The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Microphone preamp suggestions Condenser Microphones
Old 25th December 2015
Gear Nut
Microphone preamp suggestions

Merry Christmas.

I'm looking to get a new mic pre. Im about to purchase. a warm audio tb12.. I'm going to have about another $400-500 to spend on a second 1 or 2 channel preamp. So I'm wonder what you guys can suggest.

I mostly doing male vocals. Some acoustic guitar, bass(di), electric guitar, and drums.

Thank you

Motu ultralite mk3
Stellar cm6
Old 26th December 2015
Lives for gear
glenn Taylor's Avatar

I am sure most will tell you there is a lot of pre,s out there for that price.
The last 20 years I have used about 10 different brands. My API 312 is my favorite.
Old 26th December 2015
Gear Nut

True P-Solo.
Old 26th December 2015
Here for the gear

Golden age pre73 aka the gap73 is a great choice for vocals for a great price it's like $350 for a 1073 clone. I might buy another honestly. That tonebeast really shines on guitars from what I've seen in studios.
Old 26th December 2015
Lives for gear
barryjohns's Avatar

Checkout some of the Hairball Audio stuff!
Old 26th December 2015
Gear Nut
Thanks for all your replies so far. It's much appreciated. I have never looked into hairball audio. I will definitely check out their preamps.
Old 26th December 2015
Gear Addict
Looking at your gear list, I am going to go a slightly different direction and suggest that you consider getting a used clean, fast, and possibly inexpensive stereo pre (or pair of mono pre's) and a used pair of small diaphragm condensers. You can get that all for $500 or so, and it will really help to open up many recording possibilities that you may not now have, including drum overheads, stereo pair ambiance and main array recordings, and acoustic guitar SDC pair recordings.

Clean, fast preamps are ones that reproduce transients accurately (often having measured frequency response into the 100-200 kHz range or beyond), and impart very little coloration, distortion, noise, or "mojo," instead giving you an accurate representation of what your mic is capturing. The True P-Solo suggested above fits into the clean/fast category, but one channel of it will use up your budget. Some clean/fast budget pres I own or have experience with include the M-Audio DMP3, the StudioProjects VTB-1 (mono), and the Symetrix SX202/302. Others include the Rane MS-1b (mono). You could get two channels of some of the ones I listed for $100-200 used if you shop around.

That would leave you enough budget to get two less expensive but pro quality used cardioid SDC's. Ones I would recommend include Shure SM-81 (or if you are lucky, KSM-137), Audio-Technica AT3031, AT4021 (or if you are lucky, AT4041), or Oktava MK-012. Or, you could get a new Line Audio CM3 pair (they are wide cardioids, so they offer less side rejection, but they'd be great to have). I haven't used the Røde NT5, but they would be another option.

If you decide that you don't want to get SDC's, I'd still recommend a stereo fast/clean pre to complement your "mojo" Warm Tonebeast. Maybe try to find a used DAV BG-1, or get a new Line Audio 2MP in that case.
Old 27th December 2015
Gear Nut
Thank you for your response. What are your thoughts on a ISA 2?
I've considering a used one for a stereo pre.
Old 27th December 2015
Lives for gear
Fast_Fingers's Avatar

Why not a Black Lion mod?
Old 27th December 2015
Lives for gear
Dpro's Avatar
Own and use a Warm Audio TB12 and it covers a lot of ground. The Focusrite ISA might be interesting. it really comes down to what your tracking and what you are going for in that.
The Warm can go from clean to Mojo.
You really should just try some out.
Old 9th January 2016
Gear Nut
I'm second guessing on the Warm Audio TB12. I'm wondering if I should save up a bit more and get an A-Designs Pacifica or maybe a Great River ME or MP.....chandler, vintech.?.?.?.?.? I've done tons of research, listened to shootouts and clips. They all sound great. I'm just having a hard time pulling the trigger on a pre.

Again my needs are in order:
Male vocals
Bass DI
Electric gtr
Acoustic guitar
Old 10th January 2016
Gear Nut
So here's an update on my quest for a preamp. This morning i scored a racked gap pre73 mkii w/ ZEN Pro mod and a gap EQ-81 + a DBX160a for $499.00

I'm pretty excited!
Old 10th January 2016
Gear Maniac

Hairball Audio is nice stuff. In kind of the same field is SCA.
Old 15th January 2016
Gear Nut
Today I Received My ZEN PRO GAP Pre73, GAP EQ-81, and DBX160A I purchased used off Ebay. I racked it up and plugged in a SM57. I chose the 57 because it was the closet thing on hand. The pre sounds great. I'm excited to use it on Vocals with my Stellar cm6 and my KSM32. However I'm hearing a little noise out of the EQ-81 and a lot noise out of the DBX160. But overall I'm very pleased considering the price I paid.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump