0% Interest for 24 Months! Learn more »
(800) 222-4700
  • Español: (800) 222-4701
Microphone Month 4

Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Vintech or Great River mikepre?


Hi, i need some advice on trying to decide between a Great River ME-1NV or Vintech X73i. I will be useing it mostly for my own vocals (bono/ozzy/bowie type sound).
This is my current recording chain: Blue Baby Bottle or Shure sm 57 or Rode NTK going into a tc-electronic triple-c multiband compressor (or sometimes my uad-card's La2a or 1176 plug-in compressors) straight into my grace 101 then into my emu 1820m interface.
The reason i am asking is because I have no way of hearing these 2 preamps for myself because of where i live (all the stores sell mostly only live eqipment.)
I like the vintect because it also has an eq which is a plus but i have been eyeing the great river for a couple of years and it is the only product that i have never heard a bad comment about and plus it is about 500.00 cheaper than the vintech. I am looking for something with warmth and color and character and not transparant because i already have a grace 101 for that.
Thank you for any input.
Peace and the Lord Jesus bless you.
September 13, 2006 @10:15pm

Both great, but a little different. Both are colorful, warm preamps, but the Vintech is a little more "vintage" sounding, while the Great River is a little more modern, with tighter bass, a little less noise, and more extended top. It's possibly not quite as sonically colored as the Vintech, but they're both in the same ballpark. The Great River is a bit more flexible sonically.
Circuitry and construction-wise, the ME-1NV is a notch higher than the X73i, and on par with the regular X73 and 473.
I think the main question is, do you really need an EQ, or $500 for something else? I use very little outboard hardware EQ, relying much more on plug-ins. If I were spending $500-1000 additional on some other gear, it'd be a good compressor- DeMaria ADL-1000 or a used Distressor. Either of those would get a bunch more use than the EQ, at least for me.
September 14, 2006 @01:14am

Thank You Michael Hoddy for your reply; it helped me to decide.
I agree about the eq and i feel that most of the extra 500.00 for the vintech goes towards the power supply and i would rather spend my moner on something rather than a power supply.
Peace and God Bless.
September 14, 2006 @09:17pm

I just bought my second Great River ME-1NV preamp so I now have two channels of them (for multiple micing, etc). I think both GR and Vintech are great pres but I really like the flexibility of the Great Rivers because they allow to precisely dial in the "attitude" with that second gain control! I think two together are going to really rock in my studio because I can set both up the same (or change some setting if needed for). BTW, the Royer 122s sound freaking incredible out of this unit and so do the Beyer M130/M160 model ribbon microphones.....ribbons rule IMHO: !
October 1, 2006 @04:51am

I have to disagree with the plug-in eq theory. To me nothing beats a great hardwear eq. The Vintech eq is magic. I also love the eq's in my vintage D&R console. I used to track alot of things flat but I've learned to commit. Trust your ears when your tracking and use better eq's. Better sounds to start = less to do in mixing. Just my opinion. :D
October 29, 2006 @07:55am

I have to disagree with the plug-in eq theory. To me nothing beats a great hardwear eq. The Vintech eq is magic. I also love the eq's in my vintage D&R console. I used to track alot of things flat but I've learned to commit. Trust your ears when your tracking and use better eq's. Better sounds to start = less to do in mixing. Just my opinion. :D

Which plug-in EQ's have you used?
My point is not that a great hardware EQ may not be better- I too have owned and used some great hardware EQ over the years- but simply that EQ is something plug-ins have come to do pretty well to the point where the cost/value equation of a hardware EQ box becomes questionable for those of us who aren't routinely dropping thousands on gear- and when I say plug-ins, I mean the good ones: Sony Oxford, SSL Duende, Waves (surprise) LinEQ, etc, not the crap that comes bundled stock with certain DAW's.
But if you can keep a great analog desk running, more power to you. I refurb'ed a Harrison 36x16 for a friend earlier this year- boy did that sound nice, once we cleaned it up.
Plug-in compression, I still generally don't like, although I've heard one or two recently that are making me rethink my investment in outboard gear.
October 30, 2006 @05:37am

