A lot of people are jumping on the Meek bandwagon and I happen to be one of them. Of course it's the obnoxious Meek green, but it still sounds great. Up front it has a fairly clean and neutral preamp sound. It definitely sounds better than a Mackie board preamp to my ears. One thing that makes the VC3 sound so good is the compressor. According to the manual it is a "recreation of an early photo electric compressor." It really adds some warmth to the sound. The enhancer is also easy to use, when you need to add a little "air" on top. You can easily bypass the compressor and enhancer if you want to use the preamp by itself. I keep my VC3 set up to record bass guitar, that is its job in my studio, and it does it well. If you need a different ‘flavor' preamp, or if you don't have a lot of money to spend on outboard hardware this may be the unit for you. You can pick one up new for under $300. 

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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