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Review: APP Studio Ing. MA-1 Germanium Pre

0
Submitted On May 22, 2013 by Contributor:
ma1 5 reduced

Rating

Sound
100%


Build Quality
100%


Ease of Use
100%


Versatility
70%


Overall Value
100%


Total Score
94%

94/ 100

Review Details

Price: >$600
 
Manufacturer:
 

Positives:

Great germanium sound, inexpensive.
 

Negatives:

Not available on the open market… yet.
 
by 
My Review

This is an interesting one that not many people will get to see or hear, but it’s a real hidden gem!  A DIY project hailing from beautiful southern Italy, this pre combines the clean snap of an API preamp with the tonal characteristics of a Germanium preamp.  The unit was released as a 500 series format, but is easily adapted to rack mounting with an appropriate power supply.  The mic features a single gain knob (similar to the API312) with buttons for 48v phantom, pad, phase inverse, and DI.  The DI button engages the front panel 1/4″ input that is absolutely AMAZING on electric bass.  The unit is also quite good when used for electric guitar duty (the rich harmonics the germanium transistors provide make for a really killer tone!).  Having almost compression like sounding quality, and beautifully sonically colored,  a pair of these pre’s are now a permanent fixture in my studio arsenal.

Putting one together is not very difficult if you’re good with a soldering iron and know how to follow a schematic and wiring diagrams.  Obviously, this is not for everyone out there, but those that can make it happen are out there and usually glad to help out a fellow engineer find some really great, unique gear.  Once assembled the thick aluminum faceplate and chassis feel more like a professionally manufactured unit than some bigger named products.  The nice part about the DIY aspect is that different transformers can be used to vary the tone a bit depending on taste. This is not something you would swap out on a whim mind you since most of the cost of the unit is in those transformers, but its nice to have options when gettting a piece of custom gear.

Overall, an A+ in my book!

 

 

Recommend to a friend

About The Contributor

meistudio


Full service boutique studio in Nassau County, Long Island, New York. In addition to recording media services, the studio also builds a great deal of custom studio equipment.

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