Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Pre Amp advice for my analog set up?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    259
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    6472

    Pre Amp advice for my analog set up?

    Sign in to disable this ad
    I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for this, but since most of my posts are analog related and I will be using it on my analog mixer/deck...

    I was wondering what some good choices are for a new or used preamp.

    I don't want to go over $200.00, which I'm sure limits my choices a lot.

    My typical vocal and acoustic guitar recording setup is:

    Studio projects B1> FMR RNC compressor> Mackie 1642vlz pro Mixer (but for EQ I'm using a Tascam PE-40)>to a Fostex M80.

    I'm happy with the sound I'm getting already...but would like to see how a different preamp would work in there.

    Some prospective choices are:

    -Rane ms1b

    -Electro Harmonix 12AY7

    -FMR Realy Nice Preamp (if I can find a good deal used)...definitely like that it's 2 channel!

    I tried a "modded" ART Tube MP (upgraded tube and op amp) and didn't care for the results on vocals.

    Open to suggestions...
    Last edited by fred s.; 12-03-2010 at 18:29.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    792
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 13 Times in 12 Posts
    Rep Power
    741177
    shure m67. used at motown, woodstock, etc. i got mine for $11.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Oshkosh, WI USA
    Age
    38
    Posts
    643
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    929185
    The Rane would be a good one at that budget if it's a clean sound you want. It's a minimalist pre with phantom power, a polarity reverse and plenty of clean gain.

    The Electro-Harmonix 12AY7 (presume that's what you mean) is also a good one for the dollar, though I found the input gain pretty hot even when rolled almost all the way down; it was a touchy pot, and a bit unexpected in a pre with only 50db of gain (I seem to recall patching an A-Designs ATTY on the output when I tried the EH on vocals and guitar cabs), but it's a decent sounding pre for the buck and you can play with different brands of tubes to make small changes to the sonic character, if that's your thing. The phantom power, high pass filter and polarity reverse are nice touches for a tube pre of this price as well.

    The FMR RNP is not a bad pre either, and will have a bit more sonic coloration than the EH and definitely more than the Rane. Of course you get two channels with this guy and you also get inserts, so that's a boon if you want to insert a compressor or whathaveyou rather than patch inline.

    Any of these are pres I'd prefer to use over a Mackie VLZ pre and any of them will have more than enough clean gain for a mic with a healthy output level like the B1. The EH would come up a little shy on gain if you were, say, recording a delicate acoustic guitar with a ribbon mic, but doesn't seem to pertain to your situation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    259
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    6472
    Quote Originally Posted by briank View Post
    The Rane would be a good one at that budget if it's a clean sound you want. It's a minimalist pre with phantom power, a polarity reverse and plenty of clean gain.

    The Electro-Harmonix 12AY7 (presume that's what you mean) is also a good one for the dollar, though I found the input gain pretty hot even when rolled almost all the way down; it was a touchy pot, and a bit unexpected in a pre with only 50db of gain (I seem to recall patching an A-Designs ATTY on the output when I tried the EH on vocals and guitar cabs), but it's a decent sounding pre for the buck and you can play with different brands of tubes to make small changes to the sonic character, if that's your thing. The phantom power, high pass filter and polarity reverse are nice touches for a tube pre of this price as well.

    The FMR RNP is not a bad pre either, and will have a bit more sonic coloration than the EH and definitely more than the Rane. Of course you get two channels with this guy and you also get inserts, so that's a boon if you want to insert a compressor or whathaveyou rather than patch inline.

    Any of these are pres I'd prefer to use over a Mackie VLZ pre and any of them will have more than enough clean gain for a mic with a healthy output level like the B1. The EH would come up a little shy on gain if you were, say, recording a delicate acoustic guitar with a ribbon mic, but doesn't seem to pertain to your situation.
    Thanks for the informative post!

    Do you think the EH 12AY7 would work well with a sure sm57 mic as well (guitar cab, etc)?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    92W 39N
    Posts
    1,391
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    211779
    Quote Originally Posted by briank View Post
    The FMR RNP is not a bad pre either, and will have a bit more sonic coloration than the EH and definitely more than the Rane. Of course you get two channels with this guy and you also get inserts, so that's a boon if you want to insert a compressor or whathaveyou rather than patch inline.

    Any of these are pres I'd prefer to use over a Mackie VLZ pre and any of them will have more than enough clean gain for a mic with a healthy output level like the B1. The EH would come up a little shy on gain if you were, say, recording a delicate acoustic guitar with a ribbon mic, but doesn't seem to pertain to your situation.
    Do you have extensive experience with the RNP in a setting where you can actually make this kind of evaluation and comparison? I would like to but haven't. However, given my discussions with Mark McQ regarding the RNP and his goals for it and the hi-fi nature of most of his gear, I'd be surprised if the RNP were as you describe.

    Also, I've used the preamps in my old Mackie CR-1604 for like 16 years now and they are really amazingly clean and true when used at conservative levels (peaks no more than +10 dBu unbalanced) and less than maximum gain.

    Personally, I prefer to spend my time worrying about controlling the sound at the mike, using a good mike and putting it in the right place and just setting the right gain on the preamp. I find the notion of tinkering with different preamps to be mostly a game inspired by people with expensive gear to sell.

