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Tube mic and tube pre amp favs.. on the low end...
Old 27th March 2005
Tube mic and tube pre amp favs.. on the low end...

I'm trying to covnince myself that my plethora of solid state, transformerless preamps and mics are good enough and I need to experiment with Tub stuff. Then I had a friend recommend the Studio projects TB3 and its got me thinking. I've always loved the vintage tube recordings and their character but is anything remotely simialr possible with some of the cheaper products.

So here's the challenge, tube mic and tube pre for under $500 or stereo mics and pre for under $1000. Even worth the effort? If not, something reasonable at even $2000? I'm not looking for anything particularly euphonic, just with the body and prescence I hear in those recordings.

Old 27th March 2005
Originally Posted by Labs

Would you care to elaborate on what you think would be better about a tube mic or preamp, and what you record? Some times people identify tube sound with beefy or even dull low end, or a particular way of working with the roomsound, and I would rather get a few good dynamic mics and a solid solid state pre than pour money into tube gear just because its tubes if thats the case..On the other hand you might have tried a tube unit and found it to be just what you need, if thats the case let us know what it was and maybe someone can tell you how to get some of the way on a budget.
I record mostly classical and at that mostly chamber music. Some of my favorite character recordigns are 50s and 60s era Living Stereo or Living Presence recordings. For the larger scale recordings, RCA was Neumann M50's. I suppose the BIG character, large scale but intimiate character I hear on those recordings.

Old 28th March 2005
Gear Maniac

I have a Royer/2001 mod and two Royer/603 mod mics. They are kits from Daves side project I also have a Peavey VMP-2. They are all tube units, sound great and are not a large cost. However, I don't use them together. The VMP is no longer made but if you look you can find them used. The mic mods are a DIY kit that is worth the time and cost. I hope that this is what you are looking for. You can pick all of them up for under two grand.

Old 28th March 2005
Gear Head

Tube mic and pre for under $500?
As stated:
Then hunt up an Ampex 601:

For stereo and under $2k, I'd add a second Mojave and this:
Old 28th March 2005
Gear Maniac
exit2studios's Avatar

I have a CAD VSM-1 tube mic, which I can't say enough about. I seem to be the lone wolf singing it's praises, but I definitely think it's worth giving it a listen. It has a bigger than life sound that I associate with tube mics, but also has a nice sheen to it. It's not harsh, very natural in fact, but has that nice top end that helps it cut through the mix. They were recently discountinued, so they're harder to find than many other models. However, if you find one, you can usually get it for a steal. I am amazed this mic doesn't get more air time.
Old 29th March 2005
Lives for gear
scrubs's Avatar

Probably not ideal for classical music, but the Groove Tubes Brick is about the only real tube pre you could spit at for that price. New $400, Used $300 or less. I love it as a mic pre for vocals and for bass DI duties. On the cheap, the VTB-1 does a decent impersonation. New $130, Used $100 or less.

As for tube mics, I don't own any, but the Studio Projects T3 is the cheapest one I would generally consider for any important recording. New $500, Used $400 or less. The TB1 is probably a cheaper alternative, lacking the adjustable patterns. I'm interested to hear the MXL 960 and V69, though. New $200-300.
Old 1st April 2005
Originally Posted by weedmaker
As far as mic pre is concerned, look at SPL GoldMike:

It's a bit on expensive side - $900 in USA (but you did mention $2000 budget!)

I've been using it for about two years now, hybrid design with just enough "tubeness"; not colored too much and should be great for clean recordings with just a hint of warming.

If you want good value, tube pre for classic I guess this could be it ...

Looks like new GoldMike mkII is interesting. Better yet they have the single unit piece I can place near the mics.

Good idea.

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