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What is your absolute favorite tube mic pre? Single-Channel Preamps
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

What is your absolute favorite tube mic pre?

I am looking a top tube mic pre that is smooth, big, not too tubey, clean, detailed,...you know all the good stuff. I have researched the forums a lot and the top recommendations are V72, V76, D.W. Fearn VT-1/VT-2, A Designs MP-2A, LaChapells, Pendulum MDP-1.

This is going to be paired with a U87Ai and a CL1B (telefuken and RCA NOS tubes).

My current pre is Avalon M5, which is good, but it is a little bit too sensitive and hard sounding sometimes.

I have no idea what to go with, and before I buy and return one at a time until I tried all of them or until I got one just as I like: What is your favorite (among those mentioned or unmentioned)? And why?

I prefer to have everyone's opinions on these instead of trying to get someone to recommend one for me. So let's start!
Old 6 days ago
  #2
Mojave 1000?
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Gear Head
 

A friend of mine has a Tree Audio Branch and it really is an incredible piece of gear. Very clear and detailed, I also love the eq.
Old 6 days ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
The Branch beat everything in a shootout we just did. Sounded just like my Vac Rac pre (no longer in production), which has been my vocal go to for almost 20 years.
Old 6 days ago
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
The Branch beat everything in a shootout we just did. Sounded just like my Vac Rac pre (no longer in production), which has been my vocal go to for almost 20 years.
May I ask which preamps where used in the shoot out?
Old 6 days ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
mbvoxx's Avatar
Hard to beat a Fearn pre for tube goodness. But a perfect match for the U87 is the Hardy M1. It's not a tube pre but it's a match made in gear heaven.
Old 6 days ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
I'm partial to the Groove Tubes ViPre.
Old 6 days ago
  #8
Lives for gear
TubeTech MP2A
Old 6 days ago
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Coil Audio 286 for clean, get both transformer options in and out, the 110 in transformer adds a touch of beauty.

Coil 70 for weight. One GS description: an 800 pound gorilla breathing down your neck.

Both have negative feedback adjustment for a broad palette of tone shaping.
Old 6 days ago
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Blaine Misner's Avatar
 

i'm pretty partial to the manley voxbox
Old 6 days ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
jwh1192's Avatar
i have a Tab Funkenwerk V78m ... i like it ..
Old 6 days ago
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Rtroost's Avatar
Retro Powerstrip. Its more than just a pre but its pretty versatile as a pre and it sounds big and smooth unless you want it hairy.
Old 5 days ago
  #13
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

for me, i have yet to find anything i like better then my A-Design MP-2A
the beast delivers what i want!!
Old 5 days ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mihi DDL View Post
May I ask which preamps where used in the shoot out?
1073 and Retro OP6.
Old 5 days ago
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

D.W. Fearn. Unfortunately very pricey but what a sound...
Old 5 days ago
  #16
Gear Head
 

You get what you pay for. Fearn builds nice gear...
Old 5 days ago
  #17
Sebatron
Old 5 days ago
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmburrow View Post
You get what you pay for. Fearn builds nice gear...
Sure thing. I‘d love to have 12 channels of them...
Old 5 days ago
  #19
Aphex Thermionics 1100. If you can find a good one.
Old 5 days ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Earcatcher's Avatar
"Smooth, big, not too tubey, clean, detailed". That is exactly what I get from the Thermionic Culture Earlybird 4. I can use it for very subtle acoustic stuff. Its slight tube compression gives the sound an expensive subtlety. The highs have a golden shine, but are never harsh. Very nice on plucked and bowed strings. Mids are very realistic. Lows are not overly strong, but integrate well with the rest of the spectrum. In 300 Ohms input setting you can easily push most mics into distortion, but in the high impedance setting it is distortion free.
Old 4 days ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 
KIDBILL's Avatar
 

Requisite pal plus = your description + amazing.
And with the limiter-comp inside you can say bye bye to the cl1b
Old 4 days ago
  #22
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Silvertone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KIDBILL View Post
Requisite pal plus = your description + amazing.
And with the limiter-comp inside you can say bye bye to the cl1b
Anything Danny builds is exceptional. Can’t go wrong with his pre’s at all.

