Great value for money, but at the price level it has to be admitted it is an entry level preamp ... a very good one though and I've enjoyed using this little preamp a lot. I was pleased with how good it worked on cleaner settings with a microphone. It is able to produce a good variety of very musical sounds.
It allows you to get some good variations in sounds and tonal character from it's extra controls in the opto compressor / limiter.
The way it combines a hybrid 12AX7 (ECC83) valve preamp section with the company's 'Vactrol' optical compressor seems to works in it's favour for that variety of good tones - clean and valve "coloured".
The optical compressor has only limited controls but does it's job well with those options that it does have.
Metering for the Gain Reduction, Tube Drive, and also Output Level help to get the signal right when it comes out of the unit. Not a pretty sound when the MP/C itself overloads so it is best not to let the input signal stray too high.
Fabulous little thing. If you've got a ribbon mic that needs 60dB of gain, or if your recording input signals are a bit weak, put one of these in the input chain. Can take instrument level input to be instead of a DI box, and also provides phantom power for condenser mics.
Small enough and tough enough go in a laptop bag, and to set up on a desk or table next to a laptop.
Can be used straight and clear, or wound up until it colours or distorts. Clear manual, easy to use controls. I use it even in preference to a channel strip a lot of the time.
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