Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing little package, February 11, 2011
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This review is from: Electro-Harmonix 12AY7 Tube Microphone Preamp (Electronics)
This vocal preamp is perfect for adding true tube warmth and shape to any voice. It is extremely simple to use and set up (like many Electro-Harmonix products). It's input gain knob acts like one would expect, increasing the gain on the signal BEFORE the tubes. This allows you to add any amount of warmth, from classic clean to raspy overdriven. The output gain can bump up (or down) the signal after the tubes.

My only disappointment with this unit (if it can be called that at all) has been that the output gain is limited in its ability to control the whole signal. I think this is more of my own doing than the unit's. Specifically, I leave it in the "off" (all the way left/counter clockwise) position and it still puts out a signal at quite a high gain level, thanks to the input gain. I run the input high into the tubes to get some crackle and ambiance, so the output has its work cut out for it. If you are playing a venue, this unit has more than enough gain to get the vocals above the whole mix. I would still like the output gain to work in more of a volume control fashion than true gain, but it certainly demonstrates EHX's understanding and mastery of audio equipment.

This is one of the few units that can be purchased, plugged in, and instantly does what it says.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 18, 2013 7:15:57 PM PDT
My only comment is that this device is a "PreAmp" not an Amplifier. The device is designed to provide a tonal, shaping effect to offset the tendency for digital sound to be harsh and witout much character. Perhaps it is the difference between LP Vinyl and Digital CD's. I believe that "tube amplifiers" provide more natural sound rather than sound too perfect to be real. Too much input gain will generate a lot of heat and shorten the life of your tubes, increase interelectrode capacitance which will effect the clasriy of your sound...eventually.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2013 1:00:39 PM PDT
You are absolutely correct, which is why I was so surprised at the levels coming out of it, though as I said, the fault with this was entirely mine. After doing further research, I discovered that the XLR out channel is not affected by the output gain stage; only 1/4" is. This appears to be so a monitor can be run straight from the preamp and the full input channel goes to a board. At least, that's how I've been using it for the past year and it works perfectly. It should be noted, also, that EHX does not build a device that will allow you to generate too much heat and ruin your tubes, and there should be no fear turning this unit up if that's what you want, or running the input stage low and just getting that nice tube warmth to it.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2013 2:25:42 PM PDT
Thank You for the followup. I am using other EHX Pedals for my guitar and was surprised to find they offered this type of device also. Most mic preamps are too expensive or more than I need for the cost. So if you ahve other comments I will be reading them for my own benefit. If I choose to purchase one, I will give you the credit. Thanks!
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