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SM7B Preamp Recommendations (ME-1NV, WA73, BAE 1073, etc)
Old 15th August 2020 | Show parent
  #31
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plainofjars's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 ➡️
I don't know that even with my very "fussy" hearing (22 KHz+ at 6!/still excellent at 61/easily over 17KHz now)...
I could hear the difference of the SM7 or SM7B, as to "which Pre". Especially in a Mix.
Chris
The recording you uploaded sounds distorted
Old 16th August 2020 | Show parent
  #32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dranzangos ➡️
Of all the listed options, I have and use an SM7b with a Tonebeast, ISA Two and a Great River ME1NV. Most often I leaned on the Tonebeast for rock vocals because it helped to push the upper mids a bit more for rock mixes. It can also be set very clean. Ditto for the GR, can be thick and vibey or sparkly depending on the gain settings and impedance/loading or dialed back on the input to clean up too. The ISA is also nice, more neutral and doesn’t saturate like the others. Loads of clean headroom though. No issues whatsoever with noise on my unit. It’s neutral character helps when a mic or source is overly colored to begin with. Also great as a line amp or a sleeper DI (really nice).

Truth is, when set clean, all three have subtle differences but no one will wreck your vocal take. Ample gain to amplify the low output of an SM7b. When they get pushed they show their true colors though and it is HERE where you might think of which flavor or set of options might help you down the road:

ISA is neutral and more utilitarian. It takes most sources well and won’t screw them up.

GR can be big or warm or shifted towards high end sparkle with many options in between.

TB can be clean and spanky or mid range gritty with good cut, but is a swiss army knife with its tone options and transformer selects.
Great breakdown of these units and your descriptions align perfectly with everything I’ve heard. Definitely leaning towards the GR for the versatility in options - saturation with Pre gain, cleanliness with output gain. Sounds like a winner.

Curious if you could tell me what those other buttons on the GR do? “Impedance” , “Polarity” and “Loading” buttons.
Old 16th August 2020
  #33
Gear Guru
 
chessparov2.0's Avatar
 
FWIW a rare and amazing (IMHO) Little Labs LMNO Pre, supposedly mint... Is up for sale at Ebay. My favorite SM7 Pre.
As you can see, they really hold their value too. Originally $1650. Now asking $1500.

Too bad it didn't get more well known. Like a Grace-on Steriods!
Chris
Old 16th August 2020 | Show parent
  #34
Gear Maniac
 
dranzangos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny554 ➡️
Great breakdown of these units and your descriptions align perfectly with everything I’ve heard. Definitely leaning towards the GR for the versatility in options - saturation with Pre gain, cleanliness with output gain. Sounds like a winner.

Curious if you could tell me what those other buttons on the GR do? “Impedance” , “Polarity” and “Loading” buttons.
From the GR manual:

Impedance

The input load for the microphone and the Hi-Z buffer can be switched from 1200 ohms to 300 ohms. When the button is in the out position, the input load is 1200 ohms. When the button is pushed in, the input load is 300 ohms.

Great River Tips:
Most microphones will work best with the 1200 setting. Best isn’t always what you want though. With most microphones, the result of using the 300 ohm setting will be a roll off of the lowest frequencies and a tilt upwards of the highs. This effect is highly dependant on the particular microphone, and the only way to know for sure is to try it.
Keep in mind that the impedance change is accomplished by changing the step-up ratio of the input transformer, so a gain change happens as well. Don’t let the volume difference mask the tonal difference when determining your preference.
In general, the best mics to try changing the impedance selection effect on are dynamics and ribbons. Condenser microphones have built in amplifiers, and the usual effect of running them into a lower impedance than they like to see is just a large increase in distortion and lower headroom, with minimal tonal changes.
The DI is similar to a condenser microphone, in that it doesn’t change tonally much, but has much different distortion characteristics with the different loads presented by the two impedance selections. This can be used to great advantage when recording electronic instruments that need a little more body.

Loading

This button controls the output termination relay. When in the out position, the output transformer is unloaded. When pushed in, a 600 ohm resistor is connected across the secondary.

