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Preamp question Single-Channel Preamps
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Nut
Preamp question

Hey guys, I am in a bit of a dilemma. I already know that this is Neveslutz... So I am pretty sure I already know what most of you guys are going to say but here goes...

My current vocal chain is Neumann u87ai>Avalon vt737sp>Distressor EL8-x>Apogee Ensemble (Firewire). I am looking into possibly trading my Avalon for a Neve 1073 preamp, whether it be a clone like BAE or Vintech or whatever.

I've read a few forums already discussing these 2 and Neve is picked every single time but I am curious, are you guys making your decision based off the vintage Neve 1073 vs the Avalon? The reason I am asking that is because I don't have a ton of money to spend which is why I am looking to trade and I don't want to waste my time trading for something that will not be as good.

Would you guys still feel the same way about the Neve vs Avalon if it was the Neve 1073 SPX, DPX, 1073N and so on? I've posted an ad on a local classified and someone asked if I would trade for their Vintech 273 but I am not sure about that because I really would like a Neve or a BAE.

Let me know what you guys think, I never really used the compressor on the Avalon anyways because of the distressor. I would prefer to have an EQ section on whatever it is I do trade with.

Thanks!

P.S. I record a lot of R&B and Hip Hop artists, the odd Pop artist but the majority of the time its Hip hop or R&B.
Old 1 week ago
  #2

Last edited by bambamboom; 1 week ago at 12:19 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by bambamboom View Post
For some reason, it’s not showing anything and it’s just blank. Lol
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Sorry bad URL. Fixed

Another option:
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by bambamboom View Post
Sorry bad URL. Fixed

Another option:
I’d love a Manley voxbox but I don’t think anyone would trade an Avalon for one lol that’s what I am trying to do is trade my Avalon in for something decent.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Addict
 
Murky Waters's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevbone1674 View Post
Hey guys, I am in a bit of a dilemma. I already know that this is Neveslutz... So I am pretty sure I already know what most of you guys are going to say but here goes...

My current vocal chain is Neumann u87ai>Avalon vt737sp>Distressor EL8-x>Apogee Ensemble (Firewire). I am looking into possibly trading my Avalon for a Neve 1073 preamp, whether it be a clone like BAE or Vintech or whatever.

I've read a few forums already discussing these 2 and Neve is picked every single time but I am curious, are you guys making your decision based off the vintage Neve 1073 vs the Avalon? The reason I am asking that is because I don't have a ton of money to spend which is why I am looking to trade and I don't want to waste my time trading for something that will not be as good.

Would you guys still feel the same way about the Neve vs Avalon if it was the Neve 1073 SPX, DPX, 1073N and so on? I've posted an ad on a local classified and someone asked if I would trade for their Vintech 273 but I am not sure about that because I really would like a Neve or a BAE.

Let me know what you guys think, I never really used the compressor on the Avalon anyways because of the distressor. I would prefer to have an EQ section on whatever it is I do trade with.

Thanks!

P.S. I record a lot of R&B and Hip Hop artists, the odd Pop artist but the majority of the time its Hip hop or R&B.
Pretty sweet setup for Hip-Hop/R&B with the Neumann and 737. Personally, I'd add a killer comp. LA2A.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevbone1674 View Post
I’d love a Manley voxbox but I don’t think anyone would trade an Avalon for one lol that’s what I am trying to do is trade my Avalon in for something decent.
Why so insistent on trading? That seems like a much harder way of going about this.

Try calling VintageKing.... they will take trades against stuff in their inventory if you aren't willing to do traditional buy/sell.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by bambamboom View Post
Why so insistent on trading? That seems like a much harder way of going about this.

Try calling VintageKing.... they will take trades against stuff in their inventory if you aren't willing to do traditional buy/sell.
I’ve been in contact with them, the only issue is that I’m in Canada and a few hours away on top of that from the Michigan location, im pretty sure that’s where it is. So not sure how that would work for trading if there are any import fees.

