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June 2017 Giveaway

Great River ME-1NV Reviews

5.0 stars based on 19 customer reviews
Questions about the Great River ME-1NV?

Questions about the Great River ME-1NV?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

Sweetwater Advice

  • David Snyder

    I have achieved a whole new level of professionalism in my home studio since I started using the Great River ME-1NV. I've worked with some pretty high-end singers, and they expect great-sounding vocals. With Class-A iron inside, and a simple but comprehensive set of controls outside, this is the vintage sound I've always looked for. I love being able to adjust both the front end and output level to hit my DAW at just the right saturation, and man, is it quiet! Nothing but pure tone, that even rivals the Neve 1073's I used to rent!

  • from January 18, 2017Music Background:
    Voice Actor

    The GREAT Great River ME-1NV

    As a professional voice actor, I need superior quality...and in this instance, in small package for when I'm on the go. The 1NV gives that to me in SPADES. Don't let it's half-rack size fool you. This piece has every bit the sound quality of a full size rack model. The first time I used it, I was blown away. It gave my voice serious "presence." And this was putting it up against both John Hardy & Vintech full size pres.
    The build quality is also quite solid.
    The ONLY reason I didn't give it the full on "WOW 5 star" (and I almost did) was because I'm not an audio jockey, I'm a voice actor. I'd almost prefer to see this model with tonal attenuaters rather than the 3 additional buttons for different mics and/or sonic differences.
    While I get that for production, I'm not techie enough and don't necessarily need that.
    Other than that...I'll just say it myself. WOW...Mind Blown!

  • from December 23, 2016Music Background:
    Engineer Musician Peoducer

    Great River pre

    Sweetest thing I've ever heard. Didn't expect to pad my mic just to be able to drive it more. But once i did, heaven

  • from October 22, 2016

    Awesome pre

    I've had my GR for around 8 years now and it has been one of the greatest investments i've added to my studio. great sound on mics and direct bass is awesome!!

  • from September 22, 2016


    This pre amp is unbelievable! It sounds amazing and has so many options. Whether you want a crisp clear recording or some colorization this is the perfect preamp. Well worth the money! Would highly suggest it to any recording engineer!

  • from August 27, 2015

    Great Amp and Customer Service

    I'm writing this review more about GR's customer service than the amp itself as others have testified that it's an amazing pro-quality pre. I was using a monster cable XLR on this unit and for some reason it jammed and wouldn't come out. Of course it wasn't the ME-1NV but I contacted GR to see what I could do to fix the problem. Dan Kennedy responded promptly and kindly to my request and told me to send it on over for him to fix. Not only did he fix the problem, he even soldered a new XLR end onto the cable!!!

    This guy deserves our money because he makes great gear and cares about his customers. Awesome!

  • from May 6, 2015

    I'm Lovin' It

    This is a serious piece of gear in terms of price but it is absolutely unquestionably worth even more. How good do you want you music to sound? That is really the question. I have used it for my U87 and TLM 103 through it and it is just..........yeah. The input and output metering is very helpful for gain staging! The gain knob makes perfect sense like a guitar amp or something and the output knob is pure volume control.

  • from Maine November 6, 2014Music Background:
    recording engineer musician producer

    Super nice pre

    Been tracking with this pre for a little while now and it''s made a big difference on a variety of sources. Loves an SM7 - you can get the gain you need without too much noise. It's well made and gives your sources an added presence and overall sense of dimension and quality. The only down side is that you'll want ten more of them! Baby steps...at least now I have a very fine vocal chain I can trust to sound fab.

  • from Brentwood, CA October 2, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, 11 years of tinkering


    I've had this for about a year now and If your looking for a great pre, buy this. I was using the stock RME FF800 pre's for awhile, which are awesome as well, but the second I heard the GR with my KSM44 I was blown away!! The crisp yet warm airiness to it made my vocals/mic shine! (Rap vocals and singing). Best pre in its price range imho.

  • from Savannah, GA February 23, 2013Music Background:
    Studio Owner


    This preamp has absolutely exceeded my expectations.

  • from United States August 31, 2012Music Background:
    hobbyist moving to end production

    Great PreAmp

    I am usually recording at my small home studio , struggling to find a clean sound recently upgraded from centrence micport pro/ mxl 4000 to gr me - 1 nv /akg c 414 xl 2/roland quad capture , and have great clean results , just remember i am not a professional singer , but i can still see great and clean result in my home studio .... hoping everthing goes great in the end ... :) over all great product , u get for what u pay .... did a lot a research before i purchased ....... so 100/100 on this .... Thanks sweetwater ...

  • from United States March 6, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer Student, Musician

    Love it!

    Amazing dynamic range! The analog feel/tone is all there. Obvious difference in quality compared to others. LOVES bass! high gain setting does not = noise

  • from San Francisco, CA July 6, 2009Music Background:
    Singer, guitarist, recording engineer

    A very nice preamp for a variety of mics

    I use this pre with an AKG SolidTube (that has a custom Telefunken tube), a Rode NT1A an Audio Technica AT4033 and a Shure SM57. With each mic it adds something unique and wonderful. The input gain can really change the characteristic of the sound. The AT4033 is normally bright to the point of being somewhat thin but when I crank up the input gain on the Great River it really fills out. The simple tone of the SM57 becomes more "bling" by keeping the input somewhat low and cranking up the output level.

