DIY is back

The original reason I started this journal was to chart my progress building a modular synthesizer. For several reasons, I decided this might not be the best idea. So, instead, I’m starting much smaller.

I’ve started on a microphone preamp, based on a 1970’s API design. These preamps are some of the best-sounding anywhere, and were partially responsible for the “west coast sound” of the ’70s and ’80s: Steely Dan, Toto, The Eagles, etc. It’s a nice-sounding design, cheap and simple to build. If you were to buy this in a store, it would cost well over $1,000. I’ve updated the design with new components. Last week I wired it all together, and it works! Sorta. There’s a little bit of hum, and it isn’t very loud yet, but it passes audio. Very exciting.

Here are a few more pictures for anyone who’s interested:

The preamp in progress

Comments (3)

  1. Ben (reply)

    November 17, 2004 at 2:45 am

    Hey, mike preamps! Now you’re talking! I spent too many hours of my college career analyzing mike preamps. We should talk!

  2. Anastasia Laity (reply)

    November 17, 2004 at 5:13 pm

    Nothing like the sound of a drill press at 10 pm to help send you to sleep…

  3. Jeff (reply)

    November 17, 2004 at 8:20 pm

    Really, analyzing preamp designs? I just rip them off. 🙂 I have some pretty high-level electronics books that I try to read once in a while, but ti never really sinks in. I’ve had a few people comment on my design, so I have some things to try when I get back.

    The drill press is cool. 🙂 Anna, you should post that picture, or send to me so I can post it.

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Published on: 14 November 2004
Posted by: jlaity
Discussion: 3 Comments