I just keep reading how the 1073 pre’s are the best for everything and every post I read says 1073 over Avalon all day. So I’m wondering if I’d be better off, even with the AMS Neve 1073 models..
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murky Waters View Post
Pretty sweet setup for Hip-Hop/R&B with the Neumann and 737. Personally, I'd add a killer comp. LA2A.
Thanks, it works don’t get me wrong but I’ve had a few clients who recorded at other studios with Neve pres and had me mix the tracks and they just sound so much fuller. The Avalon is nice but I find it adds a lot of top end even without me adding any via the eq. S’s are almost always an issue and de-essing isn’t always easy because it seems as though the S’s range from 4K all the way up to 12+k hz... I find myself doing a low pass around 12k and the vocals are still somewhat bright sounding.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Nut
Probably the cheapest 1073 options these days, Gap 73 Premier (closest to AMS), Warm Audio WA-73 (Closest to BAE), BLA B173 (imo Closer to AML, so depends if you want that "CLEAN" neve sound and not the classic sound). Then there's the heritage audio 1073 clones, which are a bit more expensive but can be a unique experience for 1073s.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by EisaMo View Post
Probably the cheapest 1073 options these days, Gap 73 Premier (closest to AMS), Warm Audio WA-73 (Closest to BAE), BLA B173 (imo Closer to AML, so depends if you want that "CLEAN" neve sound and not the classic sound). Then there's the heritage audio 1073 clones, which are a bit more expensive but can be a unique experience for 1073s.
What do you think about the AMS Neve’s? Like the SPX or DPX, 1073N, DPA and so on? If I do trade I’d rather trade for either an actual Neve or Bae or at least a clone that has a very good rep. I just don’t want to regret the trade later on, you know? Would be nice if I could keep everything and just buy another pre but right now money is super tight due to unexpected health issues with my dog and crazy high vet costs.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Nut
I'm not good at business advice really. But the 1073 is good at certain things. Like the 1073 is good for soft or bright sounds, good on vocals or high-pitched instruments; where as an opposite might be an api 312 which is great on instruments but very questionable on vocals. I think my go-to combo for all-around mixing would be a tube-preamp going into a 1176; can't really beat that combo. You already have a distressor which is a good start. Idk why you want the ams or bae, but if your the kinda person who is thinking... "just need a ams, then a pultec, then a la2a" you'll be in for a surprised when the tone you get is so wrong from what you actually need. lol
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by EisaMo View Post
I'm not good at business advice really. But the 1073 is good at certain things. Like the 1073 is good for soft or bright sounds, good on vocals or high-pitched instruments; where as an opposite might be an api 312 which is great on instruments but very questionable on vocals. I think my go-to combo for all-around mixing would be a tube-preamp going into a 1176; can't really beat that combo. You already have a distressor which is a good start. Idk why you want the ams or bae, but if your the kinda person who is thinking... "just need a ams, then a pultec, then a la2a" you'll be in for a surprised when the tone you get is so wrong from what you actually need. lol
Thanks for your response, I passed up on the AMS Neve 1073 SPX from vintage king, way too expensive for a cheap power supply. I had someone contact me about trading for the Vintech 273, wondering if that would be a good trade...
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Addict
 

If I listened back through all the recordings that I've done over the years, it would be impossible for me to pick out which was the Neve, Avalon, or the API stuff. I own a pair of Neves, but the Avalon is not a "bad sounding" preamp. I don't usually use the EQ and the compressor is usually just kissing the signal. What you do to the vocal in the mix is way more important than which preamp you used. The reason I bought the Neves was that I was tired of using what the studio had. Nothing worse than the preamps that were in the Amek Mozart console. I can hear it right away.

Steve
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

The Avalon 737 gets a lot of bad rap around here, but mine with NOS Phillips Holland tubes is a tool I wouldn't want to give up. But truth be told I also have a dozen other flavors of Mic Pres.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Extreme Mixing View Post
If I listened back through all the recordings that I've done over the years, it would be impossible for me to pick out which was the Neve, Avalon, or the API stuff. I own a pair of Neves, but the Avalon is not a "bad sounding" preamp. I don't usually use the EQ and the compressor is usually just kissing the signal. What you do to the vocal in the mix is way more important than which preamp you used. The reason I bought the Neves was that I was tired of using what the studio had. Nothing worse than the preamps that were in the Amek Mozart console. I can hear it right away.

