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Author Topic: Please help newbie to select budget preamp  (Read 3415 times)

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Offline Dave_Scream

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Please help newbie to select budget preamp
« on: July 14, 2013, 01:20:20 PM »
Hello.
I bought Sony M-10 recorder and Soundprofessionals MS-TFB-2 binaural mic.

www.soundsurvey.org.uk  sayed to me that in-ear binaurals are not good for quiet ambience recordings (and Rode NT4 or the Audio Technica BP4025 are much better).
I think it is because of high noise and small sensitivity of MS-TFB-2. Also he recommended to me to buy battery module even if I dont want to record loud sounds.

So I think that better to buy Preamp. It will solve two problems in one module - will decrease noise of my binaurals for quiet recordings and will do the job of battery module.

I found that preamps are expensive thing. So I want to find the most cheap one.

I found two solutions:
FEL BMA2 for 160$  http://www.felmicamps.co.uk/products/felbattpreamp.html
Church Audio preamps 140$ - 180$: http://www.church-audio.com/viewcategory.php?groupid=0

any other solutions??

My trouble. Is that my friend bought MS-TFB-2 and Church Audio preamp and CA-14 microphone. And he sayed that Preamp work good with CA-14. But when he connect this preamp to MS-TFB-2 he hear some crackles and distorsions. So I think this is because mic & preamp & recorder --> must be attenuated <--.  Maybe my friend hear distortions because CA-14 and MS-TFB-2 have different impendance and CA preamp attenuated to CA14 but not to MS-TFB-2?

How to make right selection of preamp so it be attenuated?
And what the cheapest preamp I can buy in my situation? I need preamp wich will power my microphones and will be attenuated to MS-TFB-2  and Sony M-10.

another problem is I dont know impendance of MS-TFB-2  :(
Sony M-10 have 22kOhm on Line input
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 01:34:36 PM by Dave_Scream »
Sorry for my bad english. Im from Russia, Rostov-on-Don.

Offline Dave_Scream

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Re: Please help newbie to select budget preamp
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2013, 01:34:46 PM »
Another question: how this preamp can work WITHOUT BATTERIES? (FEL 3.5 SJ)
Does it eat power for microphone from recorder? but if it eat power for microphone, then how microphone can work? does it means that with this battery-less preamp microphone MUST HAVE battery box?
Sorry for my bad english. Im from Russia, Rostov-on-Don.

Offline Church-Audio

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Re: Please help newbie to select budget preamp
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2013, 03:26:58 PM »
Another question: how this preamp can work WITHOUT BATTERIES? (FEL 3.5 SJ)
Does it eat power for microphone from recorder? but if it eat power for microphone, then how microphone can work? does it means that with this battery-less preamp microphone MUST HAVE battery box?

Most likely the Fel is a simple 20:1 transformer. That simply uses a transformer to increase the signal. Its a good way to do things if you can get a good transformer to fit inside an XLR not very many transformers are that good.

I stand corrected... The fel preamp is powered by plug in power. But again how much input level do that handle? And they do NOT provide power to the mics they are connected too. I would be very surprised to see how much headroom this preamp has running on such a tiny power supply as plug in power is only 2 to 3 volts dc. The lack of control also worries me not having a gain control to be able to turn down gain to reduce distortion or possible input overload. If you want to run your mics you will need a small battery box with this preamp. I really can't comment on how well it works or does not work. I did at one time make preamps for Fel in the UK they sold my preamps for about 4 months then they made their own preamp. I don't know how good it is so I really can't comment.

You will have no issues with my preamp and properly designed electret mics that require plug in power from 3 volts to 9 volts. That being said do not buy a preamp mine or anyone elses if you think that using one will reduce noise from your mics.. If you mics make that much noise time for new mics. For doing the kind of recording you are doing my ca-11 omni + my 9200 or on sale now my ca-ugly II would be a good idea.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 06:21:28 PM by Church-Audio »
for warranty returns email me at
EMAIL Sales@church-audio.com

Offline Dave_Scream

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Re: Please help newbie to select budget preamp
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2013, 03:47:51 PM »
Church-Audio, thank you for your answer!

That being said do not buy a preamp mine or anyone elses if you think that using one will reduce noise from your mics.. If you mics make that much noise time for new mics.
Just I listened to this preview and with preamp the noise level is much lower! So it is very strange for me to hear that preamp is not for reducing noise  ???

UPD. Well I understand your point. If recorder have good built-in preamps then no need to use external preamp.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 04:08:16 PM by Dave_Scream »
Sorry for my bad english. Im from Russia, Rostov-on-Don.

Offline Church-Audio

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Re: Please help newbie to select budget preamp
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2013, 06:10:43 PM »
Church-Audio, thank you for your answer!

That being said do not buy a preamp mine or anyone elses if you think that using one will reduce noise from your mics.. If you mics make that much noise time for new mics.
Just I listened to this preview and with preamp the noise level is much lower! So it is very strange for me to hear that preamp is not for reducing noise  ???

UPD. Well I understand your point. If recorder have good built-in preamps then no need to use external preamp.
If you are using a preamp because the internal preamp on your recorder is noisey.. Thats when an external preamp can be of some help. If you are using it because your mics are noisey. No preamp can remove noise from a noisy microphone. So in your post you mention you wanted to remove noise from a mic.. You cant do that with out a redesign of the mic. If you want to make your signal to noise ratio better by using an external preamp because your recorders preamp makes to much noise that is another thing altogether. If you use external gain that is quiet like my 9200 or ugly II preamp then you can reduce noise from your recorder by "sharing" the gain duties. Most of it will come from my preamp and as little as possible from your recorder. That makes sense if you are recording very quiet sound sources.

Chris
for warranty returns email me at
EMAIL Sales@church-audio.com

Offline brad.bartels

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Re: Please help newbie to select budget preamp
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2013, 07:35:07 PM »
Naiant Tinybox is another option for just over $200 (I want to say $230 or so these days). You can probably pick up whatever you decide on in the YS here as well and save a few bucks. I can point you to quite a few recordings made with the Tinybox.

 

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