Portable Mic Preamp... Suggestions?



I am in the market for a portable, battery-powered microphone preamp for my shotgun. My Zoom H4n portable recorder does not seem to be driving my Rode NT2-A well enough, I would like to give it more juice through an external pre.

The main one I have found is a Sound Devices MM-1. Anyone have any experience with this pre? I know a lot of people record straight into their Sound Devices recorders, so I am thinking this would be a solid option.

Sound Devices MM-1
(source: sounddevices.com)

I am also open to exploring DIY options. Are there any kits available for this sort of thing?

Any suggestions?


Posted 2010-05-04T14:48:15.983

Reputation: 506



Sound Devices preamps FTW. What is there to say? Best value for the dough, considering how great (transparent, low-noise) they sound and how well built they are. They're not the cheapest, but value doesn't always mean low price: It means buy once and get years of use and great results for the price.


Posted 2010-05-04T14:48:15.983

Reputation: 11 088


I love our MM1. love it. Love it!


Posted 2010-05-04T14:48:15.983

Reputation: 10 706


I have a Mic Pre which I love, the limiter is brilliant and to have MS decoding on board is really useful too. Well worth the money.

Hope that helps,


Mike Thornton

Posted 2010-05-04T14:48:15.983

Reputation: 886


Sound Devices MixPre?
Well worth the money.

Sound Devices MixPre
(source: sounddevices.com)


Posted 2010-05-04T14:48:15.983

Reputation: 5 521

If you go that route, check out this series of articles: http://www.danmccomb.com/posts/880/zoom-h4n-with-sound-devices-mixpre-how-to-properly-connect-the-two-for-pristine-audio/ (The second part is linked at the bottom.)

– Dave Matney – 2011-08-24T13:16:30.700


I think the MM1 is great. If you need 2 channels look at the mix-pre. Also great.


Posted 2010-05-04T14:48:15.983

Reputation: 968


IMHO, anything you buy with the name "Sound Devices" on it is well worth your money, and you'll never regret it. Both the MM-1 and the MixPre (and the MP-1 for that matter) are amazingly quiet preamps that are built like tanks. There's always the 302 as well if you want to start getting fancy.

PSC makes the DV Promix1 which is a great preamp that's the same price.

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Nice to have a choice, but I'd still go with the MM-1.

Colin Hart

Posted 2010-05-04T14:48:15.983

Reputation: 7 588


after much online searching guys i discovered that there are more portable preamps available in the market... and cheaper. Of course i dont expect them to have the same quality as the Sound Devices one but...

One i found is called ART PHANTOM II PRO and you can see it here http://www.thomann.de/gr/art_phantom_ii_pro_b_stock.htm for just 64 euros.

and the other one is ROLLS PB 224 B found here http://www.thomann.de/gr/rolls_rb_224_b.htm for 120 euros.

anyone tested any of those 2 so we can have some feedback about the noise levels and quality?

Nikos Chatzigeorgiadis

Posted 2010-05-04T14:48:15.983

Reputation: 971


I use this model: ART USB Dual Pre Portable Preamp (2 channel, phantom power, internal 9V battery). Cheap, durable and a good voice. http://www.artproaudio.com/products.asp?type=86&cat=9&id=150

valid XHTML
(source: bandwagonperth.co.uk)


Posted 2010-05-04T14:48:15.983

Reputation: 385