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Good Mic Pre/DI

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by lm183902, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. lm183902


    Aug 19, 2007
    Denver, CO
    I'm wanting to get a nice mic pre with DI, but the DI has to be solid. For a while, all I wanted was a U5, but for not much more $, I know I can just get a pre with a Hi-Z input. I've considered the UA SOLO 610, but haven't heard the DI. Does anyone have any experience with one of these or possibly have any other suggestions?
  2. lm183902


    Aug 19, 2007
    Denver, CO
  3. Anthony Jackson

    Anthony Jackson

    May 28, 2008
    A quick answer and some advice for you. You may or may not know of my views regarding electronics and where they belong, but I'll mention one aspect in brief: If you value the ultimate quality of your sound, do not economize on anything directly following your instrument. If you plan to run directly to a DI (leaving the preamp duties to others downstream), then buy a well-shielded ACTIVE phantom-powered unit. Unless you're only doing studio work using short cable runs in a heavily shielded studio, avoid transformer units...an unbuffered transformer secondary cannot drive a long cable without losses and is likely to change your sound (and not for the better). The severity of the degradation may or may not bother you now, but someday it definitely will. Preserve your aural acuity...buy the best quality you can afford. And always LISTEN.
  4. Anthony Jackson

    Anthony Jackson

    May 28, 2008
    In my experience, if you want to use your own preamp, best results are likely to come using a separate DI. Avalon and Millenia Media are good preamp choices. My personal DI choice is the Radial J48. Good luck.
  5. lm183902


    Aug 19, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Wow, I couldn't have asked for an answer from anyone better! Thanks Anthony, this is all definitely food for thought, and great advice for my young mind. I suppose I should keep saving until I can really afford to do things right.
  6. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Another nice mic pre is the Buzzaudio MA 2.2.
    They also make a compatible DI Box.
  7. The Presonus Eureka is a good pre/DI combo, especially for bass. Not too expensive, quiet, and digital output is standard (AFAIK) on new units.
  8. Groove Tubes Brick
  9. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Huge +1 on this. Great for both DI and mic pre duties.

    I think you'd get a lot of mileage out of the UA Solo 610 too.

    I'm really fond of Great River's mic preamps for plugging straight into and recording if they're available.
  10. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    I echo that as well... I tend to run my signal chain this way for most gigs with FOH support...

    Bass (w/onboard preamp usually set flat, or with MINOR boost/cut) --> external tube preamp --> Countryman T85 DI (XLR to house, 1/4" throughput to amp). Sometimes I bypass the external tube pre and just go straight to the DI, depending on my mood and how much gear I want to move. Either way, your own DI gives you control over what you know is going to the board, and it allows you to keep playing if your amp dies. Some amps separate the XLR out so your feed won't die if the amp cuts out (I think Edens are like that), but I don't know of many that do.

    As an aside... I'd love to try the Radial DI's some day, but the Countryman is another fine alternative that is rock solid and sounds great.
  11. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I had a UA Solo610.. Great unit.. Has Mic and 1/4" in.. Phantom Power, etc.. GREAT Unit.. It was too clean for my taste.. Very pristine and nice mic pre.. I was hoping that if i wanted to, i would be able to dirty it up a little.
    It is definitely a PRo piece of gear...
  12. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Can't you "dirty up" any unit by simply running something else after it in the chain?
    That's how I would do if I wanted to.
    You would however still have the "clean" option as well, if you went that way...
  13. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I guess I could have..
    Its not like i really wanted dirty fuzz.. I just wanted a little tube saturation... I play mostly passive basses and I could not get that ... And that is very desired by many players..I just wanted that option.
    And i didnt want to add something like a Sans amp to the chain... No SIMS.. I want just the real thing.. So I got a REDDI.. is is not so much a preamp as it is a real good DI that has a gain adjust.
    It too is very cleqan but full bodied and has extended lows .. yet has something special...

    But overall if you want real clean and Hifi the UA is one of the ways to go
  14. this is a very nice mic pre.. its a clean transparant pre.. what you hear is what you get (mostly).. no colouration

    it depends what type of pre he is after.. if he is after a more coloured pre, then the buzz isnt right

    along the same line as a buzz though is a Grace m101 with hi-z DI, its a clean pre once again, its great value for money.. i use one coupled with a lynx 2A soundcard/converter
  15. skb5string

    skb5string Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2007
    Clinton Township, MI
    I'm using a Presonus "Tube-Pre" as both at a church setting. Realy great for the $$ but you need to be aware of any ground issues...no ground lift on that...but again, great sounding and cheap!!
  16. MHensleyJr

    MHensleyJr Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    Redlands, CA
    I've got the UA M-610 (basically the same thing as the SOLO, but rack mounted) and I love it. Like others have said, it sounds very clean. That's the main reason why I went with it instead of other choices out there though.
  17. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I agree pretty much with you, although I'd say that with such a clean pre, you have the "dirty option" whereas a more coloring pre won't give you the "clean thing".
    Have you compared the buzz with the millennia?
    I've been wondering how they compare...
  18. yeah, i personally prefer a clean pre..

    i havent tried the millennia.. i used to own a Buzz SSA-1.1 which is similar to the MA-2.2.. i know someone who has the MA and it is similar.. i've also had a Great River ME-1NV, a nice pre but coloured.. very versatile though

    The Grace m101 i am currently using is very nice.. its a single channel, versus the dual channel of the buzz.. i found i dont need the extra channel..

    ive seen the Grace for around $560US new.. pretty good
  19. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Thanks for the info!
  20. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I don't have personal experience with it yet, but a unit that should be on bassists' radars is the Daking Mic Pre One. It was just released recently, but Daking's preamps are very well-regarded, and the MP1 is in a physical format that makes it well-suited to DI duty (as well as being a mic pre).

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