The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Tube preamp for M149 — any advice?
Old 3rd April 2018
  #1
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Tube preamp for M149 — any advice?

Hey guys,

I recently picked up an M149 and am absolutely loving it.

Currently using a Burl B1, and while it's an awesome sound, it's a bit too assertive when paired with the M149. It has a really fast transient response and it gets crunchy pretty quickly, even with the 30dB pad engaged (obviously due in part to the mic's insane output).

I'd like something a little more relaxed.

I'm reeeeeeeeally loving some of the samples I've heard from the Mercury AM16D, but I'm worried that my singing (LOUD pop/rock vocals) + mic would simply be too much for it. Does anyone have any experience with this unit and/or the M72? If the AM16D can handle an M149, I'm pretty much already sold.

I've also looked at the LaChapell 583 and Manley Core, which seem pretty interesting. I do want to avoid anything too "airy" or "crispy," though. There's also the Crane Song Syren...

Budget is about $1000 - $1500.

Thanks!
Old 3rd April 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
The LaChapell, Siren and Roll Music Tubule should all pair well with your Neumann.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkaitkai View Post
Hey guys,

I recently picked up an M149 and am absolutely loving it.

Currently using a Burl B1, and while it's an awesome sound, it's a bit too assertive when paired with the M149. It has a really fast transient response and it gets crunchy pretty quickly, even with the 30dB pad engaged (obviously due in part to the mic's insane output).

I'd like something a little more relaxed.

I'm reeeeeeeeally loving some of the samples I've heard from the Mercury AM16D, but I'm worried that my singing (LOUD pop/rock vocals) + mic would simply be too much for it. Does anyone have any experience with this unit and/or the M72? If the AM16D can handle an M149, I'm pretty much already sold.

I've also looked at the LaChapell 583 and Manley Core, which seem pretty interesting. I do want to avoid anything too "airy" or "crispy," though. There's also the Crane Song Syren...

Budget is about $1000 - $1500.

Thanks!
this is going to sound crazy but the avalon 737 sounds fantastic with that mic.

ej
Old 3rd April 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Can I make a suggestion ( and no I don't work for or get kickbacks from)

Funky Junk UK - otherwise known as proaudioeurope.com

Telefunken V72 Tube Mic Pre (Vintage) - Mic Preamps - Funky Junk

the real deal - for cheap.

A 220V regulated switched mode power supply will come in under $120
Old 3rd April 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twenty Staxx View Post
The LaChapell, Siren and Roll Music Tubule should all pair well with your Neumann.
Thanks for the tip! Have you by chance compared the LaChapell and Syren? I would love to get a better idea of how those sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
this is going to sound crazy but the avalon 737 sounds fantastic with that mic.

ej
That’s wild! I didn’t even think of that one. I’ll have to look into that. Thanks!
Old 3rd April 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
I just got a Manley Force, which has 4 of the same pres as the Core and no comp. They are beautiful preamps and I absolutely have been loving them on vocals. It has been a magical pairing with the Brauner VM1 and Cathedral Pipes Regensburg Dom tube mics. My go-to pre for vocals before had been the wonderful Cranesong Flamingo, but I don't think I'll be going back to it anytime soon. You could also buy one of the (sadly) discontinued Manley Mono or Dual-Mono preamp within that price range. They will have a little more color than the Core/Force pres.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
I just got a Manley Force, which has 4 of the same pres as the Core and no comp. They are beautiful preamps and I absolutely have been loving them on vocals. It has been a magical pairing with the Brauner VM1 and Cathedral Pipes Regensburg Dom tube mics. My go-to pre for vocals before had been the wonderful Cranesong Flamingo, but I don't think I'll be going back to it anytime soon. You could also buy one of the (sadly) discontinued Manley Mono or Dual-Mono preamp within that price range. They will have a little more color than the Core/Force pres.
Nice! The other thread you made about the Manley definitely piqued my interest. I wish I could find some more audio clips, but I'll probably just have to get my hands on one and try it.

If I get the Core, I'll likely end up selling my Harrison 32EQ, which kinda sucks, but then again, having the Core's opto compressor would be really useful to me right now.

Do you find that it's a brighter/airier kind of sound or is it more neutral?
Old 3rd April 2018
  #8
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkaitkai View Post
Nice! The other thread you made about the Manley definitely piqued my interest. I wish I could find some more audio clips, but I'll probably just have to get my hands on one and try it.

If I get the Core, I'll likely end up selling my Harrison 32EQ, which kinda sucks, but then again, having the Core's opto compressor would be really useful to me right now.