    Cheers,

    Otto

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Oshkosh, WI USA
    Age
    38
    Posts
    643
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    929185
    Quote Originally Posted by fred s. View Post
    Thanks for the informative post!

    Do you think the EH 12AY7 would work well with a sure sm57 mic as well (guitar cab, etc)?

    Shure it would (no pun intended...well ok, it was intended )

    Thinking about your Mackie pres, you may find the Rane a little too much of a muchness as they're both on the clean side, sonically.


    Quote Originally Posted by ofajen
    Do you have extensive experience with the RNP in a setting where you can actually make this kind of evaluation and comparison? I would like to but haven't. However, given my discussions with Mark McQ regarding the RNP and his goals for it and the hi-fi nature of most of his gear
    I wouldn't call my experience with the RNP "extensive" by any means; I don't own one or use one on a routine basis, but I've heard it enough to form the opinion that the Rane sounds cleaner...but don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a little midrange character. We have a few RNCs; they're pretty transparent and pretty incredibly priced for what they do; in my more limited experience with the RNP, its character was not as transparent...granted one's a compressor and the other a pre, but you get what I'm sayin' lol. I record commercially and have wrapped my ears around a decent enough pile of preamps that I feel ok forming and relaying opinions on their sonic characteristics and despite my cynicism I tend to disagree that it's a game as you say, particularly with higher end pres; in that setting I do like having a variety of good pres around for a little bit of choice in sonic colors on the palette, but I get what you're saying, and I could certainly do a project with nothing but some decent console channels without complaining.

    I DO think that in the case of home self recording, for example, that Mackie pres are fine and dandy as long as you watch your gain staging, as you point out, and I definitely agree that getting the source material right is the most critical element for sure...when you get to outboard preamps, you're talking icing on the icing on the cake. As for whether the OP feels that the pres he listed are a justifiable improvement on--or addition to--his Mackies in his situation, it's for him to try and find out

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,290
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    Rep Power
    478971
    Quote Originally Posted by fred s. View Post
    I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for this, but since most of my posts are analog related and I will be using it on my analog mixer/deck...

    I was wondering what some good choices are for a new or used preamp.

    I don't want to go over $200.00, which I'm sure limits my choices a lot.

    My typical vocal and acoustic guitar recording setup is:

    Studio projects B1> FMR RNC compressor> Mackie 1642vlz pro Mixer (but for EQ I'm using a Tascam PE-40)>to a Fostex M80.

    I'm happy with the sound I'm getting already...but would like to see how a different preamp would work in there.

    Some prospective choices are:

    -Rane ms1b

    -Electro Harmonix 12AY7

    -FMR Realy Nice Preamp (if I can find a good deal used)...definitely like that it's 2 channel!

    I tried a "modded" ART Tube MP (upgraded tube and op amp) and didn't care for the results on vocals.

    Open to suggestions...

    1. A preamp should come directly after a microphone. The RNC (or any signal processor for that matter) is not capable of dealing with a raw mic signal.

    2. If you can spring for it, I highly recommend the RNP. (Full disclosure: I not only use one but am an authorized dealer.)
    Rick Ruskin
    Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
    http://liondogmusic.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    259
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    6472
    Quote Originally Posted by RRuskin View Post
    1. A preamp should come directly after a microphone. The RNC (or any signal processor for that matter) is not capable of dealing with a raw mic signal.

    2. If you can spring for it, I highly recommend the RNP. (Full disclosure: I not only use one but am an authorized dealer.)
    -I'm using the RNC in my mixer insert only.

    It's between the EH 12AY7 and FMR RNP, hopefully I'll find a good deal on a used one.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,290
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    Rep Power
    478971
    Quote Originally Posted by fred s. View Post
    -I'm using the RNC in my mixer insert only.
    Your description didn't make that clear.

    You may already know this but just to make certain: When you use an outboard preamp, don't go through the board preamp. Use the line in or better yet, the inset return instead.

    Another thing, unless modded with faster ic's, the PE-40 is a nice eq but is transient-wise, much slower than your current board's eq section. Something to keep in mind if you experience loss of detail with the PE-40 in the chain.
    Rick Ruskin
    Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
    http://liondogmusic.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,030
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 17 Times in 17 Posts
    Rep Power
    15498453
    I know a budget is a budget, but a $200 pre is not going to really be a huge difference over the Mackie, IMO.

    I would suggest saving up and buying a better used preamp. Say you save up and drop $650 or so on a used Sytek. You can always sell it for about what you paid. That beats spending $200 on something that offers marginal results and does not hold resale value.

    IMO, good preamps (defined as having a healthy amount of clean gain) are more important with tape than with digital. Digital is more forgiving if you need to record at low levels to avoid distorting the preamp. Obviously, if you record tape too low you'll get more noise.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Vintage Analog/Modern Digital Set-up Advice
    By ithaca in forum Digital Recording & Computers
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-01-2009, 04:38
  2. What do you suggest? (Mic, pre amp set up)
    By word_play in forum The Rack
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05-08-2003, 16:41
  3. Analog 4 track set up....advice...
    By Michaelyu5 in forum Newbies
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-19-2002, 01:22
  4. What pre-amp should i get with my set-up?
    By Re-iLL in forum The Rack
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 04-09-2002, 21:39
  5. What your microphone, pre-amp set up?
    By VirtualSamana in forum Microphones
    Replies: 56
    Last Post: 02-26-2002, 17:18

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •