Silkworm is our first series 500 product, and it took a long time to develop it. That’s because series 500, with its inherent limitations, like available space, low supply voltage, low available current draw, etc, requires a meticulous design.
If you are looking for a superior performance solid state preamp in series 500 format that covers all applications in a professional recording studio, look no further. This is your ticket. We are very proud of Silkworm’s tone, versatility and reliability. It is amongst the finest this series has to offer, and that it does in truckloads.
Of course, we wanted to pack this baby with as much tonal variation as possible:
Mic input has a 3-position character (labeled “vibe”) switch, giving you three distinctively different and very useable tonalities. The output also has a split personality, solid state or transformer driven.
Thanks to the dual stage servo loop, there are no capacitors in the signal path from input to output. This yields a linear phase low end which is not achievable with tube preamps or conventionally designed solid-state ones. When used with a good quality microphone (or instrument), the effortless and open low end is immediately noticeable.
When in transformer mode, Silkworm sounds just like Neve 1073LB. This was not intended, it just happened; it has a completely different design approach. In solid state mode, it becomes extremely transparent, resulting in stunning realism. Solid state mode preserves clarity even when extreme equalization is applied. Input transformer assures that the tone is never sterile even at cleanest settings.
Silkworm Series 500 preamp – CAD $700 Buy NowDownload Silkworm Manual (PDF)
Here’s a female vocal recorded through the Silkworm. Output was set to solid state (no transformer). The microphone was a Neumann M149 and the compressor was a Distressor (for a very neutral and coloration free compression). No EQ was used.
and the mixed version:
and here is a song with acoustic guitar recorded through the Silkworm. Audio Technica ATM4042 and ATM4060 microphones. The vocals were done through the Creamer Plus in pentode mode, solid state output. The mic was Audio Technica ATM4060:
Here’s an acoustic guitar sample recorded first with an EMI Redd 47 preamp (famous for it’s use on Beatles’ records), and then with a Silkworm.
This 2 minute video has some great live drum kit samples recorded through the Silkworm:
Short Silkworm Specs:
Fully discrete gain stage
Full DC path, no coupling capacitors
Servo control for minimal DC offset
Maximum gain 66dB (mic) and 42dB (instrument)
Maximum output level: 28.7dBu
Cinemag input mic transformer
Cinemag 100% Fe output transformer
Switchable transformer or solid state balanced output
3-way character (vibe) switch
Gain regulation twofold: 3-pos range switch and trim control
Mic input impedance: variable (see manual)
Instrument input impedance: 2.2MOhm