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500 series pre-amps for classical guitar? 500 Series Preamps
Old 24th August 2014
  #1
500 series pre-amps for classical guitar?

Hi I've already posted before about 500 series pre-amps but this time I've got a more refined list of pre-amps.

Which out these would you choose for recording classical guitar? seeing as that's mostly what I record these days.

AMS neve 88rlb,
Focusrite RED 500,
Rupert Neve Designs 517,

I can't seem to find any audio or examples of both the focusrite RED or the 88rlb, my current setup is an audient iD22 which is great and I like the audient pre-amps but want something with a little more colour. I have owned a focusrite ISA one preamp and loved that sound, therefore I'd like something that contrasts with the audient pre-amps which are extremely clean...almost too clean but nice.

regards,

Ben.
Old 24th August 2014
  #2
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Cathedral Guitar's Avatar
I also record mostly classical guitar, and really like the Warm Audio WA12 500, as well as the Ocean Audio 500 Pre 1 (Trident 80B circuit) and also the Heritage 73JR. I also have Audient Black, which I really like. Heritage 73JR is full and thick, and sounds amazing using vintage C451s. However, the newer C460s do not sound very good with that pre, as there is too much buildup in the low mids. That is why I love the Ocean 500 Pre 1, as it is scooped in the mids, and with the c460s classical guitar sounds amazing again. Hope this helps,
Old 25th August 2014
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
BearOnGuitar's Avatar
 

Check these links here out. The website is in german and it has some sound samples.

AMS Neve 1073LB und 88RLB Test
Rupert Neve Designs Portico 511 Mic Pre Test
Rupert Neve Designs Portico 517 Pre/DI/Comp Test
Ocean Audio 500 Mic Pre Test

Never used one but the Ocean Audio pre sounds really sweet.
Old 25th August 2014
  #4
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Without being totally vague and having no real input---it ultimately comes down to what kind of sound you're after. For example there is one school of thought that wants CLEAN GAIN, absolutely no coloration whatsoever---to reproduce the sound of the instrument. However there's another school of thought that wants to "warm-up" that sound, use a tone that will enhance it and sound larger than life. You mentioned you loved the ISA sound, do you no longer have one of their products? Being that they do not have 500-series modules, is that why?
Old 25th August 2014
  #5
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forssell smp 500 is great for this type of thing. Also great for strings too.
Old 25th August 2014
  #6
Baz
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I bought an SMP500 specifically for acoustic guitar and it turns out it works for many things.I love highly coloured amps as much as the next guy, just not so much for acoustic instruments. This mic amp is well regarded around here as a top contender in 500 series for transparency
Old 25th August 2014
  #7
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I once purchased a couple of PA speakers from an amazing classical guitarist and he was using a Millennia HV35. These pre-amps are amazingly transparent and clean. When he desired more warmth/colour, his approach was to achieve this with whatever compressor he felt like using. All this being said, I think microphone choice/technique would have more impact, but I didn't get that far in our conversation.
Old 25th August 2014
  #8
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SteelyDani's Avatar
Try the Millennia HD-35. I usually always record acoustic guitars with the Millennia HV-3D and honestly can not find the slightest difference to the HD-35 (after matching the input setting). In my opinion for recording classical guitar is hard to find a better than the Millennia preamp.
Old 25th August 2014
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradLyons View Post
Without being totally vague and having no real input---it ultimately comes down to what kind of sound you're after. For example there is one school of thought that wants CLEAN GAIN, absolutely no coloration whatsoever---to reproduce the sound of the instrument. However there's another school of thought that wants to "warm-up" that sound, use a tone that will enhance it and sound larger than life. You mentioned you loved the ISA sound, do you no longer have one of their products? Being that they do not have 500-series modules, is that why?
yes I sold my ISA One pre-amp, the only reason is because I'm getting into the 500 series and it helped to fund buying the power supply, part of the problem is
1/ not knowing exactly what I want and 2/ not knowing if I prefer the coloured sound or the cleaner sounds, I don't like clean and sterile sounds if that makes sense? I like more subtle flattery, which the ISA seemed good at, a bit of warmth without being muddy or over saturated, like a more polished sound.
Old 25th August 2014
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BearOnGuitar View Post
Check these links here out. The website is in german and it has some sound samples.

AMS Neve 1073LB und 88RLB Test
Rupert Neve Designs Portico 511 Mic Pre Test
Rupert Neve Designs Portico 517 Pre/DI/Comp Test
Ocean Audio 500 Mic Pre Test

Never used one but the Ocean Audio pre sounds really sweet.
some great audio recordings here! in this example I really like the 88RLB and the 517 sounds the most, maybe slightly preferring the 88RLB
Old 25th August 2014
  #11
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

No doubt the JM-530 sounds great on Acoustic Gtr...
Old 25th August 2014
  #12
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist View Post
yes I sold my ISA One pre-amp, the only reason is because I'm getting into the 500 series and it helped to fund buying the power supply, part of the problem is
1/ not knowing exactly what I want and 2/ not knowing if I prefer the coloured sound or the cleaner sounds, I don't like clean and sterile sounds if that makes sense? I like more subtle flattery, which the ISA seemed good at, a bit of warmth without being muddy or over saturated, like a more polished sound.
polished, lush, big, not mushy but detailed sweetness? Avedis MA5

Clean, big, not harsh and not sterile? Forssell SMP500

Both are great on ac gtr ime.. both very high quality pieces. No issues whatsoever. The MA5 also has a 28k button that boost the air band, which might come handy on some sources.



