better mic pre's...

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by millionvalve, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. millionvalve

    millionvalve Guest

    I've decided that there are enough things I like about my mic to keep it for now, and that a good idea would be to change the pre (joemeek VC1Qcs).

    In the running are: (prices are approx.)

    FMR RNP $495
    Summit 2BA-221 $580-600
    Great River MP-1NV $975 new/$900 used.
    Brent Averill $1100
    Dan Alexander $1150

    The RNP is FMR (love my RNC), and I've heard good things. Some metering.Good price, good customer service. Affordable to me.

    The Summit has good price, a variable tube stage, 3gain stages, fully variable mic input impedance, pad, hi-pass, good customer service. Some metering. No wart. Affordable to me.

    Great River has 2 or 3 gain stages, only 300&1200 ohm mic input impedance choices, good customer service. Metering. No wart. Not inexpensive to me.

    Brent Averill has Class A. No metering. No impedance switching. Fewest features of them all. Haven't tried customer service. Wart, I think. Not inexpensive to me.

    Dan Alexander has Class A, good rep around here, a little bit "present" (good). Has wart. Made a brief call to them today. Not inexpensive to me.

    I mainly do electronic music, but I do record me playing guitars and bass and I also record female vocalists.

    Any help would be appreciated in helping me choose.

  2. Beau Landry

    Beau Landry Guest

    I've got a hunch about FMR man. Thanks for your reply by the way!
    Humble and embarrased,
  3. Bobby Loux

    Bobby Loux Active Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    It must be me, I dont get it :confused:
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Huh? was there a post gone missin?....oh yeah.....summit seems like a bargain...but then they are all good
  5. millionvalve

    millionvalve Guest

    Honestly, I feel like I'm leaning towards the Summit because it has so many features for the price. When I talked with them today and asked about how they were hitting their price point I got a very believable reply about how the corner cutting was in the lighter-weight chassis/exterior construction.

    All I need is one channel, and if I were to do $1k on a pre, it would come out of something else like future monitors, or something else I might need.

    So, considering this, how do people feel about Summits?

    BTW, I don't understand this thread's odd comments.

  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Million Valve,
    Keep in mind that both the Dan Alexander and the Averill pres are stereo.. two channels. When you think about it with that in mind, they really aren't much more expensive than the Summit. One reader has recently reported purchasing the Summit for $475. My take on the Averill, I had a friend that had one, I didn't like it. Sound was nothing to write home about and the build was crappy. It literally fell apart in a year or so. ... Fats
  7. gambit

    gambit Active Member

    Dec 14, 2000
    Bristol, UK
    Home Page:
    Alot of these are covered in The Listening Sessions website.

    Please let me state that I am in no way related to the above, I just think its a good start.

    Certainly they have covered Acoustic Guitar, female vox, electric guitar, DI bass and drum machines in their various tests. Although I suspect that you can't beat the "real-world" experience that you'll find here! :D
  8. millionvalve

    millionvalve Guest


    Exactly. I don't want to spend $1k on something that effectively has two $500 channels if I only need one. The only I channel $1k is the Great River. Street price all over ois $589 for the Summit. If you can tell me where to get one for $475, you better believe I'll be doing bidness there!


    Yes, and I've been there. The only one that stood out as a standout "suck" was the Mackie.

  9. Tubelover

    Tubelover Guest


    I work in a studio with 48 channels of Neve. I personally own a Manley SLAM, a GT VIPRE, 3 Avalon M5s, and I just bought an RNP a couple of months ago.

    I use the RNP all the time, it's that good. You simply cannot go wrong with one.

    Summit's good, Averil I wouldn't own, Great River IS great and I've never heard the Dan Alexander stuff.
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Million Valve.
    You should be able to get 30% off on any piece of gear almost anywhere. From a $695 list that would be $486.50. However there was a post just the other day where a reader got one for $475. I know that Guitar Center does 30% deals all the time as I have been the recipient of these deals a number of times. You just have to ask for it. Otherwise they will tell what their discount is. I usually inquire as to what the list price is, and then ask if they will do 30% off that. I have only been refused once in the past several years. Fats
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
  11. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Hey Uncle Cedar, I thonk you can help me purchasing my first real good Micpre. seems Focusrite Octapre and Digimax Lite 96K are out of question right? I want a considerable leap from my yamaha 02R/01V Mic pres that are reasonable to week. Tired of that.
    Thanks for any info
  12. millionvalve

    millionvalve Guest

    Good info, guys.

    Tubelover--Well, now don't you just have a lot of totally awesome pre's? It also makes me believe you when you say that about the RNP.

