Vintech X81 Class A Microphone Preamp & Equalizer

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Product Code: 9999-11343
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Vintech X81 Class A Microphone Preamp & Equalizer

The Vintech X81 Class A mic pre with equalizer is a dream come true for many an engineer! It features the same celebrated microphone preamplifier as the X73, but with a more comprehensive four band equalizer.

Vintech X81 Class A Microphone Preamp & Equalizer Details

The Vintech X81 Class A mic pre with equalizer is a dream come true for many an engineer! Many engineers love the Class A sound of the Neve 1073, but they always craved the equalizer section of the 1081 which featured TWO mid-frequency bands instead of just the one in most all other Neves. However, the 1081 utilized class AB amplifiers - which is typically a more "even" sounding amp where the eccentricities of the Class A Neve circuits are what most consider to be magical.

Therefore, Vintech's X81 Class A features the same celebrated microphone preamplifier as their X73, but with a more comprehensive four band equalizer with "Q" adjustments on the two mid range frequencies. They've also employed the same Class-A amplifier designs found in the Neve 1073 module throughout the X81 Class A. The equalizer section features ten low-mid frequency points, 10 hi-mid frequencies, 5 frequency choices on both the low and high shelving adjustments. There is also a high pass filter, a D.I. and an output LED meter. Front End Audio is proud to say that Vintechs come with a complete satisfaction guarantee or your money back.

Vintech X81 Class A Microphone Preamp & Equalizer Features

  • Same Class A preamp as found in the X73, but features the 4-Band EQ section of the 1081 modules.
  • High and Low Shelving bands (5 points for each band)
  • Low-Mid and Hi-Mid frequency selections (10 points for each band) with Hi-Q (narrow bandwidth) switches for each
  • Selectable Hi-Pass Filter
  • D.I. Instrument Input on front panel

Vintech X81 Class A Microphone Preamp & Equalizer Specifications

    • Microphone Gain of +70dB to +20dB in 5dB steps
    • Switchable microphone input impedance between 300 and 1,200 ohms
    • Line Impedance of 10kOhm
    • Line Input Gain of +20dB to -10dB in 5dB steps
    • Both Inputs are Transformer Balanced
    • Switch for +48-Volt phantom power
    • 1/4" D.I. on the front panel
    • Polarity / Phase switch
    • Input Level Control (a portion of the range is dedicated to MIC and the other to LINE)
    • Class-A output amplifier that utilizing authentic 2N3055 NPN transistor.
    • Custom-wound output transformer - most closely matches vintage Neve 1073 performance and sound
    • Hand-wired Elma rotary input gain selector switch
    • Clarostat output level control
    • Output Level LED display ranges from -6 dB to +18 dB
    • Output impedance of 75 Ohms @ 1kHz
    • Maximum Output of +26dBu into 600 Ohms
    • 4-Band EQ with High Frequency and Low Frequency Shelving, Hi-Mid and Low-Mid Freq bands w/ Hi-Q for each band
    • Hi-Pass Filtering
    • Switch for engaging EQ in/out of circuit
    • Faithful and accurate equalizer frequencies
    • Authentic Electroswitch dual-concentric switch/pots for equalizer
    • Gold contacts throughout
    • Balanced Neutrik XLR input and output
    • 1/4" D.I. on the front panel
    • 1/4" TRS balanced line input
    • XLR Output is Transformer Balanced and Earth Free
    • 1/4" Output is Transformerless and Unbalanced
    • 16-gauge, 1 RU, All-steel Chassis
    • Power LED
    • Requires Vintech X73 Power Supply - One supply can power up to 4 Vintech units
  • Other Specifications
    • Frequency Response:
      • +/- 0.5dB, 20Hz to 20kHz
      • -30dB @ 40kHz with EQ Out
    • Noise: No more than -83dBu at all line gain settings
    • EIN is better than -125@ 60dB gain
    • Distortion is no bore than 0.07% from 50Hz to 10kHz at +20dBu output into 600 Ohms

Special Note

The Vintech X81 Class A requires the Vintech X73 Power Supply Unit in order to operate. However, one of these power supplies will power up to FOUR Vintech units. By using a separate remote power supply, Vintech units maintain an extremely low noise specification.

What We Think - Vintech X81 Review

"Having started out using the 31105 modules in the 8078 consoles, I have personally always favored the Neve 4-band equalizers. I love being able to address the upper-mid frequencies separately from the lower-mid band. They often have very different needs - especially when tracking! The X73 always did it for me sonically, but I always wanted another band when it came to the equalizer. With the Vintech Audio X81 Class A, I have a exactly what I want!

Front End Audio

What The Pros Are Saying...

"We were overdubbing a male R&B flavored vocalist 24 bit into Pro-Tools thru an 888 interface using a Neumann U87a microphone. We executed one complete pass using each of the five mic pres with no eq or compression in the process. We used (a competitor's product) in both tube and solid state mode. The X-81 was the last pre to be used in our comparison. Simply put, the X-81 absolutely blew all the other pre's out of the universe. At the end of the pass using the Vintech the singer asked what happened to his voice. He flipped out over what was coming thru to him in the phones. Literally everyone in the class noticed a huge difference in both low end warmth and high end clarity using the X-81. Nothing else was even close. Thanks for building such an excellent product. Warmest regards."

Richard Mendelson, Asst. Professor of music production and engineering Berklee College of Music

"I used the Vintech X73 exclusively on Rusty Anderson's electric guitar tracks for both the stereo and 5.1 mixes of Paul McCartney's forthcoming live album and DVD."

Michael Brauer, Engineer Has worked with: The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson

"The Vintech Audio X73 is a 'must have' piece of analog gear, but be careful, we immediately realized we wanted two!"

The production team of Ron and Howard Albert (Eric Clapton, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Rolling Stones)

"Sounds like our vintage Neve modules. We love it and plan to buy several units for our facility!"

Jay Baumgardner, owner of NRG studios Papa Roach, Alien Antfarm, Drowning Pool

"I love the way these units sound. The construction is rock solid. The mic pre is open and transparant and the additonal EQ frequencies are musical and right where you'd want them.Musical and very well thought out. Terrific!"
Kyle Lehning, Producer for Randy Travis, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Brian White and former president of Asylum Records in Nashville

"The X73 is great! It sounds as good as the original, plus it has extra bands and is trouble free. I can't wait to use more Vintech products. Keep up the good work."

Bobby Bradley, Bradley's Barn Nashville

"I want to let you know how much I like the X73. I use it for recording Patti Scialfa and Bruce Springsteen in their home studio. I've found it a great unit for warming up vocals and other instruments. Please let me know if you develop any further equipment of this type."

Toby Scott, engineer for Bruce Springsteen

Vintech Users Include:

  • Sony Music Nashville
  • Peter Frampton
  • David Foster
  • John Mayer
  • Greg Morgenstein: Engineer for Moulin Rouge, Master P, Nicole Kidman
  • Jim Gaines: Engineer for Carlos Santana and Stevie Ray Vaughn
  • Dan Shea: Producer for Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony
  • Eddie Kramer: Producer/Engineer for Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Peter Frampton, and many others...
  • Gary Paczosa: Dixie Chicks, Alison Krauss & Union Station
  • Green Day... and many, many more...

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