Do you find that it's a brighter/airier kind of sound or is it more neutral?
The Force pres are not bright or airy in any way. They give your source a beautiful, rich 'glow'. They are flattering on vocals. I haven't compared the comp on the Core with an ELOP, but the ELOP is a sweet unit. To my ears it does open up the top-end a bit, but not in terms of adding air, but rather in adding focus and clarity. Like focusing a lens and getting a sharper image. The trick with the ELOP is to not hit it too hard, because it can really overcook your track before you even know it. I just saw that they have an insert on the back of the Core. What's a bummer is that it happens after the ELOP. I typically like to hit a fast compressor like an 1176 before I go into an ELOP, to catch fast peaks so that the ELOP won't have to and can gently do 1-2db GR.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
The Force pres are not bright or airy in any way. They give your source a beautiful, rich 'glow'. They are flattering on vocals. I haven't compared the comp on the Core with an ELOP, but the ELOP is a sweet unit. To my ears it does open up the top-end a bit, but not in terms of adding air, but rather in adding focus and clarity. Like focusing a lens and getting a sharper image. The trick with the ELOP is to not hit it too hard, because it can really overcook your track before you even know it. I just saw that they have an insert on the back of the Core. What's a bummer is that it happens after the ELOP. I typically like to hit a fast compressor like an 1176 before I go into an ELOP, to catch fast peaks so that the ELOP won't have to and can gently do 1-2db GR.
This is awesome info, thanks a bunch! I was worried it might be a little on the bright side, so this is great to hear. Really want to get my hands on one now!
Old 3rd April 2018
  #10
Gear Addict
 

I am really happy with my Presonus ADL 600 since 11 years and use it on Gefell M930 and AT 4060.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolleum View Post
I am really happy with my Presonus ADL 600 since 11 years and use it on Gefell M930 and AT 4060.
I've actually had that one on my radar for a good while now, thanks for the reminder!
Old 3rd April 2018
  #12
Gear Addict
I found the m149 to be a bit picky with mic pres, meaning that some high end units that would sound fantastic with other mics will simply not sound all that great with the m149. Some pres brought out a certain harshness with this mic..
Old 4th April 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkaitkai View Post
Hey guys,

I recently picked up an M149 and am absolutely loving it.

Currently using a Burl B1, and while it's an awesome sound, it's a bit too assertive when paired with the M149. It has a really fast transient response and it gets crunchy pretty quickly, even with the 30dB pad engaged (obviously due in part to the mic's insane output).

I'd like something a little more relaxed.

I'm reeeeeeeeally loving some of the samples I've heard from the Mercury AM16D, but I'm worried that my singing (LOUD pop/rock vocals) + mic would simply be too much for it. Does anyone have any experience with this unit and/or the M72? If the AM16D can handle an M149, I'm pretty much already sold.

I've also looked at the LaChapell 583 and Manley Core, which seem pretty interesting. I do want to avoid anything too "airy" or "crispy," though. There's also the Crane Song Syren...

Budget is about $1000 - $1500.

Thanks!
Got the M149 when they first came out and used it for several years, but never with a pre ..just straight into old tube limiter and onto tape. Great mic's they are. I used it primarily over and in front of drum kits .. it'd pick up the whole kit, close mics not needed, but I did put a dynamic near the kick and would later bring that channel up a tad.
Old 4th April 2018
  #14
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mart View Post
I found the m149 to be a bit picky with mic pres, meaning that some high end units that would sound fantastic with other mics will simply not sound all that great with the m149. Some pres brought out a certain harshness with this mic..
Yeah, I'm noticing the preamp makes a bigger difference with this mic than with the Manley mic I had before it.

I found out that the guy who engineered my last record used a Wunder PEQ1R, so maybe I'll look into the Cobalt and see if that gets me anywhere.

Which preamps worked well for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Got the M149 when they first came out and used it for several years, but never with a pre ..just straight into old tube limiter and onto tape. Great mic's they are. I used it primarily over and in front of drum kits .. it'd pick up the whole kit, close mics not needed, but I did put a dynamic near the kick and would later bring that channel up a tad.
That's awesome! I haven't tried patching directly into a compressor yet, but I've read lots of stories. Something to try!
Old 4th April 2018
  #15
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkaitkai View Post
Yeah, I'm noticing the preamp makes a bigger difference with this mic than with the Manley mic I had before it.

I found out that the guy who engineered my last record used a Wunder PEQ1R, so maybe I'll look into the Cobalt and see if that gets me anywhere.

Which preamps worked well for you?



