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Just one stereo Pre - around $2k Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 28th August 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Just one stereo Pre - around $2k

I'm looking to acquire one stereo high-end pre. I do mostly midi stuff, but then do extensive vocals and some acoustic guitar. That covers 99% of what I do. The style of vocals & music would be stuff like Josh Groban, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, Martina McBride, etc. Like so many others, I'm torn between the Great River, Pacifica, and perhaps a few others. My main mics are a Soundelux U195, Shure SM7, and a pair of Shure SM81's. I'm not looking to swap mics at this point, as I can get so many varieties between the U195 with the fat/norm switch and then the SM7. Any thoughts from those who own some of these higher end pres which might be a best fit?
Old 28th August 2007
  #2
Gear Nut
 
MeSoHornplayer's Avatar
 

Based on your style, you might want to consider the clean option.

Audio Upgrades
Old 28th August 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 

For what you described, the ADL 600 would probably work very well.

You mentioned the Pacifica; also a good fit.

Lots of stuff in that price range.
Old 28th August 2007
  #4
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numrologst's Avatar
i say pacifica. It's my favorite preamp in the last 5 years or so
Old 28th August 2007
  #5
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Akoppenheffer's Avatar
 

Not a stereo pre, but one of the artists you have mentioned was tracked through a Martech MSS 10. Just for an idea of the sound you're looking for.
Old 28th August 2007
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akoppenheffer View Post
Not a stereo pre, but one of the artists you have mentioned was tracked through a Martech MSS 10. Just for an idea of the sound you're looking for.
Cool! Which artist?
Old 28th August 2007
  #7
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Akoppenheffer's Avatar
 

PM sent.
Old 28th August 2007
  #8
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
If you are torn between the Great River and the Pacifica you are in great shape. I think those two may be the best new mic pres I have heard in a long time. They are both awesome.

When I compared them side by side I found the GR to have a slightly more aggressive top (in a nice way) and the Pacifica to have a little smoother top and a little more over all body. You will be in great shape with either. For my personal taste, I am in love with the Pacifica and when I have extra money to spend on pres, I just try and buy more Pacificas.
Old 30th August 2007
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Does the lack of input/output meters on the Pacifica cause anyone heartburn?
Old 30th August 2007
  #10
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
no...but the lack of a good A to D may cause you alot

API A2D
Old 30th August 2007
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS View Post
no...but the lack of a good A to D may cause you alot

API A2D
Yeah, the A2D was another one I was considering, cause I'd get an upgrade in converters at the same time. I'm going backwards in deciding here!
Old 30th August 2007
  #12
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
API...the results speak for themselves


2 ch of pre & an A to D upgrade...you wont look back

Find a dealer to let you try one...you wont giveit back

Last edited by MIKEHARRIS; 30th August 2007 at 04:12 PM.. Reason: spelling
Old 30th August 2007
  #13
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True North's Avatar
 

I own both the GReat River and the Pacifica (and a whole bunch of other stuff as well).

As some have mentioned already, both of them are very good mic pres. There are obviously no hard and fast rules on this but for acoustic gtr I am more prone to choose the Great River as it sound adds a warmth and fatness that I quite enjoy on acoustic gtr.

I really like the Pacifica on vocals and it is one of my GO TO pre's for this purpose. The pacifica's sound is less obvious to me than the great river and I have yet to find the right words to explain it properly. Off the top of my head there is a richness and depth to this pre that is noticeable but not overbearing or obtrusive. If there were ever a 'sweetness' function that was developed it would end up sounding like the Pacifica does on Vox heh

Given that you do extensive vocals my choice would be the Pacifica. Good luck
Old 30th August 2007
  #14
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midiguy View Post
Does the lack of input/output meters on the Pacifica cause anyone heartburn?

I have never understood why any one would even care about metering on a mic pre. I don't mean this as a snide reply, its just that in my own working method I have never understood the need or desire for mic pre metering. One of the pres in my studio has metering and I never even look at it. Crank the pres until they get sound you want and make sure you are hitting the recorder at good levels. Simple as that.
Old 30th August 2007
  #15
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Get the API A2D!
Old 30th August 2007
  #16
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cjogo's Avatar
Grab a DVC and spend the other $1k on a converter ..works for us
Old 30th August 2007
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
I have never understood why any one would even care about metering on a mic pre. I don't mean this as a snide reply, its just that in my own working method I have never understood the need or desire for mic pre metering. One of the pres in my studio has metering and I never even look at it. Crank the pres until they get sound you want and make sure you are hitting the recorder at good levels. Simple as that.
RCM,
Use an Aphex 1100 preamp and you'll change your mind! Those meters are extremely useful.

