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Gear / Technical Help => Battery Boxes, Preamps, Mixers, ADCs, and Processors => Topic started by: tbrown4 on May 01, 2009, 05:50:04 PM

Title: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: tbrown4 on May 01, 2009, 05:50:04 PM
Anyone have any A/B comparisons?

Any thoughts from folks who have used both?

Besides the lack of M/S on the MixPre and the different color scheme, are there any major difference that I should be aware of. I think I'm sold on a Sound Devices pre, just not sure which to go for.

I do like the results of the MP-2, just curious about the MixPre.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: darktrain on May 06, 2009, 09:21:43 AM
And Don't forget the Shure FP-24 is the same as the Mixpre, just rebranded
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: Brian Skalinder on May 06, 2009, 09:28:56 AM
I've used the MP-2, MixPre, and Shure FP-24 and, while I didn't do any direct, head-to-head comparisons, didn't hear a difference between them.  YMMV.
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: DATBRAD on May 06, 2009, 09:41:34 AM
If you check the knowledge base on Sound Devices website, they actually discuss the differences between the Mixpre/FP24 and the MP-2 somewhere, you just have to use the search function to find it.

Besides the already mentioned M/S option on the MP-2, I think there is a slight difference in how the outputs are balanced between it and the FP24. Neither have output transformers, but one of them is active balanced and the other is impedance balanced, but I forgot which is which. I have not heard much difference in the recordings made with either of them, though.
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: jeromejello on May 06, 2009, 08:52:10 PM
i think the mixpre outputs a hotter signal, iirc.
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: fmaderjr on May 31, 2009, 12:23:29 PM
i think the mixpre outputs a hotter signal, iirc.

Actually the MixPre is much more versatile in that regard. According to the manuals, the MixPre line output has a gain range of 0-66 db (MP-2 is 16-66 dB) and 0-52 dB tape out (MP-2 is 6-56). When recording loud stuff the MixPre would be much less likely to overload your recorder-especially when using the line out. This is why I decided to buy a MixPre instead of MP-2.
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: scb on May 31, 2009, 08:24:05 PM
i thought the mixpre had less headroom than the mp2?  it's been years, so i might be way off on that one
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: kirk97132 on March 19, 2010, 07:16:43 PM
Bumping a older thread.  But since I am about to start using a mixpre AND an MP-2 I'm wondering if there are any real differences?  Or maybe I should look to trade the mixpre for an MP-2 to keep them the same.  The MP-2 is a loaner so I can't trade that for a mixpre.  From what I've read there are some slight differences but both boxes sound the same?  Thanks for any input, Kirk
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: Shadow_7 on March 19, 2010, 08:29:21 PM
The functional difference is that the MP-2 has the M/S matrix.  The mixpre doesn't.  The FP24 is basically a rebadged mixpre.  There might be more to it than that.  But the MP-2 is discontinued, and the FP24 might also be discontinued.  Meaning only the mixpre can be had new.

I just bought 2x MM-1's less than two weeks ago.  MP-1's on steroids.  Ordered MP-1's consecutive serials, got two MM-1's consecutive serials.  I wanted more battery life, without using externals.  The basic preamp circuitry is supposedly very similar across all of SD's devices.  So you might not hear any differences.  Spec wise the battery life portion is about all that varies between the MM-1 and MP-1 (20 hours vs. 24 hours / no phantom).  The MM-1's having a few extras that the MP-1 doesn't have.  Great for resale, not so good for battery life.  Meets my needs though, and rather nice sounding compared to my previous kit. 

One downside is no stereo monitoring without using something external with 2x MM-1's.  Or maybe it is, but the spec sheet doesn't look pretty for that configuration.  I don't need that (yet) since the input device (Korg MR-1000) has that facility.  The mixpre has monitoring AFAIK (but NO M/S matrix).  The mixpre runs on 2x AAs for BOTH channels.  2x MM-1's run on 2x AAs for EACH channel, which is why I went that route.
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: kirk97132 on March 20, 2010, 12:05:40 PM
Shadow I had followed your post in another thread.   For me, I use external batteries and that is what I wanted.  And as for the obvious differences like MS I know those.  I also thought I had read somewhere on here that the MP-1 has input AND output transformers.  Not sure and I didn't feel like looking for it right now.  What I'm interested in is the actual field use and results that people have experienced.  I use an MP-2 all the time and have for awhile.  And type of MS encoding, for me will be done on  DAW.  So that feature is a waste in my case.  And I also know that the Mixpre can turn down the gain to zero where the MP-2 will not allow that.  I believe it is at +6db of gain all the way down.   I'd have to look and see but I thought the metering scale was slightly different too.  And yes the led color are different.  But is there any sound, operational differences or quirks that folks have found in using them. Unlike you Shadow I do not want two single units.  Well not unless there is a difference in quality of sound.  Thanks Kirk
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: yug du nord on March 20, 2010, 08:12:15 PM
I think I remember DATBRAD sayin that the MP-1 has a transformer at both input and output....  the MixPre has only transformer based input.
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: Shadow_7 on March 20, 2010, 08:50:44 PM
There's a sound devices forum if you wan't more in the know of technical specs.  If you want more real world use results, obviously here would be the more likely place for results.  In any case the choice might have already been made for you in that the mixpre is the only one still available new AFAIK.  Or get a 302.