If I were to compare just the preamps between these two units, I would go with the Great River. I like the "focused" sound of it better. But, we are talking slightly different flavors here and not a huge difference in quality. However, if I were to value the tow units, i would certainly prefer the Vintech. In my opinion the real strength of the "neve" sound is not in the preamp, but in the EQ. In my opinion, $500 more to add the Neveish EQ is more than worth the price of admission. I have found that there still isn't any saoftware EQ's out there that really nail the character of the great analog EQ's. I use software EQ frequently and have no problems with it, but they still have not even come close to the attitude and personality of stuff like API, Neve, Calrec etc... EQ's. In fact, I definately prefer the sound of my D&R or even Midas EQ over all of the software EQ's out there. They just do things differently and each has its own place.
November 2, 2006 @07:30pm
George Michael

I've recorded since the early '80s.
I use a Lawson L47-MP II tube mic, a true dream. Got a GR ME-1NV and thought it sounded great.
But recently I read on David Mellor's record-producer.com about pre's. He said, and this is almost word-for-word, don't put your money into an expensive transistorized mic preamp, for they don't add nearly enough to warrant the cost. He does recommend tube pres of sufficient quality, such as a UA.
I became curious. I A/B'd voice recordings with the pre and with just going straight into my Tascam 1516. The sole difference I can hear is that if you crank 100Hz shelving to the stop (12dB), the non-GR track is muddier, the GR track cleaner. I never touch that knob, however, other than to sometimes attenuate it. I never boost it.
I feel betrayed, really. This preamp has a wonderful reputation, and I've talked with Dan Kennedy about it (before I ran into the article in question); he is super nice guy and very willing to help.
The only way to hear a real difference is to hit the Impedance switch on the pre, which makes for a gutsier, deeper, brighter sound, but at the expense of the mids, which in vocals is everything. As Mr. Wall of Sound himself, Phil Spector says, "It's all in the middle."
I hazard that the reason the tracks sound so good w/o an outboard pre is that the mic itself is quite terrific.
I told an engineer friend I wanted to sell it and he tried it out for a week, but found no significant improvement over his quite less-expensive 8-channel pre, which shocked him as well; he expected a big difference and was amazed not to hear it.
I've been recording for a long time and am a fanatic about vocal quality, transparency, warmth, and getting a sound that seems to float on the surface of speakers.
Can't figure this out. People rave about this pre; my ears can hear almost no difference between it and the pre's in a Tascam analog board.
April 30, 2007 @02:12am

my 2 cents. (I have and love my MP2NV and x73, x81)
if you just need a mic pre, then go with the Great River. Fantastic piece of equipment that will compliment lots of microphones and hiZ DI sources.
go with the x73i if you will need an EQ. But you'll need to get a power supply, too. Vintech PS can power 4 units - once you try the x73i you will want an x73 and an x81, :-D
good luck with whatever choice you make, can't go wrong with either brands.
May 1, 2007 @04:39am

Personally, I find tehe statement on record-producer.com to be completely wrong. Tube preamps are no better than solid state preamps. Good preamp design is good preamp design. Some of the greatest and most coveted preamps are not tubed ones. If you can not hear the difference, then fine. Maybe you do not know what to listen for or just can not hear it yet. I do agree though that if you are just listening to a single limited source in order to test a preamp out the differences will be less then stellar. I remember feeling the same way when I first bought a Chandler TG2. I compared it to my D&R console (which actually has excellent transparent preamps) and was a little let down at the difference. However, it only took about 30 seconds of tracking with the TG2 in a familiar environment with familiar instrumetns and musicians to see a huge difference. Once you start laying tracks and using it more you will really start to hear and understand when and why to use different preamps. Its a lot like converters. The more you use them the more you will hear their impact;)
May 1, 2007 @02:30pm