Black Box Analog DesignWhile most things these days are made over seas in huge factories with the singular goal of maximizing profits by cutting corners and using the cheapest components, Black Box Analog Design does things differently. In fact they take a different approach to most things. They are not interested in creating clones of old gear or building derivatives of popular gear. They are interested in creating gear that does something that hasn’t been done before, addresses a need they come across in the studio and takes a new approach to a problem or design.
Stereo tube bus processor and harmonics generator
The Black Box Analog Design HG-2 is a line level, stereo unit designed to add saturation, harmonics, natural compression, increased RMS and enhancement during mixing and mastering. It is designed to easily and naturally do what usually requires multiple pieces of gear and do it better!
The Black Box HG-2 uses Cinemag input transformers to feed two paths: The main signal path travels through a 6U8A Pentode tube stage that then drives into the Triode stage that follows, resulting in everything from subtle harmonics to full on saturation.
Also fed from the input transformer is a parallel signal path that utilizes a set of 12AX7 tubes, voiced specifically for harmonics and saturation. This parallel saturation circuit is outfitted with a 3 way “Freq. Select” switch that allows the user to choose the frequency content of the signal feeding the circuit
The “low position saturates just the low mids and sub frequencies, the “flat” position saturates full bandwidth and the “high” position saturates only the high mids and high frequencies. The result is the ability to add top end to dull tracks, enhance low end or enhance and add energy to the entire signal. The “harmonics” knob allows the user to control how much of the processed, parallel signal is fed into the main signal before hitting the Pentode stage. Finally, both stages reach the passive output attenuation before a pair of Cinemag output transformers.
In addition to the saturation stages, an “air” switch adds a subtle top end lift and the “alt” tube button switches between two different 12AX7 tubes in the parallel circuit. Switching between tubes allows the user to swap tubes for different types of saturation and switch back and forth instantly.
The meter select chooses whether the meter is fed from the input or output, and the “bypass” switch is a true bypass that shorts the input directly to the output with no additional circuitry in line.
- High voltage Pentode & Triode tube stages
- Parallel saturation with mix control
- 3 way frequency control over parallel saturation
- Instantly selectable/swappable saturation tubes
- “Air” lift
- Cinemag input and output transformers
- True bypass
- Selectable 30 segment meter (VU / PPM)
- Illuminated push button switches & sealed relays
- Heavy duty steel chassis
Mono tube microphone preamp with harmonics and DI
The Black Box Analog Design MM-1 Vacuum Tube Preamp is an entirely new approach to capturing audio. It is not based on any existing circuit but designed from the ground up, using the best parts and ignoring all of the standard ideas of how a preamp “should work”. The result is an incredibly versatile piece of gear that not only sounds amazing but shatters the idea of what a preamp can do!
Tonal Control Like Never Before
Until now, your preamp simply amplified the signal. You essentially get one sound and the ability turn it up or down. The MM-1 on the other hand allows you to drastically shape the response curve of the unit without using any EQ and the associated phase shifts! All of the shaping is done at the tubes and from the constantly variable interaction between stages allowing you to dial in virtually unlimited tonal possibilities. Essentially, you have the ability to have full control over how the microphone “hears”! You can find the sweet spot of any microphone and instrument easily and naturally! The response curve of the Pentode stage alone gives you a huge amount of control over the tone. Coupled with the independently controlled Triode stage you have virtually unlimited tones at your fingertips.
Harmonics for days…
There seems to be an obsession with THD when it comes to mic pre designs. Manufacturers boast about how “clean” their designs are and how low the THD is as if these harmonics are the plague yet the fastest growing trend in plug-in design is creating plug-ins that add back these harmonics! Tape, console, tube and various analog emulations that add pleasing harmonics and distortion are more in demand than ever! Why? Because the human ear LOVES harmonics! So why are manufacturers bragging about how they have managed to remove them from the design while mixers are having to add more emulations on to compensate? We have no idea but we certainly aren’t! We love harmonics and our pre has been designed to SOUND amazing! We give you the ability to add a ton of rich, beautiful and musical harmonics and give you unprecidented control over it!
All Tube, All Analog
Our entirely analog audio circuit uses only tubes for amplification and is entirely free of op amps, ICs and transistors! From precisely, hand matched resistors and capacitors to custom wound Cinemag transformers, every part is selected and built for the absolute highest quality sound.
We all know that a piece of gear is only as good as its power supply! For that reason, our preamps use a massive toroidal to supply 350v of pure, linear power to get the most out of the tubes. Real power means real sound!