Introducing the CP5 Mic Preamp Kit June 18, 2015 16:50
I'm really excited to share the news with you of our upcoming preamp kit. But let me get to your question first:
"Why release a new mic preamp in 2015? Isn't there enough water in the ocean?"
Fair question, and well asked!
I've wanted DIYRE to make a mic preamp since day one. And I'm not the only one—"diy preamp" is #1 search query that brings people to our site. It's also the #1 thing people type into our store's search bar.
But despite all the interest, we've been steadily disappointing preamp seekers since 2010. To be honest, I've just never felt we could bring something special enough to the table.
We don't do vintage clones; our friends at ClassicAPI and Hairball Audio do a great job of that. And we're not the kind of evil geniuses who cook up radical new designs; Eisen Audio and Louder Than Liftoff do that better than we could hope to.
What we do is make DIY kits that are radically affordable, exhaustively documented, and constantly improved via the feedback of a community of engaged DIYers.
I've never seen how we could use those qualities to produce a preamp capable of distinguishing itself... until now.
Introducing the CP5
The CP5 will be an ultra-transparent, single-channel preamp for the 500-series in beginner-friendly DIY kit form. And it will have three big features:
- The most affordable 500-series mic preamp on the market, bar none
- Stepped controls for quick recall and stereo operation
- Colour stage with separate gain control
High-End Parts, Low-End Cost
We're all about making great gear radically affordable, and the CP5 will be our biggest coup yet. We've managed to come in well below the bottom of the market on cost while matching the high end on quality. I anticipate that the price will cause people to underestimate the CP5's quality. But don't be fooled—there will be nothing "low-end" about the CP5. We're using exclusively best-in-class parts: WIMA film capacitors, THAT Corp. ICs, custom stepped controls, US-made metalwork, gold-plated circuit boards.
We'll reveal the exact pricing on 7/1, but the kit price will be about half that of the cheapest 500-series preamp available from retailers.
The most recent CP5 prototype
Transparent or Coloured
But what really makes the CP5 special is the addition of a Colour stage. With the ability to choose your tone from among the ever-growing variety of Colours, the Colour stage makes the CP5 the most versatile preamp ever. Add some transformer goosh with the CTX, tape saturation with the TM79, tube harmonics with the Pentode, etc.
The Colour control allows you to dial in the amount of coloration without affecting the overall gain of the preamp.
The Design Team
For the design we teamed up with GKL, a team of brothers Eric and Peter Gaskell who have quite literally dedicated their lives to the nitty gritty of audio electronics. They teach and research audio at McGill University. Eric was involved with the design of the AEA R84 ribbon mic and published an AES paper on the psycho-acoustics of op-amp distortion.
They've studied with George Massenberg (once they took me to a party where George had cooked a Mexican feast—yes, his golden touch extends to nachos). In short, mic preamps are in their DNA and I'm confident the electronic design couldn't be in better hands.
Pre-Order Beginning 7/1
Just like we did with the Colour platform, we'll be launching the CP5 with a pre-order next month. Final pricing and production photos shall be revealed then. Stay tuned here or join our newsletter to be notified the moment the pre-order is open.
Questions? Comments? Please let us know below!