A-Designs Audio introduces four new 500 Series–compatible microphone preamplifier modules: the P-1 and the EM (Erickson/Montessi) Series, comprising the EM-Red, EM-Blue and EM-Silver ($850 per module). The EM Series preamps are all variations of the P-1, each featuring its own distinct tonal character.
Inspired by A-Designs’ Pacifica microphone preamplifier, the P-1 captures the unique sound of the ’70s Quad Eight Ventura, Coronado and Pacifica consoles. Sporting a cream-colored face plate and bright-red cast-aluminum gain knob, the new module includes a 1/4-inch hi-Z direct inject input for instruments, 48-volt phantom power with red LED indicator, -20dB pad and phase switches, custom-wound input and output transformers, and thumb screws for easy installation.
The EM-Silver offers an identical feature set to the P-1, aside from employing a different output transformer. The EM-Silver’s custom-wound output transformer has an all-steel winding, which produces a dark, warm tone. When tracking via the DI input, this module can also be used on keyboards, bass guitar and kick drum.
The EM-Blue, with its high-nickel-wound output transformer, conversely generates a much brighter, airy tone. This preamp unit is ideal for use with darker-sounding microphones or instruments that require a crisp sound, such as a snare drum, while the DI is well suited for electric guitar.
Aside from using the same 50/50 output transformer as the P-1, the EM-Red has a modified custom-wound input transformer that delivers a slightly different sonic character by bringing the “mid-levels” forward. According to A-Designs, this module produces spectacular results when recording acoustic guitar with a condenser microphone, as well as on other instruments where midrange tonal accents are desired.