The C12X Discrete Transistor Op Amp
The heart of the Ventura and source of its ultra transparent audio is the C12X, a discrete transistor operational amplifier designed by Carl Johnson. Operating on +/-30VDC rails, the C12X is a high-gain, fast-slew, stable audio block with virtually no DC offset over the audio spectrum. Plus, it’s capable of driving a 50-ohm load at 50Hz with very little current draw. It’s used in the microphone preamp, instrument input amp, and main output/EQ output stages. The mic preamp itself is a single-stage, transformer-coupled design with balanced I/O. It includes phase reverse, -20 dB pad, +48V phantom power with LED indicator, and conductive plastic gain control pot. The preamp section feeds both the EQ section and a preamp output mult simultaneously.
True Three-Band Parametric EQ
The Ventura’s three-band parametric equalizer is also a unique design featuring 33 frequencies with three bands of overlapping ranges from 50Hz to 15KHz. Both the frequency selection and the +/-12 dB boost/cut controls are stepped for precise, repeatable settings. Each band has a Q switch with three fixed positions: Sharp, Wide, and Narrow. The low and high bands are peak/dip, but flipping the shelf switch changes their characteristic to shelf type. The shelving switch disables the Q feature on high and low bands only. When in the up position, the high/low filters insert the fixed 12dB/octave high- and low-cut filters, which work whether the EQ is in or out. And finally, the equalizer’s input/insert return provides direct input to the EQ, bypassing both the mic pre and instrument input.
Guitar/Bass Pickup-Friendly D.I.
Separate from the mic pre, the instrument DI is a single-stage, single-ended, high-impedance preamp that also benefits from the C12X. Designed specifically to counteract the negative effects of guitar/bass-pickup loading, it includes a front-panel 1/4″ jack and gain pot. This section also feeds the EQ and preamp output mult simultaneously.
Combining transparency and sonic versatility with the ability to use its three sections independently, the A-Designs Audio Ventura gives you a “desert island” preamp that will serve any and all recording applications: studio or live sound, rock band or orchestral ensemble.
A-Designs Audio Ventura Mic Pre EQ Features
- Ultra transparent, solid-state mic preamplifier with 72db gain; instrument DI; and true, 3-band parametric EQ with high-and low-pass filters
- Mic preamp, EQ, and DI can be used together or independently
- Three specially designed discrete C12X operational amplifiers
- Jensen input transformer and custom Cinemag output transformers
- Toroidal power transformer
- Balanced TRS insert return/EQ input
- Separate gain controls for mic and instrument inputs
- -20dB pad, +48VDC phantom power with red LED indicator, phase switch, and on/off switch with blue LED indicator
- Balanced gold Neutrik XLR input, direct, and main output connectors
- Silver-contact, high-durability toggle switches with no relays
- Hand-built in the USA with audiophile-quality components including high-tolerance metal film resistors and high-quality polystyrene, polypropylene, COG, and bi-polar capacitors
- Single rack space steel chassis
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