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New Mic or New Pre?
Old 30th December 2006
  #1
Gear Head
New Mic or New Pre?

Hi gang,

Just trying to decide whether to spring for a Pacifica Pre or a Peluso 2247LE mic. I have a small project studio, and this is for recording my own voice (baritone/tenor). I already have an Avalon 737sp with a Neumann U87ai, unfortunately. I find the recordings very thin and anemic. I got better results using an AKG C1000! Not really knocking the mic, but I think it just didn't suit my voice.

Anyway, its crunch time and I need to get the new piece tomorrow or sunday for tax purposes. Does anyone have any suggestions? (Besides, get them both!). I am already getting a 7th Circle J99 kit btw.

Thx in advance,

Mike
Old 30th December 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
jdjustice's Avatar
hi Mike,

i think the Peluso 2247LE microphone will improve your sound more than the Pacifica pre with your U87. the Avalon sounds great, albeit cleaner and less mid-forward than the Pacifica, and i think the Peluso > VT-737sp chain should make you happy.

THEN get the Pacifica!!!


cheers.
~j.d.
Old 30th December 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Tony Shepperd's Avatar
1. Better mic.
2. Better Mic Pre

Try a couple of different mics and see what works best on your vocal.
It's hard to find a bad NEW mic these days. Almost all of them sound fairly good.
Old 30th December 2006
  #4
Gear Nut
 

i hate to say it but i don't think either option will solve your problem. i had the avalon and "thin and anemic" are two words i could use to describe it. and maybe the neumann isn't the ideal mic for your voice. i'd wait and test options before moving ahead but.... if you're firm on a purchase date i'd recommend a pearlman tm-1 into a more coloring tube preamp and then dump the avalon on ebay.

keep in mind that a tax write-off isn't worth it on something that doesn't meet your needs.
Old 30th December 2006
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Traxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrazemaster View Post
Hi gang,

Just trying to decide whether to spring for a Pacifica Pre or a Peluso 2247LE mic. I have a small project studio, and this is for recording my own voice (baritone/tenor). I already have an Avalon 737sp with a Neumann U87ai, unfortunately. I find the recordings very thin and anemic. I got better results using an AKG C1000! Not really knocking the mic, but I think it just didn't suit my voice.

Anyway, its crunch time and I need to get the new piece tomorrow or sunday for tax purposes. Does anyone have any suggestions? (Besides, get them both!). I am already getting a 7th Circle J99 kit btw.

Thx in advance,

Mike
Avalon 737sp with a Nuemann U87 and thats unfortunate?? You can't be serious...

To answer your question i'll probably get the mic..........
Old 30th December 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
Quote:
I find the recordings very thin and anemic.
You need vintage tube gear to combat those problems.
Old 30th December 2006
  #7
Gear Head
Hi thanks for the replies. I am a noob, so to the guy who said "you can't be serious" about the U87 and the Avalon, well I am. As I mentioned, I got better results using my C1000 for my voice (yikes!). I was disappointed. I thought I had done my homework; I had rented several mics and tested them, and the U87 I had rented gave me the best overall sound. So, I naively bought a new U97ai and lo and behold, it was so different than the one I had rented. Hindsight and all that. Plus I couldn't return it 'cause I bought it from Guitar Center.

And yes, I hold that the Avalon for my voice was very anemic, thin, unflattering, and altogether disappointing. I know I'm not the only one to hold this opinion around here either. I just bought some mullard tubes that should fit it, and I'm going to try swapping them out and see if I'm more pleased with the results.

I'm more of a singer/songwriter guy who grew up in DIYville as my dad fixed every broken thing in sight. Heck, I think he would have to break something to fix if everything worked! So while I don't claim any particular technical expertise or recording know-how, I do know which end of the mic to sing into! Wait, let me think about that. Yeah, I do!

Thanks for the responses everyone. I especially liked the thought that getting the tax writeoff isn't so great if the gear isn't working for me. Here here!

Happy new year, I'll let ya all know what I decided.

Cheers,

Mike
Old 30th December 2006
  #8
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Safe Sound Audio P1 + BLUE Mouse would = big, robust sound and clean dynamics control for any voice work with the comp / limiter / expander. The Mouse has an almost ribbon-like low end...full and gorgeous and the top end isn't overly bright etc.

War
Old 30th December 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Traxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrazemaster View Post
Hi thanks for the replies. I am a noob, so to the guy who said "you can't be serious" about the U87 and the Avalon, well I am. As I mentioned, I got better results using my C1000 for my voice (yikes!). I was disappointed. I thought I had done my homework; I had rented several mics and tested them, and the U87 I had rented gave me the best overall sound. So, I naively bought a new U97ai and lo and behold, it was so different than the one I had rented. Hindsight and all that. Plus I couldn't return it 'cause I bought it from Guitar Center.

