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Author Topic: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?  (Read 8241 times)

sadworld

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what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« on: May 02, 2004, 12:35:49 pm »

i'd like a tube this time to compliment my vintech x73i that i recently picked up... i'm looking for lots of color, i want everything bigger coming out than when it went in. recording mostly rock. like to get the drums a rockin... then i can pick and choose from those mic pres on the drums which ones i want to use on guitars, bass etc. thanks. can it be done in the 2g price range for tube stuff?
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sdelsolray

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2004, 12:44:16 pm »

I'm assuming you're wanting a dual channel piece.

Pendulum
Manley
A Designs
Sebatron
Universal Audio
Summit Audio
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Jim Dugger

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2004, 12:51:36 pm »

Oh, I have just got to recommend the Pendulum MDP-1a.  I just got one for myself.  It is incredibly open, opulent and rich.  Very big, very creamy.  I was blown away.  It would be a nice complement to the Vintech -- I felt like it was a completely different color.

I have also heard, though never used, that the DW Fearn is an unbelieveably big sounding unit.  $2k will only get you a single channel, though.
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Dingo

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2004, 06:01:20 pm »

If you want color, the Avalon 737sp can be had for around $2k. Only 1 channel tho', but has a DI, EQ and compressor as well - IOW, a full channel strip. The EQ is fabulous. And very versatile, as you can choose how much toob you want.

Dingo
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sadworld

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2004, 10:18:05 pm »

after reading what you said, and reading the reviews i think i'm gonna have to get one of those pendulum's.... sounds just like what i need! thanks. that avalon sounds sweet too but i'd like a couple channels anyways.... what do you think it sounds sweet on... do you record rock music?
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sadworld

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2004, 10:19:08 pm »

no external power supply is needed is there? $$$
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Jim Dugger

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2004, 11:07:45 pm »

The Pendulum has a proper power supply built in.  All you need is a standard power cord.

The Pendulum is quite colored, but not like you probably think of a pre being colored.  It's not 1073 sounding at all.  It does not have that "mid range" thing going -- it does not make tracks more forword or more dense.

Think lush, opulent, open, musical, creamy, big, huge -- this probably isn't the pre you would want to use on every or even most of the tracks in a song, it's just so amazing sounding you want it to help spotlight.  It's such a different sound from the 'neve' sound.  This is not to say anything bad about the 1073 sound -- just the Pendulum is a totally different character.

I just bought the thing having listened to it with an R84 ribbon attached, so my experience is pretty virgin.  That said, I think it would be a natural first choice for crooner vocals, clean tone guitar, bass, acoustic guitar, a softer drum overhead sound (if crispy/punchy wasn't what you wanted), and so forth.

As for recording rock and roll, or hell, running the 2-bus through something to glue it together, the Pendulum has a very nice attuenator on the output.  Gain goes up, auttenate rolls the output back, color gets richer.  I deliberately overdrove the inputs with an SM57 and was quite impressed with the slow onset and creamy nature of the distortion on the Pendulum.

I bought both the Pendulum and the Great River NV2 that day.  I was just knocked down by both.  Just killer pieces.

--Jim
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seawell

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2004, 03:01:22 am »

Jim,
Could you compare and contrast the Great River and Pendulum?  I'm a Great River owner and am thinking about picking up the Pendulum.  Thanks.

sadworld

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2004, 06:33:52 am »

well the first thing i would do if i picked one up is throw it on the snare... that's what i want to be big (and of course all the drumms so the other channel would probably go to the toms)  good idea in your opinion or no?  i mean, this unit won't sound crazy along side my x73 will it? i need it to compliment it, you know? thanks a bunch.... matt.
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Jim Dugger

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2004, 08:06:47 am »

seawell wrote on Tue, 04 May 2004 02:01


Could you compare and contrast the Great River and Pendulum?  


I'll ask Fletcher to chime in here, too, because my experience with both units as not very deep yet.

First of all, I think it's very important to stress these units sound *nothing* alike.  If fact, I was actually a bit surprised standing there side-by-side trying them out at just how different they did sound.  It's not a subtle difference -- in both tone and character these pres are completely different.

The Pendulum has a 'hi-fi' feel.  Opulent, open, euphonic, bigger than life.  Creamy and rich in a clean way is still the best way I can describe it.

The Great River NV2 knocked me out -- dense, very forward midrange, but not in a bad way, in a 'this is going to sound sweet when it cuts through a mix' sort of way.  It's a
slow, rough" sound.  On my first listen I just knew this was my new guitar cab mic pre.  And, with a sizzly tube mic it would be fantastic on rock vocals.  TO me, all the Neve type pre's (Vintech, too) have a density in the midrange that is just the Neve sound... Well, the GR has it in spades.

