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Thread: Which of these 7 mic pres (for allround use)?

  1. #1
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    Which of these 7 mic pres (for allround use)?

    Hi, I'm considering these 7 preamps, and wonder if there are people in here that has spent time comparing (some of) these thoroughly and have opinions on how they compare. I'll use them for percussion, vocals and stringed instruments. No rock'n roll.

    Here's the list:

    Buzz MA 2.2
    John Hardy M1
    Manley Dual Mono
    Millenia HV-3
    Cranesong Flamingo
    Grace Design 201
    Great River MP-2NV

  2. #2
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    I own a couple of them. The Hardy is probably the obvious choice for all-round use. I recently pulled some of my favorite gear to go with me to a new location, a space just for creating music. I chose the Great River as the single mic pre to accompany me.

    Bill
    Bill Park
    Welcome Home Studios

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  3. #3
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    Of your list, the Great River is by far the one "most not alike the others".

    I own 3 of the preamps on your list, and they are all special in their own way.

    The HV-3 for it's natural presentation.

    The CraneSong for it's astonishing clarity and subtle color on account of the warm and iron switches.

    The Great River for it's beautiful color, and dense, thick, rich sound.

    Tough call to pick just one. Though all in your list are so fine any would do just fine for a lifetime of quality recordings.
    Jim Dugger
    Poorhouse Productions

    At 20 bits, you are on the verge of dynamic range covering fly-farts-at-20-feet to untolerable pain. Really, what more could we need?

  4. #4
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    I just bought the Great River ME1NV and I am very impressed with it. My old pre was a lower end TL Audio D1 pre (muddy in the low mid frequencies), so this is quite a bit of an upgrade for me. I also want to add a Hardy M1, but it will have to wait for a little while.

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    Originally posted by undertone:
    <STRONG>Hi, I'm considering these 7 preamps, and wonder if there are people in here that has spent time comparing (some of) these thoroughly and have opinions on how they compare. I'll use them for percussion, vocals and stringed instruments. No rock'n roll.

    Here's the list:

    Buzz MA 2.2
    John Hardy M1
    Manley Dual Mono
    Millenia HV-3
    Cranesong Flamingo
    Grace Design 201
    Great River MP-2NV</STRONG>
    Greetings.

    How many can you afford?

    Best regards,

    Haigbabe
    Proud supporter of 3D as a 2012 3D VIP

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by Haigbabe:
    <STRONG>

    Greetings.

    How many can you afford?

    Best regards,

    Haigbabe</STRONG>
    Hi, that's a good question. Two or max three.

  7. #7
    Haigbabe's Avatar
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    Well, let me say that I love all of these pres, and choosing between them would be difficult. They all offer something wonderful.

    Considering your mission statement though, I can only say that I own Buzz, Great River and Cranesong (as well as others not on your list) and am very happy. So my advice would be biased towards those units.

    Best regards,

    Haigbabe
    Proud supporter of 3D as a 2012 3D VIP

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by undertone:
    <STRONG>Here's the list:

    Buzz MA 2.2
    John Hardy M1
    Manley Dual Mono
    Millenia HV-3
    Cranesong Flamingo
    Grace Design 201
    Great River MP-2NV</STRONG>
    Let me qualify my opinion first by saying that I have limited experience with the Hardy or Grace (though I have used them once or twice) and have never used the Manley Dual. So the lack of opinion on them is no reflection on their quality.

    The Buzz was my second preamp acquisition, after the Focusrite 110s, and I never once regretted its purchase and only sold it for financial needs. But I still borrow it back frequently, even as recently as two weeks ago, and use it every time I can.

    The Millennia is very good, but a little too "transparent" for my taste. I know there are lots of people that love it and that is a testimony to its great sound. I, personally, love a little more flavor to my sounds. Think of it like the green Tabasco sauce that I put on my deviled eggs. Deviled egg purists would be appalled. But for my taste buds, it's just perfect. The Millennia doesn't have quite enough tabasco for me.

    Originally I thought the Cranesong was a little flat and had little personality. Oddly enough, I've grown to love it. I use it on every session now. For vocals, string room, drum overheads, acoustic guitar and more. It's really wonderful and I would have no hesitation about recommending it as an only preamp.

    You likely know my opinion of the NV, since I'm not hesitant to sing its praises. For electric guitars, drums, trombones, trumpet, bass, less for vocals (probably because of using other favorites instead of giving it a shot), and anything that needs meat. It's a wonderul unit and has quite a bit of flexibility and would really work well if you had to pick only one unit. It could be the "sauce" to complement the clean character of the Cranesong.

    I could go on and on about other options, but since you only asked about those, I'll stop there. (I should mention the TG Channel also, since I was very impressed with it. Enough that I may add it to my preamp arsenal.)
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  9. #9
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    If you have to choose, I would pick the Great River 2NV plus something else in the list.

    The Great River because what it does to mics is so special and so useful in so many situations. Used it today with a Rode NT-2 set to omni shoved RIGHT up the butt of an acoustic guitar and it added just the right amount of body to a pair of mics used in M/S for 90% of the sound.

    If you can just afford three preamps, depending on how many channels you need, I might configure a set up like this:

    Great River 2NV
    Millennia HV-3 8-channel unit
    -- or --
    Crane Song Flamingo
    Pendulum MDP-1

    I know the Pendulum isn't in your list, but it's such a wonderful preamp. Clean when you want it to be and colorful in a completely different way than the NV if driven hard. Great on all sources. It's not a "toob", it's a proper, clean, clear, well designed preamp that uses tube topology. A very fine preamp in all regards.

    If you need lots of channels, I like the HV-3D 8-channel unit because it's such a great value. If cost-is-no-object and channel count isn't a concern, the CraneSong is just as clean, perhaps a bit more forward in the mids, but also offers a couple of subtle color options in the form of the iron and fat switches.
    Jim Dugger
    Poorhouse Productions

    At 20 bits, you are on the verge of dynamic range covering fly-farts-at-20-feet to untolerable pain. Really, what more could we need?

  10. #10
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    Thanks guys...
    looking at your posts, here are the comments so far, set up in a very simplified non-scientific fake poll, based on how many times each unit have been mentioned:

    (Yes = Y, M = No or maybe)

    Buzz MA 2.2 YYY
    John Hardy M1 Y
    Manley Dual Mono
    Millenia HV-3 YMY
    Cranesong Flamingo YYYY
    Grace Design 201
    Great River MP-2NV YYYYYY
    TG Channel Y
    Pendulum MDP-1 Y

    That some units have no or less comments might of course only mean that they have no or less comments, and not that they are not as good as the others.... so - are there others in here that have more to add?

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