Great River Tips:
The output transformer has an inherent resonant peak that affects the frequency response at high frequencies. This peak is at approximately 50kHz, and is about 6db up from flat and is cable and load dependant. The amplifier is designed to be correctly loaded by 600 ohms for best flatness in both frequency and phase response, but some interesting effects happen when unterminated.
A gentle high frequency lift, like an “air band” EQ and a bit grittier midrange are the effects you should hear when the loading button is out.


I found their description fairly accurate, though the effects are far more pronounced when driving the input harder. Oddly enough, engaging impedance while using my LDCs sounds nasty but really nice with one of my tube LDCs. So for what its worth, experimenting can yield very cool results.

Polarity just flips the signal so you can phase match other signals if multi micing the same source.
Old 17th August 2020
  #35
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TVPostSound's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I found a sweet set up!

SM7B->Soyuz Launcher->Grace M101.

Seriously!!
Old 17th August 2020
  #36
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guavadude's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The GR matches well with the SM7 and also with a 57 or Royer 121 on gtr cabs. Gets a great bass sound as a DI too. I’m constantly adjusting the pre level settings, impedance and load to differentiate between tracks. Highly recommended!
Old 17th August 2020
  #37
Gear Maniac
 
The Lola is a good match, clean with some transformer mojo. Actually works well with lots of stuff and a great value when diyed. They don’t saturate well with the 990 in there but that defeats the purpose of clean.
Old 17th August 2020 | Show parent
  #38
Gear Guru
 
chessparov2.0's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound ➡️
I found a sweet set up!

SM7B->Soyuz Launcher->Grace M101.

Seriously!!
Clips?
Thanks, Chris
Old 17th August 2020 | Show parent
  #39
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TVPostSound's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 ➡️
Clips?
Thanks, Chris
I don't know why my response was deleted by Synth Guru


I recorded some VO with this setup.
I can't post those clips, as Netflix would sue me.
Old 17th August 2020
  #40
Lives for gear
 
TVPostSound's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Another fine setup with the SM7B is with a Daking Mic Pre One, and a Cloud Lifter if more gain needed.
Not a Soyuz.
One transformer is enough!!
Old 17th August 2020 | Show parent
  #41
Gear Guru
 
chessparov2.0's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound ➡️
I don't know why my response was deleted by Synth Guru


I recorded some VO with this setup.
I can't post those clips, as Netflix would sue me.
Thanks, I totally understand.
Chris
Old 17th August 2020 | Show parent
  #42
YES!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dranzangos ➡️
From the GR manual:

Impedance

The input load for the microphone and the Hi-Z buffer can be switched from 1200 ohms to 300 ohms. When the button is in the out position, the input load is 1200 ohms. When the button is pushed in, the input load is 300 ohms.

Great River Tips:
Most microphones will work best with the 1200 setting. Best isn’t always what you want though. With most microphones, the result of using the 300 ohm setting will be a roll off of the lowest frequencies and a tilt upwards of the highs. This effect is highly dependant on the particular microphone, and the only way to know for sure is to try it.
Keep in mind that the impedance change is accomplished by changing the step-up ratio of the input transformer, so a gain change happens as well. Don’t let the volume difference mask the tonal difference when determining your preference.
In general, the best mics to try changing the impedance selection effect on are dynamics and ribbons. Condenser microphones have built in amplifiers, and the usual effect of running them into a lower impedance than they like to see is just a large increase in distortion and lower headroom, with minimal tonal changes.
The DI is similar to a condenser microphone, in that it doesn’t change tonally much, but has much different distortion characteristics with the different loads presented by the two impedance selections. This can be used to great advantage when recording electronic instruments that need a little more body.

Loading

This button controls the output termination relay. When in the out position, the output transformer is unloaded. When pushed in, a 600 ohm resistor is connected across the secondary.

