So how DOES that RNP stack up?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by WLoveday, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. WLoveday

    WLoveday Guest

    I've been reading a lot about the Sebatron lately and the JLM TMP8. Price per channel-wise, the JLM is on par with the RNP, which supposedly is considered low-end "pro" gear.

    I recently read that Kurt felt the RNP wasn't in the same league as the JLM or Seb by comparison when someone referenced the RNP in the same sentence, and was curious what he meant by that. I understand they might be different sounding in character, but is there that big a difference in quality?

    I'm asking because even though the results with my current gear is improving, I am looking to step up to some "real" pres. I would LOVE to grab a JLM for the bang for buck and versatility, but just shy of $2K is stretching the wallet right about now. I figure for $500 an RNP would be nice for Overheads and overdubs at least. Guess I'm asking if the RNP is in the same league for what it is, or should I just save up and grab a JLM next spring?

    Currently I'm using my A&H Mizwizard and a few Mackie VLZ-PRO type mixers as my front end to my Digital Recorder or DAW (Depending where I am).


  2. Jason James

    Jason James Guest

    Hey Wes,
    I believe Kurts comment was on a thread that I had going. I havn't heart the RNP nor many other high end pres at this point so keep that in mind. There are others around here that are more familiar with these units than I. That being said, I've been doing a ton of research into mic pres of all sorts and find that quiet a few engineers really love the RNP. Even Fletcher of Mercanary recommended one and said he thinks they're great. Nathan of Atlas Pro Audio uses RNPs as well. Both are guys that have access to virtually anything they want. I met a guy that has a SEB 4000 and says the RNP while differnt is very much just as good as the SEB. My 2 cents (again never heard the thing) If you went into a record store and saw an unkown band selling they're disk for $4. You'd probably say, " eh, this probably sucks cause its only $4 bucks. In all actuallity the CD could be great AND a great value. I think the RNP is dismissed by some because it isn't $2,000. Now is it as good as Grace or Great River, probably not. Is it damn close, to the point most of your clients couldn't hear the difference unless you point it out....I'd guess the answer is yes. Good Luck

  3. tmix

    tmix Guest

    The RNP is a very good unit. It is simple-no bells or whistles, But it will stack up fine against anything in the sub $800 per channel range.

    I have used a few higher quality pre/compressor units such as Manley Vox Box or a Drawmer (19xx?)unit that had great sound if not a strong particular character. But I loved my first RNP/RNC combo enough to go buy another.

    I can't imagine you would ever get rid of a RNP. I always find situations that they are my first choice.

    Yes I plan to pick up many other pres in the future for variety. I'd love a Sebatron or a DaviSound or a JLM TMP8. Possibly a Toft ATC-2 or something like a UA610 or something. But unless I just had to free the money up, I wouldn't sell my RNPs,

    I just got through recording my bands 3rd album using mainly the RNPs. If you are interested get with me and I'll post some Samples of the music.

    Tom Menikos
    T-Mix Studio
  4. dullum

    dullum Guest

    I bought one of these some months back, having read enough reliable hype to justify gambling $450.

    I mostly agree with Tom--It's not the greatest thing to happen to pro-audio ever, but it does outshine many, not all, but many in its price catagory.

    The thing I never hear mentioned about it--and what I like it for in the end, considering it is a solid performer, is that it doesn't seem designed for a rack but more for being portable. It's teeny-tiny. I would recommend it more for someone looking to fill out a small, portable field kit or something. The big cons: I'm not in love with how it handles bass frequencies and its 6db gain intervals are no fun--they aren't deal breakers, but they can create an issue.
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    The point that I repeatedly try to make is, none of these inexpensive (not just the are-enn-pee) are significantly better than the pres found in many small format mixers, despite all the hype saying the opposite. In my judgment a person is far better off using the pres that come in their Wackies and saving their dough until they can go get a great pre amp. It is much like the difference between a Ford Crown Victoria and a Lincoln Town Car. You can get a Mercury Grand Marquee with all the bells and whistles that the Town car has, but really, it is still a Crown Vicki, with “lipstick”. The Town Car has better suspension, a better engine and better insulation. It’s just a more solid ride.

