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Which Preamp to buy under €500 for Drums Single-Channel Preamps
Old 11th June 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
Which Preamp to buy under €500 for Drums

Hey Guys,

This is my fisrt thread and hope ye can help me out.

I am a recording and mixing hobbiest, who like many of you, wanted to record my own music and got engulfed in the world of audio. Now I am smitten and love everything to do with music production.

My question to ye guys is, what preamp under €500 would ye recommend for drum overhead mics, drum room mics, toms etc.. I already have 2 no. Golden Age Project Pre-73 that i use on my snare and kick and am fairly happy with them.

I am not looking to break the bank and don't want to waste money either.

Up until recently i have been using the built in Pres on my Tascam 16x08 Interface. They are ok but I would like to up the quality of my productions.

I have been looking at the Black Lion Auteur, FMR Audio RNP, ART Pro MPA II etc. so generally a 2no. input output pre would be what i'm looking for (overheads) Are there any others ye can recommend?

I also don't want anyone saying, its the room, mic placement etc., I already know all that. I just want your recommendation on some good quality budget Preamps for drums.

Thanks,

Fret
Old 12th June 2018
  #2
Here for the gear
No One willing to help out no?
Old 12th June 2018
  #3
Gear Addict
 

For overheads, I'd go with something relatively neutral. Your suggestion of the RNP would be just fine for that.
Old 12th June 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
You want a stereo pair of pres for OHs, right? But what about the other drums too?…..Honestly, if the primary goal here is to record drums none of the pres you mentioned at the $500 mark make a lot of sense and would be far from my first choice for that application. Ideally you won’t something that’s not very colored and that’s rather clean and neutral. If it were me I’d either buy the Behringer U-Phoria 12 channel version or the Soundcraft MTK 12, the latter hitting right at around that $500 mark and the former being around $300. Both will give you 12 inputs and nice, relatively clean pres that offer plenty of headroom.
Old 12th June 2018
  #5
Here for the gear
My goal is to up the quality of the preamps on my interface for my overheads primarily, i have more than enough inputs on my interface to cover the drum kit but the overheads are to me the most important part of drum recordings so I guess I just want to make sure i'm getting the best quality and detail i can within my price range
Old 12th June 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
What interface are you using? The main reason I ask is to get an idea of good contrast to what you already have. Whatever you decide, you'll need two channels of it, and I would seriously suggest something clean and neutral as possible.
Old 12th June 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretsch 6120 View Post
What interface are you using? The main reason I ask is to get an idea of good contrast to what you already have. Whatever you decide, you'll need two channels of it, and I would seriously suggest something clean and neutral as possible.
The OP stated he uses a Tascam 16x08 Interface.
Old 12th June 2018
  #8
The StudioProjects VTB-1 might be a good choice. It was fairly cheap, I think I paid about $200 for mine, and its a pretty clean and neutral preamp. It does have a tube in it, but you can use the blend knob to either dial it in or out. It'll go all the way to the tube side, or all the way to the solid state side. The solid state side is pretty damn transparent.
Old 12th June 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swing View Post
The OP stated he uses a Tascam 16x08 Interface.
I missed that somehow...thanks.....

The VTB 1 is actually a decent little pre....I've had one since 2004, and it's been great....got mine as a B-stock from PMI for like $75, and it's still kicking.....

The OP could easily get two of them for well under $500, but I wouldn't say they're super neutral.....the VTB-1 does have coloration, but it also cleans up pretty well.....just not super neutral....I like it on snare and kick fine....OHs?....it wouldn't be my first choice.....
Old 14th June 2018
  #10
Here for the gear
Thanks for the help fellows, the studio projects vtb1 looks interesting, i'll check it out
Old 20th June 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
 
bowzin's Avatar
Maybe consider a used Audient ASP800, 8 preamps, pretty strong value. Step up from what you already have? No clue, sorry.

Another option is consider adding more flavors of color preamps and use your interface pre's for the overheads. Like the idea of keeping stereo pairs though.
Old 20th June 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Sytek mp4x. Great reviews, Neotek lineage, compares well with fmr but you get 4 pres for the price of 2 fmr.
Old 20th June 2018
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRoy View Post
Sytek mp4x. Great reviews, Neotek lineage, compares well with fmr but you get 4 pres for the price of 2 fmr.
Huh? Ill have some of what you're smoking, nothing they make is anywhere near his budget. The Sytek, while being perfectly neutral, is nowhere near the price of 2 FMR RNPs. Its triple what two RNPs would cost for only two more channels. Sytek is great, Ive wanted one for years, but it has never been "budget friendly". Even when they still made the old, non-digital, MPX-4AII it was close to $2000 for it.
Old 21st June 2018
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotremata View Post
Huh? Ill have some of what you're smoking, nothing they make is anywhere near his budget. The Sytek, while being perfectly neutral, is nowhere near the price of 2 FMR RNPs. Its triple what two RNPs would cost for only two more channels. Sytek is great, Ive wanted one for years, but it has never been "budget friendly". Even when they still made the old, non-digital, MPX-4AII it was close to $2000 for it.
Sorry, I meant used. There's an Aii on reverb now for $700. I have an original Mp4xa for sale for $450. Generally, the Aii can be had for $600, about the same as 2 RNPs.
Old 21st June 2018
  #15
JAT
Lives for gear
Warm WA12 is api snappish at that price.

