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$750-1000 Christmas pre-amp suggestions?
Old 6th August 2005
  #91
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by xiandishinger
this might be a little above your price but i bought a universal audio 2108 jfet preamp for $1100US on ebay. got some nice color, good low end, u can get varied sounds out of it. i like vocals and gtrs thru it. class a with transformers.
Yup, it's out of my range, and at this point I'm kinda sold on the tiny laundry list of gear I wrote earlier.

But I'll definitely be shooting out UA gear when I make my first ultra expensive pre purchases. Thanks for the rec!
Old 7th August 2005
  #92
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Behringer 2031A Truth Monitors at $339 a pair are suprisingly accurate. I have found that mixes done on these powered monitors translate very well. Use your ears and don't treat as gospel all the hate spewed about Behringer. I have a hunch most people who slag Behringer have never even used the products. Both support and derision are bandwagon mentalities.

If you go with the mic pres you started the thread about, you can't beat this for the $$$: http://mercenary.com/2rnhoinfulof.html, excellent compression included with two very good preamps.
Old 7th August 2005
  #93
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dont even mention b when it comes to monitors, ive heard of one even catching on fire
Old 7th August 2005
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aussie_techie
dont even mention b when it comes to monitors, ive heard of one even catching on fire
Did you witness this pyrotechnic display or are you just repeating something which may have no basis in reality?

Have you ever used any Behringer monitors to complete a mix?
Old 7th August 2005
  #95
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by digibird
Behringer 2031A Truth Monitors at $339 a pair are suprisingly accurate. I have found that mixes done on these powered monitors translate very well. Use your ears and don't treat as gospel all the hate spewed about Behringer. I have a hunch most people who slag Behringer have never even used the products. Both support and derision are bandwagon mentalities.

If you go with the mic pres you started the thread about, you can't beat this for the $$$: http://mercenary.com/2rnhoinfulof.html, excellent compression included with two very good preamps.
Thanks for the thoughts, but I'm set on the Groove Tubes Brick preamp. It's a true tube preamp, and every sample I've heard from the RNP has a very brittle-sounding high end. I want something that tames the super-highs of the C1 and gives everything a bit of "flava." And I'm basically a part-time owner of an RNP, so I'm covered in the compression department. In addition, I've decided my next outboard purchase will be the Art Pro VLA, to give a different compression and another way to impart that lovely distortion we call "tube tone."

Aussie_techie, don't worry, I've not changed my mind - I've gotten enough recommendations about these damn KRK V models that I've decided to ask for those. Now I have to decide - 6 or 8 inchers? I just wonder which will translate better or give me more accuracy. Is there some kind of trade-off between size vs. accuracy/fidelity???
Old 7th August 2005
  #96
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[QUOTE=s00p3rm4n]Thanks for the thoughts, but I'm set on the Groove Tubes Brick preamp. It's a true tube preamp, and every sample I've heard from the RNP has a very brittle-sounding high end. QUOTE]

I don't know the Brick, as I have not used it myself, but I like Groove Tube Mics, own 1 (AM52), and I think they are a quality company.

I don't know what RNP samples you have heard, but you are being seriously misled there. I own the RNP RNC package, and there is nothing brittle about the high end of that pre, of that I am sure.

Try this link for more RNP info: http://www.atlasproaudio.com/rnplowdown.html

Read a lot and ask a lot of questions before you buy. You won't regret doing a little more research.
Old 7th August 2005
  #97
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Cool

[QUOTE=digibird]
Quote:
Originally Posted by s00p3rm4n
Thanks for the thoughts, but I'm set on the Groove Tubes Brick preamp. It's a true tube preamp, and every sample I've heard from the RNP has a very brittle-sounding high end. QUOTE]

I don't know the Brick, as I have not used it myself, but I like Groove Tube Mics, own 1 (AM52), and I think they are a quality company.

I don't know what RNP samples you have heard, but you are being seriously misled there. I own the RNP RNC package, and there is nothing brittle about the high end of that pre, of that I am sure.

