CP5 Colour Mic Preamp
- Full Kit
- Step-by-Step Guide
The CP5 is the first microphone preamp to feature Colour. On its own, the CP5 is a reference-quality, 500-series mic preamp with copious amounts of clean gain. With Colour, the CP5 is the most tonally versatile preamp in the world.
World Class Preamp. The CP5 is a transparent, low-noise preamp based on the "clean wire with gain" school of design. The preamp's signal path features only best-in-class components, including WIMA capacitors and THAT Corp. ICs. Preamp gain and Colour are adjustable via stepped controls for easy recall and stereo operation.
Add Some Colour. Plug any Colour module into the CP5 to add some character to your preamp. Dial in the exact amount of Colour you want with the stepped Colour control. Switch between tone and transparency with the Colour bypass switch. The CP5's preamp works with or without a Colour installed.
Beginner Friendly. Like all our kits, the CP5 comes with every part required and step-by-step picture instructions.
Full Features List
- Fully compatible with the 500-series format
- Stepped controls (21 positions) for easy recall and stereo operation
- Anodized black aluminum knobs and front panel
- Phantom power, polarity, -20dB pad, and Colour switches
- Mic preamp gain adjustable from +20-66dB
- Ultra-transparent, low-noise preamp
- No electrolytic capacitors or transformers in the signal path
- WIMA film coupling capacitors
- Based on the best-in-class THAT Corp. 1512 preamplifier IC
- Electronically balanced inputs and outputs
- Single Colour socket
- Colour control adjusts amount of Colour without changing overall gain
- Kit includes every component required to build the CP5
- Step-by-step manual and guaranteed support
What the Pros are Saying
"Undoubtedly the most flexible and variable mic pre out there. And if you know how to solder it’s at an unparalleled price point for its quality. Pro tip... it pairs extraordinarily well with DIYRE passive summing mixers for even more tonal flexibility on your mix bus or group buses."
J.Cole, Joe P, Spotify Singles
"This really is one of the most versatile and useful preamps on the market. If you like getting your hands on a soldering iron, it can be one of the most satisfying to own as well."
Dialing in drum sounds with the CP5 and Colours:
|Input Impedance||3.6k/7.2k (pad out / pad in)|
|Gain||20-66dB, unity gain with pad engaged|
Real analog plugins.
Colour is a new format for analog audio gear designed for and by the DIY community. We took our favorite sounding analog circuits and put them on modules that are small, affordable, and swappable.
The Colour format consists of Colours and Palettes:
Colours are ultra-compact, pluggable analog circuit blocks that impart various types of analog color. Check out our ever-growing selection of Colours. Colours can be designed and released by anyone.
I need to be honest...I was fairly-to-extremely skeptical about the CP5. I am blessed enough to have some really great pre's in my studio--I have a Great River rack and and an Aurora GTP-8. These things are heavy on the iron and huge in sound, but I can't justify spending any more major money on preamps. I'm mostly a bedroom musician at this point in my life, but I have more channels that need pre's, and less time than ever before. I've been making multiple passes since the 90's and quite honestly, I'm over it.
I built the CP5, then inserted a 15ips Colour. The expectation on my part was that the CP5 wouldn't integrate into my setup because it would be thin, or flat (or whatever "lesser than" adjectives there are) relative to the preamps I already had. Man, was I wrong...this thing kicks ass! I swapped out from my Great River into the CP5, dialed up the Colour for a bit of magic dust, and it sounded glorious. I am VERY used to how my preamps sound since I've had them for about a decade cumulatively, so if the CP5 didn't measure up, it would have been obvious. What I heard was/is something worthy of an award, or a WWE championship belt. This thing hangs. And with all the Colour options, I feel like I can complete the vacancies in my preamp arsenal at long last. I'm ordering 3 more whenever I can afford it.
Even though I paid for it, the CP5 is a gift. If DIYRE had been around 13 years ago, I would never have been short a preamp...and that is a beautiful thing.
