NAMM 2022