(I used to be like you, by the way--a "no meters" or "clip light only" type of guy. I still have lots of pres like that, but the Aphex's metering sure is helpful....)
Old 30th August 2007
  #18
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Confusionator View Post
RCM,
Use an Aphex 1100 preamp and you'll change your mind! Those meters are extremely useful.

(I used to be like you, by the way--a "no meters" or "clip light only" type of guy. I still have lots of pres like that, but the Aphex's metering sure is helpful....)
Could you explain how you use them and what it is about the Aphex meters in particular that you find useful?
Old 30th August 2007
  #19
Lives for gear
RCM,
None of this will sound impressive until you actually use it, I know. However, it IS useful:

1) You can see the meters from well across the room.

2) There's enough metering, in enough different colors, that you can really choose your best gain levels. (And the unit can be fine-calibrated to exactly match its output to what your converter expects, if you're not using the Aphex's built-in converter.)

3) You don't have to look away from the unit to some other piece of gear when you make adjustments.

4) You can see at a glance how close you are to hitting the built-in limiter. When you do hit it, it's very obvious from the metering.


I wouldn't choose any pre because of the metering. But having this great metering is definitely a plus.

Having said that, all my pre's these days do have some useful metering built in, be it Great River, True, Aphex, or some others.
Old 30th August 2007
  #20
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Jonathan Starr's Avatar
 

Lunchbox

Pacifica and Great River are equally splendiferous. Large and grand and friendly to voices. I have difficulty deciding which to use, and both get used equally on vocals. I prefer the Pacifica or an API for guitars.

The Great River has metering and controls for input and output, and this is fun to play with and gives a lot of flexibility.

The API is a bit harsh and forward for most vocals in an acoustic environment, though it's ideal when you want to poke through density.

If you go with a 500 series lunchbox setup, you could have one of each!
Old 30th August 2007
  #21
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cjogo's Avatar
We use the meters provided in the DVC ~~ for the limiter on board ..but for gain monitoring > mainly the DAW inputs.
Old 31st August 2007
  #22
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turk sanchez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjogo View Post
Grab a DVC and spend the other $1k on a converter ..works for us
I was so excited about the DVC...got one and returned it. That is not anywhere in the same leauge as a GR or Pacifica. I wanted to love it because it seems like a killer design. I had major RFI and next to my other pres it was clearly not as nice to my ears. To each his own though.
Old 31st August 2007
  #23
Gear Nut
 
Brian Whitten's Avatar
 

I think the a2d is a no brainer, I need one soooo bad!
Old 31st August 2007
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Hi:
Does anyone here have good experience with a Trident S20, 2 channel pre-amp with high pass filter. They are going for around $700 at Guitar Center. At that price, I am thinking about picking one just to have it around.
Thanks in advance
dan le
Old 31st August 2007
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midiguy View Post
I'm looking to acquire one stereo high-end pre. I do mostly midi stuff, but then do extensive vocals and some acoustic guitar. That covers 99% of what I do. The style of vocals & music would be stuff like Josh Groban, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, Martina McBride, etc. Like so many others, I'm torn between the Great River, Pacifica, and perhaps a few others. My main mics are a Soundelux U195, Shure SM7, and a pair of Shure SM81's. I'm not looking to swap mics at this point, as I can get so many varieties between the U195 with the fat/norm switch and then the SM7. Any thoughts from those who own some of these higher end pres which might be a best fit?
Well I read an article somwhere a while back that a lot of those Nashville female artisits use an Avalon mic pre. I don't know which model #.
Old 31st August 2007
  #26
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cjogo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by waffle waitress View Post
I was so excited about the DVC...got one and returned it. That is not anywhere in the same leauge as a GR or Pacifica. I wanted to love it because it seems like a killer design. I had major RFI and next to my other pres it was clearly not as nice to my ears. To each his own though.
We would probably have had to upgrade our whole chain -- to hear the differences...We only track vocals and acoustic instruments, with the DVC. We liked the build and simplicity of the controls...sounded very clean & neutral. Really liked the limiter and the EQ >>> But we also had to stay on budget >> Our clients don't have the ears nor cash ~~ for the boutiqueheh gear.
Old 8th September 2007
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

Well, I just pulled the trigger on the Pacifica from Sweetwater. Can't wait for it to arrive.
Old 8th September 2007
  #28
Lives for gear
Er...I've got a mint one for sale...for $400 less than you just paid...it's still available...
Old 8th September 2007
  #29
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musicl's Avatar
 

A2D has loads of options on it, - very versatile unit. Go buy!
Old 10th September 2007
  #30
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan le View Post
Hi:
Does anyone here have good experience with a Trident S20, 2 channel pre-amp with high pass filter. They are going for around $700 at Guitar Center. At that price, I am thinking about picking one just to have it around.
Thanks in advance
dan le
Those are so under rated it isn't funny
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