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Presonus MP20
Old 17th October 2002
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Presonus MP20

Anybody used this mic pre?
What's the consensus?
Improvement over Mackie XDR's?

Ciao,

Woods
Old 17th October 2002
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Faderjockey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It's better then the Mackie pres Yes. But If you get it used or cheap then replace the 2 Op-amps per ch with Burr-Brown OPA627ap it will open it up more in the top and make the bottom clearer. I did it on my M80. It will notturn it into an amazing pre but it does make it sound more like a real pre-amp. I'm just using mine as over flow ch's. If you get a used MP20 try and get one that has the Jensen Transformers. I have them in my M80. Those and the Burr-Brown make it sound pretty good. Way better then a Mackie. Good luck.
Old 17th October 2002
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Presonus MP20

Quote:
Originally posted by woods
Anybody used this mic pre?
Yes, had one for a little over a year.
Quote:
What's the consensus?
Tried hard to like it but I never could warm up to it.
Quote:
Improvement over Mackie XDR's?
Yea, but not by much. Even with the Jensen tranny's and the 'B-B' OPA627ap chips in it (though definetely was an improvement) the MP-20 just kinda....well, sucked. Sterile, dimension less, and flacid, are what comes to mind (and ears) when describing this thing. Do yourself a favor, save your money and get something really worth while. Actually, for about the same cash you can get an RNP though the waiting list is pretty long from what I understand.
Old 18th October 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Faderjockey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well that's funny. I agree the MP20 is sort of borring but like I said I just use it as over flow pres. But I still find it hard believe that the RNP will be so great. I think it will be cool or useful (For the money that is). But doing scratch tracks with even the M80 or MP20 and the OPA chips works well. The are not Neves. langevin, Or GML but they sound better then most pres in a console. The RNP may be better. I just don't think for the money it's going to blow my mind or anything.
Old 20th October 2002
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Faderjockey
The are not Neves. langevin, Or GML but they sound better then most pres in a console.
Perhaps Muckie's and Badringers... not sure what "consoles" you're talking about but that's not been my experience. Hey, if you like the thing that's fine... plenty of people do. I just wasn't one of them.
Old 21st October 2002
  #6
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think it sounds a better then the pres on my board, a Trident 65. Not bad for the money but it isn't going to blow away the Daking or OSA stuff. I'm considering selling mine, if I keep it I'll probably mod it. I end up using it for toms or room mics a lot of times. Just the other day I was tracking keys with it using the DI.
Old 21st October 2002
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Wow... I couldn't disagree more. The pre's in my "65" are way more pleasing to me than my MP-20 (w/mod's) ever was. The mid's are richer, the highs are no where near as cold, and the lows seem thicker to me. They're just an all round smoother pre to my ears. Guess that mileage thing applies here in a big way.

I did a complete recap (electrolytics) and rechip on the board a few months ago. Perhaps this may explain the different impressions... then again it may not.
Old 21st October 2002
  #8
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I don't know. The low's on the MP20 seem bigger and go deeper, but I do prefer the upper mids on the console for guitars. I hardly ever use either one once I get past cutting basic tracks. I bought the MP20 back when I had a Wackie 8 buss and it was night and day better. I still use it but I've considered selling it and putting the money into more OSA stuff or more mics. So yeah, I guess the YMMV applies here.
Old 18th September 2006 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
I just got a good deal on an MP20 on Ebay. When I get it I am going to attemp to mod it. Hopefully it will really improve the sound quality. I am new to modding, so it may take me a while to do it. i will try to post clips when I finish. I will give mod info too for those who are interested if I succeed.
Old 18th September 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
It's one of the best values for a 2 channel pre for under $500. Using a coupled transformer on the input side, it exhibits some subtle coloration with a little fizzle on the top end. It no longer use a Jensen and I was told the tranny is sourced from Italy. I prefer it over the RNP, which is also decent pre.
Old 18th September 2006 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Faderjockey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Wow...Talk about rising thread from the dead..

The mod is not really a mod...It's not like a redesign or soldering...
You pull the opamps off the opamp socket..(paying attention to the direction it's facing) then you place the new one in the socket facing the same way...BB (Burr Browns) have a little silver arrow in the corner I believe.
Old 18th September 2006 | Show parent
  #12
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
wow!
the dead has risen.
Old 18th September 2006 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
... And the thing still sucks!
Old 19th September 2006 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
I have had my MP20 for several years now. I have other mic pres but I still use it from time to time. My unit is older so it has the Jensen transformers but not the other mod. I have no reason to ever sell it because I could only get maybe $250 for and it is worth that and then some. I guess it depends what you are after but if you could pick up a good old used one on ebay I would say go for it.

Where do you buy the BB chips?

