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Great River MP-500NV Microphone Preamp Reviews

4.5 stars based on 13 customer reviews
Questions about the Great River MP-500NV Microphone Preamp?

Questions about the Great River MP-500NV Microphone Preamp?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from Bethesda, MD June 24, 2013Music Background:
    producer and engineer

    Professional Preamp

    This is a pro preamp. There are so many options nowadays and this is a very safe one. It is really versatile and sounds great. If you cannot get a great sound out of this thing, i promise you it is not the pre's fault!

    I have owned a pair of them in my Radial 500 series rack for a year now and i really love them. Just looking at the build quality alone is so revealing to me. It takes up two slots, which kind of sucks, but the units are completely full of electronics. They did not want to compromise their product and trust me it paid off.

    I also have a pair of A Designs P1s which i love and i use both these preamps for cutting a lot of vocals with a U87, Manley Reference Cardioid and RE20, depending on the singer. When i have the time, i run the vocals through both pres and pick which one i prefer. If i dont have time, i just plug into the Great River. It always sounds great. I have also cut a lot of electric guitar and bass, both mic'd and DI, and i love this pre for both. For clean guitar and acoustic, i often prefer the P1, but i would still be happy if i only had this unit.

    Overall a real workhorse pre, and truly pro. Not just a more affordable version than a 1073.. Do yourself a huge favor and do not think of it that way. This is an amazing pre in its own right, and in the same league as Neve, API, etc. I find it sounds quite different from a 1073, and do not even think of it as Neveish anymore. It is simply a Great River, the way a Neve is a Neve, and an API is an API. Try one out for yourself and you will see what i mean!

    Lastly i will say that there are products available that became so popular for one reason or another, like Neumann, Neve, Pro Tools, etc. People will buy them, because that's what they have heard is good or pro or standard or whatever. Some of these products, you are paying way too much just for that name brand. It's supply and demand people. Other products, like Great River, you pay just for quality. Don't get me wrong, i love my API compressor and eq, and my U87... I am just saying don't be blinded by the hype and sleep on an awesome product like this just because it isn't the single biggest name out there. Plus, do you really wanna sound just like everybody else??

  • from Philadelphia Pa June 13, 2012Music Background:
    Producer, Mixing, Engineer

    Bought one then bought another one

    These pre's are awesome for the money! I've never been happier and love them on over heads and kick drum! Actually I love them on almost anything I've used them on so far. I bought a second one almost immediately!

  • from Gettysburg, PA April 5, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    The Great, Great River MP-500NV

    I am at awe with this preamp. Very musical, with a tad of old school mixed with modern analog circuitry. I really like this with a Empirical Labs Distressor. They compliment each other. I may buy another one down the road.

  • from Cleveland, Ohio July 20, 2011Music Background:
    Performer, Producer

    Amazing preamp!

    I have had and have used all the big 500 series preamps that are available (API 512C, Avedis MA5s, P-1...). Without a doubt the Great River MP-500NV is my go to preamp. It is first call for me on most all things. On vocals it sounds amazing and on distorted electric guitars it screams. The impedance and loading buttons really give some total character. Tons of headroom (as compared to the 512C). I also swear by any preamp that has an output knob versus a pad switch. There is no tone loss using an output knob versus a pad and you can get all sort of tonal characteristics out of the preamp by driving or backing off on the gain. I can't recommend this preamp enough.

  • from Nashville, TN November 6, 2010Music Background:
    Artist, Writer, Producer

    FANTASTIC!

    Suggested once again by Luke H. such a great preamp! I'm a huge fan. Pure, good sound! Thanks again sweetwater!

  • from Phoenix, AZ June 18, 2010Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Studio Owner, Musician

    Excellent Preamp

    I just bought two of these and put them to the test the other night. I was totally amazed at the difference a really nice preamp can make. For the past few years I was using Focusrite Platinum Series, and the on-board pre's on my Control 24 mixing desk. The Great River leaves them both in the dust!

    I don't have any super-high-dollar microphones, but the addition of these preamps has really improved the sound of every mic in my locker. The Shure KSM32, Blue Baby Bottle, Rode NT2A, AKG C1000s, Shure SM57, Beta 87a, Beta 52, Audix f-15, and Audix f-12, were all noticeably enhanced by these Great River Preamps.

