If you like the vintage Neve sound, you’ll love the EM-Silver. It has a darker tone than the P-1, EM-Red, and EM-Blue. Its sound is based on a custom-wound steel output transformer, which makes it an excellent match for ribbon microphones since steel transformers were widely used in the early days of recording and broadcast - it was the combination of steel transformer and ribbon mic that gave broadcasters and singers that “Voice of God” sound that has lit up so many vocal recording and the amplified spoken word for decades. The EM-Silver is an outstanding preamp for bass guitar and keyboards, and is also pretty killer on kick drum. For brighter sound sources, the EM-Silver is the preamp of choice when you want less top end or a vintage-type sound…especially when used with ribbon mics, or on modern, brighter condensers to smooth out top end.
The 500 series platform makes it possible to easily construct your own custom signal-processing array by combining a variety of physically compatible electronics modules in all sorts of differently configured power supply mounting frames. It’s an affordable and flexible way to incorporate state of the art and boutique devices into just about any studio, live or broadcast environment.
The A-Designs Audio 500 microphone preamp series is comprised of five 500 series-compatible mic/line pres, each one meticulously voiced with a specific sonic functionality in mind. These units are physically compatible with any API or VPR Alliance mounting device, and also meet the precise power rating requirements necessary to function perfectly from the moment you plug them in. A basic understanding of electronic components and how their inherent physical qualities affect sound is helpful in selecting the proper module for the right application. Transformers occupy a key position in circuit design due to their ability to affect timbral quality. Apart from the utilitarian task of electronic isolation for noise-free operation, the alloys used for the transformer’s winding - along with the number of windings - will impart a distinct sonic quality: nickel-wound transformers provide a more transparent sound with an airy high end, while steel can impart a thick “Neve-like” midrange or low-end “API growl”…you get the idea. To give each preamp in the A-Designs Audio EM-Series its own unique character, each has custom-wound transformers using proprietary A-Designs alloys that have been painstakingly tested to produce the perfect sound for the right application….but that doesn’t mean that the EM-Series preamps are one-trick ponies - far from it! What it does mean is that decades of collective experience between A-Designs Audio and highly respected audio professionals have taken the guesswork out of finding the right preamp for the job.
Think of each of the EM series preamps as the master of a specific domain in the frequency spectrum. For example, the EM-Silver is stunning on the lower frequencies thanks to its steel-wound transformer, making it a perfect choice for bass or kick drum, while the EM-Blue’s nickel transformer provides the clarity needed to bring out the “crack” on snare drums, or to gently coax the highs from ribbon mics.