Try this link for more RNP info: http://www.atlasproaudio.com/rnplowdown.html

Read a lot and ask a lot of questions before you buy. You won't regret doing a little more research.
Trust me, I've done quite a bit. I've heard unimpressive things about the DI and the preamp on vocals, and these are two areas where the Brick seems to shine. My VTB-1 has been perfect for acoustic, piano, and basically everything else I throw at it. However the DI isn't any good on bass, it doesn't do enough for my voice, and I don't feel like springing $60 for a Mullard tube or similar.

I'm a fan of Groove Tubes as a company too. Have bought replacement EL34s from them and they're still going strong after 2 years (Gibson Minuteman 60's tube amp deliciousness). heh

Anyone have some samples of the Brick, while I'm at it? I've heard samples of whole songs recorded through the RNP... they really do seem to have quite a bit of high end. Maybe it's not so much that it's brittle, just that it seems a bit too "airy" to me - and not in the reverb/delay sense. I know that's oblique and makes no sense. I'm a writer; I think in metaphors and generalities. Thanks everyone for all your continued help with my stupid ass.

EDIT: Also a con - no XLR out. Common problem with FMR products, it seems.
Old 7th August 2005
  #98
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If you heard those things on a recording down with an RNP, it was caused by the person using it... not the equipment itself. Far to much emphaisis is being placed on gear IMO.

You'll hear 100 times more tonal qualities of the room, the instrument and the mic than the preamp itself... but for some reason preamps and converters always get blamed first
Old 7th August 2005
  #99
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy!!
If you heard those things on a recording down with an RNP, it was caused by the person using it... not the equipment itself. Far to much emphaisis is being placed on gear IMO.

You'll hear 100 times more tonal qualities of the room, the instrument and the mic than the preamp itself... but for some reason preamps and converters always get blamed first
True beans (related to "cool beans" but with a milder taste), Ziggy. I'm not specifically blaming the RNP for this quality, but much the opposite - I think what I'm trying to say is it's appealing to me that the Brick will "lie" about the sound in a different/more pleasing way than will the RNP. The RNP seems for the most part to be an uncolored and exceedingly truthful preamplifier. The VTB-1 for my money is already my "truthful" amplifier. Now I want the thing that will tell me a sweet, sweet lie. If I plug in my C1, I think/hope the Brick will help tame the highs and the crazy jingle-jangletude. We'll see. If not, hell, I'll sell them both and get an RNP. But the seeming lack of sonic flattery and the lack of XLR outs make the RNP not the top of my pre list.
Old 7th August 2005
  #100
Just today I was in a session and couldnt get the sound I was looking for out of the UAD 6176 (or anythign else for that matter) so for the hell of it I switched to an RNP for the pre and it was far better for the performance!! Just goes to show that it all depends on the application.

In general I think the RNPs do really well for times that I want a very open (yet not harsh) airy top end. They are a nice change form the 'bursting at the seams' sound that comes from other signal paths. On certain voices I like them quite a bit actually. The best applicaiton I have found is for drum overheads. They make cymbals come to life in a really shimmery yet natural way. Definately dont underestimate them based on the price tag.
Old 7th August 2005
  #101
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio
Just today I was in a session and couldnt get the sound I was looking for out of the UAD 6176 (or anythign else for that matter) so for the hell of it I switched to an RNP for the pre and it was far better for the performance!! Just goes to show that it all depends on the application.

