Chameleon Labs 7603-XMod Microphone Preamplifier and EQ

Hot-rodded with legendary UK Carnhill input and output transformers, this "XMod" edition of Chameleon Labs' 7603 preamp lends unique character to any source!
Proudly made in Seattle, Washington, USA, the Chameleon Labs 7603-XMod mic preamplifer retraces the path of revered, classic pre-amps of the past as well as Chamelon Labs' popular 7602. Chameleon has chosen to continue the tradition created by the 7602-XMod, allowing users to revel in the character and performance afforded by Carnhill's legendary English components.

Displaying the same high dynamics and low distortion as the "vanilla" 7603, the 7603-XMod simply provides a different character to the sound of the pre-amplifier.

Once your audio exits the input transformer, Chameleon Labs' circuit boards are carefully crafted to ensure the highest possible signal integrity. As a starting point, Chameleon developed a new discrete audio input gain stage based on a vision for a solid topology that provides extremely low noise, high dynamics and extreme bandwidth. All of the 7603-XMod's operational amplifiers used throughout the device are based on this topology.

The 7603-XMod features EQ stages with four different available adjustments--Variable High Pass, Low Frequency Shelving, Mid Frequency and High Frequency Shelving. Chameleon Labs engineers made a conscious decision to stay with the same, desirable, inductor-based topology that made the 7602 so popular, but implemented their new discrete Op Amp to drive signal through a new set of custom Chameleon-designed and manufactured inductors, providing the musicality you'll love to use.

The 7603-XMod's output stage is read more unique with respect to its design and performance. It can be described as a variable gain circuit that simultaneously adjusts both the input and output levels in order to generate a lower noise floor and extraordinary audio performance.

Features:

- UK Carnhill Microphone and Line Input transformers and Carnhill UK output transformer, all with mu-metal housings
- High resolution, low noise discrete audio circuitry
- Hi-Z Direct Instrument Input (TRS)
- Discrete Class A Electronic Topology
- Three band, inductor based EQ
- 48V phantom power for mic input
- Selectable 300Ohm or 1200Ohm Mic Input Impedance
- Custom VU meter (input/output) with calibrated ballistics
- Relay based selection of Line / Mic & DI Inputs
- Overload input and output indicators
- Reverse Phase Switch
- Universal, on-board power supply
- Proudly made in the USA in Seattle, Washington
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.p65Warnings.ca.gov.
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On Switch: Turn Pre Amp On - VU Meter Light
300Ohm / 1200Ohm Switch: Switch between 300Ohm and 1200Ohm input impedance for the mic input
48V Power Supply Switch: On/Off
DI Switch: Direct Input with 100KOhm input sensitivity
EQ Switch: Engages audio high pass filter and equalization circuits
Polarity Switch: Reverses the polarity of the audio signal
Mic/Line Sensitivity Switch: +20dB to +70dB of mic boost and -30dB to +20dB of line level adjustment.
High Pass Filter: Provides a 15dB/octave high pass filter at 40Hz, 80Hz, 160Hz and 320Hz
Low Frequency Equalization: Provides +/-15dB of Boost or Cut at 35Hz, 60Hz, 110Hz or 220Hz
Mid Frequency Equalization: Provides +/-15dB of Boost or Cut at 360Hz, 700Hz, 1.6kHz, 3.2kHz, 4.8kHz or 7.2kHz
High Frequency Equalization: Provides +/-15dB of Boost or Cut at 3.4kHz, 4.9kHz, 7kHz, 12kHz or 16kHz

Inputs:
- Microphone (XLR): Transformer balanced input, RF isolated
- Line (XLR): Transformer balanced input, RF isolated
- Direct In (1/4" TRS): High impedance instrument input

Input Impedance:
- Microphone: 300Ohm or 1200Ohm
- Line: 10kOhm line bridging from 600Ohm or lower source impedance
-Direct Input: 100kOhm

Sensitivity:
- Microphone: From -70dBm to -20dBm in 5 dB steps for 0dBm output
- Line: From -30 dBm to +20 dBm in 5 dB steps for 0 dBm output

Noise Specification: Better than -125dBm EIN between -80 and -40 dBm referenced to 600 Ohm input impedance, SNR 116dB at maximum output
Output Type: Transformer balanced and floating to drive 600 Ohm load
Maximum Output: +28dBu into 600Ohm load impedance
Frequency Response: 10Hz - 20kHz -0.5dB 10Hz - 50kHz -1dB
Indicators VU Meter Light: Power ON
Red Input Gain: Input Overload
Red Output Gain: Output Overload
Power Supply 100V - 240V (50/60Hz):
Switch mode power supply, fully shielded 3 amp peak output capability, quiescent consumption 0.5 Watts

Mechanical:
- 1RU Steel enclosure
- Aluminum front panel
- Laser etched graphics
- Milled aluminun knobs
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Base Item
Shipping Weight: 15.75 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 21 x 17 x 5 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 7603Xmod
For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Email: support@chameleonlabs.com
Web: http://www.chameleonlabs.com/contact
(1 ratings)
Submitted April 24, 2021 by a customer from charter.net
"Made in the USA!"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I did a lot of research before buying the Chameleon Labs 7603-xmod, when looking at 1073 Neve clones. I was gonna pull the trigger on the WA-73eq but the xmod was built in America with solid metal parts and UK Carnhill I/P and O/P mic/DI transformers, it's $150 more but well worth the price of admission to pro level gear. You can get clean or dirty when pushed on vox and it becomes a beast w/teeth! You can push it up were you can't even tell its on w/headphones but be careful it's very loud, with 70db of gain, I about crapped my pants when testing out vox, no hissing noise no nothing it's whisper quite. On acoustic running into DI was a revelation it made my Taylor ce214 preamp which I didn't ever really like plugged in sounded full of life I was blown away by the tone! If your looking for a 1073 type clone look no more, it's in the preamp big leagues for a song!
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