Empirical Labs EL9 Mike-E

Digitally Controlled Mic Preamp with Saturation and Compressor

CAP2: 0 £1,695.00
£1,412.50 ex VAT
Call or email for availability.

Digitally-controlled mic preamp with low noise, stepped gain and unique compression and saturation circuit

At a glance

  • Mic Preamplifier with super low noise & stepped gain switching.
  • Built in Direct Box
  • Colored' 80Hz High pass filter emulates the warm low-frequency cut of vintage equalizers.
  • Phase Switch to invert the audio signal 180 degrees.
  • CompSat offers both a musical Compressor/Limiter and a unique tape-like saturation circuit
  • Emphasis high-frequency emphasis system softens high-frequency 'pile-ups' and further the color of the Mike-E
  • Mix Control allows the blending of the Compressed/Saturated signal with the clean unprocessed "Dry" signal
  • Frequency Response: 3 Hz to 200 kHz on (No CompSat), 3Hz - 150Khz (w/ CompSat) Optional Transformer output is 6Hz-80kHz.
  • Signal to Noise - 130 dB signal to Noise.at 40dB gain
  • Maximum output is +28dBu
  • Distortion Ranges between .0006% and 15% depending on mode and settings
  • Transformer coupled Input, Active and Transformer Outputs available

The Empirical Labs EL-9 Mike-E is a digitally-controlled mic preamp with a unique compressor and saturation circuit.

The Empirical Labs EL9 Mike-E is extremely quiet with a noise floor far below the self-noise of any microphone thanks to a low-noise transformer input amplifier. A unique digitally-controlled stepped gain control is provided with up to 60dB of input gain which combined to the 14dB output gain provides up to 74dB. A Bad LED indicates when the signal is overloading the circuit. 48V phantom power, polarity reversal and a fixed 80Hz High-pass filter are provided.

The Mike-E also features a unique CompSat circuit which combines compression and saturation to offer great tonal options. The compressor is based on the Empirical Lab’s own distressor but features only five dedicated ratios (1:1, 2:1, 4:1, 8:1 and Nuke), and much longer attack time as well as a dry/wet control for parallel compression. The saturation circuit uses a multi-stage soft clipping circuit which imparts tube-like saturation at lower levels or Germanium saturation at higher levels for a grittier sound. Again a Bad! LED is included to indicate when harder unmusical clipping is occurring.

An emphasis control is included in the CompSat circuit which boosts the high frequencies before the compressor and saturation circuit. A De-emphasis control then cuts complimentary frequencies after the CompSat circuit. Using the Emphasis control improves signal-to-noise ratio and is reminiscent of working with Tapes.

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