Steve
I agree, it’s not a bad sounding preamp at all, mind you I got mine used and I’m not sure how old the tubes are in it. I just keep reading stuff about how people wouldn’t want the Avalon as their only option and currently that’s my only option.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
The Avalon 737 gets a lot of bad rap around here, but mine with NOS Phillips Holland tubes is a tool I wouldn't want to give up. But truth be told I also have a dozen other flavors of Mic Pres.
Ya, to be honest, that is part of the reason why I’m looking into trading it for something else because all I hear on here is 1073, 1073, get a neve, get a Bae if you can’t get a neve, vintechs sound like the original 1073, vintechs don’t sound like it at all. I understand everyone has their own opinion but it just really seems like the Avalon is frowned upon and being my only pre at the moment, I’m wondering if I’m missing out on something more versatile, if that makes any sense... Plus, as I mentioned in the previous reply, I got my unit used and I’m not sure how old the tubes are, I do know that they must be getting old because I’ve had to unplug them and reseat them a few times because they stopped heating up and I have to basically crank my output in order to get a decent signal with my preamp gain at 12 o’clock.
Old 6 days ago
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevbone1674 View Post
Ya, to be honest, that is part of the reason why I’m looking into trading it for something else because all I hear on here is 1073, 1073, get a neve, get a Bae if you can’t get a neve, vintechs sound like the original 1073, vintechs don’t sound like it at all. I understand everyone has their own opinion but it just really seems like the Avalon is frowned upon and being my only pre at the moment, I’m wondering if I’m missing out on something more versatile, if that makes any sense... Plus, as I mentioned in the previous reply, I got my unit used and I’m not sure how old the tubes are, I do know that they must be getting old because I’ve had to unplug them and reseat them a few times because they stopped heating up and I have to basically crank my output in order to get a decent signal with my preamp gain at 12 o’clock.
I'd say that, unless it's noisy, the tubes are fine. I have a Demeter VMP-2b. Still the original tubes. My 1959 U47. Original tube. I got to spend some time with Bruce Swedein and he had all the original tubes in his microphones. They seem to go on and on...

Steve
Old 6 days ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
bowzin's Avatar
Here's a Great River ME1NV for $775 from Guitar Center, great price:

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Gr...hone-Preamp.gc

It's Neve inspired but maybe a little more modern. Solid choice to slightly take some edge off an 87ai, and its a little bit more natural/open though the mids so I often like it for vocals more than my other various Neve clones.
Old 6 days ago
  #20
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowzin View Post
Here's a Great River ME1NV for $775 from Guitar Center, great price:

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Gr...hone-Preamp.gc

It's Neve inspired but maybe a little more modern. Solid choice to slightly take some edge off an 87ai, and its a little bit more natural/open though the mids so I often like it for vocals more than my other various Neve clones.
I used to own one, it was a great pre, I used to run it through the Avalon for some eq and then to the distressor. I don’t have any money at the moment that’s why I was looking into a trade. I guess I could just hold off for now and save up! Also, guitar Center doesn’t ship to Canada.

You guys don’t think the vintech 273 would be a good trade? I like the option of having a 2nd pre in one unit but I currently only need one.
Old 6 days ago
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

I would tend to agree with Extreme Mixing, the tubes are probably fine. But to be honest, I thought the 737 was a dog until I put a really great set of tubes in it. That would be my suggestion take it or leave it. Change to a great sounding set of tubes, and save money for a second flavor preamp. That way you have your bases covered rather than one way or another.

Best!

Dave
Old 6 days ago
  #22
I'd always be wary of gearslutz making you feel like what you have is not good enough. It's truly a hole that can't be filled, and by trading you will be unable to use them side by side to truly know how well founded your decision was. Your best bet might be to find a way to audition both units side-by-side.. Most often trading "up" high-end audio gear ends up feeling more like trading sideways.. you get something DIFFERENT rather than explicitly BETTER. If you can compare them side-by-side then you gain valuable knowledge as well, which could come in handy the next time gearslutz makes you feel that what you have is not good enough... that said, I imagine you'd be pretty happy with a BAE 1073 amp, or a Chandler TG-2 (not a neve 'clone' but a similarly creaming sounding {to my ears} SS discrete class A mic amp with a sweet ass tone control (fine gain*) or probably any number of other high end mic amps as well ..but if all you have to go on is that GS things Neve "style" pres "beat" an Avalon 737 I'd exercise a little caution ..that's all.

I do find it worth considering that your tubes need intermittent reseating.. that seems like a problem with the tubes, and tubes are not usually difficult to replace, but as long as it's still working I guess it's fine. I've not used an avalon 737, but I use my BAE 1073MPF almost daily (though, if I'm putting up just one mic, my most commonly used pre is currently a mercury m72, which frankly is not BETTER, just different, but I love them both). Compared to my other units the BAE has got a noticeable girth and weight that I find sonically appealing.

