GREAT PREAMPS FOR OVERHEADS?

NickSchles

Junior Member
Hi all,

So, I’m upgrading gear for my recording studio (from where I do remote sessions) and looking to get better overhead mic preamps, as well as increase my inputs.

What pres do you like on your Overheads? I’ve heard Daking makes great pres, and whilst my budget won’t stretch to APIs and Neves, I’ll of course consider clones, etc.

With regards to increasing inputs, I was looking at the Octopre... I currently use the Scarlett 18i20, but the Clarett Octopre looks good. What’s your experience with that? Do you have any recommendations?

Thank you in advance!
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
Dakings no doubt are great. I know people who have them and rave positively.
Regarding Api style, I have CAPI pre-amps and they are more affordable and well regarded widely.
I bought a pair of Cranborne Camden 500 preamps because they were local (UK) and very cheap. They have turned out to be amazing. So I bought two more. I also bought their 500ADAT, which adds 8 channels of 500 series to any audio interface with ADAT ins and outs. Cranborne also offer an audio interface version: 500R8.
In some ways the ultimate overhead mc-pre is the Olympic era Helios. H2 Audio have just launched an authentic clone:
 

NickSchles

Junior Member
Dakings no doubt are great. I know people who have them and rave positively.
Regarding Api style, I have CAPI pre-amps and they are more affordable and well regarded widely.
I bought a pair of Cranborne Camden 500 preamps because they were local (UK) and very cheap. They have turned out to be amazing. So I bought two more. I also bought their 500ADAT, which adds 8 channels of 500 series to any audio interface with ADAT ins and outs. Cranborne also offer an audio interface version: 500R8.
In some ways the ultimate overhead mc-pre is the Olympic era Helios. H2 Audio have just launched an authentic clone:
Thanks, dude. That's very helpful; I'll check these out.
I'm also UK-based, in London. How about yourself?
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
What are you room dimensions like? Are the walls and corners treated well?

Doubtful that you're going to notice any sonic difference between the Scarlett and the Octopre. I can get better drum sounds with my X Air than my friend can with a full rack of APIs and Apogee converters, because of the room, mic placement, and mixing skills. Your money is better spent on room treatment and mics. I'll speculate that, over the years, the design of low-price mic pres, and the quality of the AD/DA converters have steadily improved. The cheap stuff sounds good!

You should rent a couple channels of Neve/API/Daking from a studio or friend if you can. Or, do the buy-and-return thing. The Warm Audio 2-channel mic pre gets some very good reviews, and is decently priced.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
Thanks, dude. That's very helpful; I'll check these out.
I'm also UK-based, in London. How about yourself?
Somerset.
The Cranborne mic/pres are fantastic. British company.
Also very affordable and very good are DAV Broadhurst Gardens. Mark Knopfler and Dave Gilmour have a ton of them. The DAVs are very clean, plain. The Cranborne are also very clean, but you can dial in 'Cream' and 'Mojo'.
 

NickSchles

Junior Member
Somerset.
The Cranborne mic/pres are fantastic. British company.
Also very affordable and very good are DAV Broadhurst Gardens. Mark Knopfler and Dave Gilmour have a ton of them. The DAVs are very clean, plain. The Cranborne are also very clean, but you can dial in 'Cream' and 'Mojo'.
Sweet! Thanks for the advice and sorry for the late reply.
 

Elegentdrum

Junior Member
Revive audio make cost effective good ones. The M12 is a 4 channel API clone. M73 is a Neve clone.
The best bang/buck with preamps is old mixers. Old analog mixers can go cheap if you know what to look for.

If you want really really good. Then you are getting into Tube preamps like Coil 70, Vipre, 286, etc....

I currently use an AMEK mixer's preamps for overheads if stereo LDC tube. AEA TRP if ribbons. Millinia Forsell if mono (only one side works)
 

jdavis

Member
If you're handy with a soldering iron, why not build a few? CAPI's VP-312 kits (API 312 clone) are great for overheads, bass, vocals, etc. Especially, if you already have a 500-series rack.


They include pretty much everything you need and can be put together pretty quickly. Even if you're a novice like I was on my first build.

Also, what brentcn said about prioritizing the room treatment and mics is right, IMO. Lot's of good info in the thread already. (y)
 
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