The microphone preamplifier section of the Manley Mic/EQ 500 Combo is based on fully differential topology”the advantage is its inherent resistance to external noise sources and its propensity for canceling out even-order harmonic distortion, as well as increasing dynamic range. Manley teamed this superb and full-featured mic preamp with the famous... Click To Read More About This Product
The microphone preamplifier section of the Manley Mic/EQ 500 Combo is based on fully differential topology”the advantage is its inherent resistance to external noise sources and its propensity for canceling out even-order harmonic distortion, as well as increasing dynamic range. Manley teamed this superb and full-featured mic preamp with the famous EQ 500 passive circuitry coupled to a second differential line-amp. Together the equalizer and microphone preamp make a stunning combination for field recording or direct-to-tape tracking. Manley also provides built-in illuminated VU metering as well as an Insert point for flexible operation with other outboard effect units. (And yes, the Mic Preamp and the Equalizer sections can be used completely independently.)
Up to 55dB of total gain is available through the whole signal processor, structured as 46dB from the Mic Pre section, plus up to 9dB more from the EQ/Line amplifier. All inputs and outputs are balanced transformer-coupled. The EQ section is a refreshing revival of one of the most musical passive EQ's from the past”the "heart" section having been designed by Art Davis who seems to have worked for many (or is it most?) of the historic companies: Altec Lansing, Cinema Products, Universal Recording, and of course, Langevin¦ always taking his seminal design along with him.
The complexity of the 2dB stepped switching (using gold-contact custom built Grayhill switches) is solely for the purpose of having no more than 3 components, (1 R, 1 L, 1 C) in the signal path at any given moment for maximum signal purity. To this historic passive EQ circuit, Manley cleverly added the choice of either PEAK or SHELF modes for each band, giving sufficient flexibility within the confines of musical, accurate tonality. Similar to the Variable Mu's topology, the Mic/EQ 500 uses Manley's exclusive differential circuitry, renowned for preserving delicate imaging information.
The Manley Mic/EQ 500 Combo's output attenuator allows the overall gain to be kept constant while boosting or cutting. And more importantly, it provides for optimization of noise levels, especially when used in conjunction with the Mic Input Level control, which functions as a variable input pad. Another often desirable trick is to push the tubes into distortion by turning up the Mic Input Level while turning down the Line Output Level control in order to flavor the sound with a bit of grunge and overdrive.
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