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Author Topic: Purchasing a New Preamp  (Read 3011 times)

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DF81

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Purchasing a New Preamp
« on: May 28, 2014, 04:15:52 PM »
I'm close to purchasing a new preamp, but some input would be good.

Here's the short list:

Sound Devices Mixpre-D
Sound Devices USBPre2
Apogee Mini Me
Apogee Duet 2 (iOS)


So, the Mixpre-D and USBPre2 are pretty similar in features: mixpre-d can be used as an interface and usbpre2 can be used as a standalone preamp.  The preamps are different... the mixpre-d sounds similar to the mixpre/fp24 (which I have used).

Anyone used both the Mini Me and Duet (1 or 2 version)?  The mini me, mini dac, etc. were all about $1,800 new and the Duet's are about $600.  The Duet 1 was nice (also used this one).  Cons for the Mini me are no analog output and larger size, but are the converters and preamps better than the Duet 2?  I'm also concerned about the Duet 2's reliability in the field.  Recording with an iPhone could be good, but definitely have concerns.

The Sound Devices would be about $200-$300 more than the (used) Apogee products.  Another option may be the Apogee mini mp.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2014, 04:19:36 PM by DF81 »

DF81

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Re: Purchasing a New Preamp
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2014, 11:15:51 AM »
Anybody?

I've decided no on the mini me.  Duet, mixpre-d, usbpre2?

Offline DigiGal

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Re: Purchasing a New Preamp
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2014, 11:49:09 AM »
Just gotta poke around - there are already several threads on these options.
Mics: AKG CK91/CK94/CK98/SE300 | Shure VP88 | Senn ME66/K6/K6RD Cables: Gotham GAC-4/1 "StarQuad" w/Neutrik EMC | Gotham GAC-2pair w/AKG MK90/3 connectors | DigiGal AES>S/PDIF cable Preamp: SoundDevices MixPre-D Recorder: Marantz PMD 661 Edit: 27" 3.4GHz QuadCore i7 iMac | OS X High Sierra 10.13.6 | Wave Editor | xACT  | Transmission | Final Cut Pro X                                                            

Offline acidjack

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Re: Purchasing a New Preamp
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2014, 12:02:57 PM »
I like my USBPre2 and find it extremely versatile, great-sounding and easy to power.

What deck are you running into? Also count me in the camp that sees preamps as a luxury rather than an necessity these days. One reason I can justify the cost of the USBPre2 is that it can do so much more -- being a great patch bay, a headphone amp, an interface, etc.
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
Decks: Sound Devices MixPre 6, Zoom F8, M10, D50

My recordings on nyctaper.com: http://www.nyctaper.com/?tag=acidjack | LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/acidjack | twitter: http://www.twitter.com/acidjacknyc | Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/acidjacknyc

DF81

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Re: Purchasing a New Preamp
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2014, 12:21:44 PM »
I like my USBPre2 and find it extremely versatile, great-sounding and easy to power.

it can do so much more -- being a great patch bay, a headphone amp, an interface, etc.

Exactly.  I used to have the first Apogee Duet and it was nice to use for playback/editing, transferring vinyl/dat/cassettes etc.  It has good preamps/converters but sucked using a laptop in the field, now that the Duet 2 is iOS compatible it's a good option for recording live music.

The mixpre-d can be used for playback as well, but only via the headphone output... which should sound ok.

Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: Purchasing a New Preamp
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2014, 12:43:19 PM »
The mixpre-d can be used for playback as well, but only via the headphone output... which should sound ok.

If the MixPre-D's headphone output is anything like the original MixPre's, it leaves a lot to be desired.  I would use it for rough monitoring only, never for critical listening.  It sounds pretty crummy, IMHO.  That said, the MixPre (and -D) is built like like a tank and sounds amazing; it's a nice touch having input transformers, which the USBPre2 does not.  I will likely never get rid of mine. 

While both the MixPre(-D) and USBPre2 are built well and plenty durable for field use, as acidjack cited the USBPre2 has a little more versatility outside of just being a microphone preamp. 

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Re: Purchasing a New Preamp
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2014, 01:21:19 PM »
MixPre-D has an excellent headphone output, however, I've read the USBPre 2's headphone output is not very good. 
Mics: AKG CK91/CK94/CK98/SE300 | Shure VP88 | Senn ME66/K6/K6RD Cables: Gotham GAC-4/1 "StarQuad" w/Neutrik EMC | Gotham GAC-2pair w/AKG MK90/3 connectors | DigiGal AES>S/PDIF cable Preamp: SoundDevices MixPre-D Recorder: Marantz PMD 661 Edit: 27" 3.4GHz QuadCore i7 iMac | OS X High Sierra 10.13.6 | Wave Editor | xACT  | Transmission | Final Cut Pro X                                                            

Offline acidjack

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Re: Purchasing a New Preamp
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2014, 07:22:58 PM »
MixPre-D has an excellent headphone output, however, I've read the USBPre 2's headphone output is not very good.

It's noisy with high impedance cans, yes. Of course, it also has traditional XLR, RCA and digital outs for playback as well, which do not have that issue. (I know you know this, just repeating for OP's benefit.)
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
Decks: Sound Devices MixPre 6, Zoom F8, M10, D50

My recordings on nyctaper.com: http://www.nyctaper.com/?tag=acidjack | LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/acidjack | twitter: http://www.twitter.com/acidjacknyc | Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/acidjacknyc

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Re: Purchasing a New Preamp
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2014, 02:35:15 AM »
I would go with the USBPre2 if I were buying one of those 4 preamps!
Recording Gear:
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Sound Devices MixPre-6 & MixPre-3 ->
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