Yes, I\'d say they\'re a bit sketchy. I can sure hear the difference between them and my better mic pres, a big obvious difference. I\'d describe the phenomenon as similar to a dirty window compared to a sparkling clean one. You can still see out, and you might not even notice the dirty window if not for the juxtaposition of the clean one.
Different mic pres really spice up the recording process, too. They\'re almost as different from one another as different brands and models of microphones. We have a good mic preamp shootout article online at www.prorec.com if you ever want to check that out. Rip Rowan wrote it, and his grasp of mics and preamps is excellent. There are several mid-priced preamps in the bunch.
I\'ve just begun using a HV-3B from Millenia Music & Media system (http://www.mil-media.com) and the dirty/clean windows that Bruce is talking about really, really makes sense to me now!
The HV-3B is just fantastic and it\'s a joy working with it, (and no, they don\'t pay me for saying this...: [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
Talk about clean windows, clear day, and a fresh pair of contact lenses!