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Best affordable stereo mic pre with AES or Spdif out ?
Old 9th October 2019
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Best affordable stereo mic pre with AES or Spdif out ?

The title says it all: I need an extra mic pre 2ch, need it quick for a project so I can't save too much money...I don't mind the flavor :
colored or clean, solid state or tube, but it needs to be a step up from the average audio interface internal pres.
No Art DPS or the like that's too cheap sounding IMHO.
I'm thinking more like Audient Mico, Apogee, focusrite ISA, WARM audio (but these don't have digital out)
New or second hand..between 500 and 800
(I'd give a 1000 for an API A2D :-) )

Any Idea ?

My interface takes both AES or Spdif (it's a Metric Halo 2882 2D)

Thanks in advance guys !

PS. mic pres I already own :
- Sebatron vmp4000 4ch tube pre
- Sytek 4ch
Old 9th October 2019
  #2
Gear Addict
 
bicarbone's Avatar
A used Metric Halo ULN2 maybe?
Old 9th October 2019
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bicarbone View Post
A used Metric Halo ULN2 maybe?
Not a bad Idea ! It's funny I did not think of it, even if I own a 2882 !
I'm gonna look at the used prices. 550 here
I found an Apogee Mini-Me for 350.. don't know the difference soundwise between a ULN2 and a MiniMe...the advantage of a ULN2 being usable in the mioconsole and upgradable to 3D (although I have to upgrade the 2882 to 3D first)
How do the ULN2 pres compare to the ones quoted above?
Old 10th October 2019
  #4
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Tammer View Post
The title says it all:
actually the title says:
Quote:
Best affordable stereo mic pre with AES or Spdif out ?
I once started a thread with the actual title
Quote:
"it all"
and then I wrote "the title says it all". And it got deleted by the moderators! As you might guess, I am still sore about it.

Quote:
No Art DPS or the like that's too cheap sounding IMHO
I have used the "analog" ART, and it was not bad at all, IMO. You can run it pretty clean.

On the cheap end, there’s a DBX 386 with AES and s/pdif on eBay right now for $220. The Zoom U44 has s/pdif out. Aphex IN 2 on Amazon for $200 has s/pdif.


On the pricier side, the ISA one and the JZ Microphones Flamingo both have an A/D card available.

If you have some decent preamps "lying around", you could also get a basic line to AES converter. Check out the Guramex, AJA (ADA4).

Last edited by joeq; 10th October 2019 at 12:55 AM..
Old 10th October 2019
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
actually the title says:


I once started a thread with the actual title and then I wrote "the title says it all". And it got deleted by the moderators! As you might guess, I am still sore about it.


I have used the "analog" ART, and it was not bad at all, IMO. You can run it pretty clean.

On the cheap end, there’s a DBX 386 with AES and s/pdif on eBay right now for $220. The Zoom U44 has s/pdif out. Aphex IN 2 on Amazon for $200 has s/pdif.


On the pricier side, the ISA one and the JZ Microphones Flamingo both have an A/D card available.

If you have some decent preamps "lying around", you could also get a basic line to AES converter. Check out the Guramex, AJA (ADA4).
Hello, thanks for the ideas !
The Sebatron and Sytek are actually great
Syteks are found in Neotek consoles, they're the bread and butter at Electrical Audio (Steve Albini's studio)
Very clean, distortion free, yet not sterile.
Sebs = high voltage quality tube amp design, versatile, big & 3D with lots of mojo.
Both are used in the studio where I work along Neves Api Millenia ... they just don't carry the big name tags.

A stereo converter is not going to cut it as I am looking for 2 more pres on top of what I already have, for sessions with 10 simultaneous tracks.

I owned an ART DPS years ago, found them unusable when you need lots of gain for acoustic stuff (which is what I do) Dbx where not much better.
Maybe you're talking about the ART MPA?
On the other hand Audient pres sound pretty good to my ears (maybe nothing special but good) and the mico can be found for 250 here, that includes AD, and a phase knob that can be handy.

The ISA is indeed an option although there's still one pre missing, sound quality is great though. Easy to resell.

The JZ Flamingo is mono and the AD is an only an option ...or did I miss something?

A second hand Mico seems like the most cost effective option...yet I am not sure about its conversion quality.
The ULN2 solution is also a great one : not discontinued, upgradable and I already have a Metric Halo System.How do the pres fare on the ULN2?
Old 10th October 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Is this for a Mac? Or a pc?
Old 10th October 2019
  #7
Gear Addict
 
bicarbone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Is this for a Mac? Or a pc?
Probably for a mac since metric halo has been mac only until just recently.
Old 10th October 2019
  #8
Gear Addict
 
bicarbone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Tammer View Post
How do the pres fare on the ULN2?
Clean, quiet, 72 dB of gain if I’m not mistaken, better than the average audio interface onboard preamp that’s for sure.
Old 11th October 2019
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bicarbone View Post
Clean, quiet, 72 dB of gain if I’m not mistaken, better than the average audio interface onboard preamp that’s for sure.
Thanks, sounds good!
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