In general I think the RNPs do really well for times that I want a very open (yet not harsh) airy top end. They are a nice change form the 'bursting at the seams' sound that comes from other signal paths. On certain voices I like them quite a bit actually. The best applicaiton I have found is for drum overheads. They make cymbals come to life in a really shimmery yet natural way. Definately dont underestimate them based on the price tag.
It's definitely not based on the price tag... hell, the RNP's more costly than the Brick (though not by much). I kinda want the bursting-at-the-seams sound, lol. My current recording vocal sound is too open, too airy - I've got a lot of breath in my voice and this doesn't help things. heh
Old 7th August 2005
  #102
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My .02 is go to a studio if you care about your music. Engineers make the difference as much as the gear. A good studio will have both. I have a great place in Burbank if you need one.
Old 7th August 2005
  #103
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by superburtm
My .02 is go to a studio if you care about your music. Engineers make the difference as much as the gear. A good studio will have both. I have a great place in Burbank if you need one.
The problem with that is I'd have the money to at most spend two days in a studio. Afterward, I've got whatever I got done in two days (which for the amount of layering I like to do is maybe 3 or 4 songs out of the 20 I've been working on). I only really want to be in a studio if: a) on some off chance I decide to pursue a record contract or b) I have enough money to spend several weeks in a studio. Though there's quite a bit of hands-on knowledge to be gained from working in a studio, since music isn't my forseeable career path at this moment, it's just not worth it for me yet. Besides, I tend to have more fun recording and assembling songs than performing them.

That said, does your studio have a website?
Old 8th August 2005
  #104
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Cool So now! In summary.

So - shootout. Brick vs. RNP.

I'm not looking for more unqualified (meaning unexplained, not undeserved) praise for the RNP... I'm looking for a direct comparison of some kind between the Brick and the RNP. They're completely different kinds of preamps - the RNP solid state, the Brick pure tube.

I'm really trying to go after a thick, colored vocal sound - think Fiona Apple with lower range (I'll be using it on everything else of course, but really at base I'm looking for this for vocals). She uses ELAMs and 47s, so naturally I won't get to that level of "perfection" - but I just want that color, without everything turning to mud. On the same token, I find that the starved plate in the VTB-1 really helps to even out the wild dynamics of my (literally) dying piano, while at the same time keeping note definition pleasing in the mids and clear (instead of loud, trebly, and "plucky"). I want that kind of character in my new preamp. Can the RNP give me that? Or am I better off with something like the Brick?

This time it's for serious, yo. Fer rillz.
Old 8th August 2005
  #105
No. The RNP wil not give you that at all. In fact it will be all the way at the other end of the spectrum (which is what I like about it). Dont get me wrong, I love them for what they are but they are not at all what you are looking for.
Old 8th August 2005
  #106
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio
No. The RNP wil not give you that at all. In fact it will be all the way at the other end of the spectrum (which is what I like about it). Dont get me wrong, I love them for what they are but they are not at all what you are looking for.
I know what you mean. Don't get me wrong - I really do think the RNP's a great piece of equipment, and I do hope to get it at some point (along with the ART Pro VLA) to do clean tracking two mics at a time. It'd also come in handy for making "natural" reverb (XY-ing my new monitors from a distance).

For what I need now, though, I do think the Brick is my best (and most affordable) option.

Thanks so much for your advice, dude.
Old 8th August 2005
  #107
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Cool

In a similar A or B vein...

Should I sell my Studio Projects C1 in exchange for an ADK Hamburg edition? They're different beasts of a mic, although both LDCs, but I think the Hamburg is more in line with the racket I'm making than the super-bright C1.

Is there anything the C1 could add that I couldn't through a simple bit of EQ??? i.e. livening up a dull-sounding acoustic instrument (my ukulele's a bit turgid).

You guys have been super-helpful, so any advice is appreciated.

And now, a squirrel putting out a fire:

dfegad
Old 8th August 2005
  #108
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how do u know the C1 is to bright untill you hear it through accurate monitors
Old 8th August 2005
  #109
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussie_techie
how do u know the C1 is to bright untill you hear it through accurate monitors
Um, I can hear the brightness through any headphones and any speakers. I've listened to it on two different pairs of headphones (one pair of cheap Sony walkmanesque earbuds and a pair of $120 pro cans), and two pairs of speakers - car and home.