Great River Tips:
The output transformer has an inherent resonant peak that affects the frequency response at high frequencies. This peak is at approximately 50kHz, and is about 6db up from flat and is cable and load dependant. The amplifier is designed to be correctly loaded by 600 ohms for best flatness in both frequency and phase response, but some interesting effects happen when unterminated.
A gentle high frequency lift, like an “air band” EQ and a bit grittier midrange are the effects you should hear when the loading button is out.


I found their description fairly accurate, though the effects are far more pronounced when driving the input harder. Oddly enough, engaging impedance while using my LDCs sounds nasty but really nice with one of my tube LDCs. So for what its worth, experimenting can yield very cool results.

Polarity just flips the signal so you can phase match other signals if multi micing the same source.
I have a GR ME-1NV ... and it is one of the most versatile pieces of hardware I've ever, ever used. Built like a tank -- and the way it is electronically laid out, is an experimenter's dream-come-true. I also have both a Soyuz Launcher and a Klark-Teknik CT-1. I am in agreement with another GSer here -- in that I think using a Launcher in association with a "colored" pre like the GR might be a bit too much. When it comes to goosing the level of my various workhorse dynamics ... I find myself using the CT-1 with the GR ... and the Launcher with my "cleaner" pres [Onyx, Jim Williams High Speed, the Yamaha D-Pres on my Steinberg UR22, etc.]
Old 18th August 2020 | Show parent
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelGef ➡️
I have a GR ME-1NV ... and it is one of the most versatile pieces of hardware I've ever, ever used. Built like a tank -- and the way it is electronically laid out, is an experimenter's dream-come-true. I also have both a Soyuz Launcher and a Klark-Teknik CT-1. I am in agreement with another GSer here -- in that I think using a Launcher in association with a "colored" pre like the GR might be a bit too much. When it comes to goosing the level of my various workhorse dynamics ... I find myself using the CT-1 with the GR ... and the Launcher with my "cleaner" pres [Onyx, Jim Williams High Speed, the Yamaha D-Pres on my Steinberg UR22, etc.]
Dammit guys...I get it! I'm gonna get the damn GR!
But seriously - all of this feedback has been wonderful. Really excited to experiment with one.

My Audient iD22 has 1/4" RETURN inputs that bypass its preamps (image attached for example). Would I need an XLR-to-1/4" to take the GR's XLR "OUTPUT" into it?

Old 18th August 2020 | Show parent
  #44
Gear Maniac
 
dranzangos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny554 ➡️
Dammit guys...I get it! I'm gonna get the damn GR!
But seriously - all of this feedback has been wonderful. Really excited to experiment with one.

My Audient iD22 has 1/4" RETURN inputs that bypass its preamps (image attached for example). Would I need an XLR-to-1/4" to take the GR's XLR "OUTPUT" into it?

Yep, I think that’s pretty much all you need to do!
Old 18th August 2020 | Show parent
  #45
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny554 ➡️
Dammit guys...I get it! I'm gonna get the damn GR!
But seriously - all of this feedback has been wonderful. Really excited to experiment with one.

My Audient iD22 has 1/4" RETURN inputs that bypass its preamps (image attached for example). Would I need an XLR-to-1/4" to take the GR's XLR "OUTPUT" into it?

While the GR is for sure a good piece, I’d suggest you to try 2 or 3 candidates in YOUR place, and the YOU decide with YOUR ears, instead of what I (or somebody else) is blabbering on this forum.



Cheu
Old 18th August 2020 | Show parent
  #46
Gear Maniac
 
dranzangos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 ➡️
While the GR is for sure a good piece, I’d suggest you to try 2 or 3 candidates in YOUR place, and the YOU decide with YOUR ears, instead of what I (or somebody else) is blabbering on this forum.



Cheu
+10. I’m just another talking head too.
Old 18th August 2020 | Show parent
  #47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 ➡️
While the GR is for sure a good piece, I’d suggest you to try 2 or 3 candidates in YOUR place, and the YOU decide with YOUR ears, instead of what I (or somebody else) is blabbering on this forum.



Cheu
My friend, you are very much persistent in me experimenting with multiple units. I may not have the patience to buy multiple units and play around, only to return some and repeat the process. Although, I can say that will definitely be the case if I grab one (like the GR per se) and don't vibe with the results in my setup.

