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Author Topic: KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions  (Read 6872 times)

Megalomando

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KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions
« on: March 31, 2012, 10:26:43 pm »

Hello,

My first post and hello to all, especially Klaus. I have a KM84 modified by Klaus and it is used to mic guitar, mandolin, violin and banjo, mostly the guitar and mandolin.

I have a inexpensive portable ART tube MP Project series preamp which I have used with a SM57 but it is insufficient for this KM84. I have considered exchanging the stock 12AX7A with a better tube but don't know of anything that would markedly improve this pre. I have an Avalon VT 737 for use in the home studio but I'm not bringing that with me on a gig.

Is there an inexpensive portable pre I might look at to not embarrass this mic when performing?

Suggestions appreciated.

Thanks,

Gary
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David Satz

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Re: KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2012, 11:21:52 pm »

The ART Tube MP has a poorly thought out gain structure and is capable of putting out 20+% THD before its overload LED lights up, depending on where you set the knobs. It also has fairly high residual levels of distortion even when it isn't clipping. I think you can do better without emptying your bank account.

The least expensive decent portable preamp that I know is the M Audio DMP3. It isn't well built for a life of hard knocks, but it's clean sonically, has a decent overload margin (particularly when the gain pushbutton is set to "low"), and its 48 Volt phantom powering circuit is more than adequate for the KM 84.

A smaller preamp that--at the gains I typically use, anyway--is one of the quietest I have ever measured (but costs more than the DMP3) is the FMR Audio "Really Nice Preamp." If you don't mind the stepped gain controls, I think it's a winner.

--best regards
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Megalomando

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Re: KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2012, 03:02:34 pm »

Hello David,

Thanks for the reply. I've done a search for the M Audio DMP3 but it appears it's no longer made & the links say "no longer available". Perhaps I can find a used one in good condition? Any other suggestions are welcomed as I have been out of the loop for 10 years now and I really don't want to take advice from the local Guitar center salesman.

Thanks again!
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Tim Campbell

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Re: KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2012, 03:30:36 am »

The Golden Age Project Pre 73 is a great preamp for the money if you are looking for a more colored sound. It's quite a good Neve clone. Over time if you wanted you could mod it and end up with a real Neve sounding pre.
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Megalomando

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Re: KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2012, 10:29:50 am »

The Golden Age Project Pre 73 is a great preamp for the money if you are looking for a more colored sound. It's quite a good Neve clone. Over time if you wanted you could mod it and end up with a real Neve sounding pre.

This is interesting and might be just what I'm looking for. I just read up on it and it looks like there are some capacitor/transformer mods that may be the update you referred to. Do you know if there's a parts list for this mod by chance? I'm fairly adept with soldering as I repair my ham radio equipment when there's a failure.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Megalomando

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Re: KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 05:51:12 pm »

I was reading some reviews of the Daking Mic-Pre One & it looks to be a beautiful pre for the money. It's a fair bit pricier than the Golden age pre but looks interesting. I wonder how this might fare with the KM84 Klaus modified?

Anyone have experience with it?

Thanks
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BiigNiick

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Re: KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2012, 11:35:43 pm »

A smaller preamp that--at the gains I typically use, anyway--is one of the quietest I have ever measured (but costs more than the DMP3) is the FMR Audio "Really Nice Preamp." If you don't mind the stepped gain controls, I think it's a winner.


+1 for the RNP!


but almost anything is better than the ART you have. . .

soapfoot

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Re: KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 08:31:14 am »

Another contender in the 'moderately priced' sector would be the DAV BG-1. 

I'd abandon the ART pre.  You're unlikely to improve it enough by replacing the tube.  It's actually not really a tube preamp-- the tube is run with "starved plate" meaning it's basically just a distortion device-- not actually responsible for the amplifying.
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Megalomando

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Re: KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2012, 05:27:25 pm »

Thanks for the suggestion about the DAV BG-1. I've done a fair bit of searching and it seems nowhere I've found stocks them and I don't see any in the states that are for sale used. Looks like the reviews are quite good but it's seemingly made of unobtanimum.

The RNP looks to be interesting and I'd like to hear what it sounds like compared to the Daking Mic-Pre One which I found for $600. The advantage of having a stereo pre is real and something I am considering. If... I knew how these would AB with my KM84 on wood instruments it would help. It appears many of the reviews I read from relate to instruments I won't be using and I have to weigh their interest in drums, cymbals, electric... as reviews that I can't relate to regarding preamp needs.

It seems like the Daking might be a better choice in terms of transparency but to have two adequate preamps in one box. Oh the decisions... the decisions...

And yes, I am going to sell the art pre which truly destroys the sound of the KM84
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Megalomando

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Re: KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2012, 01:47:10 am »

Just a follow-up, I just ordered a Daking Mic Pre One. I seriously considered the other options and the RNP was a serious consideration but the specs on the Daking seemed too much to ignore. I would have liked to have a 2 channel pre but at the moment, an excellent single pre is more advantageous.

Thank you all for the input!

Cheers!

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radiovinhet

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Re: KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2012, 08:50:19 am »

Daking is based on classic Trident mixing desks pre-amps. A good deal!
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ColinRichards

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Re: KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2013, 06:45:08 am »

[...]
Is there an inexpensive portable pre I might look at to not embarrass this led lighting when performing?
Suggestions appreciated
.
Have you got the portable mic for your KM84 you were searching for? I also need one, so please tell from where I could get one, and at affordable prices. Please reply. Thanks in advance:)
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Piedpiper

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Re: KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2013, 12:07:04 pm »

Add Black Lion Audio Auteur to your short list of affordable high value two channel pres.
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Jim Williams

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Re: KM84 & need portable mic pre suggestions
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2013, 12:11:38 pm »

'A blast from the past'?

SCA has very low cost kits using those 3 buck IC mic pre chips like DAV uses. They sell for about $80, a bit more assembled.  With some 9V batteries, it's all portable.
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