The Top Microphone Pre Amp For Vocals

If you are a musician or a sound engineer, finding the right Microphone Preamp is key for a clean and professional sound behind the mixing desk or in the booth. You may have the most advanced microphone available in the world, but without preamps to project the output or frequency control technology, you can only see a fraction of its capacity.

When selecting the top 10 preamps for your microphones, there are several different variables that need to be taken into account, such as reviews, budget, and requirements. Cost is top of the list, as with many items in existence. There should be templates available to suit your needs at both ends of the continuum, as long as you have a reasonable budget.

The technical specs are the next area to look at. The item you need will be unique to you and your specifications. What do you need, big live events, for that? Studio recording? Personal usage? Each of these situations will decide how heavy you're going to need a device, how many channels it's going to need, and what kind of preamp you're going to need - tube, solid state, or hybrid. We've put together a great list of preamps and reviews of them so that you can pick the right vocal preamp for you.

It is important in today's music and sound engineering industries to find the best preamplifier you can possibly really find. When it comes to recorded or live music, sound engineers, artists, record labels, producers and customers all now demand a very high degree of quality.

This is because advancements in technology now make it possible to achieve a standard of quality that was truly impossible just a short time ago for even the lowest budget recording, created fully independently without any professional interference whatsoever. By simply listening to the first independent releases of today's young, up and coming artists, this idea is vindicated.

For the most part, they are much superior to their predecessors, who had a similar level of budget and potential. Some of these recent independent releases are much better than the professional recordings of the past few decades by popular artists.

This really does highlight just how far things have come. This is, like we said, due to the developments in technology and techniques of recording and mixing. Some pieces of equipment are key to achieving the highest standard of quality that is now anticipated, and the best product is on that list.

What are the Top Rated Preamps for Mics in 2020 ?

1. Focusrite OctoPre

As part of the Focusrite group that includes 4 exciting brands - Focusrite, RedNet, Novation and Ampify, Focusrite operates. These are fast rising and impressive outfits, making their presence known in the audio equipment and sound engineering fields of hardware and software niches.

Musician or engineer, expert or novice, they've got some of the best gear for you. One of their standout preamps is the OctoPre and it is easy to understand why. It has 8 channels of supremely high quality, the caliber of which is such that they have also received industry awards.

The built-in ADAT, or light pipe performance that can accommodate ranges of up to 110db, is one of the reasons behind the impressive OctoPre sound boost. Its anti-clip technology is another factor. It will not weaken the tone even when subjected to the harshest spikes in performance and is designed to stand up to levels such as kick and snare drums on the most extreme ends of the spectrum. In reality, this is one of the best preamps you can buy when it comes to drums, as every channel sports 10db pads to prevent overdrive - if you are after Overdrive Pedals, click here.

Its generous distribution of LED input meters is another attribute that is especially impressive about this unit. Simple technology implementations such as this make life much simpler, especially when attempting to produce a sound with minute precision or when used in dark and fast-paced environments and gig venues such as bars, clubs and concert halls.


+ 8 Award-winning quality networks
+ Highly qualified piece of equipment
+ Accurate and helpful show of LEDs

Why We Liked It - We assume, like other reviews, that this is a 5-star preamp. 8 channels are a decent quantity and give you plenty of flexibility and space to maneuver. The sound quality of the channels is also of an extremely high caliber and it is very impressive to be able to handle the harshest output levels you can throw at it, particularly that of drums without clipping. A commodity of top quality.

2. Grace Design M101

Grace Design is an impressive business that has come a long way from its modest beginnings. Michael Grace worked alone in 1990, making personalized, tailor-made audio equipment for a very small and niche clientele. When Michael's brother Eben joined him, Grace Design was officially born in 1994 and they began to become known for making high-quality, high-performance preamps that exceeded those of the mainstream.

Grace Design has evolved at a steady and unstoppably consistent pace in the years since. They are now a proven and highly regarded business with a variety of products in countless gig venues and studios that are diverse and impressive.

