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Mic Pre suggestion for M149 - Daking Mic Pre EQ?
Old 5th August 2020
  #1
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Mic Pre suggestion for M149 - Daking Mic Pre EQ?

Hello everybody,

I have a humble detached, home studio with a small, well treated live room and a control room.

My main performance mic is a Neumann M149 tube.
Plus the normal assortment of dynamic mics...

My Chain is currently: M149 > Apollo Quad > Logic/PT > Genelec 1030
I'm basically pleased with that current setup, but hoping that an outboard Pre/EQ would allow me to get the most out of the M149 and take my tracks to the next level up. I'm worried that the Apollo onboard pres are kinda... good, not great.

I mainly record vocalists and acoustic instruments.
I'd like to stay around/under $1000 (used preferred).

After a fair amount of research on GS, I'm kinda gassing for a Daking Mic Pre EQ.
Based on what people have to say about it, it sounds like I would like it for my situation.

The Neve 1073 Unison plug-in in Console does nothing for me with the M149, but I do like what the API Unisons add. In fact, When I audition The 1073 plugs on my normal clients, I never prefer it. To my ears, the M149 is already a big, warm yet very detailed mic so I'm not sure a big, colored sounding pre is what I want.... It almost seems like I want a cleaner, open, more 3D sound.
I want a chain that will work really well on a lot of different voices, mics, sources.

Having said that, the tones I like and am chasing (due to my clients' desires) are modern country male vocals (Luke Combs, Brooke n Dunn, etc) which upon Googling leads me to believe LDC Neumann > Neve. So then my mind starts thinking Vintech X73 or BAE (probably out of my price range since I would like EQ and filters)

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! There isnt alot of info on M149 combinations. The M149 was a gift, so I'm keeping it.

EDIT: I've been curious about the Avedis MA5 for some time as well.

Cheers,
Wyatt

Last edited by wyatt.fisher1; 5th August 2020 at 09:10 PM..
Old 6th August 2020
  #2
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I love the daking pre. I love the MA5 more though. For what you’re describing I think the MA5 is the perfect choice. To my ears it’s a cross between a neve and a api. I like it much better then a vintech on vocals.
Old 6th August 2020
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phanlon View Post
I love the daking pre. I love the MA5 more though. For what you’re describing I think the MA5 is the perfect choice. To my ears it’s a cross between a neve and a api. I like it much better then a vintech on vocals.
Ok great! Thank you so much!

I keep coming back to the idea of the MA5 every few months.
Guess I just need to get a 500 chassis and grab the MA5!
Thanks again!
Old 6th August 2020
  #4
A couple of preamps come to mind. Anything from LaChapell. From their 500 series 583 to their big 992 it all has dimension and detail. Also the Chandler REDD 47 is excellent and flexible.
Old 6th August 2020
  #5
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syntheticrhyme's Avatar
For years I used an Avalon pre with an M149. They were a nice match. I think you can't go wrong with a Daking pre.
Old 6th August 2020
  #6
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tkaitkai's Avatar
 

I use my M149 exclusively with a Wunder PEQ2R and I couldn't be happier.

I've also used it with a Vintech X73, a Burl B1, and the Apollo preamps. The Vintech is definitely a really cool sound and works really well with the M149. I sometimes debate picking up a 1073 to have an additional sonic option.

I've heard great things about the Daking paired with an M149.

Whichever preamp you end up with, it's a good idea to grab an inline pad to go with it. The M149 is a super high output mic and will easily clip the input of most character pieces, even at the lowest settings. I have a Whirlwind -20dB pad and it gives me much more flexibility on the input.
Old 6th August 2020
  #7
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
I generally find that the M149 pairs better with pres that have color than with very clean ones. I think the MA5 is a really great choice. It has headroom for days and can easily take the hot level of the M149. A tube pre would also be a good way to go.
Old 6th August 2020
  #8
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
I would want a mic pre that had TRULY high INPUT headroom, Not a Pad..to allow for the widest dynamic range..
A pre that runs on higher supply rails than 16V.. 24V would be far better..
Old 6th August 2020
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
I generally find that the M149 pairs better with pres that have color than with very clean ones. I think the MA5 is a really great choice. It has headroom for days and can easily take the hot level of the M149. A tube pre would also be a good way to go.
I also think the 149 is more fussy than other mics, because of its design (pseudo tube rather than a full tube circuit). I was talking to Gunter Wagner about it and he said it performed better with electronically balanced pres (like a 1073) than electronically balanced ones (like an interface pre).

