What builds would complement my gear?

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dp

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I am getting the itch to do some DIY mic pres, probably in 500-series format. I am looking at Hairball and Sound Skulptor stuff but what I don't want to do is get something "same sounding" to what I already use.

I currently use a Peavey VMP-2 which I like quite a bit but I want to expand my horizons. Specifically I have been looking at  Hairball's Lola and the Elements Bronze. Also the Sound Skulptor Neve clone. That seems a good place to start. Interested in any pointers on which would be best for me. After the pres I would like to delve into some compressors like the SS G-bus clone or maybe some FET-style comps.

Another option I am considering, not DIY-related at all but if you have any thoughts... I have been thinking of going with an Audient ID44 to replace my TASCAM 16x08. Any thoughts on the Audient pres vs the above mentioned DIY options? I know they are well liked.

Regardless, my first project will have to be a CAPI 500-series 11-slot  enclosure.

Thanks for any observations you can provide.
 

dmp

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dp said:
Specifically I have been looking at  Hairball's Lola and the Elements Bronze. Also the Sound Skulptor Neve clone.

Those look good (though I haven't built any of those) - I'd have built and would recommend VP28 from CAPI and NV73 from Don classics
You will probably find preamps like these don't compliment as much as obliterate your current preamp  ;D

My priority would be mics and preamps before worrying about a better interface.  As long as it does 24 bit.
 

dp

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Thanks for the input guys.

The VMP-2 is a pretty well-regarded preamp... it is definitely no slouch and I could easily sell it and finance at least two 500-module DIY kits plus have some change left over. So, another one of these I'm looking at could outclass it, but then again, maybe not. That's why I'm asking if anyone has any direct comparison experience.

Shabtek: thanks for the input on the Lola. It's probably the direction I would go...  or something Neve-ish... still on the fence. I'm not afraid of a complicated build. I have the experience required to build and debug if needed.
 

dmp

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dp said:
The VMP-2 is a pretty well-regarded preamp...

I was thinking the vmp2 was something else. Now that I looked into it, it is pretty highly regarded. Haven't used one myself but it seems they made a pro level tube preamp and didn't cut corners.

In that case I would definitely suggest a 990, API, or Neve style discrete preamp. I have a few tube builds (RCA BA2 and V76) and the discrete solid state designs are good on some different mics / sources. For instance, I've found ribbon mics sound really good into a 990 preamp vs tube.
 

dp

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dmp said:
For instance, I've found ribbon mics sound really good into a 990 preamp vs tube.

That's good to know. I do have a nice-ish sE ribbon mic, the VR1. The Hairball Gold is a 990-design.
 

dp

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Thanks for all of the input guys.

So, this is the direction I think I am going to go...

I am going to start with some DIYRE "colour" projects. Maybe wait until he comes out with the rackmount preamp/colour host version. Or just start with a CP5 preamp with the CTX or DOA colour module  and his 2-slot 500 chassis. Or I will get the Colour pallet and do a CTX with the DOA, maybe a Royal Blue or a TM79 for the third slot.

Then I will eventually upgrade my audio interface to the Audient iD44, which has fantastic preamps and AD/DA converters, a really nice JFET DI and some flexible monitoring control built-in. With it's inserts on the first two preamps, I will have a pretty darn flexible setup.

If I like the direction it's headed, I will maybe branch-out into some of the previously mentioned 500-series projects.
 
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