Finally - upgrading preamp

siog

New member
Hi everyone, I'm finally in a position to upgrade my microphone preamp but I'm finding it difficult to make a decision on what's available within my budget. I'm using a Neumann 103 and a Rode NT1 and an RME Fireface UCX interface. I'm looking for a warm, punchy, almost vintage vocal sound. This is my short-list - any advice would be appreciated.

JDK R20 | Audient ASP 880 | RME Octamic II | Dav BG2 | SSL Alpha VHD | TK Audio DP1 | Midas XL48 | Focusrite ISA428

All opinions will be appreciated!
 

jimmys69

MOODerator
Are you looking for a single channel preamp or multiples? Much of what you listed have 8.

Much less expensive if you just need one preamp. Well, depending on what you are looking for...
 

siog

New member
Are you looking for a single channel preamp or multiples? Much of what you listed have 8.

Much less expensive if you just need one preamp. Well, depending on what you are looking for...

80% of the time, just one but now and then I record a drum-kit.
 

jimmys69

MOODerator
80% of the time, just one but now and then I record a drum-kit.

I must say that in my personal experience, a high end preamp does not make drums sound better. Well tuned drums and the player do.

I would focus on a preamp that you feel may be good for your particular situation. I myself have a Vintech X73i. I use it for my 'sweet' channel, but honestly it does not really sound 'better' than my UR824 interface preamps. A bit different yes as the EQ is a big changer of tone. I can drive the thing hard and get some color out of it, but I would say that that isn't something I could not achieve with a plugin.

Just giving my honest opinion. If it were me, I would spend the money on more important things like room treatment then monotors. That is the best and should be the first investment for anyone recording.

I do not know your studio setup so I may be preaching to the choir.
 

siog

New member
Thanks Jimmy. The room is pretty good, purpose-built last March and well-treated.

The preamp will be mainly for vocals. I've had a few in the past few years, all integrated in interfaces - first a UA-25EX, later a Presonus Audiobox and lastly a Focusrite 18i8. I really do need a separate 'sweet' preamp for vocals. The drums are incidental, I can manage them when they appear (not very often!).

Monitors, yes definitely. I'm on the point of buying a pair of Adam A7s.
 

jimmys69

MOODerator
Thanks Jimmy. The room is pretty good, purpose-built last March and well-treated.

The preamp will be mainly for vocals. I've had a few in the past few years, all integrated in interfaces - first a UA-25EX, later a Presonus Audiobox and lastly a Focusrite 18i8. I really do need a separate 'sweet' preamp for vocals. The drums are incidental, I can manage them when they appear (not very often!).

Monitors, yes definitely. I'm on the point of buying a pair of Adam A7s.

Me too. Monitor upgrade that is. Are the Adam A7's available new anymore? I am looking at getting a pair of Adam S3X-H myself. A bit pricey, but I have heard them in another studio and really liked what I heard.

As far as the preamp goes, I must ask this; 'what is it you are looking for it to do'?

Color is one thing that really can't be recommended. Until you try it, you will not know until you know.


Main thing is that you know what you are paying for. Nothing worse than spending a bunch of cash on something that does not do what you expected.

When dealing with this level of pricing for gear, I would recommend paying for an hour or two at a pro/expensive studio that has an assortment of preamps and familiarize yourself what they do. Advice of users and reviews are not going to tell you what you need to hear to form your own judgement.

Likely you can catch some off time at a studio. Studio owner may just cut you a deal just because it is rare that someone actually gives a shit to ask. Unless they are dicks and consider you competition. lol
 

siog

New member
Yes, the Adam A7s are still available. I really do need a preamp - for vocals. The ones in my interface are okay - just okay. They don't capture the subtle nuances that I'm looking for. I don't want any colour or extras, just a quality signal.
 
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