Our debut series 500 unit is out! It continues our tradition of advanced design and reliable construction.
For geek-heads, Silworm deserves a little description and a look under the hood.
The design concept is: mic input transformer, then an active gain stage in a discrete OP amp form, followed by a choice of output transformer or a solid state balanced line driver.
This concept has been used before with units such as API 312 and John Hardy 990, except that they don’t have a switchable output configuration. The differences also lie in the design of the discrete stage, and of course the choice of both transformers.
The discrete gain stage has an extremely low distortion even in an open loop test.
The 2-stage active servo loop makes DC coupling free of output offset.
The 3-way character switch (named “vibe” because of lack of space) in fact does a complex input impedance manipulation to achieve 3 very useable tonal variations:
“S” for smooth, gives a warmer, smoother top end, good when more sibilant or harsher mics are used.
“P” for present, is a linear frequency response coupling.
“W” for warped, yields a hump in high mids or treble frequencies, and is interactive with microphone’s output impedance. Great for rock vocals, snare drums, or anything that needs to cut a bit better through the mix.
The output transformer, when engaged, gives a bit of grit, and we found it to give Silkworm a very similar, if not identical sound to the Neve 1073LB. This was not at all planned, it is just the first testers’ observation.
Used with a solid state balanced line driver, Silkworm takes on a more open, clean response, a sound that begs to be touched.
We hope you will have a chance to hear this preamp and be a first hand judge of its quality and versatility.