Boutique audio company Black Lion Audio has announced the availability of the B173 mkII and B12A mkIII — British-style (1073) and American-style (312A) portable preamps packed into convenient half-rack-sized units.
Simply speaking, Black Lion Audio’s B173 mkII is the most portable 1073 ‘British sound’ around! As such, it uses the same Cinemag input and output transformers that are found in the company’s ‘full-size’ B173 Quad mic preamp to duly deliver a whopping 70dB of gain, alongside a revamped gain stage and a lower noise floor for a cleaner, lower distortion sound.
Sonically, the front panel-positioned Hi-Z IN (high impedance input) brings a harmonically rich tone to guitars, keyboards, and synthesizers, while the stepped input 1073-style GAIN and variable OUTPUT LEVEL attenuation knobs allow for flawless control over transformer saturation. 48V phantom power and phase inverse controls round out the front panel.
Representing the most portable 312A ‘American sound’ around, Black Lion Audio’s B12A mkIII uses the same Cinemag input and output transformers that are found in the company’s ‘full-size’ B12A Quad preamp to duly deliver a whopping 70dB of gain — just like its B173 mkII half-rack-sized sibling. Similarly, the front panel- positioned Hi-Z IN input also brings a harmonically rich tone to guitars, keyboards, and synthesizers, while the stepped 312A-style input GAIN control allows for perfect recall. Remaining on the front panel, there are also 48V phantom power and phase inverse controls, plus an 18dB PAD, while the B12A mkIII’s rear panel-positioned XLR IN and TRS OUT connections mirror those found on the B173 mkII.
Pricing and Availability
The B173 mkII is available to purchase through Black Lion Audio’s growing global network of dealers/distributors (https://www.blacklionaudio.com/dealers) with a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) of $449.00 USD and an SSP (Suggested Selling Price) of €449.00 EUR (including VAT). The B12A mkIII is available to purchase through Black Lion Audio’s growing global network of dealers/distributors (https://www.blacklionaudio.com/dealers) with a MAP of $399.00 USD and an SSP of €399.00 EUR (including VAT).
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