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The P-1 has the highest fidelity of all the A-Designs Audio 500 preamps, capturing the mojo of its older and larger sibling, the extremely popular Pacifica. It has a big low end, slightly forward midrange and extended highs. If you’re a fan of the Quad Eight or API sound, you’ll love the P-1! It shines on vocals, instruments, room mics, piano, and on instruments with sharp transients such as drums and various percussion instruments. If you’re building a lunchbox with drum recording in mind, a pair of P-1s is a superb choice for overheads when you want to capture the entire kit - especially the sizzle of the cymbals.
The 500 series platform makes it possible to easily construct your own custom signal-processing array by combining a variety of physically compatible electronics modules in all sorts of differently configured power supply mounting frames. It’s an affordable and flexible way to incorporate state of the art and boutique devices into just about any studio, live or broadcast environment.
The A-Designs Audio 500 microphone preamp series is comprised of five 500 series-compatible mic/line pres, each one meticulously voiced with a specific sonic functionality in mind. These units are physically compatible with any API or VPR Alliance mounting device, and also meet the precise power rating requirements necessary to function perfectly from the moment you plug them in. A basic understanding of electronic components and how their inherent physical qualities affect sound is helpful in selecting the proper module for the right application. Transformers occupy a key position in circuit design due to their ability to affect timbral quality. Apart from the utilitarian task of electronic isolation for noise-free operation, the alloys used for the transformer’s winding - along with the number of windings - will impart a distinct sonic quality: nickel-wound transformers provide a more transparent sound with an airy high end, while steel can impart a thick “Neve-like” midrange or low-end “API growl”…you get the idea. To give each preamp in the A-Designs Audio EM-Series its own unique character, each has custom-wound transformers using proprietary A-Designs alloys that have been painstakingly tested to produce the perfect sound for the right application….but that doesn’t mean that the EM-Series preamps are one-trick ponies - far from it! What it does mean is that decades of collective experience between A-Designs Audio and highly respected audio professionals have taken the guesswork out of finding the right preamp for the job.
Think of each of the EM series preamps as the master of a specific domain in the frequency spectrum. For example, the EM-Silver is stunning on the lower frequencies thanks to its steel-wound transformer, making it a perfect choice for bass or kick drum, while the EM-Blue’s nickel transformer provides the clarity needed to bring out the “crack” on snare drums, or to gently coax the highs from ribbon mics.
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