Pro-Music-News Recording and Studio

Manley's TNT mic preamp offers two colours in a single 1 U chassis

Announced in late 2005, Manley starts shipping their 2-channel TNT (Tubes No Tubes) microphone preamp in spring 2006. The TNT offers two different and discrepant mic preamps in one box for two different colours. One channel is the exact same micpre as Manley's Slamwith tubes and transformers. The second preamp is a fresh "No Tubes" design and is inspired by old British console preamps without being a clone of anything preexisting. Both channels are designed around the basic goal of “just plug a mic in and it sounds great.” The tube channel excels on traditionally difficult sources like some bright guitars, reed and brass, cymbals and some vocals. The "No Tubes" channel might be more suited for smoother vocals, drums, bass and raunchy guitars.
The Manley TNT is a new concept in microphone preamplification for those who often need choices. Manley Labs saw a need for a different unit that truly offered a rainbow of high-end preamp colors at an affordable price. The preamps' features include a variable impedance with typically near-zero gain changes. When one changes impedance settings, one hears the effects of how this changes microphone and cable characteristics as opposed to other approaches which mostly take the preamp out of its ideal conditions. Thers is also a 3-way impedance switch on the tube side that compensates for the typical gain changes.
The TNT features a concept of controlling its output in a unique way. The engineer can dial in the amount of "Iron" with a single knob. With the knob centered, you get the basic untouched sound of the output transformer, turning the knob counter-clockwise reduces the effect of the transformer thru zero and into the negative zone or 'anti-iron'. Turning the knob clockwise allows one to exaggerate the transformer effect to about triple.
A toggle switch labeled "Clean", "60's" and "70's" offers an opportunity to easily add vintage colours and controlled overload dfrom sub5tle warmth to heavy grunge.
There are of course all the usual front panel features such as phantom power, phase switch, HP filters, LED overload and level indicators, and instrument inputs. Phantom is soft-switched and shunt regulated for lowest noise. The LED meter is set up to indicate first and second stage clipping, even though the output is capable of greater than +30 dBu. Both the current mode and voltage mode preamps sport EIN numbers of 130dB, very close to the theoretical minimum noise possible.
TNT 2-channel microphone preamplifier
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