New Pre

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SM7b the Chuck Noris of Mic's
Contributor Since: Jun 20, 2002

I have a wee bit of cash coming in soon and I'm trying to decide which if any of these pre's to pick up. I'll be using it with a Shure SM7 , AT4040, and Possibly a Blue Baby bottle (and there might be a new ribbon mic too, one of the ones noize and MM were talking about) . I know the specs I just want opinions (i don't have a music store to check gear out here). Oh and if my octane Pres on my Profire are the same or better, #%% it.

1. Groove Tubes The Brick
2. True Systems P-Solo
3 Grace Design m101


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Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Jan 13, 2009 09:08 pm

In order of preference.


To quote Massive Master. If I was stuck on a desert Island and could only have one pre it would be the P-Solo. Small and compact and good.

The Grace runs a fairly close second.

The Brick had a bit of crusty sound to put it mildly.

I tune down down...
Since: Jun 11, 2007

Jan 13, 2009 10:55 pm

Yeap. Never did like The Grove Tube stuff. Although, I've never used their pre, it just seems that their stuff is sub-par.
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Jan 13, 2009 11:45 pm

not really in the know about other pre's except for the one i just bought which is a "Joe Meek twin Q."

i have heard a few others but this one really gave my stuff some colour. i love it.

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

Jan 13, 2009 11:49 pm

The Brick is actually a pretty decent preamp - And undoubtedly the most decent budget friendly "real" tube preamp (as opposed to so many dozens of "toob" preamps that would work just as well with paper clips in the socket, but they don't sell as well as sticking the word "TUBE" on the front - but I digress) out there.

But (A) I'd still go with the P-Solo and (B) you never (IMO/E) want a piece of tube gear as an "anchor" (keystone, cornerstone, etc., etc.) unit. Too tweaky, too high-maintenance, etc. And as "Tube" only equals "Warmth" in marketing sheets and actual temperature (as without question, the "warmest" sounding preamps out there are pretty much all solid state), it's just not worth the bother.

Heck, I only have a piece or two of tube gear here anymore - Way too much hassle unless it's a piece that actually relies on the tubes for the sound (If I could find a solid-state variable mu compressor, I'd trade in my variable mu compressor in a heartbeat. But as "variable mu" is pretty much a tube term and the compression is actually adjusted by actively rebiasing the tubes, there's really not a solid-state equivalent.

Long story short - Solid state kicks ***. Some tube gear kicks *** also. But if you have the choice of one or the other, go solid state every time. Once you have a stable stable (not a typo) of gear, then start messing with tube stuff if you feel like taking the time and effort with it.

SM7b the Chuck Noris of Mic's
Since: Jun 20, 2002

Jan 14, 2009 03:31 am

I didn't really want to go tube, due to the above. I've been really looking at one or two P-solo's , but i was still wondering if it would be that much better than the pre's on the m-audio octane.

"Do you hear it...?"
Since: Jan 28, 2009

Jan 28, 2009 04:22 pm

Have you looked at Black Lion Audio's micpre? I hear it blows away the Grace101 and for a bit less $$ too.

SM7b the Chuck Noris of Mic's
Since: Jun 20, 2002

Feb 04, 2009 08:35 am

I've check the black lion stuff, looks good and sound decent too. as for blowing grace away, i think they come close to one another. Well I just ordered a P-solo and i'll try and have some stuff up soon.

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