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The Unmistakable Vintage Sound of Vintage Tubes & Transformers

From beautiful glowing vocals, natural acoustics and punchy drums to overdriven and saturated classic tube warmth, the two channel 286A preamplifier offers a huge sonic palette for engineers and producers to explore.


Super Premium Cinemag Input & Output Audio Transformers


Set Gain Staging for Clean & Natural To Thick & Overdriven; It's Your Choice!


Pick Either High-Quality Circuit Board or Classic Handwired Assembly


20dB Pad, DI, Polarity, High Pass, Impedance & Phantom Power

The Affects of Varying Phantom Voltage

Most externally powered condenser microphones have been designed by the manufacturer to work within a standard source voltage range of 44 to 52 volts. When given a voltage in this range, these microphones perform at their best possible specifications for frequency response, distortion, as well as headroom and self-noise. Each of these attributes are not connected, but instead are independent of one another and can vary from microphone to microphone. We have found that by raising or limiting the available voltage and current to microphones designed to use the standard 48 volt phantom power, the resulting sound can be altered in creative ways as to broaden the scope of each of each microphone's use. 

Since the maximum voltage allowed to be fed to a condenser microphone must be 52 volts or lower, as dictated by the IEC 61938 Standard, the Locomotive Audio Copperline offers a voltage range up to 52 volts. At 52 volts, the performance of the microphone will likely be at its maximum, offering clarity, a more even frequency response (as noted in the mic's specified frequency response chart) and lower distortion specs. As the phantom power source voltage is lowered (as far as 9 volts), the internal electronics (amplifier and/or capsule) of the microphone will operate outside of their "optimum" range and, therefore, will offer changes in performance. Some of the more extreme changes can be described as "low-fi" and "grungy", but the engineer may find great sonic performance at any voltage between 9 and 52 volts. After, this is what we love most about the error of analog. In the end, there is no such thing as "perfect" in our art of audio!


As an audio engineer, we know you want to use the best equipment to shape your sound. You deserve gear that's always in tip-top shape and shouldn't have to worry about when something goes wrong. Rest assured, we guarantee the gear we build by backing it with a lifetime warranty.

286A Preamp Recording Mag Review

“I would place the 286A between the REDD.47 and the SOLO/610. It's more open and clean up top than the 610, yet rounder than the REDD.47.”