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preamps for location use
Old 15th May 2003
Registered User
hollywood_steve's Avatar
🎧 20 years
preamps for location use

Gonna need a 4ch mic preamp to use with the new Genex 8ch recorder and I want to get some "clean" preamps as I already have a variety of tube and colored SS pre's. But when I check out the better "clean" preamps (Grace, Millennia, GML, etc.) they all proudly state that they are completely transformerless on both inputs and outputs. Personally, I'm a huge fan of transformers but I would live without them for super transparent performance. But we are talking about location work here and isn't it crazy to not use transformers when on location? (for any of several reasons having to do with the isolation provided by transformer coupling.) What do you serious remote dudes think about the trade-offs regarding transformers and mic preamps for location use?


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Old 15th May 2003
Lives for gear
rmx16's Avatar
🎧 20 years
What about the Sytek MPX-4? Great bang for the buck pre.Between $700-$800 used.

Old 15th May 2003
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
I tend to not worry about whether they have transformers or not... I use the preamps I like the sound of... I don't find that transient response suffers with a well designed transformer based pre. Heck, one of my favorite pres out there has great transient response and it is a tube preamp.

I prefer Grace to Millennia, but I also love the Hardy pres... The twin-servo is a favorite. I've got a pair of old Boulder preamps which were designed by Jensen. The same design is in the twin servo pres.

I've got some gigs coming up this summer that might enable me to get some more gear and I'd like to get some good pres... Thinking either Grace or Hardy... Tough call.

The tube pres I mentioned are the Vac Rac preamps. They are difficult to find, but Steve Firlotte will still make them. He's selling stuff under his Inward Connections name over at Boutique Audio.

Old 19th May 2003
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar
🎧 20 years
It's not crazy.

I concern myself with transformers (on location) when we're splitting and/or distributing signals outside our system. In this case, we use the transformers for total isolation from the other systems.

When we're not splitting, transformers are used or not used as per our ears delight.
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