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GT Brick or RNP? Single-Channel Preamps
Old 22nd August 2007
  #1
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GT Brick or RNP?

If you had to choose one over the other, which would it be: a Brick or an RNP? Both generally get positive reviews in the $300 - $500 range pre...although the RNP is 2 channels. However, I will be mainly using it for vocals.

Would either be a justifiable upgrade over my current JoeMeek 3Q?
Old 22nd August 2007
  #2
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Neither would be a huge or even possibly noticable step up in quality. Save just a few hundred more and a whole world of great preamps will be available to you. I used to detest this answer until I saved and bought higher quality pres. I can honestly tell a difference now, even through crappy converters.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #3
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I have both and would say the RNP is more versatile.

RNP favs:

miced guitar, drums.


Brick:

direct bass and direct (clean) guitar

Edit: Just re-read your interest is for vocal application. Sorry, not a lot of vocal use on either enough to comment... I would guess that's pretty dependent on your voice and choice of mic
Old 22nd August 2007
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79 View Post
Save just a few hundred more and a whole world of great preamps will be available to you. I used to detest this answer until I saved and bought higher quality pres.
Yeah, but this is low end. For some the $500 for a preamp is pushing it as it is...

FWIW, I could easily notice a marked improvement with either model over my Mackie VLZ in A/B tests. Anyway.... $500 on the 2-ch RNP is well spent IMHO. Someday when I can justify spending $1000 for a single channel preamp, I'll gladly upgrade to a Great River...
Old 23rd August 2007
  #5
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lofi_lothario's Avatar
 

I have 2 bricks, the rnp and the sytek. Honestly i only use the RNP when the bricks and syteks are all used up. I like what the brick does to vocals, guitar amps and snares. The RNP is very clean and isn't bad at all just kind of boring. If you're using ribbons I wouldn't recommend either of these pres. I recommend the Brick!
Old 23rd August 2007
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post
Yeah, but this is low end. For some the $500 for a preamp is pushing it as it is...

FWIW, I could easily notice a marked improvement with either model over my Mackie VLZ in A/B tests. Anyway.... $500 on the 2-ch RNP is well spent IMHO. Someday when I can justify spending $1000 for a single channel preamp, I'll gladly upgrade to a Great River...
Who said anything about a grand? Used great rivers can be had in the $850 range, I bought an M610 for about $650, and used Psolos and Grace 101's can be had for around 5-600 bucks as well. That's why I said just a few hundred more, in the grand scheme of things it's not much more for a world of diffference in sound. Trust me I've owned a ridiculous amount of cheap preamps because of the line of thinking that they aren't that much worse than the good stuff. In reality the end result is way different with higher end pre's, even the ones under a grand. Quality makes a difference and after experiencing it first hand I'll never doubt it again.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79 View Post
Neither would be a huge or even possibly noticable step up in quality. Save just a few hundred more and a whole world of great preamps will be available to you. I used to detest this answer until I saved and bought higher quality pres. I can honestly tell a difference now, even through crappy converters.
Do you or have you owned all three? Have you auditioned all three? If not, how do you know? Are you regurgitating info you've read here or elsewhere? What are your sources? If you're just voicing an opinion, I'd suggest you start your statement by saying so and not come across as if this info you are spouting is the gospel......
Old 23rd August 2007
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emkay View Post
Do you or have you owned all three? Have you auditioned all three? If not, how do you know? Are you regurgitating info you've read here or elsewhere? What are your sources? If you're just voicing an opinion, I'd suggest you start your statement by saying so and not come across as if this info you are spouting is the gospel......
Nope, but 2 out of 3 aint bad. As I said I've owned a ridiculous amount of cheap preamps, ranging from the cheapest Behri to the most expensive pro-sumer Presonus. Why do you feel the need to try to call me out on this? I figured it was pretty sound advice telling the guy to look for something with a little better sound quality. I used to fight to get mixes to work when I only had cheap preamps, now it's very noticeably easier to get a mix to work when good pre's were added to the equation. To me it is gospel. Am I saying cheap pre's are unusable? Not at all but why drive a Focus when for a few hundred more(at most) you can drive a Mustang. BTW did I not mention a few times that my experience was first hand? Your post pisses me off, btw, you've added nothing to the thread. You just, for whatever reason, felt it necessary to attack me.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79 View Post
Who said anything about a grand? Used great rivers can be had in the $850 range
Since the OP is trying to make a decision between either the RNP or Brick, I got the impression he has a limited budget. A "few hundred dollars" on top of a $500 mic pre budget may be too big a chunk of change at this point (I feel his pain)... Again the question was: "If you had to choose one over the other, which would it be: a Brick or an RNP?"