I highly recommend the CP5 Preamp to all - not just those who like DIY electronics or those on a budget, but to anyone who wants a great mic pre.
Firstly, the build was very easy because everything was clearly laid out. The components were bagged and tagged, instructions were easy to follow, the sorting sheets with pictures were awesome, the interactive build tool made locating components a snap, and the ultra clear and readable markings on the board make it virtually impossible to misplace something. The build is a 10 out of 10! My opinion: It could easily be a first-build project.
I bought and built two CP5 preamps, then set up three mics and lined up the capsules. I ran mic one into my RND 511 with the Red Silk engaged at 9 o'clock, mic two into a CP5 with no color engaged, and mic three into a CP5 with Easy EQ Ge analog plug-in engaged. I recorded my Taylor 814ce and level matched the three mics as closely as possible. (Note: The Easy EQ Ge module boosts the signal by ~5 dB so I compensated via the gain knob rather than in post.)
My impression is that the CP5 sans Colour engaged was very similar to the RND 511. Yes, there was a slight tonal difference during critical listening with keen attention to A-B comps; however, I don't think it's a meaningful difference. Only a select group of audio engineers would ever notice, and even then I doubt one is "better".
The Easy EQ Ge does something magical. I attenuated the highs & lows a bit on the module..pure beauty.
We all know there are two schools when it comes to preamps. Clean or colored. This one gives you both, allowing you to switch your flavor at will using color modules or staying super clean. Honestly I thought the building process would be harder but it went super smoothly and the pre was built in under 2 1/2 hours, and trust me, I'm no electronics guru, not even close. Would I do it again ? Well, I already did it twice, and the next projects will be the EQ, Comp, and Palette kits, with a few color modules, in order to create a perfect dual mono / stereo topnotch, ultra versatile recording channel strip. Considering the overall quality, I'd have to pay thousands per channel to get comparable quality and versatility from a complete "high-end brand" system, compared to a few hundreds for the whole thing here with arguably similar or better results. So yes, I would definitely do it again... and probably get at least a few more CP5s with select color modules, just because I can and it's fun to have options... Do yourself a favor and give it a go. At that price point, it's a ridiculous deal.
I love preamps based on the THAT chips (and often their BB INA/OPA competitors), as they've been used in some of the best high-end boutique preamps, as well as channel strips in serious mixing desks. What I really like most about this version is that you get to choose whether to stay with a pristine clean sound, or to add the "colour" of your choosing.. and there are some very useful ones to choose from. They have plenty of clean, low-noise gain for dynamic mics. I was using a pair of these preamps as makeup gain for the passive SB2 summing box (network of resistors - works and sounds great), in an attempt to match the "sound" (or lack thereof) of my Dangerous Music D-Box, to expand from the built-in 8 channel limit, and add another 16 inputs to my summing. It matched up better than anything else I'd tried, and that should speak volumes about the sound quality, as the Dangerous products are highly regarded for their sonic abilities. For the summing purposes, I kept the "colour" out of the way while using the natural sound, of course. I've had great luck with various colour modules on mics, though, and especially liked the TM79 and JFT and 15IPS, and especially for some reason while using the SM7b dynamic mic, not that they don't sound great with ribbons and condensers. These are really versatile, great sounding, easy to assemble, and the price is right. What isn't to like here? Get some.
I have a simple recording chain as a VO actor. But I was unsatisfied with the sound using the pre built into my a/d box.... I had to almost peg the gain to get moderate sound. I took a chance on the CP5 and... wow. First, it's a lot of fun to put this together. The real proof though comes in the listening. The CP5 has so much gain, I can run it about 40% and turn the input on my pre down to 25%. The sound difference is subtle, but profound. A/B testing with fellow VOs universally preferred the sound of the CP5 in line, vs the a/d box alone. Fantastic product.... plus, I have the pride of saying I built it myself. :D