Manley Core Reference Channel Strip Microphone Preamplifier

Combining elements of Manley's most-loved outboard gear in a musician-friendly mic preamp/EQ/compressor/limiter, the Core makes it easy to get a great sound.

Building upon its 25-year legacy producing revered recording studio equipment, Manley Labs has distilled its CORE technologies from this lineage. The Manley CORE is an innovative channel strip that combines Manley's Greatest Hits with fresh technology. The remarkably intuitive front panel combines musical and forgiving circuitry that allows the musician to concentrate on his performance instead of being lost in a sea of knobs. Ease of use and intelligently chosen operating points make it virtually impossible to cut a bad sounding track!

Manley's experience and insight working with the industry's top recording engineers and musicians culminates in the CORE. At this price, there is no other channel-strip with higher headroom or more seductive sound than the CORE. Handcrafted in the USA, built like a tank, built to endure, the epicenter of your recorded art will be the Manley CORE.

The signal enters through our renowned hand-wound MANLEY IRON input transformer with nickel laminations in a mu-metal can. The tube amplifying stage is an implementation of our famous Class A circuit topology found in the VOXBOX and Manley Dual Mono & Mono Microphone Preamplifiers. This all-triode vacuum tube circuit runs on a regulated 300 Volt B+ supply yielding huge headroom and relentless output drive capability.
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm -

- Balanced XLR Mic Input
- Balanced XLR Line Input
- Front Panel Direct Instrument 1/4" Input
- Insert point between Mic Preamp and EQ/Limiter via ¼” TRS jack
- Balanced XLR Direct Output (after Preamp/Compressor section)
- Balanced XLR Main Output

- ALL-TUBE preamplifier audio path using 1 x 12AX7 for gain and 1 x 6922 White Follower
- Balanced Transformer Coupled XLR Microphone Input Impedance: 1200 Ohms
- Balanced XLR Line Input Impedance: 10 kOhms
- Unbalanced 1/4" Direct Input Impedance: 10 Meg Ohm
- Hi-current drive Direct XLR output Impedance: 50 Ohms
- Silent conductive plastic INPUT attenuator
- Microphone preamp high pass filter starting at 120Hz with a 6dB/8va slope
- Compressor Maximum GAIN REDUCTION: 16 dB
- Compressor ATTACK time: 60ms slowest CCW, 30ms at 12:00, 5ms fastest CW for 6dB compression
- Compressor RELEASE time: 1.5s slowest CCW, 1s at 12:00, 100ms fastest CW from 6dB compression
- Maximum Input Mic input (Low Gain Setting): -5 dBu or 435mV RMS @ 0.5% THD
- Maximum Input Mic input (High Gain Setting): -25 dBu or 44 mV RMS @ 0.5% THD
- Maximum Input Line input (Low Gain Setting): +13 dBu or 3.5V RMS @ 0.5% THD
- Maximum Input Line input (High Gain Setting): -8 dBu or 300mV RMS @ 0.5% THD
- Maximum Input Direct input (Low Gain Setting): +24 dBu or 12V RMS @ 0.5% THD
- Maximum Input Direct input (High Gain Setting): +17 dBu or 5.5V RMS @ 0.5% THD
- Maximum Input Insert return: +20 dBu or 7.8V RMS @ 0.5% THD
- Maximum Preamp Output (Insert Send): +35 dBu or 43V RMS @ 0.5% THD
- Maximum Preamp Output (Insert Send): +22 dBu into 600 Ohms
- Maximum Main Output: +20 dBu
- Insert Send output impedance: 50 Ohms
- Insert Return input impedance: 13 kOhms
- Main Output Impedance: 50 Ohms
- Direct Output Headroom (referenced to +4 dBv): 31 dB
- Main Output Headroom (referenced to +4 dBv): 16 dB
- Dynamic Range: >90 dB
- Frequency Response: 10 Hz to 20 kHz +/-0.5 dB
- Large LED illuminated VU METER
- Meters switch to read Direct Output (1) from preamp, Output (2) from Main Out, or Compressor Gain Reduction
- THD & Noise (1kHz @ +4 dBm): 0.02% at Low Gain setting
- Noise Floor (Gain set to minimum): -70 dB wideband typical
- Gain via Microphone Input: 40 or 60 dB
- Gain via Line Input: 20 or 40dB
- Maximum Gain of EQ & Limiter section: 10 dB
- AUTOMUTE warmup delay: 30 Seconds
- Power consumption: 35 watts
- Operating mains voltage: 90 to 254 VAC (internal universal supply)
- Mains Voltage Frequency: 50-60Hz
- Deluxe CNC-machined 1/4" thick faceplate with inlaid laser-engraved inserts adorn the rigid 2U steel chassis -- all locally sourced in Southern California
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Base Item
Shipping Weight: 11.75 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 23 x 11 x 8 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): MCORE

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 909-627-4256

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars. (2 ratings)
Submitted April 15, 2023 by a customer from

"Exactly what I was looking for"

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I’m aware there’s lots of preferences out there, but in my opinion this thing is just incredible. I’d heard “musical EQ” described, but never truly experienced it until now. Again, everyone has their preferences. This might not be for you. However, if you like a truly musical EQ, CLEAN preamp, and solid limiter look no further. If you follow the manual closely, it goes a long way when using this amazing piece of gear!
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