Don’t quote me on why...and I may have misremembered some of that! But yeah...you can’t go wrong with a 1073 style.
Old 6th August 2020
  #10
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Husky Squad's Avatar
+1 m149 has very hot output.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
I would want a mic pre that had TRULY high INPUT headroom, Not a Pad..to allow for the widest dynamic range..
A pre that runs on higher supply rails than 16V.. 24V would be far better..
Old 6th August 2020
  #11
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
I would want a mic pre that had TRULY high INPUT headroom, Not a Pad..to allow for the widest dynamic range..
A pre that runs on higher supply rails than 16V.. 24V would be far better..
MA5 is a clever design.. have the highest headroom in a 500 series I’ve seen (and also most 19” units too)

highly recommended

Although IF the OP is not looking for a N sound style, maybe the clean side a Forssell or NPNG would do well too.

Tube: Tree Audio The Branch MK2 (although it’s a channelstrip, but it’s unfortunately way outside the OP budget, although it’s reasonably priced for what is it).
A used Pendulum Quartet too.



Cheu
Old 6th August 2020
  #12
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
have the highest headroom in a 500 series I’ve seen (and also most 19” units too)





Cheu
Supply rails LIMIT the max voltage out..
Old 6th August 2020
  #13
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Supply rails LIMIT the max voltage out..
MA5 has 32 db’s of headroom.

It uses a clever design, basically using 32V instead of 16



Cheu
Old 6th August 2020
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
MA5 has 32 db’s of headroom.

It uses a clever design, basically using 32V instead of 16



Cheu
Is this why the MA5 doesn't have a PAD function on it?
I was actually concerned about that.

I have to do the -20 pad on Apollo and no gain increase and its still HOT, so I was a little concerned about it already overdriving the MA5.

So many of you all feel that the MA5 is a good choice it seems, probably with an inline pad?

I would feel a little strange with the hot M149 hitting the MA5 really hard, not being able to add any preamp gain, and turning the output knob down to control the level before the converter.
If that were the case, It would feel like an $850 fader (plus a 500 series box...).

BUT I dont have enough experience with outboard pres to know whether or not that scenario is still worth doing over an Apollo pre.

I'm hoping that the MA5 having higher headroom (and maybe a pad) would still allow me to adjust the gain of the preamp to taste.

Thank you all SO MUCH! :cowbell :

Wyatt
Old 6th August 2020
  #15
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toledo3's Avatar
 

I think the Daking Mic Pre EQ is a very good choice with that mic, and the EQ itself will let you tilt the sound quite a bit in whatever direction you want. Even when used aggressively it can sound great. A bigger and cleaner sound than Neve based preamps, tons of headroom, great feature set in general. I think your initial intuition is the one to follow. I would rather work with one than anything else being mentioned in the thread, from the perspective of it sounding as good/better, and being able to cover more ground functionally.
Old 6th August 2020
  #16
Sebatron AXIS 200VU would be the best choice IMHO.

Quote:
I would want a mic pre that had TRULY high INPUT headroom, Not a Pad..to allow for the widest dynamic range..
A pre that runs on higher supply rails than 16V.. 24V would be far better..
Quote:
MA5 has 32 db’s of headroom.

It uses a clever design, basically using 32V instead of 16

Sebatron AXIS runs on 60 Volt output buffer and 300 Volts for the tubes.

You wont need an inline pad.
Old 6th August 2020
  #17
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
You have multiple MA5 owners telling you not to be concerned. I’ve never had to pad the input of my MA5’s for anything ever. It has more headroom than the Manley Force tube pre that I used to own which runs on 300v rails. This weekend I used mine for kick and snare for a motown session and I had the gain cranked up to +45db! At 50db I started to hear the clipping but it would have still been usable as it has a very wide and gradual sweet spot where you can push it. Contrast that to my Heritage 1073-500, which I have to use an in-line pad to not clip the input when using it for kick or snare, with the gain at its lowest setting. The Vintech x73i’s just barely work on their lowest gain setting without pads for kick and snare. API’s need to have their pads on unless it’s a jazz session.
Old 6th August 2020
  #18
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avedis's Avatar
 

One thing I never liked on high end preamp are input PADS!

The MA5 doesn't have a Pad, and doesn't need it because the input transformer can actually handle Line levels, so a loud Mic is no problem. Also, the stepped attenuator is built into the gain switch AFTER the transformer so you can hit the transformer hard. Plus you could turn the GAIN up and the OUTPUT level down if you like. You still have lots of headroom like Cheu said.

