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Like the Great River pre but my world changed when I went to a.... Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 4th September 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Like the Great River pre but my world changed when I went to a....

Fill in the blank for those who have had this type of experience. I've owned the GR ME-1NV, enjoyed it, kinda regret selling. Will be in the market for a new pre soon (mainly vox, r&b singing and rap).

Who went from this pre to another and never looked back? For insight, I loved the focused, punchy and clear (to colored) sound of the GR. What I didn't like so much was, for lack of a better word, the "dryness" of it. Seemed like vocals didn't have much space or air around them. Would like the focus and solid sound of the GR plus some openness or liveliness in a new pre.

Hope the descriptions make sense. Please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks..
Old 4th September 2011
  #2
I can't fill in the blank because the ME-1NV is still the favorite pre in my rack. With the various switches and the gain and output controls, you can get a pretty decent range of sounds with it. It still get used on the majority of my recordings.

It's not like I don't have other nice choices, though. I also have an API 3124+ that gets used mostly when I record drums or need a much more aggressive vocal sound. Then, I also have the A Designs Pacific, which I actually find to be a bit bright or thin sounding on some things, so it probably doesn't get a chance to be used as much as I should... seems to be really picky what you pair up with it.

I also have the Presonus ADL 600, which has some bad tubes that kind of turned me off to it for a while. Need to play with it more. Although it's tube based, it's actually a very clean sound and didn't seem to have as much noticeable character as the other pres I have.

I then have two Chandler Germanium Pres, which are also quite colorful. I usually didn't use them for much except bass and other things that I wanted a beefy low end. But, recently I started trying them out more on vocals and was pleasantly surprised. It's a nice alternative to my usual ME-1NV choice. Not better or worse, just a different sound. The Germaniums also create a hum/buzz when using the DI input for certain guitars, while the ME-1NV with the same exact guitar doesn't give that hum/buzz.

Anyway, I enjoy having all these options, as they are each different and work well for different types of things. The majority of the time, I seem to be recording one channel at a time, such as vocals or guitar or bass, and the ME-1NV gets used 95% of the time because I know I can always make it work and it always sounds good in my recording chain (which usually includes a Cranesong Trakker and then into the UA 2192 converters).

If anything, I would like to pick up another ME-1NV or sell mine and get a two channel unit. That, and another API 3124 for even more of that API goodness when I record drums would be nice. I could probably live without all my other pres. Great River and API would be good for pretty much everything I do.
Old 4th September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 
dbjp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdeuce View Post
Fill in the blank for those who have had this type of experience. I've owned the GR ME-1NV, enjoyed it, kinda regret selling. Will be in the market for a new pre soon (mainly vox, r&b singing and rap).

Who went from this pre to another and never looked back? For insight, I loved the focused, punchy and clear (to colored) sound of the GR. What I didn't like so much was, for lack of a better word, the "dryness" of it. Seemed like vocals didn't have much space or air around them. Would like the focus and solid sound of the GR plus some openness or liveliness in a new pre.

Hope the descriptions make sense. Please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks..
Compared to which preamp?
Old 4th September 2011
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
Kelly Cameron's Avatar
 

...Daking mic pre/eq for vocals and some elec gtrs, feeding a Daking FET II compressor...heaven.

My Great River MP2NV is now on the keys buss (synths, keys, b3 leslie stuff) and it's real happy there.

But, ymmv....KC
Old 4th September 2011
  #5
..API console
Old 4th September 2011
  #6
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Ephi82's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjp View Post
Compared to which preamp?
I am with this post.......

What are you talking about?

Sounds like you had, and now you dont, a GR pre, but didnt replace it with anything else?

From my perspective, it's a fine pre.....added dimension to my tracks that were not there before. It's never going to leave my rack.

It has a bit o' sweet distortion, which gives it the dimensionality, but some want clean,clean, clean, so YMMV!
Old 4th September 2011
  #7
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Lenzo's Avatar
You should have never sold it.
L.
Old 4th September 2011
  #8
Like the Great River pre but my world changed when I went to a.... another ME1NV. Now I could process stereo tracks!LOL.
By the way I got the rack kit for the 2 units. Strange little adaptor kit.
Old 4th September 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
..API console
word
Old 5th September 2011
  #10
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matucha's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdeuce View Post
Who went from this pre to another and never looked back? For insight, I loved the focused, punchy and clear (to colored) sound of the GR. What I didn't like so much was, for lack of a better word, the "dryness" of it. Seemed like vocals didn't have much space or air around them. Would like the focus and solid sound of the GR plus some openness or liveliness in a new pre.
Thanks..
How about different mic? How is your room? To me GR has soft and enveloping kind of coloration. If I had problems you're describing, I'd try some mics first.
Old 5th September 2011
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by matucha View Post
How about different mic?
+1
Old 5th September 2011
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjp View Post
Compared to which preamp?
Compared to an API 512 or a AMS Neve 1073 DPA, or Pacifica maybe. I liked the API but did not like the treatment of sibilance or t's--too pronounced/fast. I've only heard clips of the AMS Neve and Pacifica, liked the tone and feel of both but thought the Pacifica was a little thin compared to the GR.

