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With a cheapness (Preamps/channelstrips)
Old 26th June 2005
  #1
Village Idiot
 
Labs's Avatar
 

....

....
Old 29th June 2005
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Early Joe Meek VC3. Although I don't use it as much anymore I constantly get compliments on acoustic and electric guitar tracks recorded with this thing. Wouldn't want to use it on everything though.

Yamaha PM1000 channel strips. Great stuff and often available for $100 a strip (although I've noticed prices are going up). Best way to get close to the "Neve sound" (whatever that is) for much less money. The Eq in these rocks too, although not super versatile. Expect them to need recapping.


I don't own one but the Valley 401 is pretty decent, especially if you can bypass the EQ section. And you get a compressor to boot. Can be found on ebay frequently.
Old 30th June 2005
  #3
Lives for gear
 
PaRaNoId's Avatar
 

pres...not strips...sorry

FMR RNP- Just plain awesome. Not exactly cheap ($250 ch) but definitely not expensive. Breaks up nicely when pushed on drums and has a very low noise level and class-A build throughout. Combined w/ the RNC (do it)and the FunkLogic rackmount kit, you are at about $700 shipped. Money very well spent. My primary pre for Acoustic guitars, Overheads, about 1/3 of all vox, and some dist. guitar. The DI works well for slap bass 2.

M-Audio DMP3- I have 2 of these (4 channels total) and they seem to do just fine on everything i have used them on. The clip light comes on way before audible distortion (good) and it is detailed enough for for anything EXCEPT: layering track after track with it = mud, and coarse gain control makes it not the ideal vocal pre.
However, $80/channel is an absolute steal.

ART TPS- Alot of flavors in this box. The Valve setting always sounds slighly compressed and darker than settings like Electric guitar, vox and Multi. My personal fave is using the "elec guitar setting" on guess what....electric guitar amps. Provides the right bite for certain situations. I also use the Valve setting along with an SM-57 as a second mic on sibilant vocalists. This combo always seems to be "ess-free". 90$ per channel....
Old 30th June 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Midlandmorgan's Avatar
 

I really like my older Mindprint Envoice...bought it stupidly cheap, the pre sound much better than can imagine on a lot of things (specifically male voices with a dynamic like the SM7)...the EQ functions well (not spectacular, but really well for inbound EQ tasks)....and the compressor works without being noticed. I changed the tube out to a NOS 12AT7, and although I rarely use it, it does its job quite nicely.

All in all, a great unit for any dough (I bought it 4 years ago for $100)
Old 30th June 2005
  #5
I think the TLA 5051 (HHB Radius 40 in the USA) is kinda cool - valve stages for it's compressor & pre.. in the $600- $700 range for a channel strip. It buddies up well with a Neumann TLM 103.

Very useable EQ - especially for vocals & bass

Some folks hate it...

Like a lot of budget gear, I think users of this can reach a point where they feel a need to upgrade and reach upwards in price tag, never to be used again. These days we only use ours mostly for guide vocals when tracking & bass at mixdown time.. but thats because we have a fair amount of spendy alternatives....

My 2 Euros

BTW - there is a version II out now.. That's probably the one to go for if buying new..
Old 6th July 2005
  #6
Gear Head
 
twitme's Avatar
 

with a cheapness: dbx286a mic preamp/channel strip $200

best $200 I ever spent on gear. obviously it's not going to stand up to something $$, but for the $ it's a great front end for project studio folks. it's a decent sounding preamp, the compressor actually sounds dang good on vox. the de-esser doesn't really seem to do anything, but no biggie. has a "low detail" and "high detail" control, and a gate as well.
Old 16th July 2005
  #7
Gear Head
 

PreSonus BlueTubes

JK!!!