I respect you for being that voice!
Old 18th August 2020 | Show parent
  #48
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny554 ➡️
My friend, you are very much persistent in me experimenting with multiple units. I may not have the patience to buy multiple units and play around, only to return some and repeat the process. Although, I can say that will definitely be the case if I grab one (like the GR per se) and don't vibe with the results in my setup.

I respect you for being that voice!
I know this may be annoying, but it’s in the end the only way to KNOW what is better for you and more important having experienced a couple of units which is part of a personal “growth” and really understanding the differencies.

I don’t have any benefit if you buy X or Y product. Basically all of the product mentioned are good or very good, so that is not the point.

Although I understand that is a time consuming practice, but is also a revealing/discovery process which imho is a very good thing.







Cheu
Old 18th August 2020 | Show parent
  #49
One Major Takeaway ...

I think everyone will agree with this: There's a lot of really good gear out there. Just add your own artistry & touch, and watch [hear] what may blossom as a result. YRMV!
Old 19th August 2020
  #50
Gear Guru
 
chessparov2.0's Avatar
 
This time a non-distorted recording, of a deliberately distorted" AKA Country Blues voice.
Experimenting here with a Gregg Allman style vocal.

On a portion of the Allman Brothers song "One Way Out". My first-ever-attempt here of this kind of vocal.
This was a "one take"/off the cuff recording. Mild Processing but no Autotune. I call these a "feel take".

58>Launcher>Presonus Audiobox. Hopefully this helps show, that you can make nice-even serious "demo level" vocal recordings, with this set up.
Chris

EDIT: Edited the original vocal clip, and putting
the improved version here, of "One Way Out".
Attached Files

OneWayOutSoyuz58FinalFinal250Hz3db.wav (1.49 MB, 1380 views)

Old 11th September 2020 | Show parent
  #51
Lives for gear
did you make a decision? if not, did you look at a pre-built capi vp26 or vp28? you can get a single slot 500 series rack made by chameleon labs cps-501 (used only) or cps-503 if you have no rack and no interest in buying other 500 series modules. i like my vp-28 platinum. there's a demo of it (of both preamps actually) with a female vocalist singing into an sm7/sm7b (not sure which one). here it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6wYHNJFmbo

jeff steiger's a good man, and thorough.
Old 11th September 2020 | Show parent
  #52
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Churlish ➡️

jeff steiger's a good man, and thorough.
Lol
Old 12th September 2020 | Show parent
  #53
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound ➡️
Another fine setup with the SM7B is with a Daking Mic Pre One, and a Cloud Lifter if more gain needed.
Not a Soyuz.
One transformer is enough!!
My experience is completely opposite of yours......the Daking has no output transformer and the top end is very open and revealing.......often too much so.......but with the Soyuz?........creamy vintage heaven on top with a warm midbass and tight bass........for me, this combo spanks my BAE for vintage flavor rock.............
Old 12th September 2020
  #54
Gear Guru
 
chessparov2.0's Avatar
 
Love both the Daking and Launcher sound.
Chris
Old 11th October 2020
  #55
Gear Head
 
zsarbomba's Avatar
 
I just plugged a SM7B into a Safe Sound Audio P1 mic pre for the 1st time. My initial response is wow what a match. The male vocal waveform I got is as thick as hell.
Going to try it on female vocals in a few days.
Old 11th October 2020 | Show parent
  #56
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I really like the ToneBeast and have a pair here. I replaced the X18 opamp's in them for the Hardy 990c+. I find the Tonebeast can sound cleaner or more colored the the ISA One I had here. I ended up selling the ISA.
The other preamp that's really caught my attention is the Cranborne Audio Camden and EC22. This is a really low noise and extremely clean sounding preamp but can sound way more coloured than the ToneBeast or any other preamp I've used. I'm quite tempted with one of these myself but the ToneBeasts are working out great already so don't really see any point in changing. The main draw would be the even lower noise floor but the ToneBeast is already very quiet and has never given me any problems!
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