    How's that M5? Does it smoke the tube pre in the 737's? Because to tell you the truth, now that my VC1Qcs is on the block at ebay, I'm missing the idea of a "channel". Even Avalon's FAQ puts down the 737's pre next to the M5 and the AD2022.

    Fats--Yeah, I'm pretty good at getting a bargain.

    I'm wondering if it's smart to get the Summit. The tube will add some funk and noise to the signal. If I'm looking for the ONE preamp to do it all, do I want anything but the cleanest one? The RNP seems to be dead quiet and virtually distortionless.

    Any opinions on the 737?

  13. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    Mar 31, 2002
    Earthworks just came out witha single channel version of the Zero Distortion Mic Preamp. The street price is under $1000 if you go to the right place.

    This is a great pre if you want uncolored gain. I like it a lot on drum overheads, acoustic guitar, acoustic anything, live choral work, ambiant electric guitar etc.

    Its sound is almost identical to the Grace 101.

  14. Bobby Loux

    Bobby Loux Active Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Hey Fats or Steve or ?,

    have you or anybody else used the HHb Radius 40 for vocals? i read somewhere that the TL Audio 5051 Ivory series is the Radius 40 packaged in purple for HHB and a lot cheaper!...any thoughts?

  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Bobby Loux,
    If you have a link or an email for HHB / TLA I will write them and request a review unit for our NEW REVIEW PAGE!!! I always thought that HHB was part of TLA. ???

    Million Valve asks;
    The cool thing about the Summit (if you look at their website) is that you can put the tube in the circut or not. You can just dial in the amount you want. To me that's what an all in one / do it all pre needs to do. I still recommend it. The RNP gets nothing but great comments all the time. I would not hesitate to recomend it either.

    ACB same thing. Look at the new Summit or the RNP.

    RO, EXPERTISE ON TAP! To help keep this site alive and growing, please show your support by purchasing one of our caps, studio clocks, T-Shirts etc. Banner ads too!
  16. millionvalve

    millionvalve Guest

    Thanks , Fats. I think features-wise, the Summit has it, and with your fine explanation of the "tube in circuit" thing, it's leaning that way. This is turning into a "Watch Nick making his mind up thread."

    Bobby Loux-

    HHB/TL Audio is Unites States/ British of the same things. The Radius 40 is purple, and the 5051 is white. I believe, after some pretty extensive reading and emailing, I think they're that they are identical. The difference comes in whitht the Ivory2 5051, which is an update of the 5051. A guy selling some (older ones) on ebay wrote this back when I asked the differences:

    "The valves are different in the 2 series (Sovtek manufactured), the gate is optical, instead of VCA and the front panel has been redesigned."

    It's a little light on info (!), but at least it points out where to start looking for differences.

    Do the HHB's/TLA's have a good rep in the outside world? There's a pretty extensive review of &650-$1k voice channels here It says that the pre in it is "fuzzy". Any review that says negative things, actually--I perk my ears up.

    Let me know what you all think of these.

  17. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Feb 16, 2001
    Home Page:
    Hey Tubeloverboy,

    Can you tell me your impressions of the RNP tone on each of the tracks you've tried. Does it sound full or present on vocals? Is it a smooth sound or edgy? I've got a Peavey VMP-2 that I would describe as full and smooth, but not overly present, and I'm wondering if the RNP will mesh well in my room as a contrast to the Peavey.

  18. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    Hmmm..Gotta defend my friend Brent.
    Don't know about fats story but...
    Brent Averill has two versions of neve pre's.
    The ones He's been selling for years are recapped/cleaned/remanufactered/original neves ...if they were a 1272 line amp he's added a transformer, ect to turn them into mic pre's, ect.
    He now also is making them from scratch w/ orig. parts...prob. because all/orig neve's themselves are getting scarce.

    Anyway...he's been doing this in L.A. longer than just about anybody. His worki on anything I've ever seen is great...although the last couple of years he has other people working under him doing alot of the hands on now.

    He knows his $*^t big time
  19. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    All I'm saying is the thing didn't sound so special to me. I have heard API's I liked much more. And the thing fell apart within a year. Light bezels broke and the phantom switch had to be left in the on position because it broke. I have heard that Brent is a great guy. I also know what my buddies expierence with his 1272 was .... Fats
  20. Bobby Loux

    Bobby Loux Active Member

    Jan 14, 2003

    thanks for your response. always appreciate your time.

    here are the links you asked for, I hope they send you those pieces as what a great opportunity for us all to review so much different gear! thanks again

    TL Audio 5051 Ivory series

    HHB Radius 40 Home


    thanks for that link very helpful, lots of great info.

    thank you both.

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