Today the 1401 Stereo Microphone Amp spent about 10hrs burning in. I was able to conduct a lot of tests on it with my assistant, both sonic and technical. I will be conducting more tests tomorrow. In a very scientific test, I was able to determine each channel is capable of producing 30.7dB of gain. The two channels can be daisy chained for over 60dB of mono gain. I tested it in the real world, using it as the reverb amplifier for my LBA 1401 Plate Reverb. In this test, it provided more than enough gain. I prefer to keep the gain knobs cranked and control the reverb volume from the driver amp. The "Treble" knobs proved to be extremely valuable and actually - invaluable. Those knobs can drastically change the sound of the reverb and in a way that sounds completely natural (passive eq). I then moved on to do an A/B shootout between 3 different mic preamps, each used as the output amp for the plate. I used a widely known and respected solid state mic preamp, a modified Groove Tubes SuPRE (a very nice stereo tube preamp), and the LBA 1401 preamp. The SuPRE beat out the well known and respected solid state preamp with ease. The SuPRE seemed rather impossible to beat, until hearing the "1401 Stereo Microphone Amp." The 1401 preamp completely destroyed both mic preamps with what seemed no effort at all. The stereo field was obviously wider sounding with the 1401, and the tone exceedingly more realistic. It just sounded - real. The 1401 has very round and full sounding lows that the other preamps did not exhibit. Their lows seemed a bit neutered. The high frequencies in the other preamps were harsh and edgy by comparison. The 1401 has highs, but they are super gentle on the ears. In a frequency analysis test, the results displayed a very flat frequency response from 20Hz - 350Hz. There was less than a 1dB increase happening quickly just above 350Hz, while continuing to maintain a flat response from there to 10kHz. From 10kHz, a very gentle roll off starts (exponential) by 22kHz the roll off is at -2dB.
Coming in the next week or so will be some interesting videos that demonstrate the 1401 Stereo Microphone Amp as both an impressive reverb output amp and as a versatile mic preamp for recording in combination with the upcoming Ghost Box.
About the Author
Mike Congilosi II, Owner/Designer/Electronics Engineer at Lightning Boy Audio and Owner/Audio Engineer/Music Producer at LBA Studios.