Sea of Preamps!!

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by enjoirock, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. enjoirock

    enjoirock Guest

    Hey guys...

    I've been on the hunt for a preamp for about two months now, and have become quite lost in the whole world of things. I'm currently running with a Presonus FIREPOD, recording mostly acoustic guitar, percussion, upright bass (plucked and w/ bow), electric bass, and of course vocals. I currently only have three semi-quazi recording mics. (and then an endless supply of SHURE 57's & 58's). Two MXL 603S's, and a SHURE KSM27 are my decent guys. I usually use the two 603's to record my Taylor 714ce, and the 27 to do vocals. My price range is around $1000 (give or take) for the preamp. I want two channels on the preamp (or two one channel preamps), because when I record my acoustic, I record with two mics, to two tracks, I throw one to the LEFT and the other to the RIGHT, so it's not so swampy sounding. I was originally looking at two PRESONUS EUREKA's with the digital out card, but people keep giving mixed feelings. I have plug-ins out the wazzu for Cubase SX, so I'm not sure if i need all those fancy knobs PRESONUS gives you. Someone mentioned a TRIDENT s20, mainly because it's a simple 2 channel, and they felt it sounded slightly better. But know I'm hearing about the BRICK. So anyway, to keep this short, the more I look in to it, the more I get lost. Any suggestions? Opinions?
    2 EUREKA's?
    1 TRIDENT s20?
    2 BRICK's?
    Any other preamps in the price range?

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!
  2. mjau

    mjau Guest

    Have you considered the RNP preamp? It'll leave you with some extra bucks to get an RNC comp, or something else.
  3. Tubetone

    Tubetone Guest

    try dan alexander audio, do a google search.
  4. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    Look at the new A Designs Pacifica... It is an amazing pre, can be colored if you want it, or quite clean otherwise. There is also a lot of gain available with it (72 dB). It is quite reasonably priced, too. Also, in the clean camp, I'd look at the DAV Electronics Broadhurst Gardens pres- very cheap, but very good.

  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Fredericksburg, VA
    Hey Ben -

    What's the street $ on the A Designs? I know their stuff is usually pretty darned reasonable.

    Also - is it multiple gain stage?

    BTW - here's my $.02 on the original question -

    2 channels of Pre for $1k -

    Hardly a better choice than the Summit 2BA-221. I've been using these for a while and absolutely love them. Great build, great sound AMAZING versatility (3 total outputs - balanced solid state out, balanced tube out with variable tube gain, unbalanced ss output.) Plus, it makes a killer DI box!

  6. enjoirock

    enjoirock Guest

    I heard really good things about this guy (the whole NEVE phenomenon), and really bad things. Anybody else? And has anybody tested out the australian Sebatron VMP-2000e?
  7. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    List is $1900, street is probably a couple hundred less (it is listed at $1595 on the LasVegas Pro Audio site).

    I don't know if it is multiple gain stage.... I could put you in touch with Peter Montessi, the designer, if you'd like to ask the question. He's a hell of a nice guy and the company is quite reasonable when it comes to demos.

  8. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    I throw-in here:

    Any $1000 2 channel pre or any two $500 single channel pres will probably do you well. I agree about finding one without too many knobs, though - or it becomes a "channel strip"(Which may be OK, but that is not what you're asking for here.). "Just the pre, please!" Every knob takes away from what the manufacturer could otherwise spend on the pre, itself. Do your efx with your software or another hardware box...

    You mention having a Presonus piece, now? The Presonus MP20, is rather well-regarded and in your range, price-wise...

  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Fredericksburg, VA
    Well, I kinda disagree Teddy -

    Just because there are extra knobs (potentially meaning additional features) doesn't mean that the pre has to skimp elsewhere.

    I agree that a $500 preamp with an EQ and a compressor built in is likely a compromise. However, using the Summit as a base - this unit simply has multiple gain stages. This is an attribute/asset, not a detriment.

    Perhaps you should qualify what knobs you're referring to. :D

  10. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    The Summit is a pre I would love to try(Though I have not)..! Frankly, I did not recall that it was only a grand...... Are you saying it has too many knobs or just enough? Sounds like you're taking issue with yourself? Certainly not with me? I really don't know how many "gain stages" the poster wants to "mess with", or truly(I really don't know?), how valuable it is that they all have knobs??? I'm no tech.

    Me? I would look for something with an on/off switch an input gain, maybe an output gain, probably 48v phantom, a 20db pad and a low-cut switch(80hz?). Flashing led meters are pretty! A meter of some sort could be useful? I get so confused otherwise and the clients are calling, screaming, and I'm still fooling with "gain stages", which they don't want to hear, etc.

    Actually, if I had a grand to spend, I would go a bit more and look into a John Hardy or a Millennia(May as well make this as confusing as possible for everyone!). Actually I wouldn't waste these pre's on the above-mentioned mics(Nothing wrong with them, I suppose, but why put a Ferrari engine in a Sonata?). With the mics in questions I would look for a couple of 500 dollar 2 channel pre, with few knobs. I think any of them would be just fine.

    These are tough decisions, sooo many choices - good choices - especially when we have money burning a hole in our pocket.

    On further well-considered reflection, I believe I'll drop it down a bit - Any two channel 500 buck pre AND any 500 dollar single channel pre(For your best mic) should suffice(Long as there aren't too many knobs. Ha!)...

