Best Preamps for Snare and Kick Drums - Update 2019

Written By James Quinn

Updated August 2019

When producing professional music, the ordinary amplifier might not be enough. You will be required to get an extra form of amp called a preamp to allow in combining the music with the band. The band involves a combination of different musical instrument sound.

One of the musical instrument that is key in band creation is the drums. However, the drums, unlike most inputs, have high exposure to distortion and vibration. You will, therefore, require to source for a preamp that not only combines different sounds but also isolate the sound from noises.

As much as there is need to research before making a purchase, we acknowledge that It might be quite a hustle to go window shopping while comparing different preamps features.  We have therefore taken the task of reviewing the best preamps for drums for you. We have not only ranked them but also outlined the features and their favorability to drums.

We have analyzed them as below:

Best Drums for Preamps - Kick drums, snare drums etc.


Universal Audio SOLO 610 Classic Vacuum Tube Mic Pre & DI Box

1. Universal Audio SOLO/610 Classic Vacuum Tube Mic Pre & DI Box



Universal Audio SOLO/610 amp is designed to offer you classic versatility. Just like it is referred to, it is a universal form of an amp as it readily connects with many audio devices. It is very famous and widely used for mic setups making it among the most sought-after universal audio amps.

Mics are key in music recording. They are very pivotal in relaying sound inputs for recording. This preamp gives a convenient recording room atmosphere. This means that the sound relay is free of feedbacks, distortions, and vibrations. This universal preamp is among the best for studio recording.

Other than being very good for studios and home recording, it delivers excellent sound for outdoor events.  During stage performances, one can comfortably control the sound frequencies hence giving out a very convenient output sound. It is actually known for its signature quality sound output.

All these features are contained in a compact casing made of durable material. This compactness gives it a lightweight feature which makes it very portable.

Despite being made to meet the USA standards for quality, it trades at very affordable prices. We considered this as one of the budget preamps for mics.


  • Made to deliver excellent sound output
  • Connect with different audio input
  • Provides a conducive room recording atmosphere for studios
  • Very affordable
  • Simple, compact and very portable


  • Has only one channel



ART TubeOpto 8 Tube Microphone Preamp 8 Channel Class A Digital 24Bit Audio

2. ART TubeOpto 8 Tube Microphone Preamp



If you are looking for a preamp that will support a large number of mics, then you should give Art Tube Opto 8 a shot. It will give you a platform to plugin about eight different audio inputs.

All the eight audio tubes are fitted with interfaces to ensure that sound is effectively relayed.

You are also able to control the input performance. This is because of the control system design for the channels outputs and input.

You can also connect the amp to different control inputs like the iPad and computers. It has a widely connectible port. This makes it very possible to configure it to different music and audio systems.

In addition to the audio interfaces, the amp has disc recorders. This is an equivalent of DAW that gives you and an instantaneous recording of albums directly to the disc.

The filtered sounds from the mic through the mic amps can be recorded into discs for editing after a performance.

The channels have very extended monitors for controlling the levels of output. The peak and of the preamp is also regulated even from a distance.

This means the level of the out can be varied to different levels as may be needed.


  • Has wide range audio control monitors
  • It is widely connectable to different systems for configuration
  • Has disc recorders for post-performance editing
  • Operates like DAW hence allows for different sounds mixing
  • Produces high-quality sound


  • May be subject to overloading
Solid State Logic Alpha VHD

3. Solid State Logic Alpha VHD (4-Ch Preamp)



Solid State Logic Alpha will combine sound from different inputs to give you an ultra-clean output. The essence of making good music is to mix different inputs to bring out a competitive sound beat.

This preamp combine unbalanced and balanced inputs its channels with precision such that they are naturally felt with clarity.

If you need to switch inputs for better performance, this preamp allows switching to accommodate different inputs like the mic, drums and other instruments levels.

You are also able to control the levels of the instruments to give out the desired outcome. This is due to the very sensitive sound control systems installed in it.

