Hi there. I've been using a Sennheiser 416 now for a while with my Roland Quad-Capture I/O. The 416 sounds great at all the studios I've worked at, but on my home setup I'm finding my T, D and S sounds are very harsh and pronounced. And overall my raw takes seem to lack richness and definition - a bit dull. I've adjusted my mic technique but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference.
I'd like to start by trying a new preamp, to hopefully reduce that harshness, but without losing warmth, richness and definition. (By "warmth" I don't mean muddy or lacking high end or definition). Now at the moment I don't have the budget for an Avalon or Manley pre, so I'm hoping to hear from you on some less expensive options. I believe in "try the cheapest option first", as long as it's pro grade stuff.
I use Sound Forge 10 or Pro on a Windows 7 rig.