RNP8380 — Really Nice Preamp
— Main Features —
• Two-channel micpre in 1/3 rack size.
• Pristine Class-A, very low distortion
• Pad-less operation up to +28dBu
XLR input levels.
• Maximum output level of +28dBu.
• Innovative circuit design.
• Accurate & repeatable gain switch.
• Accurate signal level metering.
• Front-panel unbalanced DI high
impedance (>1M Ohm) instrument
input on each micpre.
• TRS insert jacks facilitate easy
patching of external effects w/o
interrupting the output connection.
• Balanced input and output.
The RNP is a pair of separate micpres providing up to 66dB of gain at vanishing low distortion levels in a compact 1/3 rack format. The RNP possesses all the features you'd expect from a professional preamp: accurate signal metering,1MΩ input impedance DI inputs, high input level capability (up to +28dBu input), high-capacity phantom power supply, sealed relay switching for invert/phantom functions, gold-plated 12-position gain switch, TRS insert between preamp stage and output driver, +28dBu TRS-balanced outputs, 5kΩ differential input impedance on mic input, plus features like output muting during phantom engage/disengage and battery or AC mains operation.
The RNP was designed with sonic neutrality in mind without sounding "clinical" or sterile. There's very little coloration—no unexpected frequency response peaks and valleys—across the very wide frequency response (125kHz) at every gain setting. Particularly, there's no variation in the preamp's low frequency response as a function of gain setting. Basically, what you put into the RNP you get out with very little additional effect.
Modern opamps—little miracles of the semiconductor age—make the design of decent-sounding preamps up to 50dB, or so, an almost trivial exercise. It's the last 10 to 15dB that really uncovers the flaws in amplifier design. The RNP's design uses a unique configuration that permits Class-A operation of a discrete transistor pair that almost completely erases the non-linear effects of Vbe and emitter bulk resistance that dog traditional preamp circuits. Additionally, special circuitry constantly measures and adjusts circuit parameters to eliminate gain-control path capacitors and avoids costly individual-trimming to achieve low-distortion, high-CMRR performance required in commercial audio settings over the life of the preamp!