I have a Neumann M149 Tube mic (fantastic mic BTW) and we recently used it on recording some drum tracks with a pair of vintage U47's on overheads. It was only three mics with the M149 in the middle going through the MA5. I believe the U47's went through the MD7s. No compression or processing. You can hear it on our FB or IG page with the E12G eq demonstration.

No Pad needed.

Same thing with the MD7... NO PAD and what a difference it makes not weakening the sound before hitting the input transformer. I wrote an article about it if you want to get into it - https://avedisaudio.com/pads-for-pres/
Avedis

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyatt.fisher1 View Post
Is this why the MA5 doesn't have a PAD function on it?
I was actually concerned about that.

I have to do the -20 pad on Apollo and no gain increase and its still HOT, so I was a little concerned about it already overdriving the MA5.

So many of you all feel that the MA5 is a good choice it seems, probably with an inline pad?

I would feel a little strange with the hot M149 hitting the MA5 really hard, not being able to add any preamp gain, and turning the output knob down to control the level before the converter.......

Wyatt
Old 7th August 2020
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avedis View Post
One thing I never liked on high end preamp are input PADS!

The MA5 doesn't have a Pad, and doesn't need it because the input transformer can actually handle Line levels, so a loud Mic is no problem. Also, the stepped attenuator is built into the gain switch AFTER the transformer so you can hit the transformer hard. Plus you could turn the GAIN up and the OUTPUT level down if you like. You still have lots of headroom like Cheu said.

I have a Neumann M149 Tube mic (fantastic mic BTW) and we recently used it on recording some drum tracks with a pair of vintage U47's on overheads. It was only three mics with the M149 in the middle going through the MA5. I believe the U47's went through the MD7s. No compression or processing. You can hear it on our FB or IG page with the E12G eq demonstration.

No Pad needed.

Same thing with the MD7... NO PAD and what a difference it makes not weakening the sound before hitting the input transformer. I wrote an article about it if you want to get into it - https://avedisaudio.com/pads-for-pres/
Avedis
WOW!
Thank you so much for that info, Avedis.
Really cool of you to chime in on this!
I see an MA5 in my future!

Thanks again!
Wyatt
Old 7th August 2020
  #20
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You could probably attach this thing directly to the usb port or something
The output is so hot that it barely needs any preamplification.
In my head, as the input of any given preamp should be set really low to work with this mic,
in a way that doesn't really let its color (of the preamp) through, so any decent pre amp works for me, I didn't find
a lot of night and day differences personally.
Old 7th August 2020
  #21
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
You could probably attach this thing directly to the usb port or something
You can actually run a hot mic straight into a compressor or even the A/D convertor or interface. There’s no rule against that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
The output is so hot that it barely needs any preamplification.
In my head, as the input of any given preamp should be set really low to work with this mic,
in a way that doesn't really let its color (of the preamp) through
That may be only true in your head. A 1073 has no less color at 20db gain than it has at 70db gain. If that were true everyone would be strapping 30-40db pads in front of their preamps so they could crank them up and get all that “extra color” that’s only available if you turn the pre up. The reality though is that’s just not the case. There’s nothing lost by having the preamp set to its lowest gain setting. In fact, regarding signal-to-noise ratio it’s ideal!
Old 7th August 2020
  #22
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Would anyone here who has used both honestly rather have a MA5 in front of them or a Daking MicPreEQ? The Daking does everything the MA5 does and then some. Not to say Avedis doesn’t make great stuff, they do... but the guy was asking about the Daking, right? Really bizarre thread to see the guy get talked out of it.

I mean, it is cheaper, so if you don’t want/need a great EQ too, I get it...
Old 7th August 2020
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
You can actually run a hot mic straight into a compressor or even the A/D convertor or interface. There’s no rule against that.
Except that it would be a terrible idea.

Not to have any ways of regulating the input to the AD isn't against any rule but doesn't make much sense on a practical level, especially on a busy session.

I have jokingly said what I said (about the USB input) to underline how hot the output on this mic is.
Old 7th August 2020
  #24
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
Except that it would be a terrible idea.

Not to have any ways of regulating the input to the AD isn't against any rule but doesn't make much sense on a practical level, especially on a busy session.

