Your fav recording preamp? Why do you like it?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by BuzzHaze, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. BuzzHaze

    BuzzHaze V.I.P. Member

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    I have been reading and asking around about studio preamps for the last while and I was wondering what others here are using for their recordings. Personally, I'd like to get one that's good for both vocals and instruments, especially guitar. Here's where I am in my search, below are a few from various price ranges.

    I started by looking at ART stuff but it seems cheap and has quite mixed reviews. There's 2 ART Gold units I could pick up for $500 (250 each) but I would rather spend more on a single channel unit of better quality
    ART MPA GOLD MIC PREAMPS - Ottawa Musical Instruments For Sale - Kijiji Ottawa Canada.

    The UA 610 has come up a few times. They get pretty good reviews.
    UA solo 610 microphone preamp mic pre - City of Toronto Musical Instruments For Sale - Kijiji City of Toronto Canada.

    The API 512c is in roughly the same price range.
    API 512c Mic Preamp - MINT Condition - City of Toronto Musical Instruments For Sale - Kijiji City of Toronto Canada.

    on the other end of the spectrum, there's this, which is about the top end of what I would spend on a preamp.
    BAE Neve 1073 Rackmount Preamp w/ Power supply - City of Toronto Musical Instruments For Sale - Kijiji City of Toronto Canada.

    The "I wish" rack
    Vintage Siemens/Telefunken - 4 Preamps and 2 Compressors - City of Toronto Musical Instruments For Sale - Kijiji City of Toronto Canada.

    There's a lot of choices out there and it's not like you can hear or test these out on your gear before buying so it really difficult to make up my mind. I have a Neumann TCM103, a few Senn 421s, AKGs, SM57-58s. I will be recording vocals, guitar amps, acoustic guitar, keys, Electronic drum kit and bass. The bass will be DI from a guitar processor board or bass amp. This all goes into a Yamaha 24 track AW2400.

    So if you have a moment and some advice, information or something to share on the subject, I'm all ears :) Thanks
     
  2. Joeydego

    Joeydego your mom is a nice lady V.I.P. Member

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    I had a vintech 273, it was a stereo 2 channel unit. A bit pricey but you'll hear those mics come to life. For single channel, I had an ssl alpha channel that was pretty good for edgy guitars. Never tried vocals but it had plenty of clean headroom.
     
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  3. BuzzHaze

    BuzzHaze V.I.P. Member

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    Wow, the 273 is *killer*. It has about everything I want plus it's 2 channels. See, I knew there was a good reason to post this thread. This preamp is apparently good for just about anything you plug into it!!! It's great because my keys, drums, guitar station are all stereo out so I can really take advantage of 2 matched channels. Most describe it as "smooth" which is just what I want. BINGO!!!!

    Thanks for the info Joey. It's under 2K which is what I was hoping, and as I mentioned, it's really stacking up to be a top choice. The more I read about this badboy, the more I want it. I sure didn't expect to strike gold on the first reply..haha, thanks man.
     
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  4. Joeydego

    Joeydego your mom is a nice lady V.I.P. Member

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    Yea man, if you're looking for 2 premium channels, the Vintech stuff is top shelf IMO. Not cheap, but you only gotta buy it once. Have fun!
     
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  5. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    I find it a little strange that SSL channelstrips a being touted for their pres since the original SSL consoles were revered for their dynamics, EQ, routing flexibility but definitely not for their pres at all. Unlike Neve, API or Quad Eight,
    SSL pres are quite unremarkable.
     
  6. Joeydego

    Joeydego your mom is a nice lady V.I.P. Member

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    The SSL alpha channel was a 1 rack space strip with a pre, some eq and compression IIRC. It sounded fine to me.
     
  7. bscenefilms

    bscenefilms Premium Member

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    I use MOTU 8-Pre and Traveller connected via light pipe. No latency. Works good.
     
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  8. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    The Neve, API and Quad Eight are all transformer coupled mic pres that from a purist point of view are coloured sounding. (I love the character of a good transformer coupled pre BTW) while the SSL is an electronically balanced pre that is very clean, fast and measurably more accurate and less coloured than the 3 you mentioned.
    In a past thread you said
    Sounds to me like you are flip-flopping with your philosophy when it suits you.
    So which is it? :hmm:
     
  9. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    Good question. My point is that there is no shortage of good clean pres out there, may of them much better than SSL pres. (I'm partial to the Euphonix ML 530) no need to buy an SSL channel for the pres IMO.
    My comment that you quoted was about tape vs digital and I firmly believe that your recorder should not color the sound. Mics and preamps are different because they deliver the sound to be recorded and should be regarded as different paintbrushes to shape the recording. I like mics that have a "sound" as well as those that are super accurate, I like pres that have "a sound" as well as those that are super accurate but I want my recorder to always be super accurate and never color the sound.
    I hope this makes sense.
     
  10. babatube

    babatube Senior Member

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  11. blueflamingo

    blueflamingo Senior Member

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    it all varies. it depends so much on the sound source you're working with (singer, guitar rig, etc.) as well as the style you are trying to achieve. There is no single right answer.
     
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  12. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Senior Member

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    Great river
    Chandler tg2
    Aurora audio gtq2
     
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  13. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    All of my handmade pres! Why do I like them? Because I built them exactly how I wanted to...tweaking parts and design to my heart's content with no thought for expense...oh yeah, and they sound great! :D

    My latest design is the VP8, an 8 channel, high voltage tube pre with cinemag transformers.

    [​IMG]


    An older design of mine, a 2 channel high voltage tube pre with Lundahl transformers...the VP-1.

    [​IMG]


    And my discrete, solid state design with lundahl transformers and 990 op-amps.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. middy

    middy Senior Member

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    Having heard what these pres can do (Crutch/DMW) all I can say is :wow:. Just flat out awesome!
     
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  15. BuzzHaze

    BuzzHaze V.I.P. Member

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    Freddy, I had no idea you actually built preamps. That's wild!!! I notice you are in Canada or at least the Northern US, based on your avatar data. Do you sell them? I'm in Ottawa and would love to know more about your preamps. Do you have a website with more pics and info? If it's not proper to do this in a thread....sorry but maybe you could pm the information. I can't imagine being able to design a pre, based on personal preference...that's like something for the rich and famous.
     
  16. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Hey BuzzHaze,
    Thanks for the interest. Yes I'm in Canada, in Niagara. I'm not really making more at this time because my guitar work is crazy busy. I am just completing another VP8 this week and then I'm taking a break from building these things. I'm probably going to make some more in the spring if you are still interested.
    If you are ever in this area feel free to give me a ring and you can come over and listen to some. Or if you get to Toronto there is a studio there called Euphonic Sound that has lots of my stuff, not just preamps but also compressors, microphones and other processors as well. They are very friendly and would probably let you check out the gear if there is no session going on.
    Freddy
     
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