A 1930’s tube mic-pre: Coil Audio’s new CA-70
Coil Audio announced the most recent addition to their family of boutique pieces of audio hardware at Summer NAMM 2016. Building hardware based on vacuum tubes of yesteryear with NOS parts, they’ve developed a good reputation for their sound and achieving vintage looks. The CA-70 can be used as a mic pre and line-level mixing tool that offers additional coloration parameters and swappable transformers.
CA-70 Mic Pre-amp
Many believe that the electronics used in the 30’s was some of the best we’ve ever had in the history of audio. Whilst the recording medium of vinyl might have had its flaws, the electronics ‘on the way in’ was built without compromise. Simple signal paths provided by equipment with high voltages, spacious circuit boards with no expense spared on the components. These were believed to deliver the ultimate in high-fidelity sound.
With NOS parts including large tubes and transformers, the CA-70 is said to deliver the character of a vintage tube pre-amp, but it’s the simplicity of the design that makes it, potentially, shine. Having worked in and appreciated a studio with original vintage boutique hardware yesterday, I’m really keen to use one of these pre-amps.
Coil Audio have managed to keep the story simple whilst designing the unit for the modern studio. By attenuating the input via a set of pads, line level signals can be passed through the CA-70 for use when mixing with Pro Tools for example. There are some additional controls which can be loosely called an EQ, but in fact they adjust the frequency response of the amplifier, with a negative feedback and high and low controls.
There isn’t any information on Coil Audio’s website just yet, but now that Summer NAMM has passed it shouldn’t be long before it’s updated. Prices are hard to understand at present, but as a guide I believe the two-channel version will be around 2,799 USD.
Here’s a video from the Gearslutz YouTube channel, when Coil Audio announced the CA-70 at the recent Summer NAMM 2016: