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Recording preamp shootout, HELP!

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by xTHEREMINx, May 13, 2010.

  1. Hi guys, I've been doing some research on preamps for recording and have come across several that have personally stuck out for me, be it from general features, reviews and youtube clips.

    Sansamp PSA1.1
    - I like the versatility; can be used for either guitar or bass live, as well as other instruments in studio
    - the fact that you can control the distortion levels of lows, mids and highs as well as the EQ made it seem really cool and easy to get a tone that's in your head but can't quite get on some amps

    - has the sonic maximiser (british spelling lol)
    - has a comp...but I have never been a fan of comps that you have 2 (or less) knobs of control, seems sparse to me as I like to fine tune
    - tubes
    - bright switch seems almost unnecessary
    - have heard some negative reviews of BBE stuff and I have T Racks which doesn't really make a sonic maximiser incredibly necessary

    SWR Marcus Miller Preamp
    - Reputed for being really good
    - tubes
    - comp is apparently good
    - Marcus thinks it's good enough
    - I feel it's more of a live preamp really, as compared to a studio preamp

    Currently, I am running my basses into a Presonus FireStudio Project w/ IK Multimedia's Ampeg AVX and T Racks, and I dig the tone, but always feel like there's something lacking.

    So your thoughts?
    Stick with what I have? Get one of those? Why? Get something else?

  2. I have been using the same interface with ampeg SVX and T-racks and I've been really pleased with the results. Maybe you should tweak a bit more with the options the software gives you.
    But if you want to try a different preamp than the Presonus' check this website http://www.basstasters.com/preamps/ they have clips of different preamps played with different basses, maybe there you'll find something you'll like.
  3. nic salsus

    nic salsus

    Mar 16, 2010
    In any pro studio the strip you're plugging into on the console in going to be as good a preamp as anything.
    Just something to consider before you drop a lot of cash on an outboard preamp.
  4. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    possibly a pointless reply to your post, but have you thought to add a small touch of reverb or "air" (some models use this concept to represent perceived space in the tone). I have been using a computer interface with decent quality (pretty flat) headphones (Sennheiser) quite a bit lately. I was able to get a very nice set of tones to work with, but something just seemed to be missing. Someone who knows much more about this environment than I do suggested a tiny touch of reverb to emulate a more natural room sound. Bam, that did it for me. Perhaps it will help you as well. In fact, I have mostly dropped the preamps all together, and even gone passive on my basses, and am just using the software models all the way now.
    good luck
  5. hmm
    you all make pretty decent points
    i think i'll keep running with what I have until i find a really good bargain.

    if you were to choose between any of the three, which would you choose?
  6. If I were to choose between the ones you listed I'd choose neither. For that kind of money I'd buy an Avalon U5.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i'd get a vt or vt deluxe for a good low end preamp, but if you can find an ampeg svp-cl preamp, that is a super sweet preamp that's clean yet ballsy, and can be had for fairly cheap used and blows those other ones away.
  8. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    +1 on a touch of 'verb in the 'phones for a more natural/musical instrument sound.

    Carnegie Hall doesn't sound like an anechoic chamber...
  9. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    I'd go for the best preamp possible , no comp , no EQ , no gizmos.
    When you record , you should always record as flat as possible and correct afterward in the software. DI or MIke.

    If you Compress too much your bass before recording you won't be able to remove it afterward. A good gain structure is your friend.

    Same with EQ , it's very easy to EQ on the software , if your take has big eq'ing to it , later if you need to bring back the some frequencies to better fit the style/song/mix , you'll also bring back the noise floor.

    My main preamp only has a gain and on it , I keep the EQ and compression for later when I have a better idea of what is needed in that particular song.
  10. reddi


    Jan 7, 2010
    I've been digging my Eclair Evil Twin and Reddi...both are great.

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