Fearn, Mercury, Tree, etc... all make great tube pre’s. I just have trouble with the cost of modern day tube pre’s.

As for myself, I’m partial to old tube pre’s myself... Western Electric, Cinema Engineering, Electrodyne, Langevin, Altec, etc...
Old 4 days ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Having just gone through a try with a number of tube mic pres, I'd say its impossible to pick one. Maybe a top 3 could be made, with the final choice being the specific application; relatedly, if it is important to have DI for bass/guitar pickups then you might rule out some units without DI.

Having said that I'd vote for a Mercury M76m or a Fearn, for different reasons. I'm still planning to try the TAB/Funkenwerk V78m, and haven't tried the Tree Audio Branch or Requisite Pal Plus. I always wanted to try an Electronaut but always put that off and now I cannot find their mic pre anywhere.

The TAB/Funk V78m may offer a nice price advantage especially if you prefer to purchase micpres in pairs, as do I.
Old 4 days ago
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Gyraf G9
Old 4 days ago
  #25
AB3
Lives for gear
 

Mercury V72s tube pre is great.

A little more rounder sounding perhaps, is one I have to selling - a Locomotive 286a - two channel, if someone wants one for a good price. It is an excellent tube pre! I would not recommend the locomotive for a super clean sound. I just have too many channels of pres.
Old 4 days ago
  #26
Lives for gear
I'd give Chris over at Hendyamps some consideration...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmtblader View Post
I am looking a top tube mic pre that is smooth, big, not too tubey, clean, detailed,...you know all the good stuff. I have researched the forums a lot and the top recommendations are V72, V76, D.W. Fearn VT-1/VT-2, A Designs MP-2A, LaChapells, Pendulum MDP-1.

This is going to be paired with a U87Ai and a CL1B (telefuken and RCA NOS tubes).

My current pre is Avalon M5, which is good, but it is a little bit too sensitive and hard sounding sometimes.

I have no idea what to go with, and before I buy and return one at a time until I tried all of them or until I got one just as I like: What is your favorite (among those mentioned or unmentioned)? And why?

I prefer to have everyone's opinions on these instead of trying to get someone to recommend one for me. So let's start!
Old 3 days ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
Depends on the mic but a couple faves are V72 and tube UA (old vintage, not the more recent).
Old 3 days ago
  #28
Coil Ca-70. Yea Boi!!! Balls on anything. Wunder CM7 in omni through the CA-70 at my place on Acoustic every time. Producers think I'm a genius.
Old 3 days ago
  #29
Gear Nut
 

One of my biggest regrets is selling my TAB V78m. They are great. Lots of tonal variance in those. First preamp I owned that had a discernible character compared to others I had used at the time.

BUT, and I'm sure you guys don't consider it high end, but I've had the Hamptone HVTP2 for a long time now. Other preamps have come and gone, but I hold on tight to that one. High headroom, very clear with a huge low end, sounds great overdriven when you want that sound (daisy chain the channels!), built better than any other piece of gear I own, easy to travel with. As a DI, it rules. Can take line signals. 1/3 the price of a lot of these other ones.

The Branch is appealing. Nice feature set. I look at the Inward Connections website at least once a week and pine over the Roots console.
Old 3 days ago
  #30
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twenty Staxx View Post
I'd give Chris over at Hendyamps some consideration...
There's a lot of great choices from Hendy. A good chunk of money, but incredibly affordable considering what you get. My favorite tube pre by far has been the Mercury M76m. Good lord, what a great preamp. After using that almost daily for 5 years, it was hard using other tube pres. It's nice when you're using other peoples stuff, I just don't think I'll ever be able to put that much towards a preamp. Maybe I'll snag a used single channel one day...
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