AudioBox USB, AudioBox Stereo and AudioBox Studio
Music Creation Suite (PS-49 Keyboard, Studio One, Notion, Nimbit, XLR cable, M7 Mic, Headphones and USB 2.0 Hub)
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I just recently upgraded to the Studio 1810, which from the sounds of it has nice, neutral preamps with low noise and tons of dynamic range. A buddy of mine wants to sell his Grace 101 preamp to me for $300, which is a great deal. But that preamp is known for being neutral and transparent, and I'm thinking I already have neutral and transparent in the 1810.

What do you think? Should I grab it at a good price, or spend that money on something else?

Studio One Pro 4, Presonus Studio 1810, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit.
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by SwitchBack on Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:36 pm
The Grace 101’s are very low noise which increases the useful dynamic range of the inputs you use them on. I.e. they allow you to reduce input gain (for more headroom) without ending up with a noisy recording.

So if noise is sometimes an issue in your recordings (to avoid clipping) then that preamp can be a good investment.

[Edit] fixed a typo :)
Last edited by SwitchBack on Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by Neiby on Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:03 pm
The 1810 preamps are really low noise, too, and I get 20dB more gain on the 1810, which also has a mic input dynamic range of 110dB. I'm sure the much more expensive Grace preamp is objectively better, but since they're both reportedly neutral and transparent, I'm not sure the Grace pre would be a good purchase. I might not even notice the difference. I can borrow it from my friend and do some testing.

Studio One Pro 4, Presonus Studio 1810, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit.
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by matthewgorman on Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:33 pm
Agree, see if you can test it first.

An adjustment I made a gew years ago has helped me in situations like this. If I cant say directly that I need x because y cant give me what I want, then purchase is off. If you are just guessing if you need it or not, then you probably dont. Maybe that saves a few bucks over the long haul.

Matt

Lenovo ThinkServer TS140 Win 10 64bit, 8GB RAM, Intel Xeon
Lenovo Thinkpad E520, Windows 7 64bit, 8 GB RAM, Intel i5 Processor
StarTech EC13942 34mm Expresscard
S1Pro V2 , Melodyne Studio 4, Nomad Factory Studio Bundle, Waves , RM16, Studio 192, DP88, Faderport, Central Station Plus, Yamaha HS50 Monitors, Sceptre 6-8 Monitors, Temblor 10.
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by Neiby on Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:34 pm
Yeah, I think I should do that. That makes sense. I know he'll have no problem loaning it to me so I do some A/B testing. If I can't hear a notable difference, there would be no reason to buy it.

Studio One Pro 4, Presonus Studio 1810, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit.
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by Lawrence on Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:21 am
I own a Grace M101 and frankly, nothing in the PreSonus range of lower cost preamps or audio devices is equal to it. It's a really "accurate" preamp with lots of headroom and exceptional build quality and shielding. There's a reason some preamps cost $500 a channel and some others cost $50 a channel. The only thing that kinda sucks on It is the led meters.

With it being "clean amplification" you often need to add color to the signal chain for some things, like in my case I paired it with a Tube mic and/or tube levelor for recording vocals. It literally has no "color" at all, it's just a really accurate mono preamp.

Plug a bass or acoustic guitar into in and use it like a direct box, and if you can't actually hear the difference between that and an AudioBox (transients, harmonics, overall clarity), you need better monitors.

P.S. To Matt's point, whether that difference is worth another $2-300 is another different subjective conversation.
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by Neiby on Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:08 am
That makes it very tempting. I'd still like to do some testing just for fun, but it sounds like it would be a good purchase.

Studio One Pro 4, Presonus Studio 1810, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit.
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by matthewgorman on Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:09 pm
Neiby wroteThat makes it very tempting. I'd still like to do some testing just for fun, but it sounds like it would be a good purchase.


HAHA, you have a gear problem fella. Time to look for a support group. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Its not a bad thing, we all have it. I am enjoying watching you change you mind with this. Bottom line, who am I to get in the way of you getting more gear? If you have the money and its not a stretch, buy it. Its a good preamp that will not be obsolete in the future like an interface would. And at that price, you can probably sell it for the same dollars 2 years from now.

Pull the trigger. You know you want to. :twisted:

Matt

Lenovo ThinkServer TS140 Win 10 64bit, 8GB RAM, Intel Xeon
Lenovo Thinkpad E520, Windows 7 64bit, 8 GB RAM, Intel i5 Processor
StarTech EC13942 34mm Expresscard
S1Pro V2 , Melodyne Studio 4, Nomad Factory Studio Bundle, Waves , RM16, Studio 192, DP88, Faderport, Central Station Plus, Yamaha HS50 Monitors, Sceptre 6-8 Monitors, Temblor 10.
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by Neiby on Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:11 pm
lol I wasn't planning on it at all, at first. Then my buddy sends me an email saying, "Hey, I'm selling this Grace 101 preamp. I'll give you the friends and family discount if you want it." lol You're right, I just should just do it. lol

Studio One Pro 4, Presonus Studio 1810, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit.
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by Neiby on Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:12 pm
This is my support group. I was kind of hoping one of you would convince me NOT to buy it! lol Some help you are! :)

Studio One Pro 4, Presonus Studio 1810, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit.
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by matthewgorman on Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:25 pm
Neiby wroteThis is my support group. I was kind of hoping one of you would convince me NOT to buy it! lol Some help you are! :)


Probably should have told you that I get kicked out of AA meetings for this same thing. Who knew that bringing a flask would cause so many problems?

