Silkworm Series 500 Preamplifier

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.

Silkworm Series 500 Preamplifier

CAD $905.00

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.

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.

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:

Technical Specifications

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
We give a one year warranty on parts and labor.


6 thoughts on “Silkworm Series 500 Preamplifier”

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


    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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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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