    Being able to use a single TRS cable to insert my RNC compressor is a great convenience and keeps my signal chain simple and clean.

    The only reason I will ever sell this baby is to get the two channel version. ;)

  • from Ann Arbor, MI USA June 13, 2009Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer, Musician.

    Versatile & Pristine

    I bought this pre about 3 weeks ago after months of research and input from friends, mentors, and my sales rep. Alan. Here's the results of my "field test."

    DI for Bass:
    This is THE BEST DI I've used for bass. I've seen several high end DIs in action, but the great river's my favorite. When tracking bass, I adjusted the tone knobs on the bass to get the tone I wanted... I didn't even EQ or compress yet and the track already sounded smooth, even, and fat. It was wonderful. It has really made tracking bass quicker and more enjoyable.

    On Vocals and Acoustic instruments:
    I got great clarity and presence, without getting unwanted digital brightness(using an AKG 414 XL-II and a KSM44). There's lots of tonal options with the gain staging, and there's plenty of head room. A low cut is almost always needed because the low end response on this pre is BIG, but I don't mind doing a lowcut, cause I enjoy the low end on other sources.

    Perhaps the biggest difference I noticed, was that my mixes sounded bigger on songs tracked with the ME-1NV. Mixing has been easier with this pre. Things feel a little more "roomy" and nothing in the mix feels squished. The panning field sounds bigger on all the tracks I've recorded with the great river, which is a HUGE plus in post production. I'd recommend this pre to anyone. It's versatile and pristine. 5 STARS.

  • from San Francisco, CA September 14, 2008Music Background:

    Hip Hop Vocals

    I have been using this mic pre for almost 3 years now, and I have never been more satisfied with the sound clarity and warmth. This mic pre is great for both condenser and dynamic mics.

    A dynamic mic such as the Shure SM58 or the SM7b sound very warm. The gain on the pre is enough to power these mics up. Unlike mic'ing these Shures or any dynamic to a mediocre amp or mixer, the ME-1NV can provide enough gain without hiss or humms.

    With a condenser this pre can create wonders. Provided with the 2 gain knobs you can go real warm or crystal clear by simply adjusting these to your liking.

    I am a hip hop record producer and if your looking for something that will help make hit records and record great vocals for the long run, I would definitely suggest you pick a quality pre like the ME-1NV. This will solve all your Rap vocal problems. AND should be the first on your list before thinking about recording any vocal.

  • from December 6, 2007Music Background:
    Old music pro, new to recording.

    The best

    New to recording but have been making music for many years. I also have done live sound reinforcement so I have some knowledge and I build my own guitars and amplifiers. With that, I think I am at least minimally qualified to make a review of a piece of analog gear. I have a few different preamps and the Great River by far has more of that 70's sound. It's full bodied yet does not distort easily unless you want it to. It's hard to believe this is not a tube preamp because of it's warmth and three dimensional sound, it has tone that rivals tube amplification yet has that solid state clean. I bought it because I heard a few preamp shootouts on the internet and I thought the Great River sounded best, it does, I thought it sounded better than ones costing more. As soon as I heard it I knew I recognized that sound, I found out what that sound was, a Neve. This is NOT a purely clean, crystal clear preamp, it does add color, but the color is pure and beautiful.

  • from San Francisco November 25, 2007Music Background:
    recording engineer 5 years, musician and singer for 15 years

    Simply Fantastic

    This is my first peice of Class A equipment and there is such a huge difference in sonic quality. The fact that I am able to choose between transformers in the HI Z and XLR input. Then switching between 600 ohms for a very colored sound or balancing it out with the 300 ohm switch for a more even sound is amazing. I ALWAYS get tonal exellence out of this peice and it has also inspired me to start building my own Class A equipment which I am doing (1176 LN).I also have a friend that favors the sound of my GR me-1nv to his vintech x73-I. That sais alot. Vital peice of gear in my studio. if you have 1100 bucks and are contemplating what pre to get stop wondering because you are in for a treat of sonic cream pie. :)

    Derrick @ room3studios.com

  • from Long Island, NY August 19, 2007Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Musician.

    what a difference

    I had only used the pre's in my Mackie 32/8 board and thought they sounded fine untill I bought this GR unit. and after working with this for a few months I will never go back to using crappy pre's again. The vocs are full and in your face, it makes everything now clear and stand out so much more in the finial mix. Its such a noticeable difference.

  • from Long Island city, NY, USA April 6, 2007Music Background:
    Engineering student, musician

    A great product

    This was my first quality preamp for my home studio, even though I've used other great pres in another studio. The difference in my recordings is very apparent. Very simple to use, tons and tons of tonal options from clean to color. If you want flexibility out of your preamp to handle multiple studio tasks, this is a great choice. You can't go wrong with it.

  • from northwest indiana July 12, 2006Music Background:
    home recording hobbyist, songwriter, former radio pd

    the finest mic pre in this price, period

    It doesn't matter what mic you plug into this unit, it will sound much better. The ME-1NV has been an absolute pleasure to own, and frankly, worth every penny. Vocals seat much better, and my home studio projects capture magic that was missing before I owned a Great River. If I were an engineer, I'm sure I could quote all the technical reasons why this sounds so great. However, as a mere home recording enthusiast, I'll simply tell you that I never believed a mic pre could make such a positive difference until I started using my Great River.

Questions about the Great River ME-1NV?

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