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8 bus vs. VLZ pro

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I have read many opinions on the new Mackie XDR VLZ pro pre-amps, most of which were very possitive. I know that these are not the most transparent pre-amps, but sound pretty good (especially for the money). I have also heard that they sound significantly better than the old Mackie pre's.


I am assuming that people are making these comparisons to the original 1604 compact mixer pre's. What I need to know is how the new VLZ pro pres compare to the 8-bus mic pres? I already have an 8-bus and am wondering if getting an additional 1202 VLZ pro just for the mic pre's would be a waste.


Also considering an Joe Meek VC6Q or PreSonus MP20.


Things you should know.


1) Don't want to spend more than $600 right now (maybee later)

2) Don't need a mic pre that can reproduces every subtle detail of the room (maybee later)

3) Using w/ AT4047, AKG Blue Line, SM57 microphones

4) Recording drums, accoustic GTR, vocals (every thing else is direct)

5) I want something that is not overly bright or harsh.

6) Yes I have ordered the 3D Audio Pre CD, but have not received it yet. However, it only has the VLZ Pro and MP20 on it. Does not include the 8-Bus or VC6Q.


Need to get something real soon.


Thanks in advance,



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Just to clarify, I am not getting rid of the 8-bus I already have. I am wondering if I should use the on-board mic-pres or get something else in addition. It has been a long time since I have used anything else besides the 8-bus, so it's all I really know.


Any opinions on the Joe Meek VC6Q, VC1, PreSonus MP20, Sytek, or 1202VLZ-pro.


Thanks for all the feedback so far.

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I have the VC6Q and I love it! I also use the mp 20 and it is very cool as well, to my ears they are both sonicly more appealing than the mackie's ( I have a Mackie board right now) the Joe Meek is very warm Phat and in your face(think british) it definatly has a color one that I quite enjoy, The Presonous is a little more transparent but definatly more open and rich than the mackie's I would suggest going down to your local store and a/bing both those units against the VLZ and see what you think, you might or might not like the color of one the other or all.
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I have 1604 VLZ in my small room/ I had a 1202 for live stuff/ I have a 1402 for sub/headphone/live stuff/ I have done extensive stuff on the 8 bus/ I use a Amek Tac Magnum in my commercial studio and I am in the Midst of purchasing 3 Da7's to replace the Mackies and Amek's ..I still love the Joe Meek and presonous and they get used alot.
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I have a Mackie 8 bus, and don't mind the pre's at all, for certain things...they are actually pretty transparent. I have to admit though, I tend to use my Joe Meek VC1Q or TL Audio EQ1 most of the time for tracking, bypassing the board altogether...both of these pre's are "very" different sounding than the Mackie's, which gives me a lot of different choices...my opinion is, for the $, if you already have the Mackie, then choose an outboard pre with more "color", as the Mackie is already of the "cleaner" variety!

(used properly, of course...it's no Great River!)



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I am thinking about getting an HHB Classic Mic Pre. I have read good things about it. I would not have a problem spending this much on a mic pre because I could also use it as DI form my bass, and use it as an effect (slight tube dist) for other recorded tracks and synths.


Anyone have any experience with the HHB?


Maybee I will also get a pair of VC6Q's for variety.


The other thing I am thinking about, is changing my mind and getting a new console. Looking at the Soundcraft Ghost or A&H GS3000. I can read the specs on the features and routing, but am looking for feedback on the mic pres and EQ.


Any other suggrstion on a new or used console in the $4000 to $8000 range?

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Yes, a used Trident 80B, DDA AMR/DMR series, MCI, MTA, Laffont, API...


Better sound throughout than the Ghost or GS3000, and smaller ones can be found in the $5k-10k range if you buy direct from the owner -- not from a professional buyer/reseller who doubles the price. You might need to spend a few days cleaning/fixing it up some, changing faders & pots, but these desks have a real sound for making records. No bells and fancy whistles, just good sound.


My $0.02.





[This message has been edited by Jon Atack (edited 08-08-2000).]

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