    The difference a really good pre can make, even with cheap mics, is astounding. While the prosumer type pres are a very small step in the right direction, the difference is miniscule in comparison to the gear pros have been using for years. A little more on that.

    Much of the thing I think that we seem to like about pres like United Audio, Neves and API's etc, is part of a preconception of what we think sounds good. Because we have heard these records for years that were cut using these tools. When engineers were using them in the 60's and 70's many actually complained about how colored they were and the "Holy Grail" was transparent mics, micpres, eq's and compressors. Now days we hearken back to those good old days and seek out this gear that was actually hated in many cases. I am guilty of this myself. I actually don't like transparent gear. but I don't record orchestral pieces or pipe organs. I do pop production.

    On paper many of the budget pres, like Wackies and are-enn-pees, are very flat, have low noise, extended bandwidth and arguably extended headroom. Not my cup of tea at all. I like color. I love attitude (couldn't tell, could ya?). While these "less expensive" pres have these flat attributes, they still are passed over by pro engineers for pres more of the ilk like Grace, Millennia, Great River, all known to be extremely accurate.

    Now there is a new generation of pres that are hitting the market. The designers have finally caught on that a lot of us are not interested in the least in accurate. We want color, attitude and soul. Something organic. The pres I have been raving about are prime examples IMO. I won’t mention the names because I don’t want to turn this into yet another endorsement of these products, choosing instead to stay on the topic. While these pres aren’t as inexpensive as the Wackies and are-enn-pees, they do represent a substantial value, will last forever and perhaps may even increase in cost/value as more pro recordists learn of them. This has already proven to be the case with one of the mic pres I regularly mention.

    Now if a person is going straight into a DAW one or two tracks at a pop and doesn't require a mixer for no latency monitoring of multiple tracks, one of these inexpensive pres might be the low cost solution. I still think a great stereo pre would be better though.
  6. jroberts

    jroberts Guest

    Judging from posts you've made on other threads, am I correct in assuming that you've never tried the "are-enn-pee" (as you disparagingly put it) that you are commenting on?

    I just want to be clear, because your post sounds like you have actually tried it.
  7. by

    by Guest

    I still like my rnp for direct electric bass and overheads.

    why do you call it by that name, and why Wackie? I bet you woldn't want to be call Hurt, now would you?

    ohh, not being serious!! j/k
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I call them that because everytime a reference is made to these names on the web, a link is created. It is not a slam on the products or the companies. I just don't want to create more internet buzz for them as I don't recomend their products. Particularly in the case of the are-enn-pee because they say on their website how much "buzz" there is on RO about their products. This refers back to the days when friends of EFF-EMM-ARR, were mods here. Much has changed (I'm sure some would argue, for the worse, but I don't agree) since then.

    You can call me anything you like. My wife calls me "your assholiness" (as in "yes, your asshoiliness") all the time. I usually answer to just about any name you choose to hang on me. Call me anything except late for dinner. mmmm --- foooood! (he said as he scarfed down a piece of heat 'em up pizza) ..
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
  10. jroberts

    jroberts Guest

    You're kidding, right?

    I think I have not.

    I won't bother repeating my comments about close-mindedness from another thread.

    Have you tried their compressor?
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    No I am not kidding. Anything you see as disparaging is being read into by you. It doesn't come from me. Can you offer a better phonetic spelling of the initials? If you can I will use that just to make you happy.

    Regarding my closed mindedness, that goes to show you knew the answer to the question before you asked. Once again I would be willing to listen to one if they would send one out.. it's not my fault I have no way to hear it. It's not my fault that distribution is tightly controlled so the only way to get a chance to hear one is to purchase it. But I am not about to spend 500 bucks on something I have never heard. I don't buy guitars mail order either.

    No I have not tried the comp either and even if I had, it's apples and oranges. Comps and Eq’s don't require as robust a power supply as mic pres do. I have heard great comps from companies that also manufacture dismal mic pres.
  12. jroberts

    jroberts Guest

    But why would you slam it if you hadn't heard it? Why wouldn't you just reserve judgement?

