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FMR RNP versus Studio Projects VTB1 - Any comparisons?


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Just plugged in my new RNP yesterday... I actually asked this same question in a thread several weeks ago, and got no response. I read a review of the VTB1 - a review which I cannot locate right now - that briefly compared the RNP and the VTB-1. The reviewer didn't perform a detailed, side-by-side comparison, but he did say this (and I'm paraphrasing from memory here): The VTB1 can offer a wider range of sounds from transparent to colored, whereas the RNP pretty much sounds transparent. The VTB1 does not have the crisp definition in the high end that the RNP does, but then again (still paraphrasing), no preamp anywhere near the RNP's price has the high-end definition of the RNP. That's what I remember. I was really torn between the two. I ended up buying the RNP, for various reasons, including the fact that I was buying a RNC simultaneously, and figured the two together would be sweeeeet. Also, the RNP has two channels, while the VTB1 has only one... then again, the VTB1 is cheaper... Hope this helps.
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Hard to say, Hank. I don't think either will give you a classic analog sound, but they both sound pretty good. It is easier to get darker tones with the VTB, 'specially with the tone control. The RNP is just a gain knob. No tone shaping there. But I was able to get a darker bass tone when combined with the RNC.
Andrew Mazzocchi
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  • 3 weeks later...
[url=http://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?PHPSESSID=56c2c5eafe7ccf2e852a45ed25d0806b&search=Studio+Projects&action=search&rsort=1&st=2]Sweetwater[/url] , $180.00 plus shipping, and please tell them I sent you so I'll get credit for the sale.
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Yo Jedi, I have the VTB-1 if you want to borrow it for a few days. I'm not tracking my client for another two weeks although I want to record myself before then so you can't have it for two whole weeks. ;) Let me know. I bought the VTB-1 based on rave reviews. It's OK. I wasn't wowed. Most likely my ears are not that sensitive, but I don't see the big deal with the Tube Blend. I tend to prefer my PreSonus Blue Tube (I have a very limited selection of preamps though: VTB, BlueTube, Mackie VLZ and 001). I do use the VTB-1 as a DI for bass which is better than the other pres I have and I don't have a DI for bass. YMMV

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I wouldn't presume that because something's got a tube in it, it's going to sound better. I say this as something of a tube fanatic. The circuitry itself is more important to the sound quality than whether there's a tube involved. Also, I wouldn't presume that "darker" or "duller" means "more like analog." Tape actually has a very distinctive high end, which does not sound "crispy" like digital but nevertheless is very present in a silky smooth kinda way. A GOOD tube pre or mic can lend some of this quality to a recording, but in my experience you can get a better quality solid state pre or mic for the same price as they charge for cheap stuff that's got a toob in it. The only exception is if you actually want to drive the tube as an effect, to get some lo-fi distortion or if you're recording guitar direct or some such. Then, a cheap tube pre can be cool. Hank, if you're looking for a cheap pre that has a "darker" quality to it, you might look at a JoeMeek VC3Q... as you might have noticed in another thread, I've got a couple of them I'm selliing. :D I'm also selling a Presonus BlueTube if anybody's interested! I am going to buy either an RNP or a JoeMeek VC1Q, myself. I haven't heard the RNP yet but was not very impressed at all with the Studio Projects pre.
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The VTB-1 is a solid state pre. I believe it uses a tube blending circuit. My understanding is it's a starved plate design which is easier to generate a tube type distortion effect at less dollars and complexity than a convential high voltage design. I haven't heard one yet myself. I agree with Lee regarding anything having tubes or tranformers or being based on a so-called 'classic' design is often assumed, by the unaware, to be somehow automatically superior to any modern solid state design. :confused: A lot of companies have got on the tube bandwagon over the past few years and have been stuffing tubes in everything from pres to microphones... to COMPUTER MOTHERBOARDS!! :eek: Also my experience with cheap tube mics has generally been 'furry esses'. Granted I'm not talking about U67's, U47's, C12's 251, and the like, which I haven't had much experience with. In fact my ears tend to prefer the sound of FET transformerless mics... especially in the lower price range. :) For example one Jensen output transformer could cost as much an entire Asian mic. :freak: A well designed solid state product can sound fantastic... the Sytek preamp I borrowed some time back certainly did. It appears that the RNP may also be up in this league. :) There is no doubt that tubes and transformers can work magic but you will pay a premium for the privilege if you want the best they can offer. ;)
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Hell Yeah Riffing, I'd love to try that thing out. PM when you can so I can come grab it for a day. I've got a terrible Mic-pre fettish, I just love them so. I promise I won't molest it tho :D . I'll hit you up soon.

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