My 2x MM-1's make a big difference when used with my Avenson STO-2's.  Lower noise floor, better low end, limiter that works.  I still need mics with a bit more low end reach (MKH 8020's?).  But I'm mostly happy that I have the preamps to do what I want to now with what I've got.  I'm also looking at more of an all weather setup, so having internal batteries has it's plusses towards that use.
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: taperj on March 20, 2010, 10:51:55 PM
I run a late model mixpre(it is noteworthy that there are 2 models of mixpre in addition to the mp-2). As far as what I've noticed/heard the early model mixpre's which are more akin to the mp-2 still have the difference in gain. The closest comparison I can give you is one taperjoe and I did a few weeks back. We were actually doing a comparison of my skm184 and skm140 since they are supposed to be the same mic. My skm140 source is the new model mixpre and Joe's skm184 source is the old model. It should serve as an effective A/B for you. After doing our own listening Joe and I both agreed the second set was a better comparison. We got hit by a balloon in set 1 which we think threw things off and readjusted for second set.

Trey Anastasio Band, The Riviera Theater, Chicago, IL, 2010-02-19
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
skm140 > mixpre(new model) > mr-1
http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=532775

skm184 > mixpre(old model) > mr-1
http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=532788

pictures of the rigs:
http://205.234.187.219/tab2010-02-19pic1.JPG
http://205.234.187.219/tab2010-02-19pic2.JPG

Hopefully this is some help. Best I could do on short notice!
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: rastasean on March 20, 2010, 11:00:15 PM
I run a late model mixpre(it is noteworthy that there are 2 models of mixpre in addition to the mp-2). As far as what I've noticed/heard the early model mixpre's which are more akin to the mp-2 still have the difference in gain. The closest comparison I can give you is one taperjoe and I did a few weeks back. We were actually doing a comparison of my skm184 and skm140 since they are supposed to be the same mic. My skm140 source is the new model mixpre and Joe's skm184 source is the old model. It should serve as an effective A/B for you. After doing our own listening Joe and I both agreed the second set was a better comparison. We got hit by a balloon in set 1 which we think threw things off and readjusted for second set.

Trey Anastasio Band, The Riviera Theater, Chicago, IL, 2010-02-19
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
skm140 > mixpre(new model) > mr-1
http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=532775

skm184 > mixpre(old model) > mr-1
http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=532788

pictures of the rigs:
http://205.234.187.219/tab2010-02-19pic1.JPG
http://205.234.187.219/tab2010-02-19pic2.JPG

Hopefully this is some help. Best I could do on short notice!

How do you determine which one you have? I have the mixpre. are the two identical?
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: taperj on March 20, 2010, 11:15:12 PM
We noticed it looking at the power connector initially. The late model mixpre is 4 pin hirose for external power, the early model was a barrel connector.
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: kirk97132 on March 23, 2010, 02:44:26 PM
I run a late model mixpre(it is noteworthy that there are 2 models of mixpre in addition to the mp-2). As far as what I've noticed/heard the early model mixpre's which are more akin to the mp-2 still have the difference in gain. The closest comparison I can give you is one taperjoe and I did a few weeks back. We were actually doing a comparison of my skm184 and skm140 since they are supposed to be the same mic. My skm140 source is the new model mixpre and Joe's skm184 source is the old model. It should serve as an effective A/B for you. After doing our own listening Joe and I both agreed the second set was a better comparison. We got hit by a balloon in set 1 which we think threw things off and readjusted for second set.

Trey Anastasio Band, The Riviera Theater, Chicago, IL, 2010-02-19
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
skm140 > mixpre(new model) > mr-1
http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=532775

skm184 > mixpre(old model) > mr-1
http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=532788

pictures of the rigs:
http://205.234.187.219/tab2010-02-19pic1.JPG
http://205.234.187.219/tab2010-02-19pic2.JPG

Hopefully this is some help. Best I could do on short notice!