Im gonna have to second the RNP. Even when I started acquiring nicer, more expensive pres, I still found this to have a lot of uses.
Old 16th July 2005
  #8
azz
Gear Head
 

Just got me a joemeek 3Q for $374 US
and im loveing it very qwiet :P
Old 18th July 2005
  #9
Gear Head
 

run a search for the toft ec-1 on this and other recording forums. you'll find some good reviews
Old 19th July 2005
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Art Pro Channel...bbbbbbang! for the buck
Old 19th July 2005
  #11
Lives for gear
 
junior's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by byunsen
run a search for the toft ec-1 on this and other recording forums. you'll find some good reviews
good call. the ec-1 is the best bang for the buck, imo.
Old 13th August 2005
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
scoob's Avatar
 

groove tubes brick pre is a lil more"colored" than rnp but good still
Old 14th August 2005
  #13
Lives for gear
 
r0ck1r0ck2's Avatar
 

What about Racking old cartridges?

just picked up an old WardBeck 470 for less that $100

gonna get it up and running then post the results!

if i'm clever this could be cheap+educational
Old 18th November 2005
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rufus13
you get line-in, too!
that all run through the mic pre anyway

Quote:
Originally Posted by rufus13
you "could" loop an ADAT optical from the in to out port and use the XLR outputs on the back for the rest of the analog world (horrors!).
very usable if you give it a better clock

its a decent bang for the buck unit to get the job done. leaving the money to get a decent mic aswell and then upgrade everything later
Old 3rd December 2005
  #15
Gear Head
 
panda's Avatar
 

art pro channel is just a great piece of gear. its ugly in a bad way. but it rocks.
it has sooo much mean gain, and a very cool vari-mu compressor [they just call it "analog"] but also an opto compressor.. EQ is poo, but you can just take it out of the chain.

the joe meek VC3 is good for it's price. it rocks with some mics, and is not so good with others. i like it with my sm58. but can't stand it with my shiny box 23.
but its compressor is also really nice i think.

both these guys are character piece's though. nothing "clean" or "transparent" about them.

panda

ps. and you'll probably have to send back a couple pro channels till you get one that doesn't external buzz.. but ART will replace them no problem asap.
Old 4th December 2005
  #16
Lives for gear
 
XHipHop's Avatar
Panda I feel you on the Joemeek VC3. I just got one of those and for $115...wow. Talk about bang for the buck. Definitely a character unit that will only work on certain things but I've already found uses for it.
Old 15th May 2006
  #17
Lives for gear
 
hgen's Avatar
 

The Dav BG1 is $300 per cahnnel ($600). The Rolls Royce of cheap mic pre's by a country mile.
Old 15th May 2006
  #18
Lives for gear
 
lobsterinn's Avatar
I have been real impressed with my new Focusrite Octapre LE. The pres are great on drums. Much better than Sytek IMO.

The Presonus Eureka is quite a bit more 'colored', but it sounds good on almost everything.

Groove Tubes Brick is my new favorite on vocals.

One of these days I'll get some snobbier stuff, but these aren't holding me back.
Old 15th May 2006
  #19
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
Art Pro Channel...bbbbbbang! for the buck
I just recently got to spend some time with one and it really is a good sounding box.

War
Old 16th May 2006
  #20
Lives for gear
 
DeeDrive's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by panda
art pro channel is just a great piece of gear. its ugly in a bad way. but it rocks.
it has sooo much mean gain, and a very cool vari-mu compressor [they just call it "analog"] but also an opto compressor.. EQ is poo, but you can just take it out of the chain.
Vari-mu compression on an ART??

Are you sure about this? A tube with a variable mu is a somewhat rare thing these days, and there are few comps still using this technique, but VERY few. I really doubt ART could accomplish this, but hey, I've never really looked at this unit, so what do I know?
Old 5th June 2006
  #21
Lives for gear
 
stagefright13's Avatar
 

Pro Channel

Yeah I'll throw in a vote for the pro channel. Altho my girlfriend stole it and my Cad M-9. But I guess I can borrow it back next time I need them lol. She took them to the basement and has been yelling into them ever since. It's a great Vocal combo for her voice.
This is an older usa one haven't head the china one. But last time I used it I couldn't get the eq to sound right for the take so I bypassed it. But the compressor worked great and the preamp.
Think I could give her a tube mp for 39 bucks and get my stuff back?
Old 5th June 2006
  #22
Lives for gear
 
T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hgen
The Dav BG1 is $300 per cahnnel ($600). The Rolls Royce of cheap mic pre's by a country mile.
The rolls royce of ANY pre by a country mile. Ive owned or used DACS,Gordon, GML, Grace, Fearn, Apogee, Millennia(my millennias are now bookends)...etc etc. DAV smokes em all in my book. I can afford whatever pre I want..but DAV rules my rack.

