Slate Pro Audio FOX Microphone Preamplifier
Old 7th November 2010
  #1
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Slate Pro Audio FOX Microphone Preamplifier

At AES 2010, we have unveiled the second piece in the Slate Pro Audio analog hardware line, the FOX mono and dual mic preamplifier.

Each channel of the FOX has two independent mic pre circuits.

"VINTAGE" is based on the classic discrete British pre. It has a fat and warm sound with a nice present midrange. It uses custom American made trannies and sounds great when you want classic vibe.

With one flick of a switch, you can activate the other mic pre circuit called "MODERN". This transformerless preamp is ultra fast, has extremely low distortion, and captures incredible detail. Perfect when you need to reproduce the snap of a snare drum or hear the moisture on a singer's throat!

Having the ability to instantly switch a mic source between such contrasting tonalities is cool, but we decided to go one step further.

When you activate "COMBO" mode, it takes the input stage of one preamp circuit and the output of the other! So when you are on VINTAGE/COMBO.. the front end is the VINTAGE pre and the backend is the MODERN pre. If you are on MODERN/COMBO, then the front end is the MODERN pre and the backend is the VINTAGE.

This provides the audio engineer with four distinct tonal variations to choose for each source. Each variation has a very unique character.

Other features are an instrument input, and a mono to stereo upgrade kit which allows you to convert a mono unit to stereo without needing a solder.

The FOX will be shipping next month in time for the holidays. Estimated street for stereo is $1599, and mono is $1299. Come see it at AES booth 1330!
Attached Thumbnails
Slate Pro Audio FOX Microphone Preamplifier-fox.jpg  
Old 7th November 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 

interesting
Old 7th November 2010
  #3
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jitterybit's Avatar
Looks cool.
Sure MODERN isn't shipping next month but COMBO and VINTAGE aren't still in beta?

sorry, couldn't help myself.
what's the max gain?
max amount of trim on output?
Old 7th November 2010
  #4
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VitaEtMusica's Avatar
 

This sounds really cool. Can't wait to check it out, Steven.
Old 7th November 2010
  #5
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Nice. Good work Steven thumbsup
Old 8th November 2010
  #6
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Very nice, I just hit you guys up via email for site pics!

War
Old 9th November 2010
  #7
Gear maniac
 
ampwax's Avatar
 

Gosh dangit Steven. Your making me broke. Stop it.
Old 9th November 2010
  #8
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bryan k's Avatar
what? No cool Vu metering?

Actually, i dont see any sort of metering at all....interesting......
Old 9th November 2010
  #9
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VitaEtMusica's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan k View Post
what? No cool Vu metering?

Actually, i dont see any sort of metering at all....interesting......
Cool mic pres don't have metering. They would automatically lose their cool status.
Old 9th November 2010
  #10
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Hi Bryan... recently it seems that pres tend to not have metering as its easy to use your recorder or workstation to set the levels.

But most important, we needed to find a way to keep the cost of this unit down to a reasonable price. Keep in mind that all Slate Pro Audio hardware is hand assembled by one person in El Segundo and uses only the top spec'd components.. so given the massive amount of circuitry that the FOX contains, it could get expensive really fast.

The prototypes at AES were fun to show.. but we've got a new faceplate design coming next week

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Some history on the FOX...

Doing what I do in the recording industry, I've become the gear-buying psychologist for many of my audio buddies. I get the same questions all the time.. "Do I get a Neve pre, or an API, or a Millenia????"

My answer to this question has been the same for years. "Get them all. You'll find uses for all of them."

If you can afford it, having different preamp choices to choose from is great. But last spring, I was talking to Tim and Greg, the hardware team for the Slate Pro Audio, and I asked them if we could put two unique preamp circuits in one channel.

They loved the idea and started in on the design. When I first heard the 73 style preamp, I thought it was brilliant sounding.. so warm and fat and lush.. The modern preamp was equally as impressive.. It was super precise and detailed and has now become my go-to snare pre because of the way it picks up the stick attack.

So after getting my wish for two pres in one circuit, I decided to see how far I could push Tim's tolerance.. and asked if there was another sound we could add to the circuit. The simple answer, due to real estate in the one rack unit box, was NO.

This was a bummer. While two distinct options would be really useful, three would be even better.

Greg saw how adament I was about this, so he got Tim and I on the phone to tell us about a cool idea he had. "What if we do a combo of the two preamps?"

It was a complex project to be able to combine the front ends and back ends of BOTH pres, but Tim is a genius and was able to make it happen.

So we ended up with four unique tonal variations that give the engineer a lot of versatility. I can't wait for you guys to hear it!

And thats the story
Quote
1
Old 9th November 2010
  #11
Gear addict
 
dasindevin's Avatar
 

i am actually glad my lunchbox just filled up! this seems like it will be my next hardware purchase (been looking for something a bit neve-y)

The aesthetics of the dragon were pretty darn cool as well - so i really look foreward to seeing/hearing more!
Old 9th November 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 
bryan k's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slate Press View Post
Hi Bryan... recently it seems that pres tend to not have metering as its easy to use your recorder or workstation to set the levels.

