Black Lion Audio Auteur MKIII: 2-Channel Transformer-Coupled Microphone Preamp
Black Lion Audio is known for the reasonably priced analog gear it makes with its expertise in modifiying and restoring vintage equipment. Reaching its third revision, the Auteur is a whole lot of mic preamp that fits on your desk and costs USD 419. It’s also BLA’s take on ‘Chicago-style sonic bliss’ delivered by 2 preamp channels with a characteristically thick low-end.
Black Lion Audio Auteur MKIII
The Auteur mkIII design incorporates a modern front-end described as ‘fast and transparent’. To the contrary, the output stage is vintage-inspired, complete with a Cinemag transformer for deliberate coloration. This approach is said to make for a versatile preamp that would sound appropriate with just about everything.
In addition to 3-pin XLR, both channels feature line-level inputs and Hi-Z switches to record line level (synths, samplers) and magnetic pickup instruments (guitars, etc.). The chassis is compact and portable, but solid enough for transport. Also included are removable rack ears to mount the Auteur MKIII as a half-rack unit.
Additional features include -10dB pad, 48v phantom power, and polarity reverse switches for each channel. The available gain is 62dB per channel. Balanced TRS line outputs are the sole output option. Maybe there wasn’t enough room, or even need for XLR outs? The unit measures 4 inches (10.16cm) by 10 inches (25.4cm) with a depth of 9 inches (22.86cm). It weighs 3.1lbs (1.4kg). A kilo and a half of preamp joy? Gimme some!
Price and availability
The Auteur MKIII will be available for order shortly through Black Lion Audio’s distributors (such as Thomann) with a suggested sale price of USD 419 / EUR 419(excluding VAT). Want additional choice? Black Lion Audio has a pair of compact preamps in its catalog – the BLA B173 and B12A. These have more of a vintage preamp edge.
- Black Lion Audio Auteur MKIII front: Black Lion Audio
- Black Lion Audio Auteur MKIII rear: Black Lion Audio