I cant say it enough:
Sage electronics SE-1 mic pre. So amazing. I cant believe they go for as little money as they do. I carry them with me even when i am working in a neve room. They have become my #1 kick and snare pre’s. I also like them on, um… everything and anything. With a condenser mic these things just rule so much…Recorded almost an entire record with these pre’s about six months ago. A C12VR, a U47, and two sage SE-1 mic pre’s. Every single overdub, and kick and snare. It was a joy to mix, everything was just right… sat well, was big but not too “hyped” up in any one frequency range…. Just right.
Chandler germanium: changed my guitar recording life. They also sound amazing on anything.
These days I do almost ALL my recording through these two types of pre’s.
At Studio G, we have 4 germaniums and 4 channels of Sage SE-1.
You don’t have to start with 8 channels of this type of pre, just get one of each. Save, and get one really great mic pre. The syteks are good, but nothing beats a nice, discrete mic pre. The Sage’s (for one channel, w/o power supply) are a steal.