Grace Design is known for its ultra-reliable, high-caliber preamps, and no exception is the M101 preamp. It features a steel case and a faceplate of aluminum and has all the hallmarks of a package built and made with passion, expertise and experience.

Its level of versatility is one of the most visible and impressive features of the M101. It features an instrument input, a phantom power switch of 48v, gain, controls for trim and ribbon, filter capability and a standard power switch.

With respect to the tone, this preamp is impeccable. It can pack a punch capable of providing a total gain boost of 75db, but the performance remains impeccably clean. Read the many reviews of this product, and the utter absence of any unwelcome sound or hiss whatsoever, even on the highest end, is without a doubt one of the most popular themes.

Record through the M101 and listen to the reproduction. This is all the necessary testimony required by this product. Individual instruments, components and sounds do not stack with lower-quality preamplifiers like they do. With the requisite drive behind it, each piece will shine through, but without any clipping or undesirable performance.


+ Elegant design and rugged design
+ Highly efficient preamplifier
+ Very impressive potential for sound boosting

Why We Liked It - With this one, you can't really go wrong. It looks amazing and the solid construction, slick design and features are very good for us. However, this preamp is all about sound quality. Being able to reach 75 db levels while maintaining a squeaky clean performance makes this one of the best professional options.

3. ART Pro MPAII Two Channel

For audio enthusiasts, ART, or Applied Science and Technology, is a business produced by audio enthusiasts. They were formed in 1984 and tried to offer high-end equipment, specifically with musicians in mind, at affordable prices. They specialize in pre-amps for vacuum tubes that are known for their durability, flexibility and sound quality.

Its sturdy and durable construction is the first thing most people note about the MPAII. This thing seems to take a serious amount of punishment, which is one of the best qualities of any piece of equipment should it be used in a busy and fast-paced venue night after night. You also really get a sense of the strength and efficiency the MPAII has to deliver just by looking at it.

On this microphone preamp, an impressive set of features can also be found. It has a selectable phantom power capability of 48v, making it compatible with condenser mics. It also features variable input impedance and can be used for dual mono or stereo specifications as well.


+ Solid and robust structure
+ Extremely trustworthy
+ Polyvalent and strong

Why We Liked It - Overall, this will be best for musicians of any standard and sound engineers. In terms of both its construction and the technology put into it, it is perfectly solid. It has a good level of features, but what we like most about this item is that it is really a 'preamp' for every guy. It's easy to use and yet strong and flexible enough to add a real professional aspect to your recordings and/or mixing. It won't break the bank.

4. Behringer Ultragain Pro MIC2200

Behringer is a business that doesn't need an introduction. Founded back in 1989, they are one of the world's biggest and greatest manufacturers of musical equipment and will be a household name for almost every singer, recording artist and audio enthusiast on the planet.

The MIC2200 is renowned for its professional consistency and when only the hottest and cleanest sound will suffice, it is the go-to preamp. It doesn't matter whether you're using a console, hard drive recorders, DAT recorders, or countless other formats, it's going to greatly boost your performance.

The Ultragain Pro is as quiet as it comes, but it is only a 2 line unit, but it is difficult to find a device that can boast such low noise levels. What really adds warmth and clarity is the built-in 12AX7 vacuum tube. Any sound captured from a mic connected to this will be clear and crisp and have a thorough presence within the overall mix.

With 2 fully adjustable eq's that cover center frequency, stage, and bandwidth, flexibility is also outstanding. With a 12 segment LED for ultra-precise cutting, this device makes it as easy as possible when it comes to mixing.


+ Highly sophisticated and high quality preamps
+ One of the market's quietest units
+ Increases your performance with true warmth, breadth and clarity
+ Excellent display with LEDs

Why We Liked It -An outstanding piece. Such a quiet device that adds such warmth and clarity is difficult to find, but the Ultragain Pro manages this with ease. A best in class product which should be a compulsory purchase in their mix for everyone who wants professionalism and consistency. As many reviewers would agree with, another terrific release from Behringer.