    I was just wondering why you don't slam the comp as much as the pre.
  13. brad dowd

    brad dowd Guest

    Kurt, you make the comment that it's not any better than a "Wackie" but you've never tried it. Come on. You're better than that. Harvey Gerst, who has heard just about everthing, loves it. Mercenary and Atlas both carry it, which is no small endorsement. I own the RNP and can tell you that it's a significant improvement over a Mackie.
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I did not say it's not any better than a Mackie. What I said was "none of these inexpensive (not just the are-enn-pee) are significantly better than the pres found in many small format mixers, despite all the hype saying the opposite."
    Harvey may have heard everything but he and I don't agree on what sounds good. Harvey had a hand in desiging some CAD mics which I dislike quite a bit. he also designed some amps for Acoustic, which I also have never been wild for.

    It's funny that you mention that. I have yet to see Fletcher say anything positive about any product that he doesn't sell. He also has made negative remarks regarding some pieces that I like quite a bit like the Millennia STT-1, which he again does not sell. He is a gear dealer. Of course he is going to chat up the are-enn-pee and everything else he carries. All while slaming stuff he doesn't have. I expect that. To do otherwise would be bad business on his part. Fletcher is not stupid. He is also friends with the eff-emm-arrs owner. He has to have something to sell to the low end buyers or lose their dollars. But I absolutely would not look to Fletcher or Mercenary for unbiased opinons.

    I on the other hand am completely independent. I sell no products and recive no compensation for any of the reviews I write. I do not get paid to moderate ar RO or write reviews. I do this simply for the love of the work although I sometimes wonder why I would want to subject myself to so much critique and in some cases abuse.

    In spite of the fact that the owner of RO (Chris) has begun dealing gear, the review process is completely independent. It actually works the other way around. If I find something that impresses me, Chris sometimes takes the lead and tries to get a dealeship for that product.

    I don't clear any reviews through Chris before I publish them in the E Mag. This process is completely seperated from the operation of the RO bb and Sebatron Canada.

    I actually have received gear I hated and refused to write reviews for. I post audio samples of all the gear I get. I choose to let others hear for themselves what the stuff sounds like. Make their own desicions independently from mine. If they come to a different conclusion, fine. To each his own.

    Once again I say I would love to hear the are-enn-pee.. all they have to do is send one out and I will give it a fair listen. But I am not going to purchase one unheard..
  15. daif

    daif Guest

    Wes said at the beginning:
    US$1900 divided by 8 = $237.50
    Less than half the price per channel of an RNP.
    Whispers to Fred: If you can hold out till spring, save up & get a JLM.
  16. SwellJoe

    SwellJoe Guest

    FWIW (and with no opinion on the quality of any of the products under discussion as I haven't heard a one of them), the RNP is a two channel preamp that sells for $475 from Mercenary. So $475 divided by 2 = $237.00 per channel. You could buy the FMR and have enough money left over for a second rate subliterate rapper.
  17. white swan

    white swan Guest

    It is with incredibly great trepidation that I tiptoe through this minefield. I'm sure I will regret this in the morning.

    But, Kurt, saying that you will continue to slam a product you freely admit you have never heard unless the manufacturer shows you the respect you deserve by sending you a review unit...

    Sorry, it just doesn't sound ethical. It smacks of coercion or blackmail. At the very least, abuse of power. And while you may not care in the slightest, it plays directly into the hands of your critics.

    Take into consideration that this perception is coming from someone who considers herself a friend. I can only imagine how those less friendly might view it.

    I'm hoping that I misread something somewhere.
  18. Ragged

    Ragged Guest

  19. ozraves

    ozraves Active Member

    Feb 25, 2002
    oklahoma city
    Home Page:
    I like my FMR RNP. The thing I like it with most of all is mic'ing acoustic guitar. I like the flavor and sonic fidelity.

    Right now, I've got a Millennia TD-1, Grace 101, A Designs MP-2, Great River MP-2NV and a Sebatron vmp-2000e in the rack. I'm not going to say the RNP is the best pre of the bunch. But, I've never thought once about selling it. It's got a nice flavor and quality fidelity that I like. For me, I like it on acoustic guitar so that's where it gets a lot of use. YMMV.

  20. daif

    daif Guest

    Dammit win by 50 cents!
    My mistake...I was thinking it was a single channel...who knows why.
    I should know better...I've got some pikz with the lid off.
    Just ignorant I guess.
    My apologies to whoever!
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