I've never used that vintech but if you can get them in the same room you can decide for yourself if you like it BETTER.. but I were you i'd maybe wait patiently for a good 2nd hand opportunity to come around.. and in the meantime try to get closer to the results you want with that 737. I'm in LA where this type of gear comes up on craigslist on a daily basis, but I'm from toronto, and know that high end gear rarely makes it up onto CL or Kijiji, even less so outside the big city, but if you are patient a deal will present itself eventually, one way or another, or you can save your money for the next time you end up in LA or Nashville or when someone posts their 2nd hand BAE up for sale. Good luck, you can't really lose, but you might spend time money and effort chasing something that is less better than just different.

Either way best of luck.
Old 6 days ago
  #23
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
I'd always be wary of gearslutz making you feel like what you have is not good enough. It's truly a hole that can't be filled, and by trading you will be unable to use them side by side to truly know how well founded your decision was. Your best bet might be to find a way to audition both units side-by-side.. Most often trading "up" high-end audio gear ends up feeling more like trading sideways.. you get something DIFFERENT rather than explicitly BETTER. If you can compare them side-by-side then you gain valuable knowledge as well, which could come in handy the next time gearslutz makes you feel that what you have is not good enough... that said, I imagine you'd be pretty happy with a BAE 1073 amp, or a Chandler TG-2 (not a neve 'clone' but a similarly creaming sounding {to my ears} SS discrete class A mic amp with a sweet ass tone control (fine gain*) or probably any number of other high end mic amps as well ..but if all you have to go on is that GS things Neve "style" pres "beat" an Avalon 737 I'd exercise a little caution ..that's all.

I do find it worth considering that your tubes need intermittent reseating.. that seems like a problem with the tubes, and tubes are not usually difficult to replace, but as long as it's still working I guess it's fine. I've not used an avalon 737, but I use my BAE 1073MPF almost daily (though, if I'm putting up just one mic, my most commonly used pre is currently a mercury m72, which frankly is not BETTER, just different, but I love them both). Compared to my other units the BAE has got a noticeable girth and weight that I find sonically appealing.

I've never used that vintech but if you can get them in the same room you can decide for yourself if you like it BETTER.. but I were you i'd maybe wait patiently for a good 2nd hand opportunity to come around.. and in the meantime try to get closer to the results you want with that 737. I'm in LA where this type of gear comes up on craigslist on a daily basis, but I'm from toronto, and know that high end gear rarely makes it up onto CL or Kijiji, even less so outside the big city, but if you are patient a deal will present itself eventually, one way or another, or you can save your money for the next time you end up in LA or Nashville or when someone posts their 2nd hand BAE up for sale. Good luck, you can't really lose, but you might spend time money and effort chasing something that is less better than just different.

Either way best of luck.
Thanks a lot for your post, I was actually thinking the same thing. I might ask the guy that offered to trade the vintech, if I can do a comparison between the 2 because he told me his true motive behind wanting to trade and it’s because him and his partner are trying to build their own 16 channel Avalon “console” basically.
Old 6 days ago
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevbone1674 View Post
Thanks a lot for your post, I was actually thinking the same thing. I might ask the guy that offered to trade the vintech, if I can do a comparison between the 2 because he told me his true motive behind wanting to trade and it’s because him and his partner are trying to build their own 16 channel Avalon “console” basically.
so I guess at least one person quite likes that Avalon pre

Honestly, you can make good records with what you have..

good luck!
Old 5 days ago
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
Renaud Charlier's Avatar
 

I was in your situation some years ago, using the U87ai + Avalon 737 combo.
I was happy with the sound, just curious to try a Neve preamp a lot of people was waving about. I bought an AMS-Neve 1073 DPA. Best buy for years ! This preamp really is in a different league. Since then i also bought a pair of 1081. These preamps make my studio life easier...great investment.
Old 4 days ago
  #26
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renaud Charlier View Post
I was in your situation some years ago, using the U87ai + Avalon 737 combo.
I was happy with the sound, just curious to try a Neve preamp a lot of people was waving about. I bought an AMS-Neve 1073 DPA. Best buy for years ! This preamp really is in a different league. Since then i also bought a pair of 1081. These preamps make my studio life easier...great investment.
Did you end up keeping your 737 as well? Now you’ve got me wanting to get a Neve again lol.
Old 4 days ago
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
Renaud Charlier's Avatar
 

Yes, I've kept my pair of 737's. Use them when I need more preamps at once and they're great for a softer, less "in your face", mellower kind of sound...

and i use them a lot for mixing... the EQ is really great and i usually strap my pair of Avalon on a group (backing vocals or keyboards or...).
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