Speck Electronics MicPre 5.0
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The 5.0 In Use
Several engineers have been testing and using the MicPre 5.0 in real-world sessions at Sea Note Recording in Myrtle Beach, SC. I think when the MicPre 5.0 first arrived a few months ago it might have gotten lost in favor of more expensive mic pres, but after a while it has gotten more and more use. Now the MicPre 5.0 gets used a lot — on almost every session.

The MicPre 5.0 is not overbearing with its own particular sonic personality; instead, it lets the source come through clearly and well-presented. It was a surprise to us when we found ourselves often reaching first for the MicPre 5.0 for a bass DI. The frequency response down to 10Hz [and up to 200KHz] certainly lends itself to a nice round and very low bass. This pre excels at capturing the nuances of acoustic guitars. I recently had a session tracking sequenced songs from a Korg Triton to RADAR, and the MicPre 5.0 was just the ticket for some of the tracks that were more bell-like and clear in tone and needed to be presented in the mix with a minimum of sonic color from the mic pre. On vocals in which an uncolored mic pre is preferred, the MicPre 5.0 sounds accurate and musical.
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Gain Range (Mic)
70 dB total
+10 to +60dB in 5dB steps
-10/+10 variable trim
D.I. input impedence
50k ohms
Gain Range (D.I.)
-20 to +40 dB in 5 dB steps
Max. output level (10k load)
+28dBu at active outputs
+24dBu at transformer output
THD+N (Gain +40, Output +12dBu)
002% nominal
HP Filter
30Hz-250Hz (12dB/octave)
Noise EIN (22Hz-22kHz)
-126 dBu (150 ohm, 60dB gain)
Phantom Power
+48V regulated
Freqency Response
10Hz-200kHz (+0/-3dB)
HxWxD=1.75" x 8.5" x 8.00"
(44mm x 216mm x 203mm)
Mic input impedence(10Kz)
4.6k ohms
5 Lbs. (2.27kg)
Maximum input level
+18dBu (without pad)
+30dBu (with 20dB pad in)
Power Requirements
100-120 VAC 50-60Hz
220-240 VAC 50-60Hz
Features such as the variable high-pass filter and the selection of either transformer-balanced output or the active-balanced output are a pleasure to have on this mic pre and really assist in fine-tuning the sonic shape of the input signal.

The Mix Node section of the MicPre 5.0 makes this pre particulary attractive for location recording and for desktop DAW users without the need for an additional external mixer. If you're involved in A/V production or voiceover work, the MicPre 5.0 would make an excellent, economical and expandable addition to your system. If you don't need the extra capabilities of the Mix Node, don't worry about it. The mic pre section is where the business end of this box is and why you should seriously consider adding this pre to your studio. In fact, there are so many signal routing possibilties on this pre, I doubt many users ever would get around to using all of them.

If I had to make my list of things I'd change about the MicPre 5.0, I'd put a power switch on the front and — for my eyes — change the color. On the other hand, the list of what I do like about this pre is as long as my arm. I highly recommend the MicPre 5.0 and would place it as the most feature-laden mic pre available under $1,000.

Audio soundclips of the Speck Electronics MicPre 5.0 as well as other mic pres can be auditioned at The Listening Sessions. For more information about Speck Electronics and the MicPre 5.0, please visit their website at www.speck.com.

Dan Richards is a Contributing Editor for Digital Pro Sound and is currently producing The Listening Sessions.

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