But most important, we needed to find a way to keep the cost of this unit down to a reasonable price. Keep in mind that all Slate Pro Audio hardware is hand assembled by one person in El Segundo and uses only the top spec'd components.. so given the massive amount of circuitry that the FOX contains, it could get expensive really fast.
its all good, i was merely playing around. I just thought it would be a nice LOOK, but i would sacrifice without it for saving some $$ any day.

Any chance you guys will do some audio demos comparing it to other preamps? I was in the market for a decent preamp for a while now......seems like this might be the one i was waiting for.....
Old 9th November 2010
  #13
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Yes we've got a lot or preamps here from some other great developers that people are familiar with... So we'll make some audio demos soon. thumbsup
Old 10th November 2010
  #14
who are those Tim and Greg guys?

are they known in the audio business having designed something? (no piss intended.. I just stoped buying gear from unknown gear-designers.. ).

except that, the functionality looks interesting.
Old 10th November 2010
  #15
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Hi George.

Tim Caswell has designed some of the top gear in music over the span of his 35 year career.. most recently he is the genius behind the electronic design of the Slate Pro Audio DRAGON.. which has earned top reviews in Tape Op, Mix, SOS, Studio Magazine, and is used by many industry pros like Jay Baumgardner, Chris Lord Alge, Justin Neibank (newest Taylor Swift has it all over), Brett Chassen, Griffon Boice, Michael Wagener...

Tim is also the designer of Studio Electronics, who make gorgeous hardware synths and effects used by many of the top names in electronic music production.

Tim also owns Caswell Amplification and makes an automateable amp called #39 that is based on his legendary Marshall mod used by Slash, George Lynch, and every other major guitar rock band in the eighties and ninties.

To sum it up, the man is a genius, and I believe the FOX will be the next amazing hardware piece to add to his already prestigious legacy.

New Fox faceplate photos coming soon..
Old 10th November 2010
  #16
Gear addict
 

I hope the new faceplate is as sexy as the dragon's!
Old 16th November 2010
  #17
Gear nut
 
Goldfish's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Necola View Post
(no piss intended.. I just stoped buying gear from unknown gear-designers.. ).
Tim Caswell "unknown"?

LOL
Quote
1
Old 16th November 2010
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldfish View Post
Tim Caswell "unknown"?

LOL
I didn't know him. Apologies.. now I know who he is and I can start buying this Fox... maybe I won't but I could.
Old 16th November 2010
  #19
Lives for gear
 
True North's Avatar
 

Love to see this mic pre in a 500 series
Old 24th November 2010
  #20
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GYang's Avatar
Tim is cool guy from what I've learned before.
Fox looks like interesting piece thumbsup
Old 24th November 2010
  #21
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
I am so excited for you guys to hear this box. We just did a shootout the other day and the FOX performed remarkabley well. The depth, clarity, detail, and versatility are outstanding. Tim is indeed the MAN.

And the new Davey Suicide designed faceplate is BITCHIN.
Old 25th November 2010
  #22
Gear addict
 
s34nsm411's Avatar
 

Looks nice!!! The next logical step... make a SPA microphone!
Old 25th November 2010
  #23
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Tom H's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slate Press View Post
Other features are an instrument input, and a mono to stereo upgrade kit which allows you to convert a mono unit to stereo without needing a solder.

Estimated street for stereo is $1599, and mono is $1299!
Could you eleborate on this? Will a stereo unit be like a linked pre with only one set of controls? If so this thing is going to be very cool for stereo devices wich need make-up gain, think folcrom, pullet and the new amtec compressor. With all the coloration options this should be a great way to use it.
Old 25th November 2010
  #24
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Audio Child's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H View Post
Could you eleborate on this? Will a stereo unit be like a linked pre with only one set of controls? If so this thing is going to be very cool for stereo devices wich need make-up gain, think folcrom, pullet and the new amtec compressor. With all the coloration options this should be a great way to use it.
I agree! Great thinking!
Old 2nd December 2010
  #25
Gear addict
 

when can we see the new faceplate?
Old 4th December 2010
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Mind-Over-Midi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slate Press View Post
I am so excited for you guys to hear this box. We just did a shootout the other day and the FOX performed remarkabley well. The depth, clarity, detail, and versatility are outstanding. Tim is indeed the MAN.

And the new Davey Suicide designed faceplate is BITCHIN.
I hope the faceplate is just as unique as the dragon's, I really like that look, something different! I'm looking forward to checking out these pres as I need to put a few more in my rack.


Old 4th December 2010
  #27
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Davey's FOX faceplate is absolutely stunning. I'll get some pics posted asap.
Old 7th December 2010
  #28
Lives for gear
 
YOHAMI's Avatar
 

I think I will be getting one
Old 16th December 2010
  #29
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ARIEL's Avatar
 

Hey Steve ! any pics the on the faceplate yet ? Are you maintaining the same look as the Dragon ? which looks excellent by the way .
Old 17th December 2010
  #30
Gear addict
 
dasindevin's Avatar
 

Talking release just in time for the holidays?

which holiday... st. patty's day?
Sarcasm aside i am pretty stoked to hear examples, see the new faceplate and beat my bank account into submission with this pre...
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