Seemed like a pretty simple question to me. Hope I could be of help...
Old 23rd August 2007
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post
Since the OP is trying to make a decision between either the RNP or Brick, I got the impression he has a limited budget. A "few hundred dollars" on top of a $500 mic pre budget may be too big a chunk of change at this point (I feel his pain)... Again the question was: "If you had to choose one over the other, which would it be: a Brick or an RNP?"

Seemed like a pretty simple question to me. Hope I could be of help...


Did you miss the second part to his question? The one where he asked if either was a justifiable upgrade? I gave my opinion from personal experience then gave him other options. Your right it was a simple question. Hope I could be of help...
Old 23rd August 2007
  #11
RNP or a used sytek The Brick can be limiting depending on what's being recorded. I've had both.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #12
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Webb's Avatar
 

Sorry...I didn't mean to start a war guys. Unfortunately I am on a very limited budget (I think my wife is ready to file for divorce with the amount of gear I've been buying lately!).

I only mentioned the Brick and RNP because those are the 2 constants which everyone recommends for a low-budget pre. I probably will end up buying one of the two, but needed some input from those more experienced first. I would test the pre myself, but no one sells the RNP around here and I would have to blindly order it online.

Well thanks to all for the feedback. More opinions always welcome!
Old 23rd August 2007
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Webb View Post
Sorry...I didn't mean to start a war guys. Unfortunately I am on a very limited budget (I think my wife is ready to file for divorce with the amount of gear I've been buying lately!).

I only mentioned the Brick and RNP because those are the 2 constants which everyone recommends for a low-budget pre. I probably will end up buying one of the two, but needed some input from those more experienced first. I would test the pre myself, but no one sells the RNP around here and I would have to blindly order it online.

Well thanks to all for the feedback. More opinions always welcome!
So are you buying this pre to replace the 3Q? I honestly don't think your going to hear a huge difference, I actually liked the 3Q more than either other cheapy I owned.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #14
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Webb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79 View Post
So are you buying this pre to replace the 3Q? I honestly don't think your going to hear a huge difference, I actually liked the 3Q more than either other cheapy I owned.
That was the plan. I just assumed with the way people talk about it, that the RNP was considered an upgrade over the 3Q? Maybe I'll just hold off and save a little more.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #15
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Not to add fuel to a fire but what was emkay's problem. Jonboy79's post seems fair honest and right to me. Emkay must have been upset about something else. And I was also thinking of getting a RNP, but would love a nicer pre if I had the money, I checked ebay for any great rivers and could not find any, but I will keep looking for a deal on something better. Another thing about "higher" end gear is that it seems to hold its value better. *this is my opinion not fact, the only research I have to back that up is searching for used gear, the higher the quality the more the value holds. I hope that was good enough for emkay*
Old 23rd August 2007
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Webb View Post
That was the plan. I just assumed with the way people talk about it, that the RNP was considered an upgrade over the 3Q? Maybe I'll just hold off and save a little more.

See that's what I was saying, just save some more. I know it's not the popular answer but I feel it's a valid one. The 3Q just doesn't sound bad at all to me. Like I said I kept it over every other cheap pre I owned. I would just hate to see a member waste money on a crossgrade. I apologize for things getting out of control in your thread.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abell1234 View Post
I checked ebay for any great rivers and could not find any
Maybe it's just my bad luck, but I've NEVER bought anything off eBay that didn't have something wrong with it. And the fact that so many people love the Great River Pres would certainly make me raise an eyebrow if I did come across one online... So for me.... a Great River will cost a grand.