Matt

Lenovo ThinkServer TS140 Win 10 64bit, 8GB RAM, Intel Xeon
Lenovo Thinkpad E520, Windows 7 64bit, 8 GB RAM, Intel i5 Processor
StarTech EC13942 34mm Expresscard
S1Pro V2 , Melodyne Studio 4, Nomad Factory Studio Bundle, Waves , RM16, Studio 192, DP88, Faderport, Central Station Plus, Yamaha HS50 Monitors, Sceptre 6-8 Monitors, Temblor 10.
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by darrenporter1 on Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:40 pm
Holy crap... at that price I'd ask "do you have two?"

Then I'd quickly find something to sell so I could buy it.

:lol:

You'll know you're an old rock-n-roller when the only spandex in your pants is in the elastic waistband. :D


Studio One Professional 4.1.3
i5-8400, 16GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, 2TB HD, Win10 Pro
TASCAM US16x08, FaderPort 8, Console 1, JBL 306P Mk.II Monitors
Peavey VMP-2, Suhr Reactive Load
Lots of self-built tube amps, Carvin, Fender, G&L, Ibanez, PRS, Takamine guitars
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by Lawrence on Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:54 pm
Lol, G.A.S is. kicking in. :)

Being serious though... anything like that only sounds as good as the weakest link in the chain. In my case it was (mostly, for vox) Tube LDC > Grace > Tube Comp > Lavry Blue converter to DAW with Lavry Black DAC to Dynaudio monitors on the other end, a pretty good chain for a small semi pro project room.
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by Neiby on Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:20 pm
I do have G.A.S. really bad right now! I'm looking at getting another new mic, plus this Grace preamp, and then I just saw this awesome product called NOVO from Heavyocity. Ugh....My wallet is going to hate me unless we hold an intervention. lol

Studio One Pro 4, Presonus Studio 1810, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit.
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by SwitchBack on Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:27 pm
It’s times like these where you have to apply the ‘need’ principle. Do you really need three pairs of shoes, or meat on the table at least twice a week? In this light choices become simple ;)
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by Neiby on Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:30 pm
SwitchBack wroteIt’s times like these where you have to apply the ‘need’ principle. Do you really need three pairs of shoes, or meat on the table at least twice a week? In this light choices become simple ;)


Well, the only preamps I have are the ones in my Studio 1810, so yeah, I NEED it, right?? ;-)

This wasn't even a want until my friend said he'd sell it to me. I'm thinking it's probably too good of a price to turn down considering the quality of the gear, but we'll see.

Studio One Pro 4, Presonus Studio 1810, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit.
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by darrenporter1 on Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:44 pm
Ask him if the "friends and family discount" includes a payment plan...

You'll know you're an old rock-n-roller when the only spandex in your pants is in the elastic waistband. :D


Studio One Professional 4.1.3
i5-8400, 16GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, 2TB HD, Win10 Pro
TASCAM US16x08, FaderPort 8, Console 1, JBL 306P Mk.II Monitors
Peavey VMP-2, Suhr Reactive Load
Lots of self-built tube amps, Carvin, Fender, G&L, Ibanez, PRS, Takamine guitars
User avatar
by Lawrence on Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:57 am
SwitchBack wroteIt’s times like these where you have to apply the ‘need’ principle. Do you really need three pairs of shoes, or meat on the table at least twice a week? In this light choices become simple ;)


Yeah. If you're looking at building a really good stereo or two channel tracking and monitoring chain for a personal studio, cost certainly does play a pretty big role in that equation. I say "stereo" because very few people can afford 16-24 channels of relatively expensive outboard and similar, so you reserve the few channels of better stuff for critical signals when multitracking and always use the good stuff to overdub.

Add it up: A good "never think about it ever again" stereo pair of external ADC/DAC will set you back around $1500-2k. A "really good" pair of near field monitors will set you back around $750-1k or so. Add a couple of really good pre-amps or comps, another $1-1500k. Add a couple of "really good" LDC's, another $800-1k. If you want a good external digital master clock for everything, another $7-800.

That level of expenditure is - insane - for a hobbyist or musician / songwriter just wanting to record and enjoy and share their music... unless they just have lots of spare cash and/or are a trust fund baby. They don't "need" any of that stuff to make or produce their music, but people who'd say that it wouldn't all sound better than plugging a $200 audio device into a computers USB port are simply wrong about that.

Of course, you can still quite easily &$%$ it all up with plugins in post if you don't know what you're doing, no matter how good it initially sounded. :mrgreen:

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