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Opinions on TubeTech MP1A? Good for vocals?
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Ivo
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#1
25th November 2005
Old 25th November 2005
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Opinions on TubeTech MP1A? Good for vocals?

Hi All,

I'm looking for a better preamp, mono or stereo, to complement my TL-Audio valve console pre's which are OK-ish but not fantastic. Should have plenty of gain for quiet or spoken vocals. I do tracking via a Rosetta 200 into PT HD. Vocals mainly; also overdubs with various acoustic instruments.

I am seriously thinking about buying a Groove Tubes Vipre - I have worked with it for a week and very much like it's sound and versitality. However, it's pretty expensive.

Now a good deal popped up on a second-hand Tubetech MP1A - would set me back about 1000 euro for a two-channel tube pre. I suspect it has a cleaner sound than the Vipre and it will be less versatile in the sounds I can get from it - but is it somewhere in the same leagua in terms of audio quality?

Any opinions on the MP1A appreciated!

Thanks,

Ivo
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25th November 2005
Old 25th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivo
Hi All,

I'm looking for a better preamp, mono or stereo, to complement my TL-Audio valve console pre's which are OK-ish but not fantastic. Should have plenty of gain for quiet or spoken vocals. I do tracking via a Rosetta 200 into PT HD. Vocals mainly; also overdubs with various acoustic instruments.

I am seriously thinking about buying a Groove Tubes Vipre - I have worked with it for a week and very much like it's sound and versitality. However, it's pretty expensive.

Now a good deal popped up on a second-hand Tubetech MP1A - would set me back about 1000 euro for a two-channel tube pre. I suspect it has a cleaner sound than the Vipre and it will be less versatile in the sounds I can get from it - but is it somewhere in the same leagua in terms of audio quality?

Any opinions on the MP1A appreciated!

Thanks,

Ivo



the tube-tech is round and soft. one of the more colored mic pre's i've encountered
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#3
25th November 2005
Old 25th November 2005
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I have had a TT mic pre since the 80s. I can't tell you it's a pre I would buy for "quiet or spoken" vocals. Nor is it a pre I use on every session. It is a good pre though, not a GREAT pre like the Vipre (which I own as well ** to give you a comparison). What mics you using?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivo
Hi All,

I'm looking for a better preamp, mono or stereo, to complement my TL-Audio valve console pre's which are OK-ish but not fantastic. Should have plenty of gain for quiet or spoken vocals. I do tracking via a Rosetta 200 into PT HD. Vocals mainly; also overdubs with various acoustic instruments.

I am seriously thinking about buying a Groove Tubes Vipre - I have worked with it for a week and very much like it's sound and versitality. However, it's pretty expensive.

Now a good deal popped up on a second-hand Tubetech MP1A - would set me back about 1000 euro for a two-channel tube pre. I suspect it has a cleaner sound than the Vipre and it will be less versatile in the sounds I can get from it - but is it somewhere in the same leagua in terms of audio quality?

Any opinions on the MP1A appreciated!

Thanks,

Ivo
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eso
#4
26th November 2005
Old 26th November 2005
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eso
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I haven't used the Vipre yet, but I have been using the Tube-Tech MP1A for years and I really like it.

I have also used some of the TLAudio outboard units (not the mixing desks, but the Fat, Ivory and Classic series) and the difference is like night and day.

The Tube-Tech is a little "soft" sounding, but it has a lot of tube character and can be pushed quite hard and still sound great. I like it on guitars a lot, both distorted and clean electric. I am using it (sometimes) in conjunction with the LCA2B and SMC2A, which can make some instruments/voices sound huge.

That price is also quite low, so if you don't buy it, please PM me the sellers details

For me, owning equipment for a while is more valuable than a shootout or a brief demo. When buying second-hand, you usually get your money back if you decide to sell it on. With Tube-Tech you should anyway.
eso
#5
26th November 2005
Old 26th November 2005
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eso
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Which acoustic instruments do you usually work with? It can work on acoustic instruments as long as you like a fairly coloured sound. Sax and other brass instruments usually record well with it, due to the high output and softening of the transients.
Ivo
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26th November 2005
Old 26th November 2005
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Thanks sofar

Thanks for the reactions sofar. As for the acoustic instruments - my work is mostly music composition/production for tv commercials in a broad variety of styles. I record guitar (acoustic and electric) quite often; string overdubs on samples; brass; percussion. On most of these instruments I get OK results with the TLA pre's but for quiter instruments (or voice-over recording which we do sometimes too for the productions we work on) it doesn't have enough gain, hence my cryptic 'quiet or spoken vocals' phrase.