And Webb, to put things in perspective; some very reputable members have already said that if you can't make good tracks with the RNP, it ain't the gear that's the problem...

I'm out.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post
And Webb, to put things in perspective; some very reputable members have already said that if you can't make good tracks with the RNP, it ain't the gear that's the problem...

I'm out.


Great point, I'd say the exact same thing about the 3Q.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post
Maybe it's just my bad luck, but I've NEVER bought anything off eBay that didn't have something wrong with it. And the fact that so many people love the Great River Pres would certainly make me raise an eyebrow if I did come across one online... So for me.... a Great River will cost a grand.
FS: Great River ME-1NV


I can honestly say I've purchased several items from members on this board and on ebay and have never once had a problem with any of it.
Old 24th August 2007
  #20
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emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79 View Post
Nope, but 2 out of 3 aint bad. As I said I've owned a ridiculous amount of cheap preamps, ranging from the cheapest Behri to the most expensive pro-sumer Presonus. Why do you feel the need to try to call me out on this? I figured it was pretty sound advice telling the guy to look for something with a little better sound quality. I used to fight to get mixes to work when I only had cheap preamps, now it's very noticeably easier to get a mix to work when good pre's were added to the equation. To me it is gospel. Am I saying cheap pre's are unusable? Not at all but why drive a Focus when for a few hundred more(at most) you can drive a Mustang. BTW did I not mention a few times that my experience was first hand? Your post pisses me off, btw, you've added nothing to the thread. You just, for whatever reason, felt it necessary to attack me.
It's unfortunate that you feel "attacked" and "called out". Even more unfortunate that you're pissed off, can't help you with that.....I think you have taken this way too personally and in doing so, have certainly not added a whole lot to this thread yourself. All i asked were simple questions, all I got in return was attitude....
Old 24th August 2007
  #21
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Andrew Kinsey's Avatar
 

Ive not heard the RNP, however I have done a shootout with a Brick VS Germanium, Pacifica, Lavry Blue. This was a quicky where me and a singer recorded the same verse on all of them.

They all sounded different, i wouldn't even say better or worse. The Brick did suprise me as it was the cheapest preamp but it really worked well with the vocalist. I wouldn't hesitate to record vocals with one.

IMO the Brick sounded big, warm, and open!

Old 24th August 2007
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emkay View Post
It's unfortunate that you feel "attacked" and "called out". Even more unfortunate that you're pissed off, can't help you with that.....I think you have taken this way too personally and in doing so, have certainly not added a whole lot to this thread yourself. All i asked were simple questions, all I got in return was attitude....


All you got in return was attitude? Do me a favor and ignore my posts from now on if you don't like them, this is the second worthless post you've posted in this thread. I haven't added a lot to this thread? Some people on this forum have terrible cases of very selective reading.
Old 24th August 2007
  #23
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emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Kinsey View Post
Ive not heard the RNP, however I have done a shootout with a Brick VS Germanium, Pacifica, Lavry Blue. This was a quicky where me and a singer recorded the same verse on all of them.

They all sounded different, i wouldn't even say better or worse. The Brick did suprise me as it was the cheapest preamp but it really worked well with the vocalist. I wouldn't hesitate to record vocals with one.

IMO the Brick sounded big, warm, and open!


Not to divert the original poster's question, but have you had the opportunity to record drum(s) through the brick?
Old 24th August 2007
  #24
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RNP

I am recording an emo prog thing now.
Using RNP on kick in, kick out
a second on Snare top and Bot.

I tend to push them slightly into the red for the snare, I have to pad the output to the lucid a/d.

I have M1 hardys and great rivers that usually end up on K and S. but for this project the RNP just sounded punchier.

