All discrete signal path using our True Class A BE40 amplifiers at the input and BE50 high current line driversto excite the Lundahl LL1517 output transformer. The topology is quite different to most other mic preamps in that it is balanced from input to output. The instrument input features our BE43 "bootstrapped FET" high impedance interface that really pumps as a bass DI.
The Elixir is an ideal compliment to other 500 series preamps that feature a dark or middly sound. The wide frequency response and fast transient response plus color from the output transformer generate a "warm sweet liquid" sound quality that sets it apart from that crowd. These attributes make the Elixir particulary good at recording percussion, drums (you need to hear it on snare), vocals and stringed instruments. When used at high gains and high output levels the sound of the Elixir does not turn "dirty", unlike preamps with poor slew rate performance thereby generating dynamic distortions.
As with all our preamps, the Elixir noise floor is as low as we can make it under the laws of physics and there is plenty of gain for low output ribbon and dynamic microphones. The output headroom at +34dBu is outstandingly unique in the 500 series format, and adds a feeling of real effortlessness to the sound quality. The transformer-less mic input presents a "non-reactive" load to the microphone which means you hear exactly what the microphone manufacturer intended, without the unpredictable nature of an input transformer.
GAIN - 41 detented pot that sets gain between +22 to +70dB.
POLARITY - normal or reverse polarity switched at the input inverts the signal 180 degrees, used to match spaced microphones such as top and bottom snare drum..
20dB PAD - this switch introduces a 20dB pad right at the mic input for high level signals. Because it is part of the input circuit network, using the pad does not change the sound of the preamplifier.
IMPEDANCE - selects high or low input impedance. For the mic input it is 3kohms or 1kohms. There is no right or wrong setting for this function but it can change the tone of dynamic and ribbon microphones. When using the DI input it is switched 1MEG ohms or 20k ohms, which may similarily alter the tone of bass or guitar pickups.
+48V - switches on the phantom power for condensor microphones and powered DI boxes.
METER - four leds give visual indication of peak output level.