And yes, I hold that the Avalon for my voice was very anemic, thin, unflattering, and altogether disappointing. I know I'm not the only one to hold this opinion around here either. I just bought some mullard tubes that should fit it, and I'm going to try swapping them out and see if I'm more pleased with the results.

I'm more of a singer/songwriter guy who grew up in DIYville as my dad fixed every broken thing in sight. Heck, I think he would have to break something to fix if everything worked! So while I don't claim any particular technical expertise or recording know-how, I do know which end of the mic to sing into! Wait, let me think about that. Yeah, I do!

Thanks for the responses everyone. I especially liked the thought that getting the tax writeoff isn't so great if the gear isn't working for me. Here here!

Happy new year, I'll let ya all know what I decided.

Cheers,

Mike
Noob or no noob you are still fortunate to be able to afford a $5,000 vocal chain, maybe it does not work for you but you are more than fortunate trust me..
Old 30th December 2006
  #10
Gear Head
Thank-you Traxx, you are right I am very fortunate. It's easy to complain that the cadillac is staining driveway.

I will say this is a MAJOR investment for me, and does not come lightly at all; at this moment in my life this is a LOT of money. Believe me I have agonized over these decisions for months now; wish I hadn't put so much stress into it all actually. But anyway, if I sounded snobby or uncaring, forgive the implication. Thanks for your insights.

Happy New Year Traxx, and everyone!

Mike
Old 30th December 2006
  #11
Gear Head
I do have a question for War: can I just use the compressor in the P1, or do I have to use the pre as well? I would like to go through a better pre and then use the compressor if possible. I don't know if I can just patch into the compressor part alone though.

Thanks,

Mike
Old 31st December 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Traxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrazemaster View Post
Thank-you Traxx, you are right I am very fortunate. It's easy to complain that the cadillac is staining driveway.

I will say this is a MAJOR investment for me, and does not come lightly at all; at this moment in my life this is a LOT of money. Believe me I have agonized over these decisions for months now; wish I hadn't put so much stress into it all actually. But anyway, if I sounded snobby or uncaring, forgive the implication. Thanks for your insights.

Happy New Year Traxx, and everyone!

Mike
I'm glad you got my point Mike And happy new year to you too. I honestly think you'll benefit more from a different mic though. Or you can sell your vocal chain and try a new one as well, a different pre or mic. I don't know man, its hard to call it because in my opinion you have two very good pieces regardless of what anyone says about the 737 its still a damn good pre and it has been used on countless records, not saying that it will work for you as well but i think you should try to make it work. Sometimes newbies new to recording tend to throw a lot of money into gear without knowing the fundamentals of recording. I always suggest ppl start off wit mediocre gear and get it sounding good then move up to the big boys, you appreciate the gear a lot more, plus you train your ear in the process. I don't know man, but good luck to you in which ever direction you take. Happy new years to you as well

Traxx
Old 31st December 2006
  #13
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrazemaster View Post
I do have a question for War: can I just use the compressor in the P1, or do I have to use the pre as well? I would like to go through a better pre and then use the compressor if possible. I don't know if I can just patch into the compressor part alone though.

Thanks,

Mike
Sure, simply go into the balanced line input = done.

The pre is on the clean / robust side of things, I'd listen to it first before you completely dismiss it.

War
Old 31st December 2006
  #14
Gear Head
Thanks for your expertise War! I guess in the quest for great sound when someone had posted it wasn't fully "high end" I translated that to mean perhaps lacking compared to some other pres people discuss around here. Didn't mean to dismiss your suggestion of the pre at all. In fact I did some research on it and so far it looks great.

Thanks!
Old 31st December 2006
  #15
Gear Head
Good points Traxx! I still have a ton to learn. But I *did* learn the hard way the difference between an older U87 and a new one. I thought I was being responsible when I rented several high end mics and did my own shootout in my studio. The U87 just sounded best for me. Then when I had dropped all that bling on the new U87ai and the Avalon, imagine my dismay at how thin and edgy and generally anemic the result was! Probably mostly the mic, from what I can tell. Even my AKG C1000 sounded better on my voice. By the way I had come into some cash at the time, during the tech bubble just around 2000 and its never been the same since!

I will still experiment with the Avalon/Neumann and see what I can come up with. I still don't like the U87ai for my voice, and I'm considering getting it modded by Jim Williams of Audio Upgrades . com. I spoke with him personally about it, and he seemed to think it could make it a better sounding mic, and for only $125. Whats your thoughts on this? I also got some NOS tubes for the Avalon. See, I haven't totally given up on it! Yet. But I will sell and regroup if not satisfied.