I tried a brick on snare quickly on a country pop thing. Too squishy for me.
The DI was awesome for Bass though.
Old 24th August 2007
  #25
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jdier's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79 View Post
Neither would be a huge or even possibly noticable step up in quality. Save just a few hundred more and a whole world of great preamps will be available to you. I used to detest this answer until I saved and bought higher quality pres. I can honestly tell a difference now, even through crappy converters.
I respectfully disagree... (kind of.) I think that the RNP is significantly different from the Meek. Now, whether it is better or not will be determined by you.

I have a little meek, a bigger vc1 meek, great river, and some RNP's (no experience with the Brick.) If you are in that budget area, I would strongly suggest picking up an RNP. They are GREAT general purpose preamps that have never failed me. I think you will hear a more open, less colored sound than you are getting now.

I own 3 RNP's and I bought two of them used. One of them I got for $325 I think. They are currently not 'GS Flavor of the Day' so you can really get good deals on them. My last three recordings had all of the vocals and guitar overdubs done on the RNP's and I can say with confidence that they do not sound like low end crappy preamps.

I have a few of the FMR compressors and I would say the best upgrade to your RNP would be adding a RNLA. Really gives a nice soft compression sound. I have loved it on vocals with dynamics mics (SM7's and RE20's) when inserted into the RNP. The RNC worked great for me with the RNP for drum overheads and also recently did a great intimate vocal using an AKG 414.

I dig the high end preamps like the Great River and the API, but the RNP is worth it's weight in gold as far as I am concerned.

But that is just me.

Jim
Old 24th August 2007
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emkay View Post
Not to divert the original poster's question, but have you had the opportunity to record drum(s) through the brick?
I only had it for about an hour, so only managed to get a glimpse of it in action on vocals.

If you want to record drums, with a valve preamp id suggest Sebatron VMP as it comes in multiple channels (up to 4). Alot of people seem to like them on overheads!

Old 24th August 2007
  #27
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emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Kinsey View Post
I only had it for about an hour, so only managed to get a glimpse of it in action on vocals.

If you want to record drums, with a valve preamp id suggest Sebatron VMP as it comes in multiple channels (up to 4). Alot of people seem to like them on overheads!

Yeah, I've had my eye on the Sebatron series.....thanks for the suggestion.......
Old 24th August 2007
  #28
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SpiderM69's Avatar
 

I bought a RNP. Later I bought a Rupert Neve Designs pre (~$1600 at the time).

I still own the RNP, which speaks to its quality. I like it, it has it's place, although of course I primarily use the RND Pre. I find the RNP useful on acoustic guitar, for instance.

If you're keeping within the ballpark of the budget you're talking about, the RNP/RNC combination is probably the best for the money, IMHO. The RNLA is a nice unit as well.

I can't compare it to the Brick, but I can say that the RNP is the best for the money that I can think of in that range, and especially if you combine it with the RNC/RNLA. You can't go wrong with that combo, you can make really good recordings with it, and is a very versatile setup.
Old 24th August 2007
  #29
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I'm pretty low-end... I started with a Behringer 2442, then moved to a Mackie VLZ (since I needed a decent mixer for other apps as well), then I heard of the RNP and decided to pick one up.

I think that it is definately worth the money. I've recorded tracks at other studio's through 1073's and API lunch boxes, and the RNP can't come close... but for $500 you are getting 2 really great channels!

You will notice a bigger difference as you start to layer track upon track with the RNP over, say, a VLZ preamp.

I have not used a Brick. I did read a lot about it, and the reviews/comparisons plus the fact that the RNP has two channels won my money.
Old 24th August 2007
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Webb View Post
If you had to choose one over the other, which would it be: a Brick or an RNP? Both generally get positive reviews in the $300 - $500 range pre...although the RNP is 2 channels. However, I will be mainly using it for vocals.

Would either be a justifiable upgrade over my current JoeMeek 3Q?
But recording vocals does not mean you will only use one channel.

I often record with 3 or 4 different mics for the options it opens up.


Given that both will sound fine on most things, RNP multi-channels would be the tipping factor (plus the TRS interface with the RNC/RNLA).


Good luck,
David
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