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My first PRE ???
Old 15th January 2012
  #1
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Basslik's Avatar
 

My first PRE ???

Hello everyone and hope all is well,


I can't resist on stepping up my game and want an all purpose PRE, did as much researching as I can handle and it pretty much down to my $2,000 budget. I either want the PACIFICA, or a PRESONUS ADL600. I'm sure there will be bias's, aside from that which one would yield better results on different instruments?
Old 15th January 2012
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Get ready for every answer in the book and no clear conclusions! ;-)

But seriously, there's no such thing. And I can tell you from experience, pres are not "that" different. Use your ears.

In the end, there are many that will fit your criteria and get the job done just fine.
Old 15th January 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
When I got my first good pre it was a AVALON 737 got it new for less than $2000.
It sounds great on VOX any drum iv put it on. A little tricky on hi gain guitar amps but good once you get it. I havnt tried many $2000 pres but there,s a reason people still use the 737 because its good. Great pre great eq but crappy compression. I have a few and would like more ,eventually.
I tend to buy gear thats been around for a while, because it shows that it works and has continued longevity. It isn't the newest great one trick pony but it will still be great in 15 years or even 40. I also tend not to buy stuff from companies that make lots of cheap stuff and only a single decent product, If a company spends all there design time on cheap junk how much could they really learn about high end. Of coarse this is just my opinion but to me it makes sense I wasn't saying that about any of the products you mentioned just a small guide line thats usually good to follow
I wouldn't spend $2000 on a Berhringer any time soon
Old 15th January 2012
  #4
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Basslik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phatbeatstudio View Post
When I got my first good pre it was a AVALON 737 got it new for less than $2000.
It sounds great on VOX any drum iv put it on. A little tricky on hi gain guitar amps but good once you get it. I havnt tried many $2000 pres but there,s a reason people still use the 737 because its good. Great pre great eq but crappy compression. I have a few and would like more ,eventually.
I tend to buy gear thats been around for a while, because it shows that it works and has continued longevity. It isn't the newest great one trick pony but it will still be great in 15 years or even 40. I also tend not to buy stuff from companies that make lots of cheap stuff and only a single decent product, If a company spends all there design time on cheap junk how much could they really learn about high end. Of coarse this is just my opinion but to me it makes sense I wasn't saying that about any of the products you mentioned just a small guide line thats usually good to follow
I wouldn't spend $2000 on a Berhringer any time soon
Thank you both for the insight, I was ready for a non definitive answer also and I'm excited just to be able to afford something now. I do have a TL-Audio PA-1 I bought last summer from a Grammy winner here locally in Phx and I got it dirt cheap. It's sounds pretty clean for tubes, which I was hoping a litter warmer sounding, it's part of Tony Larking & David Kempson design.

THANKS AGAIN FOLKS AND HAVE A GREAT DAY.
Old 15th January 2012
  #5
.

For $900 more, you can get a KILLER compressor and EQ, as well.

Check it out:
http://www.atlasproaudio.com/bigarc.jpg

I use mine for all vocals, acoustic guitar and electric bass.

It's phenomenal.

.
Old 15th January 2012
  #6
Gear Addict
I would really look at the Great River MP-2nv. Sounds great and is completely versatile if 2 channels is enough for you. Can really get a beefy warm sound if you turn up the input knob or can be more transparent if you jack up the output pot and turn down the input.
Old 15th January 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
RedWallStudio's Avatar
 

Might I suggest getting a 4 banger 500 Series lunchbox and auditioning a handful of pres so you can make an informed decision? As it's already been said, you'll get every recommendation under the sun here. For around 2k, you can probably get a 4 space Lunch box and a Couple of pres. Avedis MA-5s get a lot of love around here.. and for good reason, but there are also nice offerings from Daking, Shadow Hills, A-Designs & more. Other than my BAE 312's, I personally think the MA-5s are the most useful 500 series pre's I own. Enjoy!
Old 15th January 2012
  #8
Gear Addict
 
Basslik's Avatar
 

You folks are to KWEL, and very knowledgeable. I have a Imac which only allows for 2 fireports 400, and I have to be able to have an interface that will let me scrap the Presonus Digimax FS, does a lunch box have firewire?

Currently unable to afford a MAC tower and the Imac will have to do for now.
Old 15th January 2012
  #9
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Ryan Gregory's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Basslik View Post
You folks are to KWEL, and very knowledgeable. I have a Imac which only allows for 2 fireports 400, and I have to be able to have an interface that will let me scrap the Presonus Digimax FS, does a lunch box have firewire?

