Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Looking for a preamp

With our Oktava 319 back from Oktavamod, we're in the market for a new microphone preamp-- part of our ongoing, slow moving "upgrade the studio" project. As it stands now, we're using the stock pres in our MOTU Traveler, which work fine enough, but have a fairly low output (we have to crank 'em with ribbons) and a sound that's more lackluster than it is neutral.

Our modified 319 is a somewhat professional mic. We'd like a somewhat professional preamp to compliment it. Unfortunately, microphone preamps, be they on the "somewhat professional" tier or any notch thereabove, are out of our budget. The lowest priced respectable one I've come across (Brent Averill's 312A) is $600, but requires a $500 rack for powering and storage. Granted, $500 lets you power up to six 500 series preamps, but, again, the 312A is the cheapest of the lot.

So, to go the most economical route, you'd have to drop $1100 on, essentially, a single channel mono preamp, just to get in the game, and pay $700 - $900 installments from there, provided you stick with the 500 series format.

And yes, sure, you could spend more money for a preamp, I'm not saying you can't, but $1100 as the most economical route is economy despite itself.

Fortunately today, I came across this posting on Craig's List for a Sage SE-Pre 1 (w/ power supply) for $500 or best offer. Sage SEs are handbuilt in Canada by someone who posts on the Tape OP board-- I haven't found very many reviews of the SE-Pre 1, but have liked what I've seen/heard so far.

In any case, I proposed a trade of money + Frostwave Resonator to the seller and will report back once I hear something. Cross your fingers, friends.

UPDATE: We didn't get it



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