I've tried a vintech 573 and didn't like that--to my ears, it didn't have the polished sound of the GR, API or AMS Neve. Maybe I won't like anything other than the GR, its a great pre and maybe I did f-up and sell it too soon. Maybe I need to get the AMS Neve in my hands and try it out?
Old 5th September 2011
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by matucha View Post
How about different mic? How is your room? To me GR has soft and enveloping kind of coloration. If I had problems you're describing, I'd try some mics first.
Room is treated but no booth. Did not hear the "dryness" of the GR in the API 512, so I would have been happy with the API sound (round, punchy and open to me) but for the fast transient character (bad results on s's and t's).

Will also try some mics. Have had my eye on the Peluso 22 251, so that is definitely an option.
Old 5th September 2011
  #14
Harmless Wacko
 

The Great River NV-2(whateverthef*ck it's called) is THE one piece of modern pre-amp kit that I feel is absolutely unimpeachable.

It just kills on SO MANY sources it's a friggin' joke.

Great sound(s), metering, gain staging, flexibility, headroom, build quality...

Whatever. Everything.

Slays.

Wish I had at least 6-8 of them. I really do.

SM.
Old 5th September 2011
  #15
Baz
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Baz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slipperman View Post
The Great River NV-2(whateverthef*ck it's called) is THE one piece of modern pre-amp kit that I feel is absolutely unimpeachable.

It just kills on SO MANY sources it's a friggin' joke.

Great sound(s), metering, gain staging, flexibility, headroom, build quality...

Whatever. Everything.

Slays.

Wish I had at least 6-8 of them. I really do.

SM.
Sage advise that ppl should take to the bank
Old 5th September 2011
  #16
Lives for gear
 
msquared's Avatar
 

I've never had the issues mentioned by the OP. This is an absolutely killing preamp. For all of the new recordists who post in SMGSLT and High End asking what their one-ring-to-rule-them-all magic black box preamp choice should be, if this isn't IT then it's at least in the top three.

But I sold mine and haven't looked back. It took two preamps to replace what the Great River brought to the table, and in both cases it is a refinement of my tool selection rather than picking something better.

I have always loved the Swiss Army knife aspect of the Great River and it's one of the reasons I love recommending it to recordists who are ready to move to a greater level of serious than Guitar Center can offer them. There were two things I never used though: I found that if I had a mic which really responded to the load across the output, it was easier to build a cable that did it and call it done. And the insert is a very clever idea that I never found a use for in my particular studio workflow.

I wanted a wide range of clean gain with little or no frills, just detailed and accurate. The Buzz Elixir gives that to me, along with input impedance switching.

While I like the Great River's version of transformer saturation, I found that for my room, my gear, and my ears, I really prefer the saturated sound of the Classic API vp26.
Old 5th September 2011
  #17
Lives for gear
 

To the OP: So, now it's time you bought a Great River MP2NV. That is the best solution. :-)
Old 5th September 2011
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slipperman View Post
The Great River NV-2(whateverthef*ck it's called) is THE one piece of modern pre-amp kit that I feel is absolutely unimpeachable.

It just kills on SO MANY sources it's a friggin' joke.

Great sound(s), metering, gain staging, flexibility, headroom, build quality...

Whatever. Everything.

Slays.

Wish I had at least 6-8 of them. I really do.

SM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by digibird View Post
To the OP: So, now it's time you bought a Great River MP2NV. That is the best solution. :-)
Slipperman, digibird and other GS friends, you have convinced me that I should have at least kept the GR to A/B with more pres (cuz obviously I haven't found a better one yet). There was indeed something about the GR that said: solid, full and jumping-outta-these-speakers. I will say that for vox, input gain past 25 or 30 was a little too much distortion IMHO, otherwise it was (is) an excellent pre for what I'm doing.

I think I may buy GR again in conjunction with one other pre..

Quote:
Originally Posted by msquared View Post
I've never had the issues mentioned by the OP. This is an absolutely killing preamp. For all of the new recordists who post in SMGSLT and High End asking what their one-ring-to-rule-them-all magic black box preamp choice should be, if this isn't IT then it's at least in the top three.

But I sold mine and haven't looked back. It took two preamps to replace what the Great River brought to the table, and in both cases it is a refinement of my tool selection rather than picking something better.

I have always loved the Swiss Army knife aspect of the Great River and it's one of the reasons I love recommending it to recordists who are ready to move to a greater level of serious than Guitar Center can offer them.

I wanted a wide range of clean gain with little or no frills, just detailed and accurate. The Buzz Elixir gives that to me, along with input impedance switching.

While I like the Great River's version of transformer saturation, I found that for my room, my gear, and my ears, I really prefer the saturated sound of the Classic API vp26.
Thanks msquared, while I'm not looking for super clean, I did do some research on the vp26, and the descriptions sound really good. Will search for some sound clips as well. I, like you, think the GR is excellent, but there is a slightly different sound I may like more if I can find it--maybe this is it. Do you have any experience with the Aurora GTQ series vs. API vp26?
Old 5th September 2011
  #19
I would go full stream ahead and get the MEQ1NV next time, [ME1NV with the EQ1NV] rather than a couple different mic amps.
Old 5th September 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 
toneguru's Avatar
There are so many great preamps around these days. You can name twenty and between new and vintage any one of them would be up for consideration as a desert island pre.

