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best mic preamps

The Best Mic Preamp for Every Budget - Crystal Clarity for Vocals & Instruments!

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
FMR Audio
Really Nice Preamp
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Bottom
Line
The FMR RNP is your first true entry point into professional quality preamplifiers.
Pros
By keeping the chassis simple, they were able to provide higher quality preamps at the same price. Their design also offers a lot more clean gain than you'll find elsewhere.
Cons
It's not that pretty without the optional rackmount faceplate. The outputs are unbalanced, but this is fine if you keep the cables short by placing it near your interface or patchbay.
Best Budget Pick
Presonus
BlueTube v2
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Bottom
Line
The only option in this lowest-cost price range to offer an actual upgrade over average interface pre's.
Pros
The Tube Drive knob lets you dial in the amount of saturation you prefer without changing your gain. You can go transparent, fully colored, or a warm spot in between.
Cons
While this is a great choice for those just getting started and practicing, serious recordings will benefit from a more costly option.

You bought the best microphone you could get your hands on and now it's time to pair it with best mic preamp possible. A microphone preamplifier is the key to achieving the highest quality recordings your mic has to offer. So many people keep buying better mic's and aren't satisfied because they don't know the secret... those crappy mixer and interface preamps aren't cutting it! This buying guide is going to change your life...

TL;DR - Best Bang for the Buck: FMR RNP - Best Overall: Avalon VT-737sp