-Gary
Old 27th April 2008 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Head
 
aberwastone's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The mp20 with Jensens sucks???

Whoever that guy is...who said that on this blog needs to rethink this a little.

How can a preamp with Jensens for one suck? DW fern, Studio electronics, John Hardy, Trident consoles, etc, etc..all use Jensens... So I can agree that a MP20 with ****** transformers suck..all the MP20s made after 1999. When guitar center demanded presonus market the mp 20 to be sold at $550 or below..Jensen had to be cut from the MP20. When the MP20 had the Jensens..it was worth $900 or more easily... Until they pulled them out. Thanks to GC and there marketing plans.

I tell you. I own a few of these MP20s. And I own a $3000 GT vipre. They are not that much apart. The MP20 with Jensens, and AD797 opamps will give you pro results. I use mine on bass and acoustic guitar on occasions.

Yes, I love my vipre more, I love my vintechs more.. but the MP20s I own have a purpose.

So to the guy who said they sucked. And said he would prefer RNP over a Jensen MP20...I beg to differ..
Old 27th April 2008 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I have the MP-20 and it's ok. It have the Burr/Browns ( I kinda hate to have heard it before.... I got it already with them in it used.)..I find it lacking in headroom tho. I think it would've benefitted with an output control ( with output tranny..I know, would 've cost more, but shoot..if you gonna try to be a hi-end pre, be one!..)..more so than that IDSS whateva'..Does ok, but definately not like my OSAs...( YMMV)
Old 5th May 2008
  #17
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
On modding: Trying to make it sound like a real pre I put in Lundahl transformers which helped the low end, and I also did the well documented change of the IC chips, which gave added definition, plus I also bypassed the inserts which cleaned up the sound.

Maybe not bad for the money I guess, and I actually am intrigued by the sound of the fake tube saturation feature, but in the end it is an IC based box and will never sound as big, effortless, open, lush, smooth and grown-up as a true discrete analog box. Save up for a real pre-amp. You will enjoy a good one endlessly.
Old 30th December 2010 | Show parent
  #18
Here for the gear
 
aatrepair's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Out of the 8 plus op-amps the signal passes thru before exiting the line output of each channel of the MP-20, two are socketed. Upgrading just these two IC's is not going to have a significant, if at all audible, improvement. The sockets seem to be a gimick for those emperors who wish to wear no clothes.

On a positive note, these pre's can be gotten on the cheap, used on ebay, sold by those who sadly thought a good pre could somehow make magic from their microphone.

If you can get one for around $200 it is very well worth that price, but be sure it works right. Presonus won't release service schematics for any products, including the discontinued MP-20. You will be at the mercy of Prosonus and anything they decide to charge you for repair.
Old 2nd April 2011 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
The thing I find really handy about my MP-20, is the stereo mix bus. This is a feature I don't see in any high-end stereo preamp boxes. The MP-20 can act like a mixer in this regard and let me have a rather complex signal path before I send everything to my powered monitors, and I can control the master output from the MP-20.
Old 2nd April 2011 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Faderjockey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennett Williams ➑️
The thing I find really handy about my MP-20, is the stereo mix bus. This is a feature I don't see in any high-end stereo preamp boxes. The MP-20 can act like a mixer in this regard and let me have a rather complex signal path before I send everything to my powered monitors, and I can control the master output from the MP-20.
Didn't know the MP20 had that..
I use it on my M-80.. I've used it for summing mics together and even as over flow channels of summing with a Dangerous unit for mixing.
Old 27th August 2012
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
Fab Macedo's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
This pre works decent for HH, Room mics or maybe Tons ? Im about to buy one real cheap and I just need a few extra channels into my setup for drums. Not that I really need it but some drummers that think they know how to record keeping asking for micing every piece of drum and im missing a few channels right now.
Old 20th November 2012 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by aatrepair ➑️
Out of the 8 plus op-amps the signal passes thru before exiting the line output of each channel of the MP-20, two are socketed. Upgrading just these two IC's is not going to have a significant, if at all audible, improvement. The sockets seem to be a gimick for those emperors who wish to wear no clothes.
Wrong! I did one channel first intetntionally to be able to compare stock against modded channel including IC swap. Big 'audible' difference. Maybe you didn't read my post carefully enough either. Bypassing the insert also removes offending elements!
Old 31st May 2017
  #23
Here for the gear
 
FYI
I just picked up an MP20 off of ebay for $130. I sent ot off to Dave Hill at Jensen.
Very reasonable. Great guy and very helpful.
They upgraded to the Jensen Transformers and replaced, I believe it was 4
Op Amp's with LT's. Quieter and more neutral then the Burr Browns.
For me this is just fine.
Probably would have to spend well over $1200 to do better.
THis will do me fine till I'm ready for the next step.
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