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  #16  
Old 03-28-2012, 04:48 PM
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KevWind KevWind is offline
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I agree with most everything that has been said already and will only add that IMO and it is just an opinion, While I agree the pres in the older M Box are only moderate pres. I do think that an outboard pre in the 200-300 dollar range is not going to be a substantially noticeable improvement over the M Box. If it were me I would try all the previous suggestions and perhaps wait until I could spend a bit more on a pre .

I would think that at the very least in terms of upgrade dollars and If I was going to stay below say $1000 I then would look at the FMR audio "Really Nice Pre" It is said to be ( by people I know and judgement I trust ) an extremely good value to dollar pre and at the start of the Pro grade pres performance wise. Its 2 channel and Retails for $ 499
you can check it out here http://www.fmraudio.com/rnp.htm
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  #17  
Old 03-28-2012, 05:27 PM
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I think the DMP3 mentioned earlier is really good value. However, in this price range, I'd personally choose a FiveFish DIY kit instead - if you're up for some soldering.
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  #18  
Old 03-28-2012, 07:05 PM
Legolas1971 Legolas1971 is offline
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Thanks for all the suggestions dudes!!!!!
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  #19  
Old 03-28-2012, 07:11 PM
Legolas1971 Legolas1971 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moon View Post
I think the DMP3 mentioned earlier is really good value. However, in this price range, I'd personally choose a FiveFish DIY kit instead - if you're up for some soldering.
I've never heard of these before. Are they nice? Which one do you have?

Thanks!
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  #20  
Old 03-28-2012, 10:53 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default Aloha Legolas

Aloha Legolas,

So you're using a Mac, huh? Hmm, you get that Free Garageband DAW with every Mac.

I know what you mean about those original M-Box 2's, I bought one & sold it within an hour of my first try. Hated it. Most of Avid's hardware is disappointing, IMO. There is much better available.

Here's a suggestion that, if you follow it, WILL help you reach your sonic goals & make a difference in your sound & in the stability & integration of your DAW software & hardware:

Check out the Apogee Duet 1 or 2. You can find the Duet 1's all the time for around $300 at Gearslutz classifieds. The new Duet 2 is above your range (around $500) - but worth it.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Duet2/

Here's the thing, the mic preamp's in the Apogee Duets are better than anything below $1500. Really! They offer pristine acoustic sound, great clarity & details plus much better conversion than you've been using.

The cool thing is that those Duet mic pre's are the exact same one's used on the renouned Apogee Ensemble, the Duet's multi-channel, pro-level big brother. The two-channel, Duet is a Great Value for acoustic musicians & is definitely one of the most game-changing pieces of gear in the history of recording.

It's very portable, takes up very little space, is quiet & looks great & has all the features you need to improve your sound on a Mac, Legolas.

Furthermore, Apple & Apogee have fully integrated the hardware & software of the Duet & Mac's. The result - for me in my recordings thus far- has been a level of quality & stability that I could not beat, even w/ Pro Tools - no crashes in over three years!

Every Mac comes with Garageband. It's a nice FREE DAW capable of helping you produce very good home acoustic recordings, Legolas. Plug your Perception 170's into the two-channel Duet, & the Duet into your Mac - and you're all set, Legolas. Or, move up to Logic Pro, a fully professional DAW.

With the Apogee Duet you will:
- greatly improve your conversion,
- increase your recording chain's stability,
- achieve much better acoustic sound
- be using the best mic preamps avilable for under $1.5K, IMO

Absolutely! Duet's mic pre's rival those of much more expensive, pro-level pre's.

I 've recently owned an A-Designs Pacifica, Great River MP-2NV, John Hardy M-2 & Pendulum MDP-1a preamps - all greats that you find in pro studio's. I often chose my Apogee Ensemble's or Duet 1's mic pre's over those for certain kinds of music.

Investigate the Apogee Duet 1 or 2, Legolas. It is worth saving up for or stretching your range given your intended recording purposes.

PS: The reason for the lack of suggestions here I think is that the guys have been being polite about what's available in your price range. The answer is nothing that will help you in terms of an improvement in quality preamplification. That's just the truth.

And yes the AKG Perception 170's are an all-right place to start. But Rick Shepherd is right about those as well.

Finally, take a look at your whole signal chain. Plan it as you go. Try to put together complementary parts OF THE SAME QUALITY that don't fight each other. Don't combine a few great elements with junk. Every choice you make will affect the chain. So don't isolate your thinking around one part of the chain, Every change makes a difference, Legolas. Make sure yours are compatible ones.

Take your guitar, Perceptions & some headphones to a good pro audio store & check out a Duet with your ears!

Good Luck, Legolas!

alohachris

Last edited by alohachris; 03-28-2012 at 11:22 PM.
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  #21  
Old 03-29-2012, 12:01 AM
SteveA SteveA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legolas1971 View Post
Right now I have 2 AKG Perception 170's. No, I will be tracking
vocals separately. I also need to pick up a condenser for vocals
but right now acoustic guitar is the priority....
I recently picked up the Audio-Technica 4040 and it records great Acoustic guitar & Vocals....it's $299.....

I had the AT 4033 and this mic is on par with that.........

If it were me I would definitely upgrade my microphone before I plopped $200 on a fix which may not give you the results you are looking for.....

Just a thought
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  #22  
Old 03-29-2012, 04:28 AM
moon moon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legolas1971 View Post
Are they nice?
I think so. Here's a couple of clips of the DMP3 and the SC1, the clean and clear model from FiveFish.

M-Audio DMP3
FiveFish SC1

The SC1 is a little bit more solid sounding, although you'll have to listen carefully to hear the difference. It's the next thing on my list of gear to buy.
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  #23  
Old 03-29-2012, 02:37 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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moon, I would contend that it's unreasonable to attribute more difference to the preamp than to the different performances. Humans are a lot less consistent than electronics, and both these units are described by their makers as transparent - that is, having no sound of their own.

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  #24  
Old 03-29-2012, 03:18 PM
moon moon is offline
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That's a fair point. I did at least AB them in a blind test and, although the difference is subtle, I could tell them apart 100% of the time.

I'd expect the quality of the components and power supply to be better in a single-channel, DIY kit than a fully-assembled, two channel unit which costs almost half the price - but that's still not proof.

I think I can hear something but OK I can't be certain. Put it this way: I'd bet 100 I'd still hear the same in a test with both pres fed from the same mic. I might pause before betting 1,000 though...
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