Take care man,

Mike
Old 31st December 2006
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Traxx's Avatar
 

I can't answer the tube swap and the avalon b/c i've considered that myself. Modding that mic, i don't know if i would personally shelve out the money for it. If i bought a 2,900 mic and wasn't happy with it, i wouldn't think a $125 upgrade would change my opinion either. Maybe on a lesser expensive mic but not at that price. Face it, this is gearslutz, yes, and ppl spend a lot of money on their studio's, but i doubt anyone has money just to throw around either. Its good that you are not giving up though, keep reading and researching, you'll find something that catches your eye. Oh yea, I know this is gearslutz and high end stuff is the "cool" thing to most users on this board, but trust your ears. I've seen gear get bashed up here that in my opinion is a good buy. Unless you are trying to attract clientle, i would try to find the best bang for the buck equipment. Also take advice where you see fit, just don't go out and buy something b/c someone says "just get such and such and be over with it" i've seen that many times and the person just goes along with it and buys the product. Its good to ask questions though, good luck to you.

Traxx
Old 31st December 2006
  #17
Gear Head
Thx Traxx
Old 31st December 2006
  #18
Lives for gear
 
DAWgEAR's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrazemaster View Post
But I *did* learn the hard way the difference between an older U87 and a new one. I thought I was being responsible when I rented several high end mics and did my own shootout in my studio. The U87 just sounded best for me.
Have you considered a Soundelux ifet7? You might want to rent one or purchase from a dealer that will accept returns/exchanges, but I found it beefier than the U87ai while sounding somewhat similar.

The BLUE Baby Bottle is another interesting mic. It may or may not work for you, but it has a very different sound with strong mids. Not really in the same class as the U87ai or ifet7, but a lot less expensive. Worth a try if you can demo one.

Have you considered a good compressor to add some character or color?

Take your time with this.
Old 1st January 2007
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Check out the Inntertube Audio u87 tube retrofit kit for your mic. You'll probably like it after that...
Old 1st January 2007
  #20
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

OP, keep it simple or you'll get lost in the inevitable sea of recommendations.


1) get the pacifica and the 2247 in your space.

2) plug the 2247 into the avalon, sing a track.

3) plug the u87 into the pacifica, sing a track.

4) listen to them both, you will know right away which you prefer.

5) send back the thing you don't want.

6) get back to making music.


what could be simpler? enjoy.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 1st January 2007
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Hi Phrazemaster! You may have already made your decision by now, but for me buying a new preamp made all the difference. I don't own any really special mics or anything, but I decided to invest in a Great River ME-1NV to try to improve the sound quality of my vocal tracks. Wow, talk about exceptional clarity, definition, and punch! There's nothing thin or anemic about this preamp. It makes all my mics sound about 300% bigger, better, and punchier. I can only imagine what kind of sound I will be able to achieve once I also upgrade my mic collection. Anyway, that has been my experience this Christmas and I can't wait to record more tracks in 2007 with the ME-1NV. I'm hooked now and will probably buy a Pacifica very soon.
Old 2nd January 2007
  #22
Gear Head
What I ended up with...

Awesome suggestions everyone, thanks!

I had spent the majority of my efforts researching pres. Don't ask me how I overlooked the importance of the mic, but then it hit me so I started digging into mics. Let me tell what I ended up doing.

I decided to get a new mic. I bought the mic from a store that has a 7-day return exchange no restocking fee situation. I did not rent any before making the decision. I know, I know, tutt, but i just decided to go for it. I can always return/exchange if needed.

What mic? U99. Purely on shootout clips here. Again, I know I know, tutt but I seem to need to do things the hard and expensive way lol. I'll post back results and how things progress.

I *almost* went with the Safe Sound Audio P1 per War's suggestion. But what kept me from it ultimately is the hint that there will be a stereo version of this released really shortly (i COULD be wrong!). If so, I REALLY want this compressor and don't want to get a mono pre tucked into it, and stereo would be better. I am definitely going to check out this unit when it is released and I have a good feeling about it.

I am really curious about the inner tube mod, ppl seem to rave about it, but for $1500 I think I'd rather invest in a new or another mic instead. I also spoke with Jim Williams of Audio Upgrades and he has a relatively cheap mod for the U87 that he seems to think will open up the sound and improve the mic; I'm considering it. By the way, he also hand-makes a pre that he claims is the cleanest, clearest, most transparent and fastest pre for $1500 for a stereo pair. I'm really curious if anyone has any experience with this pre; it sounds amazing.

I also decided to experiment with tube swapping on my Avalon 737sp. I heard it can make it a bit sweeter, and I got a great deal on some matched Mullard tubes from pleabay.

And I got a new Canon SD630 to take some pix of my cats, but that's a different story lol!

Thanks everyone for your responses and suggestions. Happy new year, ho ho ho!

Mike
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