5. DBX 286s

DBX is the godfather of the world of audio equipment and recording. Established back in 1971, several preamps have been released and have been responsible for pushing the limits of this field for years. In the early days of some of the associated technologies, many of their releases were revolutionary, and their name is synonymous with high-quality mic preamplification.

They first began producing only single signal audio equipment, but their product range has grown considerably over the years through numerous mergers and acquisitions. They were best known for launching some of the best compressors in the youth of technology in the '70s, but now they have an incredible and enviable back catalog.

One of its flagship preamps is the 286s and it's easy to see why. In particular, it is an important piece of kit for singers and voiceover performers, known for bringing an unrivaled consistency and clarity to vocals.

It is composed of 4 separate vocal processors of studio quality that can be used in whatever combination you like, individually or in conjunction with each other. The functionality is fantastic, so you can fine-tune the output and reduce the unwanted sound. It also features amazing gain control, 48v Phantom Power and a high pass filter that is very powerful.

The DBX is known for its high-performance compressors and there is no difference between the 286s. This power combined with wide-ranging versatility gives it an unprecedented ability to bring superior levels of clarity to your performance and allows for manipulation of high precision, while providing projection and drive that is difficult to achieve with other preamps in the field of preamplification of microphones


+ The 'go-to' preamp for singers
+ Wide-ranging features
+ Exceptionally high performance clarification levels
+ One of the market's strong units

Why We Liked It - The DBX is a top-notch uniform. For decades now, they have been launching excellent preamps and are masters of their craft. Nothing beats the DBX 286s for a strong preamp that offers excellent clarity and precision with a very fair price tag.

6. PreSonus BlueTube DP

PreSonus, compared to some of the others on this list, are relatively new kids on the block. Founded in 1995, they quickly became one of the pioneers in their industry, specialising in audio equipment and software and hardware for live sound. Their preamps, applications, signal processors, mixers, displays and speakers make them best known.

With a stylish and eye-catching blue faceplate, the BlueTube looks fantastic, has illuminated input level meters and is also rack-mountable on the chassis. It features a 12AX7 vacuum tube and also supports phases of solid-state gain that make it double direction. This is a perfect alternative for those looking for something more flexible, a true 'all-rounder' with integrated mic and instrument inputs.

It also has saturation power of the integrated tube drive, an 80hz high-pass filter, minus 20db pad and a polarity-reverse switch. This is not a top shelf, expert, and revolutionary preamp. What it is, however, is a great unit of no-frills that provides flexibility and a reasonable degree of functionality normally found through multiple preamps, condensed into a single bit of gear.


Versatile +
+ Diverse features
+ Sleek layout

Why We Liked It -For those looking to hit a lot of distinct bases with a single unit, this preamp is best. It is a 'get the job done' sort of item that we want. This could be the preamp for you if you are not trying to break the bank and are not fussed over getting the most specialist product on the market.

7. Cloud Microphones CL-1

With a long and rich past, Cloud is a great business. They are recognised for their devotion to environmentally friendly packaging and production techniques. They also firmly believe in goods developed and made in the United States that are home-grown.

A truly outstanding device is the CL-1 Mic Activator, better known as the CloudLifter. What is so remarkable about it is that when they designed the CL-1 and were undoubtedly effective in achieving it, Cloud obviously had a particular aim and end goal in mind.

This brand is one of sophistication, equilibrium, and competence. Cloud was looking to solve a CloudLifter issue, a problem with many preamps. This is how, when cutting unwanted noise, large quantities of gain and power are applied to sound output and not added to the unwanted noise in the process.

