500 Series Mic Preamps 2011

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Matt Gallagher

A BUYER'S GUIDE TO A WIDE VARIETY OF FRONT-END OPTIONS

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RADIAL ENGINEERING POWERPRE
Basics:
front-mounted XLR, recessed 48V phantom-power switch, 10-segment LED meter, highpass filter, 180-degree polarity control
Extra: hand-selected 100-percent discrete components, Hammond broadcast transformer output, AccuState low-noise input circuit automatically optimizes signal-to-noise at all levels with up to 55 dB of gain, 3-position Vox control for added air or punch
Radial Engineering PowerPre product page

REALIOS A9031
Basics:
Class-A transistor output stage, 5dB gain steps, high-impedance FET DI, phase-reverse switch, switchable 48V phantom power, +32dBu max output level (transformer balanced), 20dB pad, phase-reverse switch, high-impedance DI
Extra: based on Dick Swettenham’s (Olympic Studios) three-transistor design
Realios A9031 product page

REALIOS A9033
Basics:
all-discrete transistor design, 5 to 20 dB of gain in 3dB steps, switchable 48V phantom power, phase-reverse switch, +32dBu max output level (transformer balanced)
Extra: all voltage gain from transformers, passive transformer gain, will not clip with known mics
Realios A9033 product page

ROLL MUSIC RMS5A7 TUBULE
Basics:
switchable 48V phantom power, polarity switch, -20dB input pad switch, continuously variable 0 to -10dB input attenuator, 12-step gain control switch (33 to 66 dB in 3dB steps), magnetically shielded input transformer
Extra: transformer-coupled, high-voltage vacuum tube (12DW7/ECC832/7247), all-tube two-stage gain, feedback-controlled gain circuit provides wide tonal range
Roll Music RMS5A7 Tubule product page

RUPERT NEVE DESIGNS PORTICO 517
Basics:
mic pre/DI/compressor, 66dB gain, single-knob opto-compressor, direct input, Vari-phase adjustment, Silk mode, DI/mic-blending capabilities
Extra: designed by Mr. Rupert Neve, custom-designed transformers, Class-A topologies
Rupert Neve Designs Portico 517 product page

SHADOW HILLS INDUSTRIES MONO GAMA
Basics:
transformer-balanced input uses an original Jensen input transformer, 48V phantom power, phase reverse, 20dB pad, direct input
Extra: single-channel version of the GAMA (Golden Age Microphone Amp) centered on Shadow Hills’ custom discrete op amp; output transformer offers Nickel, Discrete or Steel settings; ability to pad and reverse the phase of the direct input; engraved front panels; 24-position Swiss-made attenuator for gain control; custom-made knobs; engraved serial number plates
Shadow Hills Industries Mono Gama product page

SHINYBOX SI
Basics:
72 dB of gain
Extra: Grayhill switches, Omeg potentiometers, THAT Corporation semiconductors widen the detail and complexity of mixes, and add more realism and "air" to vocals and instruments
ShinyBox Si product page

SKIBBE ELECTRONICS 736-5
Basics:
20dB pad, polarity reverse (both sealed relay-switched), switchable 48V phantom power, adjustable gain from 5 to 60 dB, heavy-duty PCB and chassis construction, military-spec knob, stainless-steel grab handle, large indicator lamps for all functions
Extra: adapted from the preamp in Sly Stone’s custom Flickinger MOD-N-32 matrix console (circa 1970), custom TRIAD input and output transformers, original 535-7 discrete op amp topology, hand-matched and graded transistors (original T0-105 and TO-106 package styles), machined and engraved faceplate with fluorescent red inlay
Skibbe Electronics 736-5 product page






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