I couldn't decide between the two, so I ended up buying both.  Again, completely different sounds/colors, and they would lead to completely different end products.
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Jim Dugger

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2004, 08:08:26 am »

sadworld wrote on Tue, 04 May 2004 05:33

well the first thing i would do if i picked one up is throw it on the snare...


Certainly worth a try.

I might use 'em on overheads, though.  Most of my snare sound comes from there, not the snare mic.
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sdelsolray

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2004, 11:09:24 am »

Jim Dugger wrote on Tue, 04 May 2004 04:07

The Pendulum has a proper power supply built in.  All you need is a standard power cord.

The Pendulum is quite colored, but not like you probably think of a pre being colored.  It's not 1073 sounding at all.  It does not have that "mid range" thing going -- it does not make tracks more forword or more dense.

Think lush, opulent, open, musical, creamy, big, huge -- this probably isn't the pre you would want to use on every or even most of the tracks in a song, it's just so amazing sounding you want it to help spotlight.  It's such a different sound from the 'neve' sound.  This is not to say anything bad about the 1073 sound -- just the Pendulum is a totally different character.

I just bought the thing having listened to it with an R84 ribbon attached, so my experience is pretty virgin.  That said, I think it would be a natural first choice for crooner vocals, clean tone guitar, bass, acoustic guitar, a softer drum overhead sound (if crispy/punchy wasn't what you wanted), and so forth.

As for recording rock and roll, or hell, running the 2-bus through something to glue it together, the Pendulum has a very nice attuenator on the output.  Gain goes up, auttenate rolls the output back, color gets richer.  I deliberately overdrove the inputs with an SM57 and was quite impressed with the slow onset and creamy nature of the distortion on the Pendulum.

I bought both the Pendulum and the Great River NV2 that day.  I was just knocked down by both.  Just killer pieces.

--Jim


Agree with all that's said except I don't believe the Pendulum MDP-1A is "colored" per se.  Of course, as mentioned, you can overdrive it into color.  At lower gain settings, it is quite open, rather neutral and euphonic.  Depends on mics too.  I use mine with Schoeps CMC6/MK4.
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David R.

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2004, 02:34:03 pm »

This is funny, I'm looking to pick up 1 or 2 X73i units to compliment my Pendulum.  

You got your tube in my Neve!  No, you got your Neve in my tube.  Hmmmmm, sounds great!

From what I have found, the MDP-1 does not color too much when using normal gain, but, when pushed, the character really comes out. I'm not so good at describing the character, I'll leave that to the brochures, but I like the way it sounds.
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-David R.

sdelsolray

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2004, 05:41:02 pm »

David R. wrote on Tue, 04 May 2004 19:34

From what I have found, the MDP-1 does not color too much when using normal gain, but, when pushed, the character really comes out. I'm not so good at describing the character, I'll leave that to the brochures, but I like the way it sounds.


Agreed.  That Pendulum has 35dB of headroom.  Takes a bit to push it to the line.
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dirkb

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2004, 09:31:03 am »

Chandler TG2 Cool ...
Meaty, saturated, coloured, great highs, perfect for dirt guitar, kick, snare, rock vocals.

Higly recommended!

Greetings,
Dirk
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Jim Dugger

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2004, 10:51:58 am »

dirkb wrote on Wed, 05 May 2004 08:31

Chandler TG2 Cool ...
Meaty, saturated, coloured, great highs, perfect for dirt


I auditioned the TG2 along with the Pendulum and the GR.  It was the one I didn't take home.

There's something pretty interesting going on in the upper end of this preamp.  It brings *everything* forward.  I'll bet you could distant mic some crickets with an omni directional and it would come screaming out of the monitors like a guitar solo.

I can see it as a winner for rock and roll, but it was too much for me.
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sadworld

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2004, 05:06:44 pm »

after reading more reviews and listening to you guys, i wonder how much different the great river sounds than my x73i since they are both modeled off the neve 1073?

and since i'm new with the outboard pre thing, i think i just figured out something just by reading the text... all this talk about overdriving the units into color or personality you're just talking about cranking the  input up while the output comes down, is that correct?

if so i still haven't found the personality in my x73 cause i did what the manufacturer said... and that's to crank the output and attenuate with the input.
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sdelsolray

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2004, 12:13:49 am »

sadworld wrote on Wed, 05 May 2004 22:06

after reading more reviews and listening to you guys, i wonder how much different the great river sounds than my x73i since they are both modeled off the neve 1073?

and since i'm new with the outboard pre thing, i think i just figured out something just by reading the text... all this talk about overdriving the units into color or personality you're just talking about cranking the  input up while the output comes down, is that correct?

if so i still haven't found the personality in my x73 cause i did what the manufacturer said... and that's to crank the output and attenuate with the input.


