Standing out from the crowd, the Buzz Audio Elixir Class A microphone preamp offers exciting and vibrant tones in the 500 Series format. It features an all-discrete signal path using True Class A BE40 amplifiers at the input and BE50 high current line drivers to 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 Buzz Audio's BE43 "bootstrapped FET" high impedance interface that really pumps as a bass DI.
MOJO, NOT MUD
The Elixir is an ideal complement to other 500 series preamps that feature a dark or muddy 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 particularly 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.
SPECS THAT MATTER
As with all Buzz preamps, the Elixir noise floor is as low as possible under the laws of physics and there is plenty of gain for low output ribbon and dynamic microphones. The output headroom at +34 dBu 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.
CONTROLS AND FUNCTIONS:
- GAIN: 41 detented pot that sets gain between +22 to +70 dB
- 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
- 20 dB PAD: introduces a 20 dB 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 3 kOhms or 1kOhms - there is no right or wrong setting for this function but it can change the tone of dynamic and ribbon microphone, when using the DI input it is switched 1 mOhms or 20 kOhms, which may similarly alter the tone of bass or guitar pickups
- +48V: switches on the phantom power for condenser microphones and powered DI boxes
- METER: four leds give visual indication of peak output level