The Cloud has certainly resolved this issue. The CL-1 is powered by Phantom Power, is compatible with almost all types of microphones, and can add more than 25 db of power to your performance. It is suitable for all passive dynamic mics (click for the key guide) and also for recording on DAW interfaces, cleaning up noisy amps and creating lower end sources such as acoustic sounds - check out our soundproofing panel analysis.


+ Adds to your performance a significant amount of gain and power
+ Super clean and efficient noise reduction
+ Compatible with many distinct systems

Why We Liked It -Cloud is a wonderful business, and CL-1 is a fantastic product. Such a finely balanced product that solves a dilemma so efficiently is difficult to find. For any sound engineer or audio enthusiast, the combination of the power it brings and the capacity of the CloudLifter to fully clean up noisy sources makes this an almost mandatory purchase.

8. PreSonus DigiMax D8 8-Channel

This is the second item on our PreSonus review list and this shows the quality of equipment these guys make and how easily they create a name for themselves. Especially when you take into account that PreSonus was founded only in 1995 and that the other companies on this list were established in the 1980s or earlier.

PreSonus releases have a great reputation for being robust, no-frills preamps that get the job done and there is no exception to the Digimax D8. It is a strong, hard-working device that can easily meet the needs of a home studio as a whole. This is because of its 8 channels and its dynamic range, which is ultra-wide. The PreSonus is also excellent value for money, genuine 'bang for your buck' despite the price tag.

With the D8 doing all the heavy lifting, many use this through a light pipe. In larger setups like this, the quality of the preamp really shines through and it can accommodate most types of microphones because of its onboard phantom capacity.

It also has front-facing instrument inputs, as well as mic inputs, and can also be used to control a PA system. As we discussed earlier, however, while the phantom power is great for compatibility with different types of microphone, the position of the switch on this preamp can be a bit of a problem and maybe the only flaw. It is positioned on the back of the unit, which makes it hard to reach if the rack is installed.


+ Strong and flexible unit
+ Preamp high-quality
+ Spectacular money value
+ Fits well at the core of a bigger set-up

Why We Liked It - A wonderful, rugged, strong and flexible machine. It supports a wide range of systems and can be the highlight of your home studio for the modest price tag. If you are searching for a strong model that can do exactly what it says it does, this is the device for you minus a bank break price tag.

9. ART TubeOpto

On this list of reviews, this is the second ART piece. Anyone who knows their equipment recognizes that ART is well known for manufacturing top shelf equipment at reasonable prices. Their units are also popular for being highly reliable and robustly built.

A high-quality preamp, the TubeOpto is strong and flexible. It has a full 8 channels, making it ideal at the core of your setup for racking. The goal of many sound engineers, both professionals and laymen, is to add a great tube sound to their performance. However, as a high quality tube preamp may be a very costly piece of equipment, this is typically followed by a fairly large price tag. This old presumption has now been absolutely shattered by ART's TubeOpto.

The 8 channels are digital audio quality with 24-bit ADAT and are accompanied by 8 class-A tube mic preamps. Each channel also supports gain and level controls and low-frequency roll off switches, so it also offers wide-ranging features as well as being a device that packs a punch.

With a full metal casing and faceplate, it sports a solid and stylish design. 2 hi-z instrument line inputs and 8 TRS balanced outputs, which are a quarter inch, are other features. With a very fair price tag, this is an excellent product.


+ Strong and trained preamplifier
+ Flexible with an impressive range of features
+ Unbelievable value for money

Why we liked it
-If you want to go far with your money and you're looking for a preamp that can be at the heart of your setup, then this is the device for you. The TubeOpto brings performance quality and a great tube sound of far more costly preamps. A top release and fantastic cash value.

10. Solid State Logic Alpha VHD

Solid State Logic is a small outfit from Oxford, England, all about the method of consistency over quantity. Their units are often some of the best and have some of the market's most impressive technology. Some of the biggest names in music using Solid State gear over the years have demonstrated this with their live sound engineering, such as Blink 182 and Depeche Mode. In the TV and radio news markets, their launches are also prominently featured.

