TP1

Class A Tube mic Preamp / DI - single channel

“A splendid piece of hardware” (Sound On Sound)


The MCAudioLab TP1 is a class A tube mic preamp and DI designed to deliver pure vintage tone while maintaining the high quality sonic performance required in modern productions.

From pristine fidelity with just a touch of tube character to fat and punchy rock tones, the TP1 provides a wide palette of tonal options suitable for a variety of sources and genres, be it vocals, bass, guitar, or any acoustic source in both classical and pop/rock contexts.

Great sound, outstanding performance, and an affordable price: the TP1 is the ideal choice for both professional recording studios seeking vintage tone without spending a fortune on the ‘originals’ and smaller facilities who wish to set up a top class recording chain.


Vintage character, modern performance

The TP1 is designed and hand-built to provide great vintage tone without the typical drawback of classic designs: high noise floor and distortion.

We believe great sound comes from a simple, clean and well-designed audio path made of top quality components, individually selected and tested with care. This guarantees top level audio quality while minimizing unwanted artifacts and noise.

The preamp gain stage of the TP1 uses a high-mu dual triode tube operating in class A. The balanced input and output are transformer-coupled using Lundahl transformers, and the front panel switches act on gold-sealed micro-relays to keep the audio path as short and clean as possible.


Two controls, many colours

The TP1 features a stepped Gain knob and a continuous passive Output control: dial in the tone with the first, and check your recording level with the second. Don’t be put off by the simple design: the interaction between these two controls can produce a lot of different tonal colours.

With the preamp gain on 1 and the output knob all the way up, the TP1 provides 20 dB of preamplification. Depending on the original source level, up to approximately half of the Gain range the sound is clean and smooth with just a touch of vintage gloss, like an old tube hi-fi amplifier: great for acoustic sources and soft rhythm parts. Crank up the Gain while bringing down the Output control and the preamp tube starts to add some warm saturation: the sound gets rich and fat, and the soft peak limiting of the tube rectifier kicks in.

And there’s more to it. The preamp design features an additional tube stage after the output control. If you pad the signal after the TP1 and before it hits the converters - e.g. by turning down the console’s channel trim pot - you can free the Output from its level security job. Now you can use it together with the Gain knob to drive the second tube stage, opening up a new level of tonal options.


Tube vs. solid state power supply: pure vintage or modern tone

The standard version of the TP1 is fitted with our custom tube power supply (TP1tp), which provides a subtle harmonic enhancement and a typically vintage soft peak limiting for a rich, fat and warm sound. If you’re after a 100% classic tone, this kind of behaviour can save you a lot of hassle in the mixing stage. You can find out more about our tube power supply in this tech article.

If you prefer a cleaner sound with different dynamic response, we offer the option of a solid state power supply (TP1ch) similar to the technology typically used in modern gear: you still get the great tone provided by the tube preamp, but the saturation starts to kick in at higher signal levels and transients remain unaffected by the power supply.


Features

- Single channel class A tube mic preamp/DI
- All-tube design, extremely low distortion and noise
- Lundahl transformers in mic input and output stages
- Mic input: XLR input, 75 dB max gain
- Hi-Z input: front panel 1/4” jack TS input, 65 dB max gain
- Switchable 20dB pad, +48V phantom power, phase flip
- Stepped Gain control
- Continuous passive output control
- Custom VU+peak output meter
- Separate Ground and Earth lift switches to avoid ground loops
- Optional solid state power supply (TP1ch) 

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