Currently unable to afford a MAC tower and the Imac will have to do for now.
*record scratch
Old 15th January 2012
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Basslik's Avatar
 

Your referring to scratch tracks then re-amp ?
Old 15th January 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Basslik View Post
Hello everyone and hope all is well,


I can't resist on stepping up my game and want an all purpose PRE, did as much researching as I can handle and it pretty much down to my $2,000 budget. I either want the PACIFICA, or a PRESONUS ADL600. I'm sure there will be bias's, aside from that which one would yield better results on different instruments?
ADL600 is not an all purpose pre
Old 15th January 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
lectric's Avatar
Pacifica or a bunch of VP26¡¡¡
Old 15th January 2012
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
Kelly Cameron's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeeyb View Post
I would really look at the Great River MP-2nv. Sounds great and is completely versatile if 2 channels is enough for you. Can really get a beefy warm sound if you turn up the input knob or can be more transparent if you jack up the output pot and turn down the input.
Lovin my Dakings, but the Great River MP2NV was my first, still gets used all the time and is the best first high-end preamp choice because:

Awesome refined Neve 1073 flavor
It's stereo
Excellent front mounted DI's
Inserts for comps/eq on the back
Mutiple output options
Impedence switching
insane build quality
50 kHz load/unload circuit for subtle bite

Run all your tracks through it until you get more preamps and you will up your game big time, it's def worth the price and having a good STEREO pre is essential for some sources, so if you buy a stereo pre first you have quality channels for stereo and mono sources out of the gate.
Old 15th January 2012
  #14
Gear Addict
 
Basslik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Cameron View Post
Lovin my Dakings, but the Great River MP2NV was my first, still gets used all the time and is the best first high-end preamp choice because:

Awesome refined Neve 1073 flavor
It's stereo
Excellent front mounted DI's
Inserts for comps/eq on the back
Mutiple output options
Impedence switching
insane build quality
50 kHz load/unload circuit for subtle bite

Run all your tracks through it until you get more preamps and you will up your game big time, it's def worth the price and having a good STEREO pre is essential for some sources, so if you buy a stereo pre first you have quality channels for stereo and mono sources out of the gate.
Stereo pre is what I really need for sure, GREAT RIVER, I'll look into that one, thanks.
Old 16th January 2012
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Tanio's Avatar
 

If you like the tube sound, I would suggest you to check the
Qes labs Preq-1 tube channel strip.
Own a pair, couldn't be happier.
Warm, lush tone preamp, with a very musical Pultec eqp-1a style EQ.
And w/in your budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWallStudio View Post
Might I suggest getting a 4 banger 500 Series lunchbox
2nd route.
Old 16th January 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Gregory View Post
*record scratch
Record scratch that is the funniest thing Iv ever read
No I think he ment what of coarse not firewire are you serious.
I think you find that probably not many or any high end pres will have FW.
If a lunch box had fire it might as well be called a garbage can. Great Pre amps are almost always analog keep it that way don't pay for cheap converters!!
People on these sites are cruel to beginners iv been ragged on many times.
But sometimes its funny you will think so to someday
Old 16th January 2012
  #17
Lives for gear
 
roger's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rainmaker View Post
Get ready for every answer in the book and no clear conclusions! ;-)

But seriously, there's no such thing. And I can tell you from experience, pres are not "that" different. Use your ears.

In the end, there are many that will fit your criteria and get the job done just fine.

exactly right - any of the usual suspects (api, a designs, great river, ne%e, etc etc etc) will help you make great records.....don't overthink it or sweat it - just pull the trigger and get down to making those great records!
Old 16th January 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
roger's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Gregory View Post
*record scratch
bahahaha!!
Old 16th January 2012
  #19
Lives for gear
 
shelterr's Avatar
 

Chandler TG2. I find that it works best or 2nd best on all sources and it stacks up nicely for tracking after drums. If I had to choose just one 2 channel preamp in the price range you are talking about for my main 2 channel, I would choose the Chandler TG2. I much prefer it to the Pacifica or Great River. And all of those people who say just buy a nice pre and get on with it really aren't doing you any favors. My TG2 power supply went down (this was 5 years ago in a known bad batch of supplies, replaced at no charge) and I had one song to track from start to finish in one day. So I used my recently purchased Great River as my "go to" pre for that session and it was a nightmare trying to mix that song. Lots of clutter and an overall undesirable sound. I sold it and have never regretted it. The TG2 I have had since 2004 and I will never get rid of it. It's creamy, pleasant, and cool sounding.
Old 16th January 2012
  #20
Gear Head
 
SureSound's Avatar
for 2k you have a decent choice of pre's, a used 737 is a good choice if you want something that is good all round, I haven't used the pacifica or adl but, I'm not sure that I would buy either, I've heard good things about the chandler germanium pres, I like the 1073 type pre's, I use the vintech x73i pretty frequently, it definitely has a distinct sound whereas a pre like the 737 ranges from clean to nasty, it has a ton of gain
Old 16th January 2012
  #21
nas
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nas's Avatar
 

John Hardy M-1 (two channels for less than 2k) is one of the best preamps money can buy and will last you a lifetime. Sounds great on pretty much everything.
Old 16th January 2012
  #22
Lives for gear
 

My "first" pre was a DBX 386 that I bought new for about $500.00 about 10 years ago. Fast forward to 2011, when I upgraded to the Great River MP-2NV, at the tune of $2000.