When testing the Vipre in comparison the sound is bigger and more upfront. Our studio is not super high-end, I'd say a high-end project studio if that makes sense... By which I mean that when I need to record a whole band at a time or a big ensemble or want to have lots of options in outboard gear I go to another place; at the same time I produce 90 percent of the jobs entirely in our own studio. Mosty Logic Pro or PT based stuff with overdubs on acoustic instruments; mixing in Pro Tools with a small selection of outboard.

As for the mics I use, the most versatile ones I have are a pair of KSM32's, also have an SE Electronics tube mic, AKG C460, the usual suspects in dynamic mics. I'll be checking out the Charter Oak mics next week.

Thanks again,

Ivo
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26th November 2005
Old 26th November 2005
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I heard this pre in action years ago at a series of vocal sessions and was quite impressed, particularly with the way it stacks harmonies. I've since heard a number of other tracks from the same guy -- who happens to be a pretty damn good engineer, so factor that in -- and he often records acoustic instruments, sometimes hand drums, sometimes acoustic guitar. It all sounds great. I think this is a great pre for vocals. It was a contender the last time I was in the market, but they're super expensive here in the states, and I went with the Funkenwerk V78m. Which has not disappointed me.

Give the Tubetech a shot in your work environment, with your methods. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Cheers.


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#8
26th November 2005
Old 26th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivo
Thanks for the reactions sofar. As for the acoustic instruments - my work is mostly music composition/production for tv commercials in a broad variety of styles. I record guitar (acoustic and electric) quite often; string overdubs on samples; brass; percussion. On most of these instruments I get OK results with the TLA pre's but for quiter instruments (or voice-over recording which we do sometimes too for the productions we work on) it doesn't have enough gain, hence my cryptic 'quiet or spoken vocals' phrase.

When testing the Vipre in comparison the sound is bigger and more upfront. Our studio is not super high-end, I'd say a high-end project studio if that makes sense... By which I mean that when I need to record a whole band at a time or a big ensemble or want to have lots of options in outboard gear I go to another place; at the same time I produce 90 percent of the jobs entirely in our own studio. Mosty Logic Pro or PT based stuff with overdubs on acoustic instruments; mixing in Pro Tools with a small selection of outboard.

As for the mics I use, the most versatile ones I have are a pair of KSM32's, also have an SE Electronics tube mic, AKG C460, the usual suspects in dynamic mics. I'll be checking out the Charter Oak mics next week.

Thanks again,

Ivo
Well, for quietly spoken voices/voice over work I would choose a more transparent preamp. The Tube-Tech has 70dB of gain, which is adequate in most scenarios, but I wouldn't choose it for voice over work, personally. I'd be more inclined to opt for a Focusrite Red, or something similar which has a lower noise floor and less colouration in the sound. How much gain is available on the console pre's?
Ivo
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26th November 2005
Old 26th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eso
How much gain is available on the console pre's?
I believe about 60 dB. It's the original 8-channel TLA mixer, one of the first models they made. I had it modified so that the inserts can be used as channel direct outs; these are unbalanced though so I might lose some gain there too. I can compensate on the Rosetta 200 which has very clean gain but it's not ideal. The Vipre has around 70 dB of gain (same as the TubeTech) and that was fine so I'd expect the TubeTech to do OK on that count.

I will give the TubeTech a try.

Cheers,

Ivo
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26th November 2005
Old 26th November 2005
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eso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivo
I believe about 60 dB. It's the original 8-channel TLA mixer, one of the first models they made. I had it modified so that the inserts can be used as channel direct outs; these are unbalanced though so I might lose some gain there too. I can compensate on the Rosetta 200 which has very clean gain but it's not ideal. The Vipre has around 70 dB of gain (same as the TubeTech) and that was fine so I'd expect the TubeTech to do OK on that count.

I will give the TubeTech a try.

Cheers,

Ivo
If you're recording a selection of sources then I'm sure you'll find it useful. At 1000 euros you can't lose.
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26th November 2005
Old 26th November 2005
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The MP-1A is my only pre in my little overdub room. I find it to be quite useful. Not so colored that it takes over the sound. I've got four diverse sounding vocal mics plus the tubetech and I'm done. Also, I think the DI's are the best I've ever heard.
#12
14th December 2009
Old 14th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsharp View Post
The MP-1A is my only pre in my little overdub room. I find it to be quite useful. Not so colored that it takes over the sound. I've got four diverse sounding vocal mics plus the tubetech and I'm done. Also, I think the DI's are the best I've ever heard.
+ 1...

It's also my only preamp, and I think it's really good.
AND I actually think that it can be pretty transparent, if you don't drive it too hard.

However, the age of the preamp can be significant, because in the earlier models they used their own tubetech input trafo's, but in the newer ones they use lunddahl trafo's, which are supposed to be a little more "open" in their sound...

The DI's are amazing - I especially like them on bass!
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