The Alpha VHD features and expands on some of the most impressive features of its popular back catalog, such as its flagship Duality console. It features the industry renowned VHD Pre Circuits in 1U from Solid State Logic. Via the variable harmonic drive circuit, rich harmonic distortion can also be achieved. This is a machine filled with impressive and special characteristics.

Your sound will be immaculate and flawless through the preamp. Impressively, the Alpha VHD can also achieve outstanding gain levels of +75db while preserving this clarity of performance. Although the high end of this preamp's scale does not have to be used to release the quality inside this unit. A smooth, analog warmth will wash over your sound on the low gain end and perfectly bring out each individual layer.

The 48v phantom power capability, mic and line xlr input/outputs, hi-Z switches, 20db pad switches and countless more are other impressive features. This is the preamp for you for those looking for the best of the best. A strong and highly skilled unit which is synonymous with efficiency.


+ A genuinely expert preamp
+ Special and potent technology applied
+ Industry-famous brand

Why We Liked It - This is indeed a top-class commodity. One for the practitioners who are looking for the very best. The Alpha VHD will help you do that and more if you are looking to differentiate yourself from other sound engineers and push your skills to the next level.

Mic Pre Amp Buyers Guide

What is a Pre Amp?

A computer used in the field of sound engineering is a microphone preamp. It can be used in environments such as recording studios or home studios, to blend live performance during shows and concerts, in the fields of TV, radio and news broadcasting, or by musicians who want to improve their sound and explain it.

The first amplifier was invented by Lee de Forest in 1909 and consisted of tube technology, as you would imagine. While tube technology was largely replaced by transistor-based amps in the late 1960s, many individuals are still searching for the classic tube and valve sound today. In terms of pre-amplification, this is no different.

It is very difficult to extract a high-quality sound strong enough to be combined with a desk (click for studio furniture) or console because of the inherently poor signal transmitted by most microphones. Obviously, this is a significant problem when vocals, drums and a whole host of other instruments are projected through a microphone.

This issue is solved by microphone preamps. They do that by preparing the mic signal in a certain way that helps sound engineering equipment to process it. This is done by enhancing the signal and also clarifying the tone, projecting individual output layers to ensure that as part of the overall mix they can be heard and reducing unnecessary noise, hiss, and hum.

There will be a wide range of functions in the preamp device itself that allow the user to boost and control the sound as they see fit. Obviously, the level of features available can differ based on the nature of the product.

Depending on the model in use, a standard preamp will consist of functions such as gain boost, which can be used to raise the signal strength of the mic up to a certain db level. There are also characteristics such as the ability to cut some kinds of unwanted noise and manipulate sound to prevent 'clipping,' which is when an amplifier attempts to produce an output beyond its capability, resulting in 'dropping out' sound.

What is referred to as Phantom Power is another common feature of a preamp. This is generally connected to condenser microphones and is the method of becoming the power conduit of an XLR cable, usually between 12 and 48v. So you have a single audio cable that is used not only to transmit back and forth audio, but also to power it.

Why and when do you need a Microphone PreAmp?

The need for a preamp is also questioned by many outsiders to the field of sound engineering or music tech, wondering if this is just another thing they have to spend money on or if it is possible for them to do without.

The fact is that there is no way around it for someone trying to create a professional, high-quality sound capable of being close to commercial viability anywhere. It is important to have a good preamp and should be a prominent part of your recording studio, home studio or mixing setup.

There are various reasons why a microphone preamp is needed. The most important, though, is the one that we touched on above. A preamp is an important investment in providing a sound that is up to recording standards, adding a professional touch for musicians or any kind of live performance sound to reach the levels of quality that is now demanded of the industry.

When mixing and recording, they're still needed (click here for the best mics for home recording). Think about the situation of a recording studio where vocals, drums or acoustic guitars are used. These will be recorded through microphones and a preamp will therefore be required to prepare and improve the signal to record quality. A mic for guitar amplifiers can be used to record your acoustic guitar - see the guide.

