Empirical Labs EL9 Mike-E Microphone Preamp

What do you call a super-low-noise mic preamp, Saturator analog soft-clipping circuit and Distressor-style compressor in one rack space? ELI calls it Mike-E!

With the Empirical Labs EL9 Mike-E Microphone Preamp, you get a spectacular sound, with effortless work, and features unlike any other device in its class. The Mike-E is a high performance transformer-coupled mic preamp with a noise floor far below any microphone's self noise, combined with a one-of-a-kind compressor/saturator circuit that delivers classic knee compression as well as versatile tonal "coloring" that can replicate many of the best characteristics of vintage analog recording equipment.

In today's modern age of digital recorders, DAWs and software plug-ins, Mike-E is the ultimate solution for getting a clean and strong, yet warm and musical signal into the box. And it couldn't be easier to work -- its front panel layout is so straight ahead that even inexperienced engineers will have no problem moving around on it right away.

Mic Preamp

This is a super low noise transformer input amplifier section with the gain under precise digital control. The signal to noise far exceeds any microphone in existence. Having used many mic preamps over the years, ELI has implemented a unique stepped gain control that should be impervious to the normal flakiness that age causes to pots and detented switches. A "Bad!" LED indicates when the input signal is overloading the circuit.


The CompSat's unique circuitry sets the Mike-E apart from all other mic preamps.


A multi stage soft-clipping circuit. At lower levels, a triode-type saturation affects the read more signal. As the level increases, a second unique clip circuit starts to more severely flatten out the peaks.


Based on ELI's world-famous Distressor, but with other characteristics (including a much longer attack time). Preset ratios include: 2:1, 4:1, 8:1 -- and, of course, Nuke.


A two-stage circuit that boosts and soft clips high frequencies before the CompSat circuit, and then cuts the frequencies after it. Emphasis has the added perk of improving signal to noise, and is the reason analog tape decks used emphasis to begin with.


Provides "parallel compression" technique achieved by mixing between the compressed and the dry (or uncompressed) signal. This can often help maintain transients and a sense of dynamic range while enhancing the low level nuances.
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.p65Warnings.ca.gov.
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- Freq. Response is 3 Hz to 200 kHz on (No CompSat). CompSat is 3Hz * 150Khz. Optional Transformer output is 6Hz - 80kHz.
- Signal to Noise - 130 dB signal to Noise.at 40dB gain. Maximum output is +28dBu.
- Distortion Ranges between .0006% and 15% depending on mode and settings.
- Transformer coupled Input, Active and Transformer Outputs available. High quality audio caps used internally.
- Input Impedance is above 600 Ohms at all frequencies, transformer coupled. Output impedance is less than 38 ohms. Instrument In Impedance is 332K Ohms.
- Attack/Decay Ranges - .9 - 70mS attack. .15 - 1 Sec.
- Power Consumption - 15 Watts Max.
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Base Item
Shipping Weight: 12 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 23 x 18 x 3 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): EL9- Mike-E

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 973-728-2425


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