I have jokingly said what I said (about the USB input) to underline how hot the output on this mic is.
Hence why I first mentioned going straight into a comp. I’ve done so specifically with an M149 and more often when I’m recording an active bass into my REDDI. I’ll go straight into an 1176 or ELOP, where I still can control the level.
Old 7th August 2020
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post

That may be only true in your head. A 1073 has no less color at 20db gain than it has at 70db gain. If that were true everyone would be strapping 30-40db pads in front of their preamps so they could crank them up and get all that “extra color” that’s only available if you turn the pre up. The reality though is that’s just not the case. There’s nothing lost by having the preamp set to its lowest gain setting. In fact, regarding signal-to-noise ratio it’s ideal!
I am talking about the INPUT of the preamp.
Which usually DOES introduce more harmonics (depending on the design) as you crank it.

Equal input volume on the input and different levels of gain/input level on a preamp does achieve different results and NOT in my head.

Why do you presume they added an extra output gain knob on the new API3124V ? To use the sonic carachter of the input gain without having to resort to padding which does not sound the same as the input is not driving in the same desirable way.
(that is just an example)
Old 7th August 2020
  #26
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
I am talking about the INPUT of the preamp.
Which usually DOES introduce more harmonics (depending on the design) as you crank it.

Equal input volume on the input and different levels of gain/input level on a preamp does achieve different results and NOT in my head.

Why do you presume they added an extra output gain knob on the new API3124V ? To use the sonic carachter of the input gain without having to resort to padding which does not sound the same as the input is not driving in the same desirable way.
(that is just an example)
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
In my head, as the input of any given preamp should be set really low to work with this mic,
in a way that doesn't really let its color (of the preamp) through, so any decent pre amp works for me, I didn't find
a lot of night and day differences personally.
I’m speaking to your original statement here. My experience with the M149 doesn’t mirror yours. As psycho_monkey noted - it is extremely picky about what preamp it goes into and produces very noticeable differences, even without turning up the input. No one is disputing that a preamp adds harmonics if you drive the input. I take issue with your suggestion that there’s so little color without doing so that your preamp choice basically doesn’t matter, because my real world experience says otherwise.
Old 7th August 2020
  #27
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Funny enough, the Daking the OP mentioned has enough headroom to handle it without a pad, a pad if you do want to use one, as well as an output level control.

A case of the OP’s instinct being good for his situation, but people slopping **** all over themselves bc they bought something else and want to tout it hard.
Old 7th August 2020
  #28
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tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
I’m speaking to your original statement here. My experience with the M149 doesn’t mirror yours. As psycho_monkey noted - it is extremely picky about what preamp it goes into and produces very noticeable differences, even without turning up the input. No one is disputing that a preamp adds harmonics if you drive the input. I take issue with your suggestion that there’s so little color without doing so that your preamp choice basically doesn’t matter, because my real world experience says otherwise.
Yeah I've seen people make this claim before and my experience has always been the opposite. Preamp choice absolutely matters with an M149.

All of the mic pres I mentioned produce very distinct results. Burl is razor sharp, crisp, and articulate. Vintech is pushed back, saturated, and a little "vintage" sounding. Wunder is smooth, glossy, and has a really thick low end.

Back to OP's query, you really can't go wrong with an MA5 or a Daking. And my recommendation for a pad was purely a suggestion. You don't NEED one to use an M149, it just comes in handy depending on the singer, mic pre, and how much saturation you want in your signal. YMMV.
Old 9th August 2020
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
Would anyone here who has used both honestly rather have a MA5 in front of them or a Daking MicPreEQ? The Daking does everything the MA5 does and then some. Not to say Avedis doesn’t make great stuff, they do... but the guy was asking about the Daking, right? Really bizarre thread to see the guy get talked out of it.
I can see how it might look like I got talked out of the Daking so far in this thread, but the reality is, I'm gonna try to get both at some point; that seems like the only real way to know.

At this point, I'm trying to pick which to get first, plus I don't have any 500 series gear or chassis, so I'd be making that jump too with the Avedis option.
I can't find either for sale used right now anyway...
But honestly, I'm still more interested in the Daking, based on being a full 19" piece, having a really well thought out (stepped) EQ section, and people's descriptions of how it sounds.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to my thread.
I'd love to hear people's descriptions of how each preamp sounds, especially if you've used both and could compare them.

I'm going to go listen to sound clips now!

-Wyatt
Old 9th August 2020
  #30
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyatt.fisher1 View Post
I can see how it might look like I got talked out of the Daking so far in this thread, but the reality is, I'm gonna try to get both at some point; that seems like the only real way to know.


-Wyatt
If it was me I would want to try several mic pres that have a High input headroom and sounds good to YOU

The fact is this; when you mention a certain "Mic Pre" those who have used IT jump in..
If you mentioned another Pre THOSE who have use IT would jump in..
I can think of at least 10 pres I would want to check out..
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