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Monday, July 6, 2015

New Music Gear Monday: Chandler Limited REDD.47 Mic Preamp

The records that were made at Abbey Road Studios back in the 1960s are still revered for their great sounds, and one of the reasons is the excellent consoles built in-house by EMI engineers.

One of their most famous is the REDD.47 model (REDD stands for Recording Engineering Development Department), and now the preamp from this vintage desk has been exactly replicated by Chandler Limited so you can put a little of that early Beatles sound on your tracks too.

The Chandler Limited REDD.47 mic preamp is a single-channel tube unit that features the usual bevy of controls with a few differences. The preamp features both course and fine gain controls, but they're stepped just like on the original desk, with course being in 5dB and fine in 1dB increments. There's also a 20dB pad that can be inserted via a switch if needed.

The REDD.47 also features a "Rumble Filter" (high-pass filter) that is out of the circuit in it's far left position but varies in frequency up to 180Hz as you turn it clockwise. Right below that is a variable output control. There's also a polarity switch that curiously engraved as "Pole," and a 48V phantom power switch.

Unlike the original device, the Chandler REDD.47 preamp has a front panel 1/4" jack along with a switch to select either the mic or DI input. The rear panel is as simple as you can get, with just a female XLR for input and a male XLR for output.

This preamp is quoted as a "Holy Grail" device where the sound difference between it and most anything else can be immediately perceived. One downside is that it only has 57dB of gain, so if you're using some low output ribbon or dynamic mics (like an SM-7), this might not be the best choice, but that seems to be the only caveat about the unit.

The Chandler Limited REDD.47 mic preamp retails for around $2300 for a single channel, which is pretty steep considering that you can get 2 channels of great preamps for the same price from numerous manufacturers. That said, if you want something that has a sound that's in a class of its own, this is the one to try.

Check out James Ivey's review below for more info.

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