Melcor Electronics was an iconic late 60’s/early 70’s company, often regarded as the precursor of API. Their 1731 op-amp is still considered an ‘instant vibe maker’ and it has inspired a number of audio products over the years. This time it’s Black Lion Audio and their new Eighteen channel strip, according to the company “an homage to the classic Melcor sound, delivering the best of vintage vibes to today’s recordings”.
Eighteen features a mic preamp with Cinemag input and output transformers and two BLA1831 discrete op-amps, as well as a passive program EQ with a custom Cinemag inductor. In spite of that, this channel strip’s preamplifier circuit is not just another clone, but rather an homage built to pay proper tribute to one of the most classic designs in the world. Which is exactly why Black Lion Audio developed the BLA1831 — a customised, discrete op-amp created through an extensive period of component testing to deliver great vintage tone while still matching a noise floor that is akin to modern equipment.
Eighteen can be described as having a punchy midrange with a buttery-smooth top and bottom end. It also brings an impressive, original passive inductor-based equalizer featuring a custom-made Cinemag inductor to the musical proceedings, one that both discerning ears and those new to pro audio are sure to appreciate. As such, the results are amazing — a quiet and ultra-flexible equalizer that packs all of the vibe of anyone’s favourite program-style EQs.
But better still, Black Lion Audio designs, engineers, assembles, and tests each unit by hand in the USA!
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