There is always the possibility of overloading a preamp or any DAW. This usually happens when they can support different types of inputs at the same time.

When this happens, the possibility of crash or destruction is usually high. This amp is cushioned from this as it has a pad switches which signals you in case you have overloaded it.

The most drum-friendly trait of this amp is the presence of a trim control. They have curves release ability to minimize any distortion and vibrations.

When playing the drums, a lot of vibrations and unnecessary sounds may be present. This amp compresses the noises and distortions to deliver a clear sound.


  • Have sound distortions compressors hence delivering clear sound
  • The amp allows for mixing of different sounds
  • Very light and made of hard to break material
  • Have a larger number of channels supports


  • It may be unable to isolate very extreme vibration


ART ProMPAII Two Channel Discrete Class A Microphone Preamp

4. API 3124+ Discrete 4-Channel Microphone/Line Preamplifier



When playing drums for professional music or home recording, you will need an amp that will allow both high and level inputs.

At the same time, it should be able to isolate distortions from the real musical instruments sounds. API 3124+ allows for different inputs like the drums, guitars and other low-level inputs.

At the same time,   the output channels are fitted with audio interfaces to allow for effective sound sieving.

This means the sound will be effectively mixed and free of any distortions. You are also able to control the levels of these instruments sounds through the amps sound control systems.

Despite supporting multiple inputs, there is no fear of producing unbalanced sounds. The preamp allows you to monitor the sounds mixing to personalized levels. That is to means you only get the outcome of sound that you have set.

When exposed to excessive vibrations, most amps will be prone to sound breaking. This is due to the interference with the sound isolation capability. But for this amp, it allows for even high-level inputs.

This feature makes it one of the best preamps for pianos and high-level input drums. 


  • Has good connectors for different inputs
  • Has effective output channels for delivering clear sound
  • Unlike most preamps, it can support high-level inputs
  • Gives the user a full music workstation experience


  • Slightly expensive, but fits the bill


PreSonus DigiMax D8 Eight-Channel Preamp with 48 kHz ADAT Output

5. PreSonus DigiMax D8 Eight-Channel Preamp with 48 kHz ADAT Output



Our top contender for the best preamps for drums is Presonus Digimax D8. This is a preamp that has input for virtually every audio device.

The eight channels extend the parameters of the number of audio inputs that can be plugged in these preamps. Some of the audio equipment include mics, guitars, keyboards, drums etc.

Its wide range of equipment support makes it very versatile and usable in different settings. It is good for the studio set up as it has high sound isolation abilities. It can deliver quality recording sound which is free from distortions and vibrations. 

The fact that it uses analog outputs makes is very good preamp for using for outdoor performances. These analog outputs are widely connectible to most sound output devices and amplifiers.

Another useful feature of this preamp is its high resolution of up to 48k. This level of resolution allows you to control the kind of output you get. You are able to monitor the sound of the different instrument and how it is mixing to achieve a balanced sound.

With this kind of high-performance preamp, it is possible to overload with many inputs. This would be most likely due to the fact that it supports both high and low-level inputs.

Presonus Digimax D8 allows you to know when you have feed more inputs that can be supported. The pad switches will show signals to alert you hence reducing chances of a sound crash.


  • Has a considerably high voltage of above 30v
  • Delivers transparent and clear sound
  • Has a high-resolution level
  • Can connect with many inputs supported by the 8 channels
  • Uses analog output lines that can be converted to digital lines


  • None reported


The quality of the sound you get from the musical instruments is hugely determined by the kind of preamp you use. You, therefore, do not have a reason not to invest in a good preamp. If you are aspiring to be a good music maker then it is a high time you gave preamps a serious thought. If you are a drummer you don't have to be let down by distortions of sound. Just invest in a good preamp, if you are on tight budget there are some decent budget preamps for drums including some for snare drums

I hope this article helps you get the one that makes your make masterpieces of music.

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