Which of the following preamps is the clearest?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by karambos, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. karambos

    karambos Guest

    I'm looking for a preamp with the following characteristics:

    1. must be stereo i.e two channels - no more, no less
    2. must have digital out
    3. must not cost more than approx $1280 / 700 pounds / €1000
    4. must not cost less than approx $400 / 210 pounds / €300
    5. must not be made by Behringer

    I've narrowed it down to the following:

    a. Focusrite TwinTrak Pro
    b. ART Digital MPA
    c. DBX 386 Silver Series
    d. MINDPRINT Envoice MK II
    e. PRESONUS DigiTube (I would buy two)
    f. SPL Goldmike MK II
    g. TL Audio 5060 Ivory II

    Which one has the clearest sound quality? Can you think of any that aren't in the list that fit the bill and that you would recommend?

    I have to narrow this down to one before the weekend. I'm grateful for any advice. Thanks.
  2. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    why do you want digital out? many pre-amps that already have a/d's aren't that valuable! try getting something that doesn't have already a/d! You pay at least 500 bucks for that a/d included on the pre!
    for that kind of money i'd save a bit more and get the isa 420 or something like that!
    kurt has good knowledge of pres!
    what about the sebatrons?
    but those digitubes and twin rack pro's ain't gonna do much if you already have some decent pres on a mixer!
    tell us the gear you have and what is the purpose of the pres!
  3. Ellegaard

    Ellegaard Active Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Central Copenhagen
    I've been recommended SPL GoldMike 9844 by my own dealer. It should be very clear and nice sounding.
  4. karambos

    karambos Guest

    Many thanks for getting back to me.

    You can see a list of the gear I have in the STUDIO section of my web page:


    The reason I want the pre's is because I need to be able to offer pro level recording quality for audio books and the like. My desk is a Behringer and I think I don't need to tell you what that sounds like. I'm trying to avoid the pre's on that desk. I can't afford to buy a decent desk but I can stretch to an Apogee Mini-me or something small but good quality. I asked for a digital out because I assumed (possibly wrongly) that going into the computer digitally will not deteriorate the sound quality.
  5. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    every converter deteriorates the sound quality!
    of course some do a better job (that's why they're expensive)
    the apogee rosetta 200 is a great converter! as for the mini-me i don't know but i'd probably dare to say the pre is decent and has a good converter!
    maybe you can look first to the pre-amp!
    you may have the best converter but if the pre sucks you won't go anywhere! better have the best pre!
    i'd recommend something like the tl ivory 5051 and when you have the money go for something like the rosetta 200 which has a great fan base!
  6. karambos

    karambos Guest

    I see. I didn't think about that. There are two things at stake here:

    a decent preamp and
    a decent DA/AD converter

    This will be my first preamp. I've taken a look at the Rosetta 200 and it looks amasing! As well as pretty expensive.

    Do you think it's genuinely worth getting the TL Ivory or should I just forget it and save up for the Rosetta200?
  7. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    when i said the tl ivory i said something like that! i'm not a big expert in that area! i too am deciding which pre to buy! maybe i'll go with the isa but not for now!
    maintiger uses the rosetta 200 and just loves it! it is really a big step up!
    but you'll only notice the step up with a good pre!
    ask kurt foster, audiogaff, dave, fletcher and all the guys! say what's for! they'll give valuable feedback!
    but if you can save money for the rosetta and a pre for around 1000 euros you'll be on a roll
  8. teleharmonic

    teleharmonic Guest

    i may have missed your timeline (the weekend) with this but i'll go ahead anyway.

    as has been mentioned, getting a pre with digital out adds cost to that pre and, more importantly, severely limits your selection.

    unless we're talking high end gear (e.g. cranesong or the like) it is likely that you will end up with, at best, an average pre with average conversion. which means that when you want to upgrade you have to get a new pre and new conversion.

    for the money you are talking it may make more sense to just focus on getting a decent pre... and there are ample threads on the matter if you search :wink: .

    while the audiowerk card that you own may not be the best it will probably not be much worse than the built in AD conversion in a pre/AD combo.

    i can say this:

    Decent pre into Audiowerk: makes sense.
    Behringer board pre into Rosetta200: makes no sense.

  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Why not stay with the Audiowerk 2 for the time being and focus on a good pre? IMO good pres and mics make a lot more difference than conversion ...

    What do you want in a pre? Do you want it to warm things up? Add punch and depth? If so some type of class A discreet pre that is transformer balanced would be in order. Some kind of Neve clone or an API or Focusrite Red range pre..

    Do you want clean and pristine? Accurate and colorless? Then a electronically balanced pre like a Millennia HV3, Earthworks, Grace 201 would be the ticket.

    If your on a budget, you might consider a Sebatron vmp 2000e ... tubes and transformers on the inputs with a solid state outputs .. a good hybrid type of pre that is in the middle of the previous types. It can be clean and pure or punchy and gritty with a lot of dimension and depth. You can hear a Sebaton in action here.

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