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Silkworm series 500 preamp

Silkworm-angle1-webSilkworm 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 $825 Buy Now

Download Silkworm Manual (PDF)

Download Silkworm Manual (PDF)

Read the Pro Audio Review magazine January 2014 Silkworm review here.
And the October 2014 Sound On Sound review is here.

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.
Redd 47:


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






6 Responses to Silkworm series 500 preamp

  1. Audiooooooo June 26, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    My god. Sonic farm at that price point? That’s all the reason you need to buy a 500 rack!

  2. Daniel Byrne June 26, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    Wonderful looking 500 series! Can’t wait to hear this!

  3. rob@jammit.com July 21, 2013 at 3:23 am #

    When Boris told me that he was coming out with the Silky, I actually did go out and purchase a Radial Workhorse (fabulous bit of gear on its own). I bought the first two Slikys that Boris built and they are FANTASTIC! It’s like haing a more versatile 1073 for a fraction of the price. As usual, they’re built like tanks, and the thought that has gone into the design reflects Sonic Farm’s passionate commitment to the best audio possible. Can’t wait for the rumoured 500 series compressors!

  4. RJ April 18, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    Got to try silkworm preamp on lead vocals recently and got a killer vocal
    sound. This preamp has a super rich low end that you come to expect
    from sonic farm gear without taking away from the air of the sound. I’ve got to use the 1073 quite a few times and always found myself wanting to push the high end up a little bit. The balance felt perfect with the silk worm. Definitely eying to grab one of these!

  5. Brayden May 7, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    I have been using the Silky on female lead vox for a couple of weeks now and I’ve got to say, I am quite impressed! While not quite as versatile as the Creamer (and why should it be, for a fraction the price?), you should still be able to get the sound you are looking for out of any sound source, with a bit of tweaking! The high end is crisp, full of harmonics, and drives desirable colouration into your sound when pushed. The lows are punchy and present, but not muddy, so long as you are using the right character setting on the right source. I am quite happy with this little guy so far and I can’t wait to use it on bass!

  6. Daniel Ponich May 21, 2016 at 1:12 am #

    The silkworm has totally exceeded my expectations. I wanted to build a strong vocal chain for my home studio and what I got was so much more. The clarity and tone from this thing is amazing on all instruments. From piano, to vocals, drums and my favourite which is using the line in for guitar. The versatility alone has made me setting myself up to purchase the next one. I can’t recommend Sonic Farm enough for not only their rad products but the customer service is unbeatable. Boris is a champion. Thank you Sonic Farm!!

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