A good unit is important when mixing live sounds. To ensure a well-balanced sound and a good performance, the sound engineer of the venue, artist or band can use a preamp feature to fine-tune the audio on a continuous basis. During live mixing, good LED displays are a useful feature of these units, especially as they provide a great visual indicator of performance levels.

What are the different types of Microphone PreAmps?

Some are characterized by their particular intent, whereas others are defined by technical reasons or by the way they can affect audio quality. There are several different types of preamps. They can be split into tube preamps, solid-state preamps, hybrid preamps, digital preamps, and a few other forms of tubes that we're going to focus on.

In the UK, tube preamps use what are known as vacuum tubes or valves. This is an older technology that was used in the original amps and preamps for the first time. Yet because of the raw, analog warmth that they bring to a sound, they are still highly sought after.

They add a distinct, fat sound to your performance due to the 'old school' technology of these devices. It is because of this that they are still so famous. In pursuit of the unique coloring of their tone, sound engineers or musicians will almost certainly turn to a tube preamp.

It is possible to think of solid state microphone preamps as the next step in this field's technological growth. They use transistors instead of tubes, which are much more powerful at generating high levels of gain. Under high gain conditions, they also work better than tubes, since they only add slight distortion.

Hybrid preamps for microphones are a mix of both tube and solid state versions, as you would imagine. The best elements of each of these units are combined into a single recognized and hybrid product.

Of course, the two strongest components are the warm and durable tube sound generation capabilities and the high-performance solid-state unit gain levels. This is done by the introduction of solid state circuitry and regulation of tube output gain.

Once again, digital microphone preamps are the next natural stage in product evolution in this area. These have 2 primary features. Clearly, the first is that of a preamp, improving the microphone signal, clarifying and preparing the mixing desk or console for processing. However, the second is interesting. It is also possible to use digital preamps as digital interfaces, easily transforming an analog signal into a digital signal.

Those for use with instruments are the other key category of preamps. We just touch on microphone preamps here, but instrument-based versions with their own characteristics and quirks are a whole different category.

What is a channel strip on a Mic Preamp?

Inside a mixing desk or console, a channel strip may be a single unit or made of several units. However, a channel strip is specifically a preamp with additional integrated features and circuitry with respect to microphone preamps. These can be extremely effective and are an essential studio recording and live mixing tool.

Although variations are available, a standard channel strip with the addition of a built-in compressor and EQ is an outboard microphone preamp. The aim of these units and what makes them so effective is that they are basically all distilled into a single product that you will need for signal processing.

The most often employ solid state or hybrid technology and were born more than anything out of convenience. Audio engineers did not want to spend studio time linking and setting up multiple units together. Combined into a single box channel strip, maximum power (read the power supply research), functionality and simplicity are provided. This flexibility and ability to control the output so robustly from a single product ensures that before it reaches the final recording end of the studio setup, the consumer will begin to shape their sound while mixing. In this review, you will find out more about preamps.

How do you determine which Microphone PreAmp is best?

You may have already begun to get an idea of what kind of preamp you would like based on your particular specifications by reading the reviews above. It could be to make a certain tone, so you'd concentrate more on one of the solid-state model tubes. Or it may be that to be an integral part of your studio setup, you need a strong and flexible device with wide-ranging features. In the example, you will look more at individual models and their relevant characteristics.

A tube preamp is exactly what you need when warm and robust sounds are needed. However, the best field of emphasis should be whether anything has a more recent and varied solid state sound or hybrid units.

Of course, your available budget would be the other key factor in selecting the right microphone preamp for you. The next move is to look at which models are available in your price range once you have defined the exact specifications and therefore the type of unit you need. We have covered many units in our reviews above, which are excellent value for money. It is important not to hurry to this stage to ensure that you get the very best value for money you can possibly get.

