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Thread: FMR RNP vs. Mackie VLZ Pre

  1. #1
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    FMR RNP vs. Mackie VLZ Pre

    Hi all,

    Newbie here(easy now)

    I recently did a comparison recording of drum overhead mics(Oktava MC012). Mackie 1402VLZ board vs. FMR RNP. I found them to be very close- the RNP was a little quicker- picking up more of the transient...but, in my opinion, I can't justify the cost due to the difference I'm not hearing....should I just save up for an Focusrite ISA 428?

    I wanted to get other's opinions. I was looking for an upgrade but my budget is just not there for a Great River or other super high end pre. I want the difference to be significant. A definite improvement that I can hear over the Mackie VLZ pres.

    Recorded through a LynxTwo soundcard via ADAT into Protools, BTW.

    Thanks for any input or suggestions!
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    Unfortunately sometimes you don't begin to hear big differences with preamps until one day you need more headroom and it's not there and also when you begin to add lots of tracks in a dense mix and all the sudden everything seems kind of fuzzy, less defined. Quality preamps help to keep everything in it's own place in the mix. I really noticed this when our studio upgraded our preamps from using a Yamaha AW4416s preamps (kind of lame) to the world class Buzz MA2.2 and the Phoenix DRS-2.You could do worse than the Mackie but differences really do show up when you have the above scenario( needing more headroom and definition). You may never notice the difference which is cool, save the money until you are disatisfied with the Mackie mixes.

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    richard sven
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    Somehow I knew my post wouldn't be taken seriously. Snobs!(Just kidding)
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    I am cautious with believing results of shootouts until I know what converters or at least monitors where used and if the room is treated or untreated. There are just too many variables and preamp differences can be subtle also, overall layering in a mix can reveal more than individual sounds.
    That said, the RNP never bowled me over and I sold mine.

  6. #6
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    Bill@WelcomeHomeStudios is offline 3D VIP 2004, '05, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12
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    In my opinion, the Mackies are fine as an entry level product. Really very nice on any cost/performance curve.

    I don't see the advantage to moving nearly laterally into an only slightly better product.

    I'd rather see someone saving for a really good couple of channels, and be in less of a hurry to have -something-, take a little more time and get something significantly better than what they have in house already.

    Bill
    Bill Park
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  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Bill@WelcomeHomeStudios:
    <STRONG>
    I'd rather see someone saving for a really good couple of channels, and be in less of a hurry to have -something-, take a little more time and get something significantly better than what they have in house already.

    Bill</STRONG>

    Yes, this is the toughest lesson. Somebody once said that you will end up spending more in the long run, when you take these incremental steps, e.g., Mackie to RNP to X to Y to Neve etc.

    A friend of mine just went through this, and I think he did settle on a higher ticket item with which he said he is blown away.

    I used to think Mackie preamps were OK until I had them side by side with a couple of high end ones (irrespective of mic!) They are OK. But they are inferior to many others.

    As a commerical just said on TV, "Better is a matter of opinion"

    On the other hand, I wish I had a mere dollar for every channel on every record unit that went gold, platinum or double platinum thaty used Mackie preamps! There is a disconnect in there somewhere, don't you think?

    The universe of audiophile sound quality need not intersect the universe of musical content/ performance for there to be commercial success.

    I love a great sound alomost as much as I love a great performance.

    Regards,
    Mark
    Mark Kramer
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    I don't see the advantage to moving nearly laterally into an only slightly better product.
    Everyone has their opinion on things. I personally have a Mackie board with the VLZ pres and I have an FMR RNP. The RNP is not a lateral move by any shade. It's not what I'd call slightly better either.
    Admittedly.. I use the Great River and API much more often, but getting the RNP essentially put me in the mic pre craze and made me want more. The only thing I didn't much like about the RNP is the 1/4" TRS outs. I'd have preferred XLR outs. The 1/4" outs are also far too close together and have plastic jacks. Other than those small gripes, that thing sounded better to me immediately and shockingly than the Mackies did. On top of all that.. I still on occasion like using the Mackies on some sources. I got used to the sound of it on certain ways of tracking things and still like it from time to time.

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