On the Pendulum MDP-1 the "output" control if after the tube amp stages.  It merely attenuates of signal, changing its impedence.  Other designs have the "output" control just before a final amp stage.
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Fletcher

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2004, 06:55:21 am »

sadworld wrote on Wed, 05 May 2004 17:06

after reading more reviews and listening to you guys, i wonder how much different the great river sounds than my x73i since they are both modeled off the neve 1073?


Well... if you're ready for a seriously biased opinion... here comes one.  The X-73i is modeled directly after a Neve 1073... except the components aren't laid out as they were in an original 1073, and the output transformer has way too much distortion at 40Hz [it makes a difference throughout the entire frequency spectrum]... the Great River MP-2NV [and ME-1NV] started with a drawing of a Neve 1073 pre section... and ended being a "Neve-a-like" after using the basic drawing.

We changed all kinds of parts to lower the noise and increase the clarity.  We drove Sowter transformers nuts for like a year getting transformers [with Great River's own number that you can't buy from Sowter unless you're Great River]that minimized the phase shift throughout the audio spectrum... while allowing the thunder of an original 1073 without the "haze" that can develop when you use a 1073 over many tracks within the musical composition.

We brought the impedance switch out to the front, we allow you to vary the gain scaling as there is and input and an output control... there is an insert point [which is where the EQ lives in an original 1073 circuit... except the insert point on the MP-2NV is actually on the back of the unit]... there is also the option to run the input and output transformers properly loaded, or unloaded for a 3db rise at 54 kHz [which makes a noticable difference... especially with "airy" signal content... like female vocals].

The X-73i and the Great River are two pretty different beasts that share the same grandfather... it ain't too difficult a stretch to guess which one I prefer.

Peace.
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CN Fletcher

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sadworld

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2004, 05:45:47 pm »

can anyone comment on how different an animal the dual 72 is from the x73i?  i want contrast and if theres not much, i would look at something else besides the 1272, but i've heard from more than one source that the 1272 sound really BIG. like good for rock, big.  

also, not much mention of telefunken or groove tube in this thread... is there a reason for that? thanks.

btw, i'm selling all my live crap and beefing up my studio bigtime... i'm a junkie!  shhhh.
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sadworld

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2004, 08:38:47 pm »

some things i've read recently prompt me to ask this question... what is the input impedance switch on pres for?  for example , my x73i is switchable between 1.2 and 300. the manufacturer basically said i will never have to use the 300 setting. what is that for and what will it do for me if anything... thanks, matt.
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CA

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2004, 10:22:34 am »

sadworld wrote on Sat, 08 May 2004 01:38

 the manufacturer basically said i will never have to use the 300 setting. what is that for and what will it do for me if anything... thanks, matt.


Pretty strange for a manufacturer to spend money on a feature that you will basically never use.
Chris
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Nathan Eldred

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2004, 11:07:03 pm »

sadworld wrote on Fri, 07 May 2004 20:38

some things i've read recently prompt me to ask this question... what is the input impedance switch on pres for?  for example , my x73i is switchable between 1.2 and 300. the manufacturer basically said i will never have to use the 300 setting. what is that for and what will it do for me if anything... thanks, matt.



Maybe you misunderstood about never having to use the 300 ohm mode? It wouldn't make sense for them to go to the trouble to offer it.  I love running a lot of sources in 300 ohms.  In general I find there is a fatter more low end dominant tone, and a more pleasing distortion (in particular on certain condensers).   On 1200 ohms (in general) on the X73i, I find that it sounds flatter with more top "air" frequencies.  It usually requires more gain in that setting as well.  So, it's there for you to find the right tone, according to your own subjective preference, that will complement the production accordingly.  
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sadworld

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2004, 11:24:12 pm »

for those who recomend the pendulum... what do you think of them on drums?  or do you not recomend them on drums?
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twilightoftheidols

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2004, 06:33:00 pm »

I'm in the process of adding a few items to my home studio, and I'm in the market for a two channel mic pre.  For pre's I've currently got a Summit/Neve Element 78 MPE-200 (stereo), and two SSL XLogic Channels.  For this next purchase, I was considering the Universal Audio 2-610, the Chandler TG2, the Tube Tech MP 1A, and the Avalon AD2022.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  Which of these models do you feel will best complement my current collection?  

Thanks!
Brendan E.
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amwintx

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2004, 11:30:04 am »

I find it interesting that no one has mention API preamps in response to the original quest for 'rockin' drums'. For 2 grand you could definitely get a lunchbox and a couple of 500 series preamps with room for expansion.
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LanceSexington

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Re: what would you do for pre's in the 2 grand price range?
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2004, 03:29:24 pm »

How about 20 channels of the deluxe ART tube MP. Smile

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