A Designs EM Silver
500 Series Mic Preamp Module
The A-Designs Audio EM-Silver has a darker tone than the P-1, EM-Red, and EM-Blue. Its sound is based on a custom-wound steel output transformer, which makes it an excellent match for ribbon microphones since steel transformers were widely used in the early days of recording and broadcast. It was the combination of steel transformer and ribbon mic that gave broadcasters and singers that "voice of god" sound that has defined vocal recording and the amplified spoken word for decades.
The EM-Silver is a great preamp for bass guitar and keyboards. And in the world of percussion, it's a great choice for kick drum. For brighter sound sources, the EM-Silver is the preamp of choice when you want less top end or a vintage-type sound. For a true vintage sound, use the EM-Silver with ribbon mics, or on modern, brighter condensers to smooth out top end. If you like vintage Neve, you'll love the EM-Silver.
Custom Transformers. The secret of A-Designs 500 series sound
In order to achieve the quality of sound that brings a smile to your ears, a profound understanding of electronic components and how their inherent qualities affect sound is essential. Transformers hold a singular position in circuit design due to their ability to affect timbral quality. Apart from the utilitarian task of electronic isolation for noise-free operation, the alloys used for the transformer's winding along with the number of windings, will impart a distinct sonic quality. For example, nickel-wound transformers provide a more transparent sound with an airy high end, while steel can impart a thick "Neve-like" midrange or low-end "API growl."
To give each preamp in the A-Designs Audio EM-Series its own unique character, each has custom-wound transformers that employ proprietary A-Designs alloys that have been ear-tested to produce just the right sound for the right application. But that doesn't mean that the EM-Series preamps are one-trick ponies - far from it. What it does mean is that decades of collective experience between A-Designs Audio and highly respected audio professionals who beta test A-Designs products have taken guesswork out of finding the right preamp for the job. Think of each of the EM series preamps as the ruler of a specific domain in the frequency spectrum. For example, the EM-Silver rules the lower frequencies thanks to its steel-wound transformer, making it a perfect choice for bass or kick drum, while the EM-Blue's nickel transformer provides the clarity and highs needed to bring out the "crack" on snare drums.