All subject to change depending on musical style, acoustics, source, mics, humidity, barometric pressure and wind chill factor.
Old 5th September 2011
  #21
Good thread, Kdeuce. Instead of the boring, "What's the best pre?" thread, this actually compares other pres to the one pre that everybody should know. I recommend to anyone buying their first Class A to go with a GR. Everything else can be compared to it, but the GR shines on almost every source.

Like you, I prefer my APIs on percussion, but they wouldn't be used on everything else.

I love my Forssell when working with the 7b, or other dynamics requiring gain. For recording narration, it is choice #1.

But in the end, the GR is really 'good enough for all purposes', which most other pres are not.
Old 5th September 2011
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
I would go full stream ahead and get the MEQ1NV next time, [ME1NV with the EQ1NV] rather than a couple different mic amps.
Never thought of this option--thanks Adam. Do you recommend tracking vox with the eq or going in flat and round-tripping w/the file + eq?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Alex View Post
Good thread, Kdeuce. Instead of the boring, "What's the best pre?" thread, this actually compares other pres to the one pre that everybody should know. I recommend to anyone buying their first Class A to go with a GR. Everything else can be compared to it, but the GR shines on almost every source.

But in the end, the GR is really 'good enough for all purposes', which most other pres are not.
Thanks Alex, all the opinions have been really helpful for me, should've thought of this post before I sold it! lol After close listens to the API vs. the GR on my voice (API just bought, GR was already sold), I definitely favored the GR, but alas, twas too late..
Old 5th September 2011
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Tone Laborer's Avatar
Recorded accomplished musicians!

Trapped my room.

Added a world class eq and compressor

Upgraded my monitors

Upgraded my converters

Spent about 20 years learning the craft

But being serious, I would agree with Adam, possibly considering a channel strip if you can make do with only 1 channel.
Old 5th September 2011
  #24
Lives for gear
 

I'd say don't sell a GR to merely replace it with another preamp. Others have said why.

I got one new from the factory some years ago in a trade with Dan. A preamp was not really an urgent need for me at the time, but it helped make the deal work out. Great preamp and very versatile. For my specific needs, though, it didn't offer that much that wasn't already covered by my Sound Devices field mixer, so I sold the GR to finance something really useful to me: a bunch more slightly used Studio Traps.

So, I ended up way better off without it, and have no qualms about selling it. Unusual case, though, I reckon. It's a solid, reliable and versatile piece of gear.

Cheers,

Otto
Old 6th September 2011
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdeuce View Post
Never thought of this option--thanks Adam. Do you recommend tracking vox with the eq or going in flat and round-tripping w/the file + eq?
There are many beautiful possibilities with the MEQ1NV for tracking and mixing. You should be able to use this pair to GREAT results both places. If you use a TRS-TRS patch jack between them, you can simply switch in the Equalizer with the "MPI" position of the EQ1NV, when tracking. Then you have the option of either taking the transformer output w/ level pot of the ME1NV, or the transformer-less output of the EQ1NV. Then in mixing, you can go into the EQ1NV, and take the output of the ME1NV w/ level control, which changes the way the equalizer sounds. Its truly excellent, and being that the EQ1NV is one of my favorite equalizers, I think the system is potent as hell.
Old 6th September 2011
  #26
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SoZo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slipperman View Post
The Great River NV-2(whateverthef*ck it's called) is THE one piece of modern pre-amp kit that I feel is absolutely unimpeachable.

It just kills on SO MANY sources it's a friggin' joke.

Great sound(s), metering, gain staging, flexibility, headroom, build quality...

Whatever. Everything.

Slays.

Wish I had at least 6-8 of them. I really do.

SM.


Old 6th September 2011
  #27
Lives for gear
 

i thought the great river sounded compressed and sort of modern, so it didn't ring my bell and i sent it back... we use chandler tg2, aml 5003d, and avedis ma5 here instead... ymmv...
Old 6th September 2011
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by analogjeff View Post
i thought the great river sounded compressed and sort of modern, so it didn't ring my bell and i sent it back... we use chandler tg2, aml 5003d, and avedis ma5 here instead... ymmv...
Damn, never even heard of the aml 5003d! More research for me. So, Jeff, if you had a choice of one, you would generally use the 5003d or ma5 over the GR for vox?

Thanks for the post and pre that is new to me.
Old 6th September 2011
  #29
Gear Addict
 
outUVphaze's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoZo View Post


It's a good start! [/I]
Old 6th September 2011
  #30
Gear Nut
 
Driveby Studios's Avatar
I've bought my GR for about a year...while I still buy into the "1073 is better than GR" threads, its still hard to justify replacing the preamp to 'possibly' gain a better preamp!

I've owned alot of lowend pre's, and I've been pretty happy with the GR and since buying it. I've never seen my GR as a weakspot in my signal chain.

Everything I put through it comes out great!!
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