Really love my GR, but... The differences aren't striking.


You can get the 386 used these days for about $250.


As mentioned earlier... you can get a lot of good gear for $2000!
Old 16th January 2012
  #23
Lives for gear
 
basmartin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainmaker View Post
Get ready for every answer in the book and no clear conclusions! ;-)

But seriously, there's no such thing. And I can tell you from experience, pres are not "that" different. Use your ears.

In the end, there are many that will fit your criteria and get the job done just fine.
+1

I would buy a pre if I like the features, buying a pre with just a mic input and a gain knob is not that interesting. Variable impendance on input, a good amount of gain, pad, eq, hi-z etc is more what I look for, than for how it actually sounds.

This is also a great toolbox Millennia TD-1 and it´s going to be my next preamp.
Old 16th January 2012
  #24
Gear Addict
 
Basslik's Avatar
 

I guess it does make sense to get a high-end pre with more options, and I'm sure all the suggestion are the cream no doubt.
Old 17th January 2012
  #25
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWallStudio View Post
Might I suggest getting a 4 banger 500 Series lunchbox and auditioning a handful of pres so you can make an informed decision? I personally think the MA-5s are the most useful 500 series pre's I own. Enjoy!
+1!!
MA5 is great, hard to beat that! And I agree with the John Hardy suggestion as well.. Different preamp, but great nonetheless.. They will cost you less than 2k..

I also own a Juggernaut twin which is a very nice unit, but its great features (meaning to be able to tweak every single detail) is also his big downsize IMO.. I guess other people might be very happy with all those features.. It sounds very good, but I'm more in the vein of plug it in and forget it..which is what I do with the Juggernaut.. Nickel-nickel is great!

Just my 0.02$,

Cheu
Old 17th January 2012
  #26
Lives for gear
 
hemmick reef's Avatar
 

I use the preamps in my Steinberg MR816x interface which do a fine job. Last year I rented an API lunchbox with pres and compressors and a Neve 8801 to see what the difference was like. The high end pres had a smoother and better balanced sound, although I was expecting more from all of the conversations I've read in the past.
Any £1000+ preamp is going to be good if you put the right sound through it in the first place.
Old 17th January 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
What kind of pres do you use now.
I know when I got my first good pre it was weird cuz what ever I put through it sounded great but all of a sudden all it did was magnify everything else that wasn't recorded with it because of the dramatic quality difference.
If your using really cheap pres I would suggest getting a 8 channel pre like a focusrite 828. It will be way better than what you have now and everything will benefit especially you total over all mix quality. (sound wise).
If you have a good $2000 pre but your drum pres are are very low end like $700 for 16 of them then you will only be made aware of how crappy they actually are by comparison to the rest. your mix will sound strange all the VOX guitar bass individual stuff will sound good but the drums will suck like never before because of how much less quality they are. Then it turns into I need this and that and that just to even the field of sound. But if you had a good 8 ch pre your whole mix will be balanced out.

I can't resist on stepping up my game and want an all purpose PRE, did as much researching as I can handle and it pretty much down to my $2,000 budget. I either want the PACIFICA, or a PRESONUS ADL600. I'm sure there will be bias's, aside from that which one would yield better results on different instruments?[/QUOTE]
Old 18th January 2012
  #28
Gear Addict
 
Basslik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phatbeatstudio View Post
What kind of pres do you use now.
I know when I got my first good pre it was weird cuz what ever I put through it sounded great but all of a sudden all it did was magnify everything else that wasn't recorded with it because of the dramatic quality difference.
If your using really cheap pres I would suggest getting a 8 channel pre like a focusrite 828. It will be way better than what you have now and everything will benefit especially you total over all mix quality. (sound wise).
If you have a good $2000 pre but your drum pres are are very low end like $700 for 16 of them then you will only be made aware of how crappy they actually are by comparison to the rest. your mix will sound strange all the VOX guitar bass individual stuff will sound good but the drums will suck like never before because of how much less quality they are. Then it turns into I need this and that and that just to even the field of sound. But if you had a good 8 ch pre your whole mix will be balanced out.

I can't resist on stepping up my game and want an all purpose PRE, did as much researching as I can handle and it pretty much down to my $2,000 budget. I either want the PACIFICA, or a PRESONUS ADL600. I'm sure there will be bias's, aside from that which one would yield better results on different instruments?
[/QUOTE]

I have currently a TL Audio PA-1, which not too many know about, which originally was a $2,000 when they first came out, but I didn't even pay a fraction of that price for it and it really doesn't impress compared to the DIGIMAX FS pres. I was really wanting a good 8 channel pre for drums and the 828 made of lot of sense in terms of balance, seems like a logical choice also when you mentioned the whole mix concept. I always wondered about different pres for different sounds on a mix?
Old 18th January 2012
  #29
A selection of SCA Pre's would open up some options for you and not break the bank. They are awesome value for money and the various models open up quite a lot of sonic diversity.
Old 18th January 2012
  #30
Forssell SMP-2
John Hardy M-1
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