Black Box Microphone Preamp

May 15, 2012 4:55 PM


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photo of Black Box mic pre

Black Box Analog Design, an engineer-led design firm dedicated to hand crafted, American made audio equipment, announces the Black Box Microphone Preamplifier ($2,500 MSRP). Handcrafted in Ventura, Calif., the Black Box mic pre was designed by Eric Racy and Robert Wainscott, who implemented an entirely analog audio path; custom, hand-wound Cinemag input and output transformers; hand soldered point-to-point wiring; independently controlled Pentode and Triode tube stages (as well as independent Pentode/Triode “Tone Boost” switches; a 350-volt linear power supply; and the ability to shape the frequency response without the use of an EQ.

Find a complete list of specifications.

Racy says, “As studio owners and engineers, Robert and I collected over 19 types of preamps, ranging from vintage to brand new, in search of a high-end preamp versatile enough to bring out the best in many types of sources and allow us to capture sounds in a way that didn’t require an excess of processing at mix time. We felt there had to be a better design, which set us down the path of creating it for ourselves. Using our ears to guide us, we created a unit capable of things a conventionally designed preamp isn’t made for, yet maintained a user-friendly interface.”

The company states that Black Box Mic Pre, which soft launched at the 2011 AES Convention, has undergone rigorous research and development since its inception in 2008.

“I approached the design of the Black Box Microphone Preamp in the same manner I would set up for a mix session,” says Black Box Analog Co-Owner and Designer Robert Wainscott. “I mixed a single tube with everything plugged into a ‘patchbay’ and all the values that shape how the tube works were fluid. Everything from plate voltage to blocking capacitors could be changed in real time, which afforded me the room to perfect the mic pre’s design, resulting in the unit we have today.”

The company has selected Vintage King Audio as its distributor, and is currently taking orders worldwide. The Black Box Mic Pre is now available through Vintage King Audio at an introductory MAP price of $1,995 USD.

For more information, visit

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