Old 7th March 2012
  #1
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Low Budget Pre

Looking for single or dual pre amps in the $200 to $500 range. Not concerned with character, just self noise and headroom. What are best bets? What should I stay away from?

Go.
Old 7th March 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 

a used black lion auteur can be had for about $500 and would give you two really pres with plenty of headroom.
Old 7th March 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanbarnes View Post
Looking for single or dual pre amps in the $200 to $500 range. Not concerned with character, just self noise and headroom. What are best bets? What should I stay away from?

Go.
DMP3. You can get them for pretty cheap used.
Old 7th March 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Have you done a search? This may be in contention for the most popular topic on the Low-end forum.
Old 7th March 2012
  #5
Gear nut
 

I second the DMP3, and for more money the FMR RNP is a great option with lots of power available.

Jacob
Old 7th March 2012
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanbarnes View Post
Looking for single or dual pre amps in the $200 to $500 range. Not concerned with character, just self noise and headroom. What are best bets? What should I stay away from?

Go.
Find a used ART MPA Gold or MPA II.
Old 7th March 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
EricF's Avatar
 

As mentioned...
FMR RNP
ART MPA Gold
Black Lion Auteur
M-Audio DMP3

Also...
Aphex 207D

Another option...
About a year ago, I picked up a Ramsa WR-S4416S mixer for $300 off eBay. It has 16 very-usable pres (12 mono, 4 stereo). 16 pres for $300 is a steal.
Old 8th March 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
Another option if you can find them are Rane MS1(b)s: Brown-Burr chip, super clean, lots of gain, no frills, and like 50 bucks on eBay. Made in the USA too.
Old 13th March 2012
  #9
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Great. Thanks for the suggestions.
Old 13th March 2012
  #10
Baz
Lives for gear
 
Baz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface View Post
Another option if you can find them are Rane MS1(b)s: Brown-Burr chip, super clean, lots of gain, no frills, and like 50 bucks on eBay. Made in the USA too.

This ^

It does not sound like a "cheap" preamp by any stretch and has even been referred to as a "poor mans Hardy."
Old 13th March 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
 

Focusrite ISA One or Presonus Eureka. I would pick either of these over the DMP3 or ART MPA anyday.
Old 14th March 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Electro Harmonix 12ay7. Total sleeper hit. Real tube Pre. Not starved plate. Love mine.
Old 14th March 2012
  #13
Gear Head
 
StrangeSatellite's Avatar
 

I have a Studio Projects VTB-1 preamp for sale for $100 shipped. It's barely used, and it's regarded as one of the best inexpensive preamps. I just am upgrading to an interface with 8 built in preamps so I'm letting this go. Shoot me a message if you're interested.
Old 15th March 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Logan View Post
Electro Harmonix 12ay7. Total sleeper hit. Real tube Pre. Not starved plate. Love mine.
I've got two of these and use them with condenser mics for acoustic guitar and vocals.

If you choose this, be aware that the output is quieter than many preamps. You may want to not use this preamp for quiet sources when recording with dynamic mics.

I've got the MPA Gold, the Studio Projects VTB1 and I've experimented with the Rane pre mentioned above. They all get the job done well in slightly different ways.

One preamp not mentioned that I've spoken about here a bunch of times is a symetrix sx202. No frills, 2 channels, clean strong gain. I think it's got something special about it. You can get one on the used market anywhere from $75-$125.
Old 15th March 2012
  #15
Gear maniac
 

No frills pre for me would be the ART stuff. But if you just want clean gain then get a Mackie 1202 or like. Not the greatest pres but do the job. Also these are great little toolboxes to have in the studio.

Just a thought.

Mike
Old 15th March 2012
  #16
col
Gear addict
 
col's Avatar
I like my GAP Pre73.
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