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best mic preamps

The Best Mic Preamp for Every Budget

Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Avalon
VT-737SP
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Bottom
Line
A go-to for professional pop, R&B, & rap studio recordings. You've heard this on some of your favorite albums & never realized it.
Pros
You get a top of the line compressor & parametric equalizer in this channel strip. It sounds great with D.I.'d bass guitars through the preamp, too.
Cons
The only qualm we can muster is that it's single channel, meaning you'll need two if you want to record in stereo.
Best Bang for the Buck
Grace Design
m101
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Bottom
Line
The Grace Design m101 is your first true entry point into professional quality preamplifiers.
Pros
It is a favorite among users looking for a direct injection point. It unlocks the most value out of any mic you throw at it. It also has nice engineering.
Cons
The outputs are somehow unbalanced, but this is fine if you keep the cables short by placing it near your interface or patchbay.
Best Budget Pick
Focusrite Scarlett
2i2 3rd gen
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Bottom
Line
Best preamp for aspiring youtubers, podcasters and general beginners.
Pros
Great performance and offers great features without breaking the bank. Software subscription is a great plus!
Cons
Lacking additional features which are standard on the top preamps.

TL;DR (on Amazon) - Best Bang for the Buck: Grace Design m101 - Best Overall: Avalon VT-737sp