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Grace Model 201 Preamp, any good?
Old 22nd August 2005
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Grace Model 201 Preamp, any good?

Some thoughts on that preamp?

I do mainly pop/rock with ocassional classical (sometimes in location) stuff.
I have an Avalon 737 and some TL Audio and Joemeek preamps. Lately I have found myself using mostly the Avalon for obvious reasons, so I need another good one or two.

Also, how's the UA 6176 in comparison to the Avalon? Any realistic comparison would be much appreciated here. Warm, but how warm in comparison to the Avalon? Fast, but how ....? You get the idea! heh

I was also considering the API 3124+, but somebody posted that it wasn't a good idea for classical recordings at all. Do you guys agree?

Thanks a lot!
Old 22nd August 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I recently bought a 101 and I think it's the same unit minus one. After using it for a little over two weeks I found that it's the only pre I have that makes everything I throw at it sound exactly like what I hear. It makes a great companion to a good tube mic for vocals. I hear a LOT more differences in my vocal mics (V69, 4055, NTK) through the 101 than I ever did before. My dbx 576 smeared some of those differences. It is (the dbx) a tube pre though.

No color, just 100% accurate. When I say 100% I mean that. It catches transients that my other pres have trouble with. It exposes every little flaw (or every great nuance) in a singers voice. If you're looking for color this 'aint it. Unless that's the "color" you want to add to your pallette... no color.

I think every studio should have at least one crystal clear channel like a Grace or something similar. I imagine that the 201 would make a fantastic stereo pre for drum overheads in a good room. It would probably shine during any kind of ambient recording situation with good mics.

As you can probably tell... I like it a lot.

Lawrence
Old 22nd August 2005
  #3
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201 VS 101

Go to the GRACE web page.The design is different,the 201 being superior and its the same as the 801.
Old 22nd August 2005
  #4
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cdog's Avatar
I think for certain applications, they are up there with the best.... Millennia, Hardy, GML. Some people don't like em for whatever reason.


Old 22nd August 2005
  #5
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence
My dbx 576 smeared some of those differences. It is (the dbx) a tube pre though.
From what I remember about the DBX silver stuff smearing is what they are best for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence
No color, just 100% accurate. When I say 100% I mean that. It catches transients that my other pres have trouble with. It exposes every little flaw (or every great nuance) in a singers voice. If you're looking for color this 'aint it. Unless that's the "color" you want to add to your pallette... no color.
Clean and accurate is cool on a lot of things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence
I think every studio should have at least one crystal clear channel like a Grace or something similar. I imagine that the 201 would make a fantastic stereo pre for drum overheads in a good room. It would probably shine during any kind of ambient recording situation with good mics.
Joe Chicarrelli and I used a 201 for overheads at TapeOpCon. The mics were Blue Dragonflies and sound was amazing. We had the Blues into another well respected pre and they sounded dull and lifeless. With the 201 they really came to life.
Old 22nd August 2005
  #6
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Albert's Avatar
 

I have a Grace 201 and it really shines on piano. I did a piano session with a pair of vintage C12's through the 201 and the tone could not be described as anything less than truly artistic. I've also used Shure KSM32 and C414 BULS mics with good results. If you do classical location recording the 201 would be a great choice.
Old 22nd August 2005
  #7
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Don S's Avatar
 

Love mine! BTW - it has mucho headroom, much more than the 101. I use it for anything acoustic w/ schoeps CMC.

Don
Old 22nd August 2005
  #8
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I liked the quality of the Grace products (I had the 101), and was usually pretty satisfied with it on acoustic strings. But I could only occasionally get it to do what I wanted on vocals. Seemed to emphasize some difficult, nasal qualities that made recordings a little too "forward" for me, at least on the M/F vocalists I was working with.

As noted, there are physical differences between 101 and 201, and may indeed be audible differences as well. They sure are pretty though...

Steve
Old 22nd August 2005
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegybug
They sure are pretty though...

Steve
Yeah the 101 is a cute box. Unfortunately I can't read the damn text when it's at eye level. Why not color the letters?

But... darn... it only has a few so it took about 1/2 second to learn them.

Lawrence
Old 22nd August 2005
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucegel
Go to the GRACE web page.The design is different,the 201 being superior and its the same as the 801.
Quotes from the Grace page...

Quote:
What are the main differences between the model 101 and the model 201 (or model 801)?
The model 201 and model 801 are our top of the line analog mic preamplifiers. And while the model 101 uses the same amplifier architecture* to achieve the same essential sonic character as the model 201/801, it is manufactured to be affordable for musicians and/or project studios.

The model 201/801 uses our highest quality 24 position gold-contact rotary gain switches (very expensive, but simply the best gain control there is), which provide precision gain adjustment in 2dB steps. The model 101 uses an precision 11 position silver-contact gain switch (less expensive) and comes standard with a 10dB trim control.

The model 201/801 uses our finest quality linear AC power supply with custom wound toriodal AC transformers (very expensive), while the model 101 runs off an external 6VDC supply.

The model 201 and model 801 are both endowed with robust, high current output sections, capable of driving very long lines (1500') and loads down to 50 Ohms, while the model 101 has a bit less output current and is more suited towards standard studio applications. This differnece results in a greater amount of output headroom for the model 201/801 (+28dBu balanced) than the model 101 (+25dBu balanced).

*All of our preamplifiers use ultra-fast and musical transimpedance amplifier architecture.

==========================================

Sounds great. Good enough for me.


Lawrence
Old 22nd August 2005
  #11
i've used the Grace 201 for years. in a shoot-out vs. Avalon 737, API
3124, Great River (model # forgotten), and Neve 33122, the
Grace won out...using a known female singer as the test subject.

...then i tried the same shoot-out and added an FMR RNP. it actually
beat out the Grace! they have slightly higher self-noise, but are
unbelievable...especially for the $. as another person said, the
Grace is fantastic on piano, but i've since switched to RNP for
my piano pre-amps (usually with Neumann KM140 mics).

i would still recommend the Grace 201 to anyone though. great
piece of gear.

hope this helps,
marty.
Old 23rd August 2005
  #12
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bongo's Avatar
I've had my 801 since 1997. I believe it's #009. I always use on piano. It's great on lots of things.

A week ago it blew a cap in the power supply. I sent it back, they recapped the whole supply. Never asked me for a credit card number.
Old 25th August 2005
  #13
Gear Addict
 

THANKS EVERYBODY!!

Thanks for your replies!!

No one commented on the UA vs AVALON, so I think I'll do a new thread on that! :P

J.
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