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Looking for a preamp (in the lower price range)

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  • Looking for a preamp (in the lower price range)

    Does anyone have any good experience with a pre-amp under $200 that is quiet--or a way to boost my signal and get less noise? My current configuration is my mic (SM57 or AKG Perception 200) plugged into the ART Tube MP Project Series, which then goes into my Delta 1010LT via XLR.

    On the Tube MP, with the gain set at 2 and Output at -6, it shows in Sonar some hiss registering at about -54db. Most of my stuff is rock, so it doesn't matter a great deal; but it is annoying for the acoustic songs.

    Thanks for any help!
    -dizzykitty.net
    -myspace.com/jeremymckemy

  • #2
    Hmmm, not sure you can find one for under $200, but I use an FMR Audio RNP (Really Nice Preamp) that I bought on ebay for about $300 iirc. I've been quite pleased with it.
    My Music

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    • #3
      Alrighty, that's what I was afraid of...you kinda get what you pay for I suppose. Thanks for your input!
      -dizzykitty.net
      -myspace.com/jeremymckemy

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      • #4
        I recently bought a used ART DPS ll off Craig's List for $110 (I think they are around $300 new). It's a two channel, one rack space preamp with built-in limiter and 12ax7 tube. It also has spdif connectors so you can use it as an A/D converter as well. I haven't used it on a recording yet, but have experimented with it mostly on guitar and it sounds pretty good so far.

        I also have a Behringer Vintager Series Tube Ultragain (model T1953) that I bought used for around $100. It's a two channel, two rack space preamp with two 12ax7 tubes, and has a cool retro look with it's four VU meters. I have used it on a recording project and got some good results with it. I know that Behringer usually gets a bad rap around here, but this is one of their higher end models and sounds quite decent for it's price range. I've read some very positive pro reviews on them.

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        • #5
          I think those ART tube preamps are the least ****************ty preamps for that money.

          I've heard good things about the Studio Electronics line.
          Todzilla
          HUGE sound generation & capture facility
          Eno River Basin

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          • #6
            Hmmm, not sure you can find one for under $200, but I use an FMR Audio RNP (Really Nice Preamp) that I bought on ebay for about $300 iirc. I've been quite pleased with it.


            Hey speierg,

            Have you used any other preamps to compare the RNP to? I'm looking at buying it and want to know what it's like. Does it add any color or is it just pure clean gain? Reading about it I know it's got a noise floor of about -120. How high can you turn up the gain before you hear any noise from the preamp itself? And lastly, I know it has stepped gain knobs that increase gain by steps of 6 db. Do you find this limits the flexibility of the unit? Or does it matter?

            Any input you can give on it would be great. I like to get the data from the mouths of the people who've bought it.

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            • #7
              I've got a couple M-Audio DMP3's. They're not super or anything but they're in your price range and I haven't noticed them to be particularly noisy. I don't use them that much anymore though, I mostly deal with my synths these days.
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