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Best Pre under $2000 to be paired with U87
Old 23rd November 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Best Pre under $2000 to be paired with U87

I am currently running an ISA 220 through my U87 but it just sounds boring. I'm looking for something a little a little warmer and creamier but, I don't think I want to go tube again. I had an LA610 once before, thats not what I'm looking for. I'm considering the API A2D. Keep in mind I do not need a channel strip, just an awesome pre or a two in one unit thats versatile from vocals to overheads. My budget is $2000, any ideas?
Old 23rd November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
RCM - Ronan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BootKamp ➑️
I am currently running an ISA 220 through my U87 but it just sounds boring. I'm looking for something a little a little warmer and creamier but, I don't think I want to go tube again. I had an LA610 once before, thats not what I'm looking for. I'm considering the API A2D. Keep in mind I do not need a channel strip, just an awesome pre or a two in one unit thats versatile from vocals to overheads. My budget is $2000, any ideas?
What kind of sounds are you into? There are so many awesome choices in your budget,
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
_Ludovico's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
What didn't you like about the 610? Just curious...
Old 23rd November 2009
  #4
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88fingerz's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BootKamp ➑️
I am currently running an ISA 220 through my U87 but it just sounds boring.
Tip: Record something exciting with that chain and I bet it will sound exciting!
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Groov tubes supre...
Old 23rd November 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BootKamp ➑️
I am currently running an ISA 220 through my U87 but it just sounds boring. I'm looking for something a little a little warmer and creamier but, I don't think I want to go tube again. I had an LA610 once before, thats not what I'm looking for. I'm considering the API A2D. Keep in mind I do not need a channel strip, just an awesome pre or a two in one unit thats versatile from vocals to overheads. My budget is $2000, any ideas?
Try this...LOVE mine.
Empirical Labs Mike-E Channel Strip
Good Luck,
Carmen
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Mic Pre Shootout!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm ➑️
What kind of sounds are you into? There are so many awesome choices in your budget,
Hey I really enjoyed the shootout it's a great show, just curious about how would the P- Solo would fair as the pre for a kick drum?
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Mojo Man's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If you are going to use it for drum overheads as well, the BAE 2 channel 312 is a great unit. Some people like it on vocals, some don't, so mght want to try it before you buy it if you can.
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
kittonian's Avatar
I think the A Designs Pacifica really fits what you're describing. Big bottom end, nice airy top end and punchy midrange. Great preamp. Plus, for just under $2k you get two preamps and two DIs.
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
dan p's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have a U87 and I pair it with either a GRMP2NV,Avalon 737 or summit mpc 100a.


Dan P
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I like pairing my u87 with a tube pre.
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Andrew Kinsey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Personally i allways like the U87 with a Neve 1073 channel. Im not sure what the current vintage prices are but im pretty sure this will be over 2k.

In your budget id recomend the Vintech X73i channel strip which is the clone of the Neve including the EQ and filter.
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
paulreed's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
My U87 almost always goes into the Avalon 737, but it is a channel strip. If I had the $$$ now to buy it again, I would probably go for the Pacifica instead, or of course 2 737's and another U87 .....if I could afford.
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Kinsey ➑️
Personally i allways like the U87 with a Neve 1073 channel. Im not sure what the current vintage prices are but im pretty sure this will be over 2k.

In your budget id recomend the Vintech X73i channel strip which is the clone of the Neve including the EQ and filter.
Or you can try the Vintech X73 (as opposed to the X73i). What's the diff? Well, as far as I can tell, the X73 is an almost exact copy of a vintage 1073, and has been A/B'ed with one, with experienced pros having difficulty telling the difference. Street price about $1900. The electronics of the X73 are designed to exactly mimic the original 1073, whereas the X73i uses some minor shortcuts to improve the value, while still retaining the basic sound. I'm personally going to get the X73i for a dedicated snare drum mic pre, but that's just 'cuz I'm cheap and it's about $450 cheaper (and also apparently sounds amazing). Note: I haven't actually used either of these units, just tellin' ya what I've read...

Note: even though these are mic pre's + EQ, everything I've read about these units says that the EQ aspect of them is what gives the major mojo to these units. Note also that these are solid state pre's, so one thing you might want to decide is what kind of sound you want: tube or solid state?
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Here for the gear
 
Manhole's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I second the Pacifica if you really don't want tube. Great lows without becoming muddy. Seems to be a good match with a U87. My U87 can sound a little boxy through my LA-610 but I like that sound. Lots of color, very 50-60's soul sounding. The Presonus ADL600 smooths out a lot of the harshness in the high mids and sounds more "modern". You sure about the no tube policy...? They come with their own butter...
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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engmix's Avatar
i have a modified 87ai. i've used it with vintech, isa units, manley vox box, avalon 737, and most recently with 500 series great river, juggernaut, and avedis ma5. i would have to say out of the lot for me the avedis was the best match for my 87 in most situations. other 87's i've used i pretty much always paired them with a 1073, and for the most part always matched extremely well. there's something about the color of that style of pre that sits well in records with an 87. i have had good success with focusrite isa units, but they were old versions of pre and mic. not sure about the newer ones? i had an x73 for a few years, it never really did it for me, but some love them. i feel like the avedis has the mojo. i had a manley ref card for years, and the 87 with the avedis and the 28k button in, almost has a similar presence. do remember my 87 is modified, so it's a bit more open than your typical ai, a bit less honk factor going on in the mids.