I haven't used their 4 banger hardware, which is supposed to sound similiar but transformerless.
Old 21st June 2018
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRoy View Post
Sorry, I meant used. There's an Aii on reverb now for $700. I have an original Mp4xa for sale for $450. Generally, the Aii can be had for $600, about the same as 2 RNPs.
Man Im gonna have to be on the lookout!!! I don't think Ive ever run across a used one! Most people don't seem to want to get rid of them hah. Ive wanted one of those things for ages, since I found out Electrical Audio is based around the Neotek Elan consoles.. There is no way I will ever be able to cough up $100k for one though (THATS EVEN MORE THAN THE API I WANT!!) but I still want the clean preamps hehe!

They have a new single channel pre with EQ now too. Not cheap, but its a Sytek after all!
Old 21st June 2018
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotremata View Post
Man Im gonna have to be on the lookout!!! I don't think Ive ever run across a used one! Most people don't seem to want to get rid of them hah. Ive wanted one of those things for ages, since I found out Electrical Audio is based around the Neotek Elan consoles.. There is no way I will ever be able to cough up $100k for one though (THATS EVEN MORE THAN THE API I WANT!!) but I still want the clean preamps hehe!

They have a new single channel pre with EQ now too. Not cheap, but its a Sytek after all!
Haha. Why do I sense a buyer? Haven't put mine up for sale yet. Message me if you want mine before I do.
Old 22nd June 2018
  #18
I will suggest a SPL GoldMike 9844, you could be able to find it used as well. (in italy I find two for 270/300€ one of the two is on ebay as well)
Anyway even new is within your budget.
it is a great clean preamp, the tube is worthless, it kicks in only on the top 6dB and with 72dB of gain, it is very rare to reach that level.
72dB means you can use a couple of ribbons or dynamics as well with no problem.
I'm not sure if the Tascam can bypass the internal preamp, in case it doesn't be sure you know the unity gain level.
Old 26th June 2018
  #19
Lives for gear
 

+1 for used sytek 4 channel thing, or failing that used audient 8-channel thing. both can be found in your price range and you'll be set for preamps.
Old 26th June 2018
  #20
Here for the gear
Thanks for all the help guys
Old 26th June 2018
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
Hotstuff's Avatar
 

Hi, look into Fredenstein Artistic preamps, excelent value, I got a second hand500 series rack and bought 2 of the fredenstein to try out, man am I happy, Im going to fill that rack with those pre's, specifically for drums, very fast and clear loads of headroom.

Good luck
Carlos
Old 26th June 2018
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAT View Post
Warm WA12 is api snappish at that price.

I haven't used their 4 banger hardware, which is supposed to sound similiar but transformerless.
there is plenty room for the transformers on their website there are detailed pictures.
I have a WA12 500 (first one) and I'm really happy with it.
The WA412 is quite out of the budget I'm afraid.
Old 26th June 2018
  #23
JAT
Lives for gear
My bad. They had told me it had a lighter sound than the WA12. But it doesn't matter since it is above budget, but thanks for the info.
Old 26th June 2018
  #24
Gear Nut
You could also do the Seventh Circle thing. Their chassis are $199 and T15s are $99 each. All in for $400 plus shipping. Then you can add their other pres later for color, or more T15s for clean. Kind of hard to beat.

Brandon
Old 28th June 2018
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeveSSL1 View Post
You could also do the Seventh Circle thing. Their chassis are $199 and T15s are $99 each. All in for $400 plus shipping. Then you can add their other pres later for color, or more T15s for clean. Kind of hard to beat.

Brandon
Don't forget, the T15 is $199 is he has it built, but thats $400 hehe. Also gotta by the panel for it too so another $15 (and 7 more blank panels at [email protected] unless you wanna leave the empty slots open). Ive always wanted to get one of their racks. A buddy of mine bought a couple of them ages ago when they were still sold as standalone enclosures, but I don't think he ever got off his butt to build them, this was like 11-12 years ago heh. I want the exact setup they have in the chassis's display pic, and then start another one with 4 of the compressors and 4 empty spots for more stuff!
Old 28th June 2018
  #26
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotremata View Post
Don't forget, the T15 is $199 is he has it built, but thats $400 hehe. Also gotta by the panel for it too so another $15 (and 7 more blank panels at [email protected] unless you wanna leave the empty slots open). Ive always wanted to get one of their racks. A buddy of mine bought a couple of them ages ago when they were still sold as standalone enclosures, but I don't think he ever got off his butt to build them, this was like 11-12 years ago heh. I want the exact setup they have in the chassis's display pic, and then start another one with 4 of the compressors and 4 empty spots for more stuff!
True, I did assume he would assemble them himself. Your friend should sell me his modules. Haha! I've got an A12 and working on a C84. Then I'd like 2 or 3 more A12s, 2 N72s, 2 J99s, and another C84. Then fill out the rest of the second chassis with whatever I like best.

Brandon
Old 28th June 2018
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeveSSL1 View Post
True, I did assume he would assemble them himself. Your friend should sell me his modules. Haha! I've got an A12 and working on a C84. Then I'd like 2 or 3 more A12s, 2 N72s, 2 J99s, and another C84. Then fill out the rest of the second chassis with whatever I like best.

Brandon
Man I wish he would! I tried to buy them a few times with no luck hah. He's the type that won't sell anything, no matter how long its been since he used it, ESPECIALLY with audio gear. He's upgraded his Protools rig from the Digi001 all the way up to the Digi003, plus a couple of a MBoxs along the way, and whatever else he might be using nowadays, but he even still keeps those old interfaces laying around for when he's got a spare computer he can setup in his "old configuration".
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