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Author Topic: MixPre alternatives  (Read 2913 times)

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Offline BigSky

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MixPre alternatives
« on: August 31, 2014, 06:31:17 PM »
Hi, forgive me if this is a newbie question - what are the alternatives to the MixPre(D) ?

Let's say the minimum spec is a stereo preamp with full-size XLR inputs and internal batteries.

This is what I'm aware of:

Current products: Aerco MP-2, Nady DMP-2, ART USB Dual Pre, Precise Audio PMP. Nagra EMP, Schoeps VMS 5U (huge variation in price and quality I know!)
Discountinued products: MV100, SX-M2, SD MP-2, CSPA, PSP-3, AD066-11 (got one of these to sell soon - watch the YS).

Any others?

Offline chinariderstl

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Re: MixPre alternatives
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2014, 08:39:31 PM »
John Bell (jbell) started (and I believe maintained) a list of pre-amps in a thread within this board; I am fairly certain a Search (of this sub-board) should yield the thread.

Quickly off the top of my head, and in no order; the Shure Mixpre clone, Denecke PS2, Naiant Littlebox, Naiant Tinybox, Acero MP2 (I think), Lunatec V2, Apogee Mini-Me, and Edirol UA5.  There are a bunch more out there, those are the units that quickly jumped to mind.

It should also be noted, while all may not be battery powered, there are various means to power them with external batteries.  For example, the Initial RB270 9v DVD battery.

HTH
Mics: Audio-Technica AT853's, Avantone CK-40 (Busman mod), Busman BSC1's, DPA 4022's, DPA 4060's
Pres: Apogee Mini-MP, Core Sound Battery Box
Decks: Sony PCM-M10, Tascam DR-2D, Tascam DR-680 (Busman mod)
Power: Initial RB-270, Naztech PB15000
LMA: http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Chris+Finn%22

Offline DSatz

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Re: MixPre alternatives
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2014, 11:02:59 AM »
The Denecke PS-2 isn't a preamp--it's a 48-Volt phantom power supply with no amplification.

If someone likes and wants a Sound Devices preamp, I would urge them to be on the lookout for a good deal on exactly what they're looking for, and not to be too impatient; sooner or later something will come along. The SD preamps are very well designed and well built, and the company still offers excellent repair service on all their older models. (By the way, Sound Devices will also perform service on the preamps that they manufactured for Shure. Those weren't Shure "clones"--they were genuine SD preamps labeled by SD for sale as "Shure".)

My only possible complaints with them are ultimately because they were designed for film and video sound people primarily, so they have 10-20 dB more gain than I need as a person who records live concerts with high-output condenser microphones, and their LED level meters are too bright even at the lowest brightness setting. But those are things I can work around or live with, as contrasted with certain other preamps on the list which are fundamentally poorly designed. One brand that was mentioned, I measured and found that their widely advertised portable tube preamp could put out 20%+ distortion before its "over" LED came on, depending on the knob settings. And the distortion was never very low even when optimal settings were used.
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline voltronic

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Re: MixPre alternatives
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2014, 11:57:17 AM »
The list of minimum specs sounds like a Tinybox configured for phantom power would be your best bang for the buck, unless as DSatz says you really want SD preamps in which case that's what you should get.  You may want to expand your used-item search to include the SD recorders, and then you have only one box you need to carry with you.
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q | AT 853
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Offline chinariderstl

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Re: MixPre alternatives
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2014, 02:59:12 PM »
You can't go wrong with a Naiant Tinybox, Littlebox, or any of the Sound Devices gear.

There are also several recorders with built-in P48 phantom support, if you want to go that route.  Again, I know there are more out there, but these are the ones that jump to mind.

# Tascam DR-100mkII
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/832911-REG/Tascam_DR100MKII_DR_100mkII_Portable_Linear.html

# Tascam DR-680
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/673541-REG/Tascam_DR_680_DR_680_8_Track_Portable_Field.html

# Edirol / Roland R-44
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/542280-REG/Edirol_Roland_R_44_R_44_Solid_State_Four_Channel_Portable.html

# Sound Devices 722
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/325630-REG/Sound_Devices_722_722_2_Channel_High_Resolution_Portable.html

I have the DR-680, it's nice as hell.  I had Chris Johnson at Busman Audio perform the 6-channel Busman mod for me.

http://www.busmanaudio.com/mods.html

I can also attest to the fine work Sound Devices does.  I purchased a used Mixpre from the Yard Sale and sent it to SD for a once over.  They certified it and fixed a few minor issues for under $150.
Mics: Audio-Technica AT853's, Avantone CK-40 (Busman mod), Busman BSC1's, DPA 4022's, DPA 4060's
Pres: Apogee Mini-MP, Core Sound Battery Box
Decks: Sony PCM-M10, Tascam DR-2D, Tascam DR-680 (Busman mod)
Power: Initial RB-270, Naztech PB15000
LMA: http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Chris+Finn%22

Offline BigSky

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Re: MixPre alternatives
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2014, 03:48:36 PM »
Thanks for the replies, guys. I couldn't find the list by jbell, and some of the alternatives suggested are not suitable - no XLRs or internal batteries.

I am looking for just a preamp - the MixPre seems the obvious choice but I always like to research the market.

If the list has indeed disappeared, would people like me to compile one that could be kept as a sticky post if the mods are in agreement.

Offline mitchellm

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Re: MixPre alternatives
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 04:38:12 PM »
Why do you want to know alternatives to the MixPre? Just general knowledge or is there a specific concern/itch? (e.g. looking for something that's smaller in size)

Assuming money is not the limiting factor, then you can't go wrong with a Mix-Pre D. Fits all your requirements. It's beautiful and performs great.

Offline jbell

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Re: MixPre alternatives
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2014, 04:38:47 PM »
Here is the Thread Chris is referring to:

http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=152555.0
Microtech Gefell M20's> Nbob KCY> Naiant PFA(60V)> Sound Devices Mixpre-6

 

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