It is a simple procedure, in essence, to decide which unit is best for you. First, you need to understand precisely what you're trying to accomplish from the preamp, then you need to understand what kinds of units are needed to do so. You then compare the available budget when you do this to what models on the market are a feasible purchase for you.

Top Pick - Focusrite OctoPre Preamplifier

OctoPreFocusRite Focusrite is an outstanding company that originally made its name by making high-end preamps for the specialized end of the market. However, they have improved their strategy in the years since, and now have an excellent stock of equipment that is both technologically genius and extremely affordable. It goes without saying that when targeting a slightly lower region of the market, certain compromises must be made in terms of quality, but this is minimal. In the industry, FocusRite is well known for making outstanding preamps at reasonable rates.

For many, many years, the Octopre units have been a mainstay of the FocusRite range. However, to provide more various and impressive features, they have recently been given an impressive redesign.

This unit sports 8 inputs, as the name implies, and the output of the preamps is of the same high standard we have come to expect from FocusRite. On the front of the unit, the initial 2 inputs are mounted, with the remainder located on the back of 8 additional analog outputs. You can also notice a digital ADAT connection on the rear of the unit that is an upgrade from previous models.

-10db pads add to its already top class gain range on any channel. It is also worth noting that the LED display on these units is excellent and extremely precise, making mixing easy and accurate.

Overall, there really isn't much we can tell about this machine that we don't like. In other versions, it is strong, flexible, highly functional and has a degree of professionalism and quality that is difficult to find. An simple choice for our pick of the best and the top.

Premium Choice - Grace Design M101

One of the cleanest microphone preamps ever created is undoubtedly the M101. Grace is a Colorado-based US business that was an enormous part of the industrial revolution that saw individual sound engineers begin to do it for themselves. Combined with its affordability, the high quality and professionalism of the M101 saw a significant rise in independent recording studios and home studios.

The M101 is all about balance and performance clarity, allowing you the opportunity to process high-end signals for a very average market price. To be clear now, it won't give your sound an extravagant and exclusive edge. This is a quality and professional product designed to bring out your microphones' true sound, making them fit for recording in the studio.

When it comes to Grace as a company, one thing which is remarkable is that they have the strongest and most loyal clients. Invariably, this is due to their exceptionally high preamp standard. You will also note that customers who buy the M101's new edition have purchased some of the previous models as well.

Look no further than the M101 if you are after a skilled unit capable of adding ultimate clarity and transparency to your tone. For home studios and big budget recording studios alike, this would be fine. With this piece, you're just going to hear the mic, not the preamp, and that's the highest quality you can ask for.

Best Value - Cloud Microphones CL-1

When it comes to no-frills,' get the work done' microphone preamps, the CL-1 is the best. They are excellent value for money and are the perfect purchase for someone trying to go as far as possible to make their money. This will give you a high-quality, professional, crystal-clear sound, but it can also give you enormous amounts of benefit.

Without problems, this can work wonderfully as a general, all-round preamp. However, if it has one specialist area, think of acoustic guitars and softer vocal parts for sounds on the quieter end of the scale. This is because of its ability to actually project sound and add a lot of benefit while preserving production clarity and bringing differentiation and focus to each layer of the finished product as a whole.

Cloud is really a great business with a rich background, well known for making some of the best preamps in the industry. Their microphones are key industry pillars and the circuitry in this preamp is built to work with them seamlessly (click here to read the design study). Overall, this is a very high microphone preamp quality from a great company and all for an incredibly inexpensive price.


This is of utmost importance when it comes to microphone preamps in an environment and product category where your current condition and even your final objectives are paramount. In addition to reading several different reviews and viewpoints, the type of sound you are looking to achieve and also your particular specifications must be considered.

Do you need a home-studio unit? Are you a sound engineer working in a recording studio with a huge, big budget? Are you a sound engineer who mixes sounds for concerts and live shows? These are all questions that must be asked when you pick the right preamp for your microphone.