World Class...dav!
Old 5th June 2006
  #23
Gear Addict
 

Hi,

I second the Sytek mention; the 4-unit strip with or without Burr-Browns is a very clean, straight-wire unit. It's not for coloring, per se, but for clean gain, it really is good. Well built.

I too have a DBX 286, and you really have to do something terrible not to get a decent signal from it. For the price, with the features, I can never get mad at that one. It does what it does, without pretense.

Just my 4 cents (adjusted for inflation.)

Best,
Old 2nd October 2006
  #24
Lives for gear
I third (or fourth?) the art pro channel. A very fine product from a company famous for less than fine products. I guess they decided to prove themselves finally! It is definitely worth it's price and compares very favorably to the competition in the same price. Bypass the EQ which just doesn't seem to sound good for one reason or another (just missed the frequencies I need and also sounds phasey to me) but the tone and low noise of both the pre and the comp are truly great. And yes, it appears to be vari-mu. ART has other vari-mu devices as well in this price point. They are one of the only (maybe THE only) company making tube gear for less than $600 that isn't starved plate, it's the real deal running at high voltage (apparently using voltage multipliers inside the device based on what I've seen in the components, but I'm not an electrical engineer so could be WAY off here). I know the ART MPA Gold has a switch to make it 300 volts or starved plate, your choice. the high voltage really cleans that unit up a lot, and to me in 300 volt setting it sounds a lot like the Pro Channel I like so much.

I find it works well on more mics than the meek I borrowed for a while, but I didn't spend too much time with that so it may not be true at all. Meek makes some good stuff, although to me the pre isn't the strongest part of the chain for them.

Cheers,
Don
Old 9th November 2006
  #25
Lives for gear
and yea, I case I didn't mention it, the pro channel DOES have a vari-mu tube compressor (switchable with an opticompressor, both options are nice to have).

I'm curious if the art vari-mu only exists in the pro channel though, I'd love a dual linked compressor from art with the vari-mu technology and AFAIK the pro vla doesn't have vari-mu, just optical with a tube gain circuit.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, and I know this ins't a compressor topic, but someone brought it up and I definitely am curious. Since art CAN build a (very good, by the way) vari-mu compressor, when are they coming out with a dual linkable version of that compressor as a stand alone rack unit like the pro vla?? I'll buy one...

Modern art gear is insane, really good design, not like older art stuff at all. Great engineering, and quality control has become good enough to be competitive with the rest of the stuff you can buy at prosumer audio stores now (so it's good enough with a decent warranty, not like the older art stuff that was DOA so often). My experience anyway, your mileage may vary.

Cheers,
Don
Old 22nd January 2007
  #26
Lives for gear
 
shadyru's Avatar
 

How about rane fmi14? Any opinions.
Old 22nd January 2007
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midlandmorgan View Post
I really like my older Mindprint Envoice...bought it stupidly cheap, the pre sound much better than can imagine on a lot of things (specifically male voices with a dynamic like the SM7)...the EQ functions well (not spectacular, but really well for inbound EQ tasks)....and the compressor works without being noticed. I changed the tube out to a NOS 12AT7, and although I rarely use it, it does its job quite nicely.

All in all, a great unit for any dough (I bought it 4 years ago for $100)
You rarely use it? I'll buy it from you. For $100 heh
Old 1st February 2007
  #28
Gear Nut
 
jackrabbit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyru View Post
How about rane fmi14? Any opinions.
Yup..i have that one. It comes with a weirdo "telephone jack" like power supply specific for the unit! So if you get it, make sure it comes with the power supply.
Currently, it's what i use for kick drum. The preamp seems typical of rane (quiet/clean), and the eq, while limited, sounds decent. Adequate headroom. Really good routing on the thing too. Really neat for less than a hundred.
Old 1st February 2007
  #29
Gear Nut
 
jackrabbit's Avatar
 

Symetrix 528

The symetrix 528 channel strip (the old grey one that can be had for 200 or so).
As stock, they sound great. I just had mine modified by Jim Williams, with a new power supply and other internal upgrades. Gonna put it through its paces in a few...
Old 1st February 2007
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Alexi's Avatar
 

i was going to mention the symetrix channelstrip....i think the old one was called 428....anyways, i love mine, for e guitars etc....great bang for the buck.
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