Seventh Circle Audio N72 by analogexplosions
Talk about bang for your buck!
The Seventh Circle Audio N72 mic preamp kit is spectacular. The whole experience of building it was a real treat; so much so that at the end of it, I almost didn't care what it sounded like! Thankfully, it is absolutely there in the sound department as well.
SCA sells this module as a kit (along with many other, equally amazing ones!) with PCB board and all necessary components to complete the build. You provide the solder and iron, though. To have a working preamp, you have to purchase the 3U rack chassis, at least one module, the heavy duty power supply, and wire harness for supplying some juice to each module.
Unpacking the box, I was very, very impressed with the level of detail in packaging and organization. I expected hundreds of resistors mixed up and thrown into a zip-lock bag, but that wasn't the case at all! Everything was organized with the Bill of Materials, and even taped together in order! I felt that was above and beyond for sure.
The PCB board is very cleanly laid out, easy to read, and very sturdy. Each module takes about 3-4 hours to complete from start to finish. Not a bad way to spend the day! I completed 8 of these units over the course of a weekend.
The instructions and setup guide was very easy to read and informative. After the first one, I only needed to reference the guide for wiring diagrams for the input transformer.
With 8 completed modules, biased and ready to go, I installed them into the chassis, wired them all up, and installed the faceplate. The entire unit has to weigh ~50 lbs when loaded with all this beautiful Carnhill Iron!!!
The sound of the pre's themselves is stunning. Drums sound huge and 3-Dimensional. Guitars are in your face. Vocals sound smooth and warm. Pretty much everything I would expect from a 1272 type pre.
...and I have 8 of them. (for only $3k!)
Bottom line is: These things rock. I recommend them to everyone.