if you go 500 series, i would also try the great river and lachapell. i tried the lachapelle with a mulard in it, pretty awesome for certain singers.

try before you buy!
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
I thank everyone for their input. I think I'm gonna try out the Pacifica and the Vintech 273 and decide after I hear them. I had the LA610 back when I had a TLM103, it was a little too harsh then but maybe with the U87 it'll sound better. Out of those three, which do you all think will sound the best before I order? I make my money from R&B/Hip Hop vocals but, I myself record experimental/psychedelic/progressive/soulful music.
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BootKamp ➑️
I thank everyone for their input. I think I'm gonna try out the Pacifica and the Vintech 273 and decide after I hear them. I had the LA610 back when I had a TLM103, it was a little too harsh then but maybe with the U87 it'll sound better. Out of those three, which do you all think will sound the best before I order? I make my money from R&B/Hip Hop vocals but, I myself record experimental/psychedelic/progressive/soulful music.
Since you are making your living doing hip hop/ R&B vocals... I would strongly suggest the Avedis MA5... Definitely under your budget, and will work well for just about anything you throw at it. It has the typical Neve "bigness", and the 28K switch usually makes R&B vocals shine.
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Sixties era tube pre is the right match for 87.
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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tapehiss's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier ➑️
Sixties era tube pre is the right match for 87.
like a mercury m72 maybe???

or maybe a tab-funkenwerk v78
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
the microphone type has nothing to do with the preamp type, and vice versa


use whatever preamp you like, on everything
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
DarkSky Media's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The U87 works particularly well with a GT ViPre, FWIW.

Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
If you like it tubey I would go for a V72, one of the best vocal pres I've heard. On the modern, clean side +1 for Avedis or BAE
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Guru
 
NathanEldred's Avatar
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman ➑️
the microphone type has nothing to do with the preamp type, and vice versa
I mostly agree, sugar tastes like sugar and salt tastes like salt regardless of what it is mixed with. So the general sound of a microphone is static, as are the sounds of some preamps (but not all preamps have a single tone/vibe). But some microphones (especially with transformer output) will interact differently with particular preamps (in particular transformer input preamps), making for non predictable results. Also, aside from the way a mic/preamp combination sounds, some preamps will accentuate sibilance more than others in my experience.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
jmikeperkins's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
There are MANY fine mic pres which work well with a U87. My personal favorite, and I have 8 of them, are the TAB made Telefunken V376. My pres came from WDR (German Radio) and are from the late 60's to mid 70's. These are the pres that would have been originally used with the U87 back in the day. The V376 is BOTH warm and open sounding with enough character to keep you interested. Its comparable to the best vintage Neve. The Neve (something like a 1073 or a 1084) will be a little thicker in the mids but the V376 has a sweeter top end. Other excellent and similiar vintage German pres include the tube V72, tube V76, and solid state V276 (make by Siemens), V372, V672, V676, and the V676a.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Baz
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Baz's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sorry for the vague reply,but I honestly can't say there's a "best" preamp for that mic - I'm actually not crazy about the word "best" being used for any piece of gear.

As an owner of an older 87 and having run it thru: TLAudio,Avalon,Great River,Crane Song, B-Range,Daking,Aurora Audio and Mil-Media amps, I haven't found one to better than the other.I loved the GR as much as the 737 on some voices for eg, so how 180 is that

I will say that due to how the mic sounds in the mids,I'm in no rush to run it through our 512 or BAE312's but will try it at some point.

What I'm really looking forward to running it through is our new TG2. That mic amp is so gooey that I could see it being a good fit on the right app.Maybe F vox or even on a cab.

From what I've heard from the Pacifica,I think it could be a great pairing.

Good Luck!
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
EqnoixStudios's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I know the Avalons aren't popular here, but I think they are terrific paired with a u87.
Old 26th November 2009
  #28
Lives for gear
 
jslevin's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BootKamp ➑️
I am currently running an ISA 220 through my U87 but it just sounds boring. I'm looking for something a little a little warmer and creamier but, I don't think I want to go tube again. I had an LA610 once before, thats not what I'm looking for. I'm considering the API A2D. Keep in mind I do not need a channel strip, just an awesome pre or a two in one unit thats versatile from vocals to overheads. My budget is $2000, any ideas?
I would really look at the Neve Portico series. For well under $2000 each, you can choose between a preamp/EQ, a preamp/compressor, and a two-channel preamp. That preamp/compressor combo is pretty electric. The SILK switch turns on a little cream without going overboard. These things beat the pants off Vintech in terms of pure sound quality.

JSL
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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RonT's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I believe when they designed the 737 they were extensivly testing it with the u87. Everytime one is plugged into mines I start scrabbling for a vintage 87. u87 goes with 737 like sm7b goes with great river.....like peanut butter and jelly or water and t-shirts on super-models!

Somethings just work......
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 88fingerz ➑️
Tip: Record something exciting with that chain and I bet it will sound exciting!

That's the best comment here!


The source has to be exciting. Your ISA/U87 combo is very nice. thumbsup
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