    There! Spent your grand! Feels GOOD! Back to working on the driveway...

  11. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Fredericksburg, VA
    Hey Teddy -

    The Summit 2BA-221 is a single channel pre costing roughly $500 give or take.

    I'm not sure what you mean that I was taking issue with myself -

    You stated too many knobs means that the manufacturer had to skimp elsewhere (paraphrased.) What I'm saying is, that's not necessarily the case. The Summit has 3 knobs. 1 for Solid State/DI input gain, one for mic input gain and one for tube output gain. These are all positive things. Of course - there's the 20dB pad, 48v, phase, and 3 led meter. (Oh yeah, it's got a couple more knobs too - 1 is the input impedence and the other is the sweepable highpass filter - which is also switchable on or off.)

    This pre is well worth it and even with "lesser" mics, it does amazing things. I think it's one of the most under-utilized tools on the market - especially considering the price.

  12. enjoirock

    enjoirock Guest

    Thanks for all the input guys. This is exactly why I can't choose. Now instead of the original three I was asking about, I have 47 to choose from. Alright alright alright. I'll probably just spin around in a room with the pre's mentioned that are in my price range, until I fall over - then which ever one I see first (or fall on) I'll throw my 1000 bucks on. That seems reasonable enough.
  13. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    Lowell MA
    Home Page:
    I would stay clear from presonus stuff. From what i've read in these parts the best pre for the money is The Brick by groove tubes. they are single units so you would need to buy 2. I think they run for $350 each.

    (this ones for you johnny boy :D)
  14. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    dude stickers this is the same guy that posted in the other section in which you stated the same exact thing.
  15. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    Lowell MA
    Home Page:
    I know I did.
    Don't you get the joke?
    I posted it again to bug you.
    Try to loosen up, jonny.
  16. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Actually I'm way more laid back than I appear to be, sometimes almost in a coma like state. Anyway I wasn't sure if you were aware or not, there's many times I've answered the same question from what I thought were different people and then was yelled at because I had answered in a different thread already. So I was just trying to be helpful as usual.
  17. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Well......An MP20 with the Burr Brown mod is not bad at all in my book for things like overheads and acoustic. I probably like it better on acoustic than the Brick. BUT, my MP20 is acting up on me recently. :cry: I open it up to see if there is anything I can fix, and I wouldn't know where to start in all that robot stuffed mess.

    A grand would put you in range for 2 channels of Seventh Circle Audio stuff. Splurge a couple hundred more, and you could get their J99's. No doubt you would like those on acoustic.
    This is if you buy them in kit form and solder them yourself. I'm a retarded baby when it comes to electronics and mechanical things, but I figured it out. And I'm digging it. :twisted:
    Best use of your money if you ask me.
  18. buzz

    buzz Guest

    Reggie Nailed it Seventh Circle audio you could add pres as you need them and have several choises , I have 2 N72's ( Neve clones ) and 2 A12's ( Trident clones ) they ROCK !!!

    You can also go with the J99 ( twin servo design nice and clean )

    They all go in 1 2u rack up to pres different pres. I built mine for about $1500 , additional pres run about 250-300 each

    Go here

  19. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    yes good for those in the US
    but for the non US there are other options
  20. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Most of us have one or two or maybe three pre's. Even if we have more, most of us bought them because they were the best looking pre in the catalog for the money we had. Very few of us compare them scientifically and even if we have, probably not "the bunch" you want to know about, with your mics, in your room, etc. All we can do is throw in our opinions, which should be taken for what they cost you - a post on a forum...

    I try to look at reviews by people who supposedly do this stuff. Sound On Sound Magazine from Great Britain is a good on-line source for reviews which have been helpful to me. Also Mix Magazine and Electronic Musician reviews have been very valuable over the years. There are actual reviews on this forum, though I don't know if any are for what you are talking about?

    What most of us are looking for when we post our questions is "permission".

    "Hey, can I buy this?"

    Incase you are, too, I hearby give you "permission" to buy. Pick a price, pick the features that you like, look up any reviews, order the thing, learn to use it, love it - for awhile - then buy another....

    Cucco: Switches and knobs:

    Given 3 preamps - all priced at $500.. One with 26 knobs and switches and buttons. One with 12 knobs, switches and buttons. One with 6 knobs, switches and buttons. Knowing that knobs, switches and buttons, alone, cost money - certainly if they are good knobs, buttons and switches, knowing nothing more I would be forced to take the one with the least "controls". OK?

    Manufacturers put switches, knobs, lights, meters on things for many purposes. The primary purpose for most of these is because they think it'll sell better(Or just "be" better.). Doesn't mean every knob isn't valid! Just that even if a knob or switch is "valid", the user has to know what it does. Again, for a tech, who understands this stuff and has the time to use it and wants to take the time to use it, fine. Me? I want the manufacturer to "tweak" it then sell it to me, so I have to deal with as few adjustments as possible, AND, at least in the case of a mic preamps, make it "flat" and let me add/subtract whatever at some other point(For me, mostly in my software. For others maybe hardware boxes.). In the end I just want to do my project - which has nothing to do with electronics or computers or knobs, perse.

    All I need, not a single knob more,

    Teddy G.

Share This Page