Review

Mic Pre Amplifier Reviews

By George Shilling and Russell Cottier

With many years experience working as recording engineers and producers, our review team of George Shilling and Russell Cottier know the good from the bad. In many cases it's a matter of taste, some prefer one EQ over another but we try to provide unbiased and objective reviews of the equipment tested.

AMS Neve 1073 OPX Eight remote controllable mic pre-amps
Dec 24 2022 Eight remote controllable mic pre-amps
AMS Neve 1073 OPX

AMS Neve have recycled the 1073 mic preamp countless times, and adding digital connectivity is not new for Neve.

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Thermionic Culture The Snow Petrel Two channel valve mic pre-amp
Oct 4 2019 Two channel valve mic pre-amp
Thermionic Culture The Snow Petrel

Thermionic Culture have long developed products which include a valve-based microphone preamplifier section, like the Rooster, and dedicated mic preamps like the Earlybird.

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Phoenix Audio DRS-Q4M Mono mic pre & 4 band EQ
Dec 23 2012 Mono mic pre & 4 band EQ
Phoenix Audio DRS-Q4M

Phoenix Audio’s DRS-2 and DRS-1 microphone and instrument preamplifiers have been delighting audio professionals for a number of years, and I have been a regular user since reviewing the DRS-2 in 2002. From May 2009 Phoenix units have been built in California.

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Prism MMA-4XR 4 Channel Mic Pre Amp
Dec 23 2011 4 Channel Mic Pre Amp
Prism MMA-4XR

This four channel mic preamp is part of the Maselec Master Series, an all-analogue unit designed by Swedish audio wizard Leif Masses.

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Daking 52270 Mic Pre/EQ and 91579 Compressor/Limiter Geoffrey Daking pro audio
Dec 23 2008 Geoffrey Daking pro audio
Daking 52270 Mic Pre/EQ and 91579 Compressor/Limiter

I suspect that many readers outside the US have never heard of Geoffrey Daking. I hadn't. The man himself is a studio owner and 'audio tinkerer'.

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Neve 8801 88R console channel strip
Dec 23 2008 88R console channel strip
Neve 8801

This is a product that now seems obvious, and although there have been board room and financial shenanigans, one might wonder why it has taken Neve so long to produce it.

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Presonus ADL 600 Dual channel mic, line, instrument pre
Dec 23 2008 Dual channel mic, line, instrument pre
Presonus ADL 600

The story of Italian-American designer of boutique outboard Antony DeMaria meeting up with PreSonus president Jim Odom at the New York AES Show will be familiar to some readers from press releases.

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SSL Alpha Channel Pre-amp and EQ with digital conversation
Dec 23 2008 Pre-amp and EQ with digital conversation
SSL Alpha Channel

SSL seems an increasingly go-ahead and dynamic company, especially since the last change of ownership.

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SSL X-Rack Mixer Modular rack system
Dec 23 2008 Modular rack system
SSL X-Rack Mixer

I took a look at the SSL X-Rack a while back but back then the only module available was a Dynamics processor.

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TFPro P10 the Mighty Twin Dual channel strip
Dec 23 2008 Dual channel strip
TFPro P10 the Mighty Twin

‘You ain’t seen nothing like the Mighty Quinn’ sang Manfred Mann. George Shilling ain’t seen nothing like the Mighty Twin… Ted Fletcher, the original Joemeek founder and designer, now develops products under his own name.

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Thermionic Culture The Rooster Dual channel valve pre & EQ
Dec 23 2008 Dual channel valve pre & EQ
Thermionic Culture The Rooster

Subtitled “Valve pre-amp with EQ & attitude”, The Rooster continues the series of bold, mildly eccentric, all valve, proudly English outboard from the workshop of the legendary Vic Keary, with partner Jonathan Bailes looking after front panel design, manual writing and so on.

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Thermionic Culture The Earlybird 2.2 & The Pullet
Dec 23 2006
Thermionic Culture The Earlybird 2.2 & The Pullet

Whilst Crane Song lovingly craft transistor-based birds, Thermionic have been building an increasing reputation for bird-based quality valve gear over the last few years.

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Drawmer Front End One MX60 Mic / line channel strip
Dec 23 2003 Mic / line channel strip
Drawmer Front End One MX60

In the high-end 'voice channel' market, one can easily forget that Drawmer were an early entrant with the Vacuum Tube 1960. They now enter the crowded budget end of this market with the feature packed 'Front End One' MX60.

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Joemeek MeekBox VC6 Input amplifier and channel strip
Dec 23 2003 Input amplifier and channel strip
Joemeek MeekBox VC6

Since the introduction of the Joemeek Compressor a few years ago, Joemeek have been steadily increasing their range. They have found a particular niche with the all-in-one type of processor for use mostly as a direct-to-tape microphone processor.

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Joemeek MeekBox VC2 Valve channel strip
Dec 23 2003 Valve channel strip
Joemeek MeekBox VC2

I have long been a fan of Joe Meek's productions. I even went to a Joe Meek Appreciation Society event a few months back. But until recently I had not tried any of the famous JoeMeek range of outboard equipment, designed by Ted Fletcher.

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Ridge Farm
Dec 23 2001 Valve microphone preamplifier & DI
Ridge Farm's Steamer and Gas Cooker

George Shilling reviews the Ridge Farm Gas Cooker at Ridge Farm Studios Copyright 2001.

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