Cheu
Old 25th August 2014
  #13
I've used a Grace 501 with a 451b and it sounded great on a good guitar.
Old 25th August 2014
  #14
Baz
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As to be expected, you've received several endorsements and most appear to be from end users. 3 ya us for the SMP500. Nothing close to sterility in this amp and this was something I wanted to avoid after trying a Grace amp.

Dave Hills Flamingo used to be my fave clean amp because of how non-sterile it was - I was using an STT-1 Origin at the same time which I felt didn't have the same robust low end - and it was great.

If you want clean to colour, Daves Syren might be worth auditioning.
Old 26th August 2014
  #15
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This is my 500 series short list in order of preference for acoustic guitars:

Millennia HD-35
Forssell SMP-500
Avedis Ma5
Great River MP-500NV
Old 26th August 2014
  #16
BML
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BML's Avatar
 

For classical guitar I take the Weiss A1. I had a Millenia HD-35, Forssell SMP-500 and the A1. For me the Weiss was the Winner, absolutely a in its own league. Sometimes if I look for another clean character - I take the Lake People F355, which is also stunning - but unfortunately not made for the 500series.
Besides I´m not so much using my BAE 1073 or Great River for classical Guitar.

For strumming/acoustic it´s different: I had good results using an Electrodyne 501, the BAE1073 or the lovely Phoenix DRS-2.
Old 27th August 2014
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
BearOnGuitar's Avatar
 

I just remembered this thread comparison a few 500 series preamps using acoustic guitar. Hope it helps.

Preamp samples P1-501-MA5-B1-88LB-ISAone
Old 27th August 2014
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BearOnGuitar View Post
I just remembered this thread comparison a few 500 series preamps using acoustic guitar. Hope it helps.

Preamp samples P1-501-MA5-B1-88LB-ISAone
this really is useful, out of all them I prefer the neve 88, so I'm leaning more and more towards that pre-amp, I've recently found out it's one used in abbey road...no wonder I like it
Old 28th August 2014
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist View Post
this really is useful, out of all them I prefer the neve 88, so I'm leaning more and more towards that pre-amp, I've recently found out it's one used in abbey road...no wonder I like it
It is true that Abbey road have a couple of 88RS consoles nowdays, although they obviously aren't what was used half a century ago on all the British classics.

These preamps are cleaner than the 1073 and more suitable for acoustic guitars, I feel. I tend to find myself drawn more to preamps that have both input and output gain stages, as it opens up a lot more options, but I think most studios would aim to have at least one of these in their arsenal ...
Old 3rd September 2014
  #20
1 vote Forssell
Old 3rd September 2014
  #21
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claend's Avatar
 

Grace sounds great on classical guitar and has a reasonable 2nd hand price. Haven't tried the 500 version, but should be the same design.

Last edited by claend; 4th September 2014 at 01:03 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 3rd September 2014
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Forssell...and I have a variety of pres
Old 3rd September 2014
  #23
Also Consider the MAAG Audio PREq4. These are very clean [but solid sounding...] and I can see the AIR band EQ coming in handy for certain mic placements and selection.
Old 3rd September 2014
  #24
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audiomichael's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelyDani View Post
Try the Millennia HD-35. ... In my opinion for recording classical guitar is hard to find a better than the Millennia preamp.
Agreed.
Old 3rd September 2014
  #25
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Slightly OT:
I've never understood choosing preamps for specific things. I would use any of my preamps on any source. I only have different pres to keep it interesting for me as an engineer. Put a KM84 in the right spot on a great guitar and you're nine tenths there. In my opinion, everything in the entire recording chain after the microphone shares roughly 10% of the influence on the sound.
Having said all that, I usually use my GML pres.
Old 3rd September 2014
  #26
For big and lush, but still retaining transient detail I'd look at the LaChapell 583s mkii (the new single wide version).

For solid state fast and clean the Tonelux MP5A will do a great job at an amazing price (there is a sale going on right now). Also honorable mention to the Juggernaut 500 (nickel input, 4000 ohm + impedance setting).
Old 3rd September 2014
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

get the NEve 88rlb. It's an awesome pre that is super versatile. I got the api 512, 88rlb, and 1073lb. The 88 gets used the most and just sounds good for everything!
Old 4th September 2014
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrod View Post
Slightly OT:
I've never understood choosing preamps for specific things. I would use any of my preamps on any source. I only have different pres to keep it interesting for me as an engineer. Put a KM84 in the right spot on a great guitar and you're nine tenths there. In my opinion, everything in the entire recording chain after the microphone shares roughly 10% of the influence on the sound.
Having said all that, I usually use my GML pres.
I agree 100%, it's more of an extra flavour, not the main meal.
Old 5th September 2014
  #29
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Did you find your new mic preamp for your classical guitar yet? I would suggest Hairball Audio Lola or Gold (new cleaner mic preamp) they're great for acoustic stuff...I used Lola for my Classical and Acoustic guitars all the time.. And my favorite Vocal Preamp i had own so far..
Old 5th September 2014
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by asiandude View Post
Did you find your new mic preamp for your classical guitar yet? I would suggest Hairball Audio Lola or Gold (new cleaner mic preamp) they're great for acoustic stuff...I used Lola for my Classical and Acoustic guitars all the time.. And my favorite Vocal Preamp i had own so far..
not yet no, but I'll definitely be getting one within the next 4 weeks so I've got time yet, also bear in mind I'm in the UK.
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