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Cheap preamp for a ribbon mic
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caro
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#1
10th January 2006
Old 10th January 2006
  #1
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Cheap preamp for a ribbon mic

Hi everyone,
I would like to buy a ribbon mic (probably the Oktava ML 52 which i auditioned the other day and liked a lot). My problem though is that until now I've been recording straight into a Tascam US122 and into my Powerbook.

Obviously this offers nowhere near the gain required for a ribbon so I was wondering if you have any suggestions on low budget preamps that might fit the bill?

I've searched the forums trying to find suggestions and the Studio Projects VTB1 has come up as one that offers a lot of bang for just $100 and plenty of gain.

Anyone have any recommendations for me?
Thanks in advance for your help.
#2
10th January 2006
Old 10th January 2006
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Can you stack the pre-amps in the Tascam?

Take a Directo out from one channel and plug it into the pre-amp of the next. You end up raising the noise floor, but sometimes you can get away with it.




-tINY

#3
10th January 2006
Old 10th January 2006
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hopeless_opus is offline
I've read lot's of good things about that Rane single channel pre, Ms1b. Don't know how it is with ribbons, but it has enough gain (66db) that it should work well. Maybe the Meek ThreeQ for $200?

aorund $100 is tough for a pre quiet enough to drive a ribbon...
#4
10th January 2006
Old 10th January 2006
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jsrockit is offline
Studio Projects VTB-1
#5
10th January 2006
Old 10th January 2006
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goobersezhey is offline
I'll second the Rane MS1b for bang/buck. You can get it for around $130 from northernsound.net. Burr-Brown opamps. Phantom power. Polarity switch. Also, it's touted for being able to drive long cable runs with little loss of signal.
#6
10th January 2006
Old 10th January 2006
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robotmaxtor is offline
i 2nd the meek 3Q. good quality channel strip compared to others in their price range, good bang for your buck.
#7
10th January 2006
Old 10th January 2006
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m-audio dmp3.. 66db of gain for around $150, and theres the symetrix 302 which has 75 db of gain for around $200...
#8
11th January 2006
Old 11th January 2006
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Also a used Symetrix SX202. @$140 for 2 channels. Phantom, phase and pad on each channel if I remember right. Plenty enough gain for most ribbons. I've used mine with my Beyer M160s and M500s. Might be even cheaper if you get lucky. I bought a couple for @$100 each. Make sure you get the right power supply. I've had people sell Symetrix boxes with the wrong wall wart. They are easily replaceable, but it's a pain. A nice clean no-frills preamp that is moddable if you are so inclined.
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#9
11th January 2006
Old 11th January 2006
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portobellovcs3 is offline
Hold off for a few weeks and you can buy the new AEA Ultra Ribbon Mic Preamp. It will have 83 dB of clean gain in a transformerless design by the former Millenia preamp and opamp designer (Mr. Fossett I believe?).

$835. Dual channel. No phantom power. Should be officially launched at NAMM next week.
#10
11th January 2006
Old 11th January 2006
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jsrockit is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by portobellovcs3
Hold off for a few weeks and you can buy the new AEA Ultra Ribbon Mic Preamp. It will have 83 dB of clean gain in a transformerless design by the former Millenia preamp and opamp designer (Mr. Fossett I believe?).

$835. Dual channel. No phantom power. Should be officially launched at NAMM next week.
Only 8x what he wanted to spend....
#11
11th January 2006
Old 11th January 2006
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Try that VTB-1 actually, Harvey Gerst loves that thing with his RCA ribbon.

War
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caro
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#12
11th January 2006
Old 11th January 2006
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Hi everyone - thanks for all the info. I've been checking out all your recommendations.
The Joe Meek Q3 sounds interesting given that it has a compressor and some eq functions, but can anyone tell me whether these extras are any good? I found one review that said the pre was great but the extras were a bit 'mickey mouse'.

By the way, I would be using the ribbon mostly for female vocals and clean electric guitar, if this has any impact on your suggestions. I have also bought an Oktava mkl-2500 so it would be good if it could suit that as well.

With slightly coloured mics like this is it usually better to go for a neutral preamp or just keep colouring?

Thanks again and please don't hold back.

Caro.
#13
11th January 2006
Old 11th January 2006
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You cant go wrong with the VTB1,its got impedance matching for the ribbon, a lil colour via the tube & I/O/O/P gain!Would be good for Vox & Gits!!!
The Rane MS1B is a great buy for the money also,you'd hear the difference in it when put to any pre thats in the same catagory such as Digi LE stuff,Behringer,Mackie or VTB1, etc....difference is night & day,would be good for Vox & Gits & Drums!!

Both i have, & love! For the money you could do worse but not better,although i HEARD great things about the Dp3!
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