Thanks for that.  But I have to say the different mics would negate any subtle differences in the preamps.  And I know they are "supposed" to be the same sounding mics but I don't believe it. 
    My impressions are the mixpre is geared for film and the MP-2 is straight up preamp.  The manual say that the mic inputs are transformer balanced inputs.  And the XLR uses an active balanced output stage.  I can say I don't really know exactly what that means. 

So this thing is mint brand new condition.  Anybody wanna trade this for  an MP-2 even up?  I just am looking to run the same units that is the only reason for the trade.  Let me know, Kirk
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: yug du nord on March 23, 2010, 03:14:27 PM
Not sure what this means, but the recommended replacement for the MP-2 is the 302.  NOT the MixPre for whatever reason....  maybe this list is outdated??  Maybe the MP-2 and MixPre are two completely different boxes internally....   I don't know?? 

I've been running a MixPre in front of my LD Busman mics for a few months now and have been diggin the results.  The LD Busman's have a transformer based output and the MixPre has a transformer based input... and to my ears, they seem to compliment each other.  I'm sure that's of no help what so ever, but figured I'd throw that in there.

Here's a link to SD recommendations of replacements for discontinued products.

http://www.sounddevices.com/products/discontinued.htm


edit to add:  both the MixPre and 302 use Lundahl transformers on the XLR inputs.
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: kirk97132 on March 23, 2010, 03:51:06 PM
Yeah that is weird for SD to recommend a mixer for a pre amp replacement.   I run the MP-2 with my Busman modded ADK's too, and I also run the Busman UA-5 with them.  I go back and forth but bottom line is that both do sound good.  I got the Mixpre in a trade and was surprised that it is perfect shape, not even wearing the paint on the edges yet.  Maybe I should just keep it.  I was only looking to have two of the same, MP-2's in this case. 
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: taperj on March 23, 2010, 07:26:18 PM
Thanks for that.  But I have to say the different mics would negate any subtle differences in the preamps.  And I know they are "supposed" to be the same sounding mics but I don't believe it.

Yeah, the comparison was actually for the mics as I had explained, depending on what school your in(believer/non-believer) on the sameness of 184/140 it would be either a decent comparison of preamp or not-so-decent comparison of the preamp. I agree that for a true comparison on the preamp that the same(truly the same) mics would need to be used(although neumann says 184's and 140's are truly the same mics.. that's all I'll say on the subject, we all know that's a whole different discussion that has eaten up a lot of database space here at ts.com) and if you wanted to get really crazy, have a manufacturer build and test 4 matched mics and record to a 4 track recorder, that would probably tighten up the sterility of the test environment as well as you could. Anyway, as I had said, it was just the best I could do and thought it might relate.  ;D
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: Shadow_7 on March 25, 2010, 12:13:36 AM
Sound Devices uses slightly odd terminology.  Probably because the portable aspects caters more towards the film crowd than the audiophile.  My MM-1's actually say something like Mic to Line Amplifier, instead of microphone preamp on the box.  Even though it's everything that the MP-1's are and then some (monitoring added).  Less a bit of battery life for the extras.
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: kirk97132 on March 25, 2010, 03:39:32 PM
So I think I'm gonna sell the mixpre.  Mostly to have the cash on hand.  I doubt if my old ears would be able to tell a difference between any of the SD boxes.  So if you want a MINT condition Mixpre for $565 to your door:
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=133671.0
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: rastasean on March 25, 2010, 04:07:34 PM
So I think I'm gonna sell the mixpre.  Mostly to have the cash on hand.  I doubt if my old ears would be able to tell a difference between any of the SD boxes.  So if you want a MINT condition Mixpre for $565 to your door:
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=133671.0

What pre are you going to use?
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: kirk97132 on March 25, 2010, 04:34:27 PM
Well I already have an Sound Devices MP-2 and a Edirol UA-5 BM2p+ so I've got pre's to use and I am waiting on an ordered Tascam DR-680 to find out how the pre's sound in that.  If the Mixpre sells, I might keep the money or I might roll it into something else.  If it don't sell then I'll be using the Mixpre too.
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: rastasean on March 25, 2010, 09:24:32 PM
You should be able to sell the mixpre. Perhaps if you want to sell a pre-amp, the MP2 may be better but mixpres do sell fast. I really like mine and I'm blown away by the tiny size of it and the huge amount of gain.
Title: Re: Sound Devices MP-2 vs. Sound Devices MixPre
Post by: kirk97132 on March 26, 2010, 08:41:30 PM
Well I don't think either the MP-2 or Mixpre is better.  They are the same but built with slightly different features.  And like I said the MP-2 is a loaner so selling is not an option.  Besides you would be hard pressed to find one that is as cherry the one I have for sale.