons... (It seems to me, if he had thought this was a good idea he would have done it himself). I personally don't go nuts over the sound of the 1176 / 1178's ... they always sound a bit grainy to me .. but sometimes that's what is needed ... pretty much a one trick pony. Keep in mind; you should listen for yourself on this one.

    All of the pres you mentioned are well built and defiantly not rack crap ... you have good tastes in mic pres.. :cool:
  6. tripnek

    tripnek Active Member

    Jun 9, 2003
    A few stereo options

    (dead link removed)


    they have a special on the VMP2000eVU for christmas = 1249 w/free shipping.

    I own both as well as a UA M610. They are all three very nice preamps. The Sebatron would be a better choice if you want "color" but it can also be pretty darn clean depending on how you use it. And don't let the price fool you, the Sebatron is just as good as the UA and many other top notch preamps. A bit different than the UA, but just as good.
  7. brad3e

    brad3e Guest

    Kurt and Tripnek,

    Thanks for your replies! I am still trying to narrow it down. Currently I am using the Groove Tube Brick w/ GT55 and RME fireface. I have played some of my recorded stuff solo acoustic for 5 people I know with never before received reactions, they were like "wow, "is that you?, sounds good" I was surprised because I have never gotten this type of reaction to my music. 8) Because of the color added to my vocals from the Brick or GT55, I think this what gave me an advantage to receive that kind of positive reaction, (hope I don't sound like I'm bragging)

    But now here it the dilemma, if I want to take this "adding nice color" to the next level for Vocals meaining wanting to enhance what the Brick did, but at the same time on Acoustic Guitar, be able to have a cleaner accurate path for strings, what is your opinion on which would be logical choice for me? When I played back my recordings, No one noticed but the guitar through the GT-55 and Brick to can be way more enhanced with a more crisp and clean path, the acoustic sounded like I lost the highs or something, maybe that was my mic positioning, I had it at the 12th fret or so. Suggestions or comments appreciated.

    Kurt, I heard your Speck 5.0 recording on Acoustic, wow!, that is clean and very professional sounding but what about adding color for vocals, in which I would add the "Transformer"? Would this be a good way to go for me, would this "Tranformer" mode add the amount of color I am looking for, or do I need to stick with a "Tube" mic pre that has that has the ability to dial in Very Clean path or Colorful path by pushing the various buttons and knobs?

    Kurt, do you have other recordings on your Nowhere Radio where you specify what you are using like you did with Speck 5.0, but this time I would like to hear a Vocal Recording through various mic pres. If so, let me know when you have a chance, this to me can be very helpful in making a final decision. I have heard you many times praise the Great River ME-1, will this give me "Clean" and "Colored" sound options???

    Tripnek, I don't know much about the Sebatron, but looks really cool and it is a great price if the quality is up to snuff with what you mentioned, thanks for sending links!

    I am only recording for the past 6 months and this site rocks! I feel I am getting opinions from very qualified people. As far as hearing the various Mic Pres in action, I have gone to Guitar Center in NYC and nothing worked and was not set up correctly to test the UA 610, Trident S20 and they also had some Avalons in their racks but they are just disorganized there with a bunch of commsion hungry salespeople who are the most aggressive I've ever seen in any store anywhere in the US. Theres Sam Ash, but that place is a zoo! It's tough to find a place where you can go, have time to A/B different mic pres, and really get the proper attention even in NYC, unless there are places I just don't know about yet. Anyway, there are so many good options to choose from with great praise, and in addition to ones I mentioned, the Chandler TG-2 and API 512 also seem really cool too which I hear many people on this site mention too with high praise.

    Anyway, sorry such a long post but any additional info on what I mentioned above for having best of both worlds "Nice color" for vocal and "Clean and Mean" for Guitar would be very helpful!

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