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TL's top-of-the-line 2-channel tube preamp with military-spec components.
The PA-1 Dual,Pentode is TL Audio's top-of-the-range preamp, producing a stunning sound from any source. The PA-1 offers several improvements over its best-selling forerunner, including a raven blue 6mm aluminum front panel, General Electric US military-specification ECC83/12AX7A valves, gold-plated ceramic valve bases, and circular back-lit VU meters which monitor output level. Internal circuitry has been refined to offer smoother frequency response around the valve stages and provide extra output gain, thus enabling easier interfacing with digital recorders.
All microphones from inexpensive dynamics to top-quality condensers produce a fuller, more open and more vibrant sound when fed through the TL Audio PA-1, Instruments fed through the dedicated front panel DI input take on added weight and presence. Separate input and output level controls offer the ability to drive the valve stages harder for increased warmth while simultaneously controlling the overall output level. Switchable high- and low-pass filters, LED level indicators, and a phase reverse facility are refinements that make the PA-1 Tube Preamp a natural choice for any track laying or direct-to-tape recording situation.
The PA-1 differs from TL Audio's standard hybrid preamp design. It features a transformer-coupled mic input followed by a low-noise, high-gain EF86 pentode valve. Two further triode valve stages (supplied by 250v DC) are incorporated into each channel. The instrument input bypasses the transformer and feeds straight into the pentode valve. TL Audio's usual high-drive solid state output stage completes the signal chain.
About TL Audio
TL Audio began manufacturing audio products in 1990, when the company, founded by Tony Larking, was largely involved in the restoration and reselling of vintage equipment such as Neve and Trident recording consoles. The first TL Audio products were original Neve EQ modules, which were taken principally from broadcast consoles and repackaged to make them suitable for music production studios. A little later, Tony Larking joined forces with David Kempson, a leading designer at Neve for nine years.
By 1993 the demand for used valve outboard equipment had become very strong but most models such as the original Pultec and Fairchild valve devices were already extremely rare and expensive. There appeared an obvious gap in the market for brand new affordable valve products and the result was TL Audio's first valve product - the EQ-1 Dual Valve Equalizer. This product revolutionized the studio market by offering reliable, flexible, great sounding valve processing that was within the budget of most studios. The EQ-1 quickly attracted the interest of mainstream engineer/producers, with the first two production models going to Roy Thomas Baker (who had produced many of Queen and Foreigner's early recordings) and Chris Porter (who was working with George Michael and Take That).
The EQ-1 was the first of what became known as the 'Classic' range, and was followed by what has become possibly TL Audio's best known product - the C-1 Dual Valve Compressor, which shot to stardom as Chris Fogel's mixdown compressor on Alanis Morissette's multi-million selling Jagged Little Pill album.
Today, TL Audio has become one of the most respected names currently manufacturing Pro Audio equipment. According to designer David Kempson, "Our hybrid design approach was not chosen to cut costs: we created it because we genuinely believe it is a better way of producing valve processors. It makes them consistent, reliable, quiet, and - best of all - it means that by gearing ourselves up for large-scale production we can make the products affordable as well. Every studio deserves to benefit from the advantages of valve signal processing - with our products, we make that possible."
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PA-1 Dual Pentode Tube Preamp