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Behringer Pre-Q (Mic502) vs. cheap tube preamps? Single-Channel Preamps
Old 8th March 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Behringer Pre-Q (Mic502) vs. cheap tube preamps?

Hi all,

I wanted to ask your opinion on how those 3 mic preamps that I'm looking at compare?

Behringer Pre-Q - solid state, made in Germany. Seems of decent quality but how's the sound compared to (newer?) 'tube' preamps like:

Behringer MIC200 - the one with preamp modelling or

the more basic ART Tube MP?

Is it worth going for the tube route (also taking less space)?


I will be using this for a mini home-studio project, recording voice, acoustic guitar, electric guitar amp.
Microphones are Aston Origin and Shure beta 58A.


Thanks!
Old 11th March 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
My first reaction is that it is VERY possible that none of these preamps are better than your interface preamps. The ART tube preamp you mention is a “starved plate” tube design. The tube is not fed from a very high-output power supply as in a classic tube circuit design, so it does not have the characteristics of high fidelity tube circuits. Instead, the limited power supply causes the tubes to react to higher levels by premature clipping of the wave forms. It isn’t the rounding and even-order harmonic distortion of a hard-driven classic tube circuit, it is a unique soft clipping that isn’t a great sound on most sources. It is unfortunate that newbie engineers now tend to think that this is the sound of tubes. It isn’t.
I’m not familiar with the two Behringer preamps you list, but I have considerable experience with Behringer preamps in interfaces, boards and standalone tube and non-tube designs. They aren’t bad, but they aren’t wonderful. Even their newer Midas-based interface preamps are, while OK, not at all outstanding (to my ear).
So... what interface do you have? How much did you plan on investing in an outboard preamp?
Old 11th March 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 

If you're experimenting with the starved plate stuff...

Keep an eye out for the Bellari MP105. It can be easily modded (Black Lion mod) & then becomes quite a serious pre.

I have a Studio Projects VTB-1, that complements my voice very well.
I usually either have it in full solid state mode, or just a little "tube blend".

Another sleeper is the Aphex 107. Chris

Chris
Old 11th March 2018
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Thanks both!

The reason I asked about the (quite rare) Behringer MIC502 it's because I have the chance to get one quite cheap and seeing a photo from user 89953 on this forum, I thought it's a neat circuit and must be better than the built-in interface preamps?

Regarding the interface, @Bushman I just ordered a Roland Super UA10

Thanks @chessparov2.0 for your recommendations, Aphex 107 seems a nice unit.
Attached Thumbnails
Behringer Pre-Q (Mic502) vs. cheap tube preamps?-115107d1237689611-behringer-unit-worth-modifying-behringer-pre-q-small.jpg  
Old 11th March 2018
  #5
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Sure thing! Chris
Old 12th March 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by tibrocks View Post
Thanks both!

The reason I asked about the (quite rare) Behringer MIC502 it's because I have the chance to get one quite cheap and seeing a photo from user 89953 on this forum, I thought it's a neat circuit and must be better than the built-in interface preamps?

Regarding the interface, @Bushman I just ordered a Roland Super UA10

Thanks @chessparov2.0 for your recommendations, Aphex 107 seems a nice unit.
The UA is a lot of money for a USB interface with breakout cables instead of connectors. Roland isn’t particularly noted for audio interfaces, so I don’t know anything useful to say about your purchase.
The German-made Behringer stuff has a good reputation, but even then Behringer wasn’t noted for preamps. And the German-made gear has to be more than twenty years old.
You are not heading in a direction that I would be comfortable in recommending, so I’ll leave this thread to others.
Chessparov makes sense (even when I don’t completely agree with him), and he can be trusted to give good advice with your situation.
Good luck!
Old 12th March 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Thanks Bushman. I know you're a very strong AE... If I ever reach 10% of your expertise-I'll be very happy! Chris
Old 13th March 2018
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Thanks Bushman. I know you're a very strong AE... If I ever reach 10% of your expertise-I'll be very happy! Chris
Thanks! I seriously doubt that I’m a better studio engineer than you and many others here, except perhaps at mastering. What an engineer knows and the quality of their work are somewhat loosely connected. That’s a depressing factoid beaten into me by a few flat-out audio idiots I came up with who could throw up a mix in a half hour that I couldn’t match in six hours. Some of these “skills” are not learnable, they are gifts we don’t all have to the same degree.
Old 13th March 2018
  #9
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I'm really "just a singer", with a little "AE" (Audio Enthusiast) experience.

Am pretty good at recording vocals, but would have to be guided on recording anything else!

Chris
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by tibrocks View Post
Thanks both!

The reason I asked about the (quite rare) Behringer MIC502 it's because I have the chance to get one quite cheap and seeing a photo from user 89953 on this forum, I thought it's a neat circuit and must be better than the built-in interface preamps?

Regarding the interface, @Bushman I just ordered a Roland Super UA10

Thanks @chessparov2.0 for your recommendations, Aphex 107 seems a nice unit.
Some modding info on these.
Gearslutz thread.A Behringer unit worth modifying?

more from the web.

Yeah, I have one. Out of the box, it performs pretty good. I've used it for years and hadn't had any problems with it. It lacks "head-room" if you hit it too hard with a strong signal, but if you stay within it's limitations, it actually do pretty good! I actually sent mine to Matt at BlackLion and he modded it with Burr/Browns,caps,up-graded power-supply etc. It sounds more opened and detailed. The head-room still suffers, but as I stated, if you're careful with the input signal, it sounds good! .I'm thinking of sending mine back to Matt to install transformers! If you note, Behringer left an optional spot on the PC board for this up-grade!
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