    Take it from me, if you have some decent microphones, and are thinking of buying more expensive mics to improve your sound, spend about half as much as you were planning, and get two of these guys. You'll be really surprised how great those "decent" mics can actually sound.

  • from Chicago Il August 13, 2009Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, musician

    Simply the Best

    if your looking for the pre that does it all then this is it! vocals are amazing! i use the GR with a Mojave MA-200. This thing is a work horse, i cant wait to get another one in the lunchbox! sounds good everything you throw at it!

  • from Nj May 22, 2009Music Background:
    R. eng.

    Great River MP500NV

    Solid construction and components. The 1st thing I did was run some Pink noise through unit and was amazed at how even it tracked a 20 to 20K frequency sweep. Not easy to do.
    On Bass, Vocals, Guitars, and OH drum mic it is more than getting the job done. I need a stereo pair and quick.

  • from Los Angeles, CA USA February 22, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer and Producer

    Absolutely glorious... I love this PRE!!!

    I bought my first MP-500NV a few months back, and recently purchased a second one to run stereo material through. The sound of this pre is absolutely amazing on everything I throw at it. Do your message board research and you'll see that this is the one mic pre that just about everyone can agree on. Last weekend my friend and I did a shoot-out with the Great River vs. Neve 1073 on stereo mixes. It was no contest -- the GR by a landslide.

  • from Shawnee, KS July 26, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist musician; Hobbyist Recroding/Mixing Engineer

    Great Addition to a Lunchbox

    Awesome pre. Clear and punchy. Dial in as much, or as little, color as you like. Bass through the DI is very tasty. My FMR RNP has been gathering dust since this gem arrived. Highly recommended!

  • from san fran, ca July 18, 2011Music Background:
    self-recording musician

    Neve-ish sound with Flexibility

    For those of us who love lunchboxes for the different "flavor" options, this is a great preamp to start with. I don't have a lot of experience with many other 500 modules yet, but this one nails the Neve sound - broad, thick low-mids that sound nice and sticky, with a reduced high end that makes everything smooth and punchy.

    The best thing about this preamp is that it is very versatile, but always stays within the aforementioned "Neve" sound. The DI is all you'll ever need for bass/guitars, and when using dynamic/ribbon mics (such as an sm7b or sm57) you can adjust the impedance to change the behavior of these mics in some very interesting ways. The loading button actually just cuts some of the "air" high-end (which works well for kick and bass) out of the frequency.

    The most useful feature on this preamp is that the each setting on the gain knob has a markedly different sound (as you push the gain it starts to densify the mids and take more top end off), and the output control let's you maximize volume even the lower settings. When used in conjunction with the perfect input metering you can really optimize your signal before A/D conversion quickly and accurately. This helps to take a lot of the guesswork out of setting your preamp.

    Overall, I love this preamp for it's Neve sound. It's not a desert-island pre for me, but when combined with another style (I've got an A Designs P-1 that's the "Quad Eight Sound"), it pretty much covers a lot of ground and makes up for the fact that it's going to eat 2 spots in your lunchbox instead of just 1.

  • from July 26, 2015

    Dank AF!

    Amazing preamp. Input and output gain staging lets you dial in the right amount of dirt. Feeling x-tra filthy. Hit the load button. The only reason I'm knocking a star is because it takes up 2 spaces.

  • from Brooklyn, NY March 25, 2011Music Background:
    Professional Musician

    Really Good Pre but Not For Everything

    Don`t get me wrong, the GR is a really nice pre but I had to give it 3.5 stars because its not for everything.

    I`ve owned the GR now for about 15 months, using it primarily on vocals and mic`ing guitar amps. On vocals, the GR adds a smooth, focused mid range. For acoustic guitars, its too bright, too forward. Mic`ing an amp also works well.

    If you`re looking for a good all around mic pre, I would suggest the 500 series Grace 501 or the A-Designs P1. The GR has its place but its not for everything. As with all gear, you should give it a try but also test it with the pres mentioned above.

Questions about the Great River MP-500NV Microphone Preamp?

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