That's awesome! I haven't tried patching directly into a compressor yet, but I've read lots of stories. Something to try!
It might have worked well with the particular limiter I was using, which was from 50's or 60's. So, you might have to experiment. Before that I had it going through a Neve 1073, but one day bi-passed the pre and heard no difference in the mic's performance. Btw, I miss it. The only reason I don't have it is because it was used on drums, and I've since come to realize that (for me) ..the drummer, kit, and mic placement is key, and not so much the actual mic. Otherwise, I'd still have the M149, the super long cord and hot output makes it extra versatile.
Old 4th April 2018
  #16
Gear Addict
 
Greg Heimbecker's Avatar
D.W. Fearn!
Old 4th April 2018
  #17
Lives for gear
 

The new Manley gear Elop doesn’t have output Line Transformers the Manley Core seems more a bass player type unit.
The Vari Mu Or New Mu ...Seems again, somehow cutdown to be affordable is Erm....this possibly wrong or compared with OG gear from Manley maybe true?
Old 4th April 2018
  #18
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
It might have worked well with the particular limiter I was using, which was from 50's or 60's. So, you might have to experiment. Before that I had it going through a Neve 1073, but one day bi-passed the pre and heard no difference in the mic's performance. Btw, I miss it. The only reason I don't have it is because it was used on drums, and I've since come to realize that (for me) ..the drummer, kit, and mic placement is key, and not so much the actual mic. Otherwise, I'd still have the M149, the super long cord and hot output makes it extra versatile.
Very cool! I did try going directly into my WA76 with the Manley mic, and it didn't sound horrible or anything. Gonna have to try it with the M149 and see how it works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Heimbecker View Post
D.W. Fearn!
I wish! Just a little over my budget at the moment.
Old 7th April 2018
  #19
Gear Addict
 
Greg Heimbecker's Avatar
I'm sitting here listening to jazz piano (well loved Steinway B) through a pair of M-149s into a Fearn VT-2 and given a little definition, weight and a touch of sparkle from a Buzz Req. 2.2 EQ and it's sounding glorious as usual.
Old 8th April 2018
  #20
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 

@ Greg Heimbecker I'm jealous! I think a Fearn preamp will be in my future someday.
Old 8th April 2018
  #21
Gear Addict
 
Al Rogers's Avatar
 

Look around and see if you can find a used Demeter HXM-1. James Demeter has been making vacuum tube mic preamps longer than anyone. They're hand wired and they sound top notch. Maybe even a new HXM-1 new might be within your budget. You can get a new one direct from the maker here: HXM-1
Old 8th April 2018
  #22
Lives for gear
 
mattcollen's Avatar
Before I sold my M149, which I loved, I paired it with a DW Fearn and occasionally a Chandler Germanium.
Old 8th April 2018
  #23
Gear Addict
 
Greg Heimbecker's Avatar
The 149 would probably pair quite nicely with the LaChapell 500 pre. Not quite as huge and 3D as the Fearn but a great sounding pre with a wide variety of mics.
Old 8th April 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Pepe Ortega's Avatar
Manley Dual mono pre.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
Here for the gear
 

Hi! I have a m149 and I was ready to buy a burl B1 for it... I was thinking that these two could make a nice pair... Can you please explain what do you mean when you say "too assertive when paired with the M149"? You mean that you have to use low gain? As far as I know, due to m149 output, you must keep down the gain... Are you satisfied with the SOUND of this combination? (m149+burl B1). Thank you!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
Lives for gear
 
John Moran's Avatar
 

I'll tell you this: We cut all of Beyoncé's vocals M149->Millennia HV-3->TubeTech CL-1-> recorder

It seems to have worked out ok.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkotsak View Post
Hi! I have a m149 and I was ready to buy a burl B1 for it... I was thinking that these two could make a nice pair... Can you please explain what do you mean when you say "too assertive when paired with the M149"? You mean that you have to use low gain? As far as I know, due to m149 output, you must keep down the gain... Are you satisfied with the SOUND of this combination? (m149+burl B1). Thank you!
Keep in mind that this is just my own personal experience — you may have different results.

With that said, I found that combination a little too "crispy" or "sizzle-y" for my taste. Too much high frequency zing, and almost too articulate. Certainly not a bad sound, just not what I'm after, personally.

The B1 can also produce some crazy distortion. Sounds awesome on some sources, but if you want a cleaner sound, the built-in pad really comes in handy with the M149.

In general, most seem to think the M149 works well with a cleaner mic pre, and I tend to agree. I tried a Vintech X73i a while back, and it did sound cool, but it was just too colorful for me. Shortly after creating this thread, I bought a Wunder PEQ2R, and IMO, it's an absolutely perfect match for this mic.

This might come as a shock, but I also really like the plain Apollo preamp. Not my first choice for most mics, but it pairs surprisingly well with the M149.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
You need the John Hardy M-1 preamp. Buy with input and output transformers.

Job done.

Best sound.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
I've had very good luck with a Neve 1073 and a Daking MicPre One with the M149.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #30
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 

Back in the day, an m149 and Mercury m76 was my favorite vocal combo. Quite easy to keep the gain down on the m76 and have a clean signal with a nicer, thicker high end. I definitely drove it harder just as often, lots of choices with that combo.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump