Universal Audio, a manufacturer of vintage-style audio hardware and DSP software plug-ins for digital audio workstations, debuted their latest hardware creation, the 2108 microphone and instrument preamplifier. The 2108, which features a hi-z instrument input as well as a balanced microphone input, utilizes discreet, solid state Class A circuitry based on the amplifier in the legendary 1176LN compressor/limiter.
"The 2108 is a unique product among available mic preamps," said Bill Putnam, founder of Universal Audio. "While most microphone preamplifiers have a characteristic sound, the 2108 is capable of a wide range of tones. With the input gain set low and the output high, you get the clear crisp sound the 1176LN is so famous for. But if you crank the input gain control up and the output level down, you overdrive the FET input and get a warm, fat sound. Add to this an instrument input you can plug a guitar or bass into and you've got an incredibly flexible tool for a home or professional studio."
Universal Audio noted that many users of the 1176LN liked the musical tone of the amplifier circuit so much that they would often run signals through the device with no compression setting. This fact gave birth to the initial product concept for the 2108; build a preamplifier with the musical tone of the 1176LN. With that basic circuit in place, Universal Audio added features like switchable input impedance, transformer coupled inputs and outputs, hi-z instrument inputs, phantom power, switchable input and output metering via a 3-stage lamp on the front panel, phase reverse and a front panel power switch.
The Universal Audio 2108 will be available at Universal Audio dealers worldwide by the end of February for a MSRP of US$1,695.00.