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Chandler Limited Germanium Preamp/DI
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The Germanium pre-amp design by Chandler Limited designer Wade Goeke uses classic germanium transistors in all class A, transformer-balanced circuits...Read More
The Germanium pre-amp design by Chandler Limited designer Wade Goeke uses classic germanium transistors in all class A, transformer-balanced circuits. The use of germanium devices opens a whole new sound palate not found in any pro audio equipment currently manufactured.
These incredibly smooth-sounding transistors were the basis of the earliest transistor designs by Neve, EMI, Telefunken, and Fairchild. Those familiar with these units can attest to the special sound of the germanium transistor. The Germanium series runs on +40 volt power, high current, and has a huge +34 output before clipping. The sound is warm and smooth, as with many vintage style circuits, but you'll find a whole new world of smooth audio here as well as a sound that settles in perfectly to your tracks without fighting. Add these new circuits to Chandler's new transformer line that combines the best parts of Chandler's favorite trannies, St Ives and Gardners, into new great-sounding input and output transformers.
This is your standard input gain control. It is a 10-position Elma switch with 3dB step increments. The full range of the unit is -5dB, with the pad, to +65dB, without the pad and Germanium Drive and Feeback at full. The actual amount of overall gain, however, is affected by feedback control. When the gain is at 0 and the feedback is at 0, the overall gain is +10dB. Increasing the feedback to 10 changes the overall gain to +40dB, with all the tonal changes described under the feedback control. Using different combinations of feedback and input gain is essential if you want to take advantage of all the tones available from the Germanium pre-amp.
The Feedback control is essential to the sound and function of this pre-amp. Audio amplifiers incorporate some amount of negative feedback, which is where the output signal of the amplifier is fed back to its input. This affects the sound and function of the amplifier in many ways. THD, frequency response, gain, and amplifier stabilization change considerably with varying feedback. In use, you will find these results: When feedback is at 0 the unit will produce more high frequency information, less THD, less gain, and generally a more pristine, clear tone. Pushing the feedback higher will add THD, gain, a small bass rise, and a small high-end roll-off.
A 15dB Pad switch. Do not be afraid to use the pad on the unit as you will not find the adverse effects associated with many pads. The Pad is also very helpful with discovering all the tonal variations that the Germanium is capable of producing. Use the Pad when you are driving the Germanium very hard to keep the output levels in a usable range. Another important use for the Pad is to drop the gain to a line level while sending tape/disk tracks or line sources into the transformer-balanced rear input.
The Thick switch adds a gentle low end rise to the signal. It sounds simple but all of Chandler's beta testers commented about this being their favorite part of the unit. One said, "Why don't you just wire it in permanently?" and, "It's great for making large, meaty guitars."
An LED meter that functions in two ranges. The ranges are from -12 to +3 and +5 to +20dB. You can select the range with the pushbutton to the left of the meter.
This is an unbalanced input for guitar, bass, samples, etc. Simply throw the toggle switch and you're off.
48 volt switches phantom power.
Reverses the polarity of the pre-amp's output.
Special note about Thick switch
In some cases, when extremely high gain and feedback are used with transformerless microphones, you may get oscillation from the Germanium pre-amp. This is a very rare occasion, but Chandler thought it was worth mentioning. This was not compensated for in the final design for two reasons. First, any correction of this changed the sound of the pre-amp. Second, it happens in very rare instances when a combination of Gain, Feedback, Thick, and a transformerless mic are used, and all oscillation can be removed when the Pad is engaged.
Requires PSU-1 power supply (#187896) (sold separately).
The PSU-1 can power two Chandler Limited units. External power supplies ensure noise-free sound and lengthen component life since noise and heat shielding need not be built into the design of the preamp.
Power Supply not included (sold separately).
Warm, Organic, and Chandler's Most Vintage Sounding Pre Amp Yet.
- Gain/Germainium Drive: Standard input gain control, a 10-position Elma switch with 3dB step increments. The full range of the unit is -5dB, with the pad, to +65dB, without the pad and Germanium Drive and Feeback at full.
- Feedback control: When feedback is at 0 the unit will produce more high frequency information, less THD, less gain, and generally a more pristine, clear tone. Pushing the feedback higher will add THD, gain, a small bass rise, and a small high-end roll-off
- A 15dB Pad switch for when you are driving the Germanium very hard to keep the output levels in a usable range, or to drop the gain to a line level while sending tape/disk tracks or line sources into the transformer-balanced rear input
- Thick switch: adds a gentle low end rise to the signal
- An LED VU meter that functions in two ranges: from -12 to +3 and +5 to +20dB, selectable with the pushbutton to the left of the meter
- DI/Unbalanced In: unbalanced input for guitar, bass, samples, etc
- 48-volt switching phantom power
- Phase: reverses the polarity of the pre-amp's output
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Comments about Chandler Limited Germanium Preamp/DI:
Very warm with the feedback knob all the way up on 10, but cleans up very nicely as the feedback is rolled off. It is noisy and too noisy if you want to use highfeedback and high gain setting at the same time. I bought this preamp to compliment my axe fx ultra (preamp/processor) and it adds a very upfront sound to my guitar tone. Its more realistic than before and after a week of mesing with, now it sounds just perfect. The thick switch thickens up your picking attack in a subtle and pleasing way. I recommend using the pad if you want a slightly more compressed sound which I like for lead guitar. I play jazz and this thing is going to be great for guitar, bass, snare......it really excells on guitar. Its has a warm resonence thas so musical.
Comments about Chandler Limited Germanium Preamp/DI:
I consider the Germanium to be completely unique. It has a natural low end that you would only be able to achieve through equalization with other preamps. I was told to use it on the kick drum but I found it to be too "boomy"in my opinion. I use it primarily on guitars, bass, piano and vocals with outstanding results especially going to 2" tape. An example of where I found it very useful was when I was recording a Telecaster through a VOX AC-30. It helped remove the "shrill" sound of this particular guitar/amp combination. The vocal sound I achieved was similar to the Beatles' "REVOLVER" album.... like the track "FOR NO ONE". Now I'm not saying that I sing as well as Paul McCartney by any means but you can certainly emulate that "tone". (I used a NEUMANN U-87) Although it is rather pricey for a single channel I would recommend at least one of these for your preamp collection as it provides a sound not currently available with other products on the market. I'm not the type of person who likes to fiddle around with audio "gear" all day, I just want to get the job done as quickly as possible. With a preamp like the Germanium you just plug in and go!