I’ve been a fan of Monoprice products for quite a while now. Though not as well-known as some name brand alternatives stocked at big box retailers, the company makes a wide range of audio interconnect cables, all of which—and I’ve bought a lot of them—are professional-grade and very competitively priced. Monoprice also makes a diverse range of products, including consumer products, outdoor products, networking, audio video interconnect products and much more. The company’s Stage Right division makes a wide range of musical instruments, stands, stage accessories, pretty much everything you need to outfit a good quality project studio.
Now, Monoprice has just released the Stage Right Studio 2-Channel Microphone Preamp, a professional-grade 1073 styled 1U rackmountable preamp. Utilizing only discrete components and an all-analog signal path, the Stage Right Studio 2-Channel Microphone Preamp has two identical channels, each with a selectable option for DI or microphone inputs. The front end of each channel has input and gain level controls as well as switchable phase switch and 48-volt power and a line or microphone select switch. The front of the unit has a master power switch. The rear of the unit has XLR balanced inputs and quarter inch and balanced outputs. Each channel also has a balanced quarter inch insert for connecting EQ, compressors, signal processors etc. Each channel has a ladder-style input level meter. Power is supplied by an external 24 Volt power supply.
The Stage Right Studio 2-Channel Microphone Preamp utilizes transformer balanced inputs and outputs throughout. Each of the two channels is capable of handling 80 dB of gain, which means it can be used with about any kind of microphone, including ribbon microphones. frequency response of 20hz to 20- kHz. The SR Preamp features two independent channels, up to 80 dB gain in Mic Mode enough to handle ribbon microphones. There are gain switch 20 -80 dB Gain, switchable 300- Ohm to 1200 Ohm Impedance
Designed primarily for studio use, the Stage Right Studio 2-Channel Microphone Preamp makes a great front end to add warmth and depth to the front end of your audio interface or mixer. The insert points open options to add color and dept to your signal path. Irrespective of the affordable price point, the Stage Right Studio 2-Channel Microphone Preamp, for me anyway, solves an ongoing problem of how to get a clean front-end signal from my guitar into my DAW. I have a lot of guitar effect pedals, signal processors and plug-ins, and the The Stage Right Studio 2-Channel Microphone Preamp is a great way to get a solid sonic foundation on which to craft my tone.
Sure, it would be great to have an onboard three-band sweepable EQ and some of the features found on other 1076 styled clones on the market, and yes, I would have preferred an internal power supply as opposed to the external 24 v Power supply, but I understand Monoprice had to take factors like this into consideration to keep the price down. Still, the Stage Right Studio 2-Channel Microphone Preamp delivers surprisingly great clean punchy tracks on guitar, vocals, any line input and your favorite microphone (even ribbon mics). The insert points in each channel exponentially add to the Stage Right Studio 2-Channel Microphone Preamp overall flexibility. If you want EQ or full channel strip functionality you can buy external rackable EQ or software emulations of just any classic channel strips, many of which can be had for well under a hundred dollars.
In my opinion, Monoprice has done an excellent job distilling the essence of the classic Neve topology down to an affordable price point. Keeping in mind the original vintage preamp modules can cost literally tens of thousands of dollars, and the fact that many of the competing 1073 styled clones on the market can cost upward of a thousand dollars, for what you’re getting in terms of build quality, top shelf component, an analog signal path and overall great sound, the Stage Right Studio 2-Channel Microphone Preamp is a great deal.
The Monoprice Stage Right Studio 2-Channel Microphone Preamp is available now for $599.
Find out more at monoprice.com