Countdown to NAMM 2011: A-Designs JM-3001 Preamp/EQ

The JM-3001 ($2,600 retail) from A-Designs Audio is a versatile preamplifier, equalizer and instrument input housed in a single-rack-space frame. Hand-built in the U.S., the new unit features three inputs—microphone, instrument and EQ/insert—that can be used together or independently. It also offers a musical three-band parametric EQ and high/low filters, as well as two independent transformer balanced outputs (microphone and EQ).
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As the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim approaches, we’re offering Mix readers exclusive sneak peaks of some of the new products debuting at the show.

A-Designs JM-3001 Preamp/EQ

The JM-3001 ($2,600 retail) from A-Designs Audio is a versatile preamplifier, equalizer and instrument input housed in a single-rack-space frame. Hand-built in the U.S., the new unit features three inputs—microphone, instrument and EQ/insert—that can be used together or independently. It also offers a musical three-band parametric EQ and high/low filters, as well as two independent transformer balanced outputs (microphone and EQ).

The heart of the JM-3001 is its Carl Johnson-designed C12X discrete transistor op amp that operates on ±30 VDC rails. The C12X is a high-gain, fast-slew, stable audio block with virtually no DC offset over the audio spectrum. It is used in the microphone preamp, instrument input amp and main output/EQ output stages of the product.

“The JM-3001’s preamp is an original design with depth and detail for miles, while the EQ is fully parametric with its own transformer, so you can use it with or without the pre,” notes A-Designs’ Peter Montessi. “The freq settings are highly reminiscent of classic console filters and musically complement any source you run through them. The instrument input is totally separate from the pre and EQ and sounds amazing on its own as well.”

The JM-3001’s transformer-coupled microphone preamp feeds the EQ and preamp output mult simultaneously and includes phase reverse, a -20 dB pad, +48-volt phantom power with LED indicator and a plastic conductive gain control pot. Similarly utilizing a C12X discrete op amp, the instrument input preamp section is separate from the mic pre and includes a front panel ¼-inch phone jack and gain pot. Like the mic preamp, this section also feeds the EQ and preamp output mult simultaneously.

The JM-3001’s 3-band parametric equalizer is a unique design featuring 33 frequencies with three bands of overlapping ranges covering from 50 to 15k Hz. Both the frequency selection and the ±12 dB equalization controls are step-type switches that allow precise and repeatable settings. Each band has a Q switch with three fixed positions: sharp (S), wide (W) and narrow (N). The low and high bands are normally of a peak/dip type, but flipping the shelf switch to the up position on those bands changes the characteristic to shelf type. An insert/return jack allows direct input to the equalizer, bypassing both the mic pre and instrument input.

As with all A-Designs Audio products, , details was given to construction, with 1-percent metal film resistors (except the 0.1-percent resistors used in the EQ). Capacitors are all quality polystyrene, polypropylene, COG and bi-polar. Furthermore, input/output XLR connectors and switches are gold/silver contact with no relays.

A-Designs Audio states that the JM-3001 will be available in February.

Visit A-Designs during Winter NAMM at booth #6280.

Visit A-Designs Audio online at www.adesignsaudio.com.