And specifically it does un-good things to my voice - turning the mid and high-range into breathy mush. And it sounds like jangling change with every "s." Hence the purchase of the much more my-voice-liking V67. And that isn't something that would just go away with a good monitor... I hear the frequency curve of the mic in every take I print (http://www.studioprojectsusa.com/pdf/c1.pdf - it's hypelicious!!!), and though it could be flattering for dull instruments, it's nothing that a simple hi boost in the eq wouldn't do. Whereas if I cut out the hi boost in EQ, the jingle-jangling annoyance and sibilance issues still remain. Quite simply, it's a hyped mic. In more than one way.

Ever used one before aussie_techie? I'm sure it works great on some voices - just not mine in particular.
Old 8th August 2005
  #110
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I haven’t used a C1 but I have used other studio projects mics and like all mics they suit some voices and not others. if you want a new mic mainly for your voice go to a shop and try them out, specs and opinions are all well and good and help to make an educated decision but at the end of the day a mic either suits your voice or it doesn’t. take cheep brand specs like studio projects with a grain (sometimes even a handful) of salt and you also have to remember everything is manufactured to a tolerance to a specification not an exact specification so each mic will sound different

by all means get more mics, but i wouldnt be in a rush to sell the C1 if you are serious about being an enginear not just a musician then build up a good collections of mics over time so you have the versitility to use what is best for any given application. i will only sell things if i realy hate them or i no longer need them but with mics you can never have enough. and yes i know this will be your last big purchase for awhile, most of us are short of money but as an enginear you often need to think longer term
Old 8th August 2005
  #111
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussie_techie
I haven’t used a C1 but I have used other studio projects mics and like all mics they suit some voices and not others. if you want a new mic mainly for your voice go to a shop and try them out, specs and opinions are all well and good and help to make an educated decision but at the end of the day a mic either suits your voice or it doesn’t. take cheep brand specs like studio projects with a grain (sometimes even a handful) of salt and you also have to remember everything is manufactured to a tolerance to a specification not an exact specification so each mic will sound different

by all means get more mics, but i wouldnt be in a rush to sell the C1 if you are serious about being an enginear not just a musician then build up a good collections of mics over time so you have the versitility to use what is best for any given application. i will only sell things if i realy hate them or i no longer need them but with mics you can never have enough. and yes i know this will be your last big purchase for awhile, most of us are short of money but as an enginear you often need to think longer term
Very true on all points. I would be less hesitant to sell the C1 if the Hamburg were of an identical sonic character as opposed to entirely opposite (which is the case in fact). I'm of the camp that the less EQ necessary, the better - especially since the effect would be within my DAW. And I DO like the way it flatters my ukulele and the occasional organ track.

I do want a Hamburg, but I'll just save up and work toward it as a future goal (along with the ART Pro VLA and possibly an FMR RNP).
Old 9th August 2005
  #112
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Chameleon Labs 7602.............$800.00 You'll like it
Old 9th August 2005
  #113
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phunkeman
Chameleon Labs 7602.............$800.00 You'll like it
I appreciate the suggestion, but I'm pretty much decided on my previous list... because I really need to add to my mic locker first. I feel like the Groove Tubes pre and the Studio Projects I already have will give me two good characters to build from... upgrading to a more expensive pre and comp will come later.

Thanks for the suggestion though - I'll definitely add this to my possibles list for next pre purchase!
Old 9th August 2005
  #114
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Old 13th August 2005
  #115
s00p3rm4n, take a look at a DAV BG-1.
I like mine a lot. makes a cheap dynamic shine. will make the GT and MXL you have sound like the holy grail. It is so clean, but still warm, and has LOOOOOOTs of gain.
I took a chance because I never heard it, before buying, but it is one of my favourite pieces of kit now. Also good for reamping ****ty signals, when mixing. (out of a mackie main out for instance) Also it fits nicely in a bag/suitcase to do on site recording and interviews. Mind the extremely hot output though. It will fry any consumer level input.

then go on evilbay for second hand Dynaudio/KRK/... passive.
and a regular hifi amp with balls (technics/NAD)

that would fit 1k
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