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Author Topic: 2-channel mic pres below $2k  (Read 9730 times)

MisterBlue

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2-channel mic pres below $2k
« on: April 21, 2005, 01:40:09 am »

Sorry if this is a repost, but my (very first) post in the hardware review section did get only one response (thanks, Barry!).  I concluded I tried the wrong place, so here is another attempt:

I have a budget of up to $2000 to add two quality mic pre channels to my current setup (mainly the Sytek MPX-4aii with the common 2 modified channels). I have heard good things about the Sebatron VMP-2000e. Is this a recommendation that members here would back up? What other options should I consider?  Barry Hufker mentioned the new Neve Portico and this looks indeed tempting.  I appears, though that not many folks here have actually laid hands on such a unit (although it might for well known reasons be a fairly safe bet).

My apologies if this happens to be a well-covered topic. I did some research first and did not get a real good feeling of what my best options are.

Thanks in advance for your kind responses,

MrBlue.
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Jan Folkson

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Re: 2-channel mic pres below $2k
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2005, 08:50:35 am »

Haven't checked out the sebatron, but the 2 best deals on mic pres (IMHO) is the John Hardy M1 or M2, about $1,600 for a 2 channel unit and the UA 2108 about $1,400.  Both are different, of course, but sound great.

The new Neve stuff looks interesting, but it's too soon to tell.

HTH.
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James Duncan

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Re: 2-channel mic pres below $2k
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2005, 09:03:27 am »

What's the word on the Hardy's. (I just read the info on Mercenary, and it sounds promising.) It sounds like they are a clean, tranparent pre, is this correct? I am leaning towards a Great River MP2NV right now, and hadn't really considered the Hardy pres in my decision-making process.
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jimmyjazz

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Re: 2-channel mic pres below $2k
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2005, 09:44:55 am »

What type of music do you record?  Given that you're using the Sytek right now, I'd have a hard time recommending anything but the most transparent preamp you can find.  Dan Kennedy's original Great River model (MP-2 or MP-2H) and the Millenia Media preamps come to mind.  I think both can still be had for less than $2K.
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mumbles

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Re: 2-channel mic pres below $2k
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2005, 10:11:00 am »

John Hardy
Great River
Chandler TG2
Daking mic pre IV (if you want a couple of extra)
TAB Funkenwerk v78

Seamus
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Seamus
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McAllister

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Re: 2-channel mic pres below $2k
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2005, 10:22:56 am »

RNP

It's really, really good.
And you'll have enough $ left over for, say, a Neve Portico - and you can tell us how it sounds.

M
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gtoledo3

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Re: 2-channel mic pres below $2k
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2005, 10:28:40 am »

I actually find the sytek to be a clean pre- I would say that there is some overlap between it and, say, API, Hardy, and Grace-as weird as that may sound. A eensy dash of smoothness, but it still very quick.

If I was using just two different pre's ..... I would lean towards adding a couple v78's to your collection. That would be a very yin/yang combination between it and the sytek....if it is anything like v72's I have used. The jury is still out I guess.

I feel odd reccomending AGAINST Hardy or API (or Millenia too I guess- but I'm not really fond of the Millenia), but from my experience I think you will get more mileage out of pairing the Sytek with a smooth, flattering pre-amp like the old telefunken's. If the tab-funkenwerk v78 is what it is hyped to be, I think that it would be a perfect compliment.
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bluecouchstudios

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Re: 2-channel mic pres below $2k
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2005, 12:51:14 pm »

Doublehelix wrote on Thu, 21 April 2005 08:03

What's the word on the Hardy's. (I just read the info on Mercenary, and it sounds promising.) It sounds like they are a clean, tranparent pre, is this correct? I am leaning towards a Great River MP2NV right now, and hadn't really considered the Hardy pres in my decision-making process.


i demoed a JH from Mercenary a few months ago.  i don't think "clean" would exactly be the right word.  it has a more appealing color than most "clean" preamps that i think of (with the transformer output that is... Mercenary stocks them this way).  but they are less colored that an old Neve preamp or an API.  i liked it and plan to pick up one in the future.  great top-end.  but get both (JH and GR) in from Mercenary and return the one you don't want.

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JackJohnston

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Re: 2-channel mic pres below $2k
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2005, 04:18:47 pm »



My first thought when hearing the UA 2108 was this is really cool, but I could only use it when I wanted to add a lot of distortion. It's a mic pre fuzz box. It would be really cool to have as a supplemental mic pre if you did industrial music. If I had to track with one mic pre, I'd rather use a Mackie.

Jack

mumbles

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Re: 2-channel mic pres below $2k
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2005, 08:14:50 pm »

Hi there,
I'd have to agree with.. um.. gtoledo3.
The Sytek is a great unit, for what it is.  Inexpensive, solid pres.  I have a friend that uses them on classical guitar over the Amek 9098's he has in the rack.
If it were me, I'd go with something that had a little more character for my second unit.  If you know a good tech, and you know what to look for, and you look real hard, you could get a couple raw V72's (Siemens/TAB/Telefunken) for about $1,100.
They are something special.
That being said, you may just want to save yourself the headach and get racked ones.. or the TAB Funkenwerk.  Oliver Archut is basically the man with this stuff.  Damn nice guy to boot.

Seamus
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MisterBlue

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Re: 2-channel mic pres below $2k
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2005, 09:21:31 pm »

Thanks a lot for all of your responses !

I am mostly producing pop/rock artists (in the style of Matchbox 20, Goo Goo Dolls, ...) and my usual #1 priority is to get the vocals to sound great.  

I have had fairly good success with Rode Mics and find myself going back to either the NTV or the NTK regularly (... dealing mostly with male singers).  I will also admit that I have found myself using an Event EMP-1 preamp on occasion that was bundled with the Rode NTV which probably puts it into the "less than $200" category. Well, it sometimes just works.  I'd be surprised if many here have used it but if you have, please share with me your experience.

One detail that intrigued me about the Sebatron (besides it's supposed basic quality) is the range of "switch EQ" settings (air, low cut, etc.) that are available to slightly manipulate the tone. It just seems to make it a very versatile tool.  Some folks that recommended the Sebatron have also had good success chaining the two channels for more color and "grit".

Hope this helps to clarify my request a little bit.
Please keep the recommendations coming.
Thanks !

MrBlue.
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vernier

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Re: 2-channel mic pres below $2k
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2005, 02:43:13 am »

Someone mentioned V72 (good choice!) I'd take one of them over two of anything made of transistors.
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bluecouchstudios

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Re: 2-channel mic pres below $2k
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2005, 09:41:39 am »

MisterBlue wrote on Thu, 21 April 2005 20:21

Thanks a lot for all of your responses !

I am mostly producing pop/rock artists (in the style of Matchbox 20, Goo Goo Dolls, ...) and my usual #1 priority is to get the vocals to sound great.  




hmmm... vocals.  try an API 3124.  just over $2k, but 4-channels.  i love it!  you can get one from Mercenary too.

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joelgtrnut

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Re: 2-channel mic pres below $2k
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2005, 09:48:54 am »

Brent Averill 312 - ~1400 for 2 channels racked.
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Roland Storch

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Re: 2-channel mic pres below $2k
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2005, 10:11:07 am »

recommended 2 channel preamps under 2000 $ I tried myself:

Grace Design Model 201, same as 801 but 2 channel
Millennia Media HV-3C, same as  HV-3D but 2 channel
Lake People F355, very neutral, 2 outputs per channel
SPL Gainstation1, single channel for 890
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