Mic preamp of MPA-102 vs U-Phoria UM2/UMC22? - diyAudio
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Old 17th April 2014, 10:20 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Mic preamp of MPA-102 vs U-Phoria UM2/UMC22?

Hi all,

I need to buy a new low noise mic preamp that has phantom power and no corrections of any kind. I`ve strecthed the choice to two devices:
1. Behringer UMC22/UM2
2. Stage line MPA-102

The second was suggested by the calibration lab I used for my mic, the Behringers seem good on specs. What pros/cons i have so far:

1. The UMC22/UM2 are USB powered which saves the need for an extra socket. I may need to use them for mobile sound measurements and this would be a plus. I believe they use a DC-DC transformer to boost up the volatge to 48V for the phantom supply. Still, not a deal braker.
2. The bigger question between the two is the stated Midas preamp design on the UMC22. I know that Behringer bought Midas and all of the Midas people that were responsible for their high quality designs have left. The previously used TL071 has been replaced by Behringer with the 4556 which I consider relatively poor, compared to modern opamps. The Midas name on the preamp looks like a marketing blurb to me to get some extra surplus. However, the case of the UMC22 looks bigger which may indicate a higher quality power supply. Any comments on this?
3. How would the Monacor compare to the two Behringers in terms of noise? I`m ok with its lack of USB support as I do have an external sound card to use for this purpose.

Has anyone tried to modify those by using lower distortion parts, such as the AD8656 or the LM4562 ( no schematics was available, but I believe max possible voltage should be around 5V so the AD8656 might actually fit better )?

If anyone has the schematic of any of the units above, I would appreciate if you could send it to me.


Last edited by Mario Pankov; 17th April 2014 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 11:24 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2007
No replies, went for the Monacor MPA-102...Has good reviews, let`s hope its better than the Behringer product.
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Old 7th May 2014, 02:39 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Received the Monacor today so decided to write a few lines for future buyers. It is very well built, solid with metal casing. The gain pot is actually a stepped attenuator, using what looks to me like Vishay metal film 0.5W resistors. Inside there is a big aluminium cover that might act as a heatsink. Chips are underneath and as shown on the top cover schematic - they are three. All are NJM4558. All electrolytics are of low grade, brand was totally new to me. The unit looks like a good upgrade bench, in mid June I`ll have more time and would reopen it and try to plot the mic preamp schematic, perhaps some upgrades and a substitute of the 4558 to a ultra-low noise amp like the LM4562 might be possible.
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