At the 2012 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif. (January 19-22), British Audio Engineering (BAE, formerly Brent Averill Enterprises; booth #1769) will introduce the new Matt Sorum 312B microphone preamplifier. The 312B is based on the 312A model and offers the same dynamic range, frequency response and noise performance as found in the BAE 312 Series.
The new Matt Sorum 312B features a modified gain structure that uses an alternative Jensen input transformer designed to complement louder sources before needing the pad.
Matt Sorum (left) and British Audio Engineering CEO Mark Loughman
"I've always loved the 312A, but in certain situations I found them a little too hot," says Sorum, the drummer in Guns N' Roses from 1990 through 1997 and in super group Velvet Revolver since 2002. "After talks with BAE, they came up with the solution, which I'm proud to say is now the Matt Sorum signature preamp."
Due to its high gain structure, the 312A occasionally required the pad to be used with louder sources, such as a hot microphone on drums. BAE designed an option, adding an alternative Jensen transformer to create the Matt Sorum 312B. The new model promises equal performance and 7dB less gain to assist recordings with a more adequate level for louder sources without losing the unique dynamic characteristics of the 312A. This allows engineers the option of owning the 312A as a preamp geared toward higher gain and the 312B for lower gain.
As with the 312A, the 312B, features the Avedis Audio 1122 Discrete Op-Amp with Jensen input and output transformers, which use direct-coupled circuitry with no capacitors in the signal path. BAE states that the input impedance of the 312B has been enhanced to remain consistent, even after the pad is engaged, providing a steady load to the microphone. The characteristics of the 312B offer excellent dynamic range, frequency response, and headroom before clipping for a punchy sound that works well with a broad range of microphones.
The 312B comes in a 500 Series module format or as a fully loaded lunchbox. It includes a custom pull-on switch tailored to accentuate higher frequencies, a DI for instruments, a Phase Reverse switch, 48-volt phantom power, and a PAD switch.
"Our gear is all discrete and completely hand-wired," explains Mark Loughman (pronounced "Lofman"), who after serving as chief engineer for many years is now BAE's CEO and owner. "The original Neve 1073 mic pre/EQs are known as the Holy Grail of outboard gear, but manufacturing was discontinued in the '70s. Eventually that supply has dried up, so we have gone to the original component supplier to continue the legacy."
Visit British Audio Engineering at baeaudio.com.