Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Slate Pro Audio's Fox Dual Circuit Microphone Preamplifier

Why have I been showing Slate Pro Audio a lot of love lately? It's obvious to me so I guess you'll just have to trust me. You should know better than to trust someone on the internet though so read on and learn why I'm so amped on Slate Pro Audio.

Slate Pro Audio has been building a brand focused on creating high quality, versatile audio tools for both the analog and digital domains.  It's tough for a new company to make a splash in a crowded and extremely discerning professional audio industry but, Slate has done more than make a splash, they've emptied the pool.  When you're seamlessly blending the line between the "prosumer" & professional markets you know you're doing something right.  Slate's digital & analog products have done precisely that, this company is one to watch and I've put together some information for all of you regarding their latest creation; the Fox Dual Circuit Microphone Preamplifier.

Before we get started with the Fox it's best to understand their first analog design from Tim Caswell; the Dragon.  Slate Pro Audio's Dragon is a stereo compressor/limiter which boasts multiple character settings, high-end components & hand-built attention to detail.  It's clear where the Fox's roots lie and considering the Dragon has been put to work in some of the world's premier studios one can assume the Fox will follow suit with the same quality and sound that got Dragon noticed by professionals.  Slate Pro Audio's analog gear has been designed by respected veterans of the audio industry and is assembled by hand in Los Angeles.  If you're looking for more resume bullet points for Slate Pro Audio's hardware check out their website, this post is for the Fox.

The Fox was unveiled at AES 129 this year in San Francisco and word is it's being shipped out to dealers this week!  Slate's Fox is a stereo microphone preamplifier with two independent circuits thus presenting the user with a diverse palate of sonic characters at the forefront of their signal chain from a single unit.  One of the circuits features a classic fat and burly sound modeled after the venerable Neve 1073 and designed with custom made American transistors in the circuit.  The second circuit boasts a more modern and precise sound featuring the instant bite, accuracy and hi-fi clarity of a dual-servo circuit design.  In one rack unit they've managed to design and create two separate circuits giving you the operator one of the most versatile preamps available.  

It doesn't stop with the dual circuits though, they've added another feature which allows you to take the best of each circuit and combine them.  The Fox's "combo" mode integrates the input and output of each circuit together.  For example if you were working with the "vintage" circuit you could switch on combo mode and have the output stage of the preamp in the more modern sounding dual-servo circuit while keeping the input stage classic and smooth.  The process can also be reversed (modern in, vintage out) by selecting either circuit design when using combo mode.  I'm no math whiz but I'm pretty sure all that adds up to four different analogue flavours for this hand built beast.  You could buy 2 separate stereo pres or you can by one, the choice seems pretty simple to me.  As Fox ships out to dealers and the demos hit the studios I'm sure we will have a much better idea of it's performance but it's pretty safe to say that this microphone preamp will be the choice for bedroom audio addicts and professional studios alike.

As of right now Slate Pro Audio is busy getting all the orders for the stereo versions of Fox but there will be a mono version available soon, and this mono unit will be upgradable to stereo through an upgrade kit that requires no soldering.  For more information on Slate Pro Audio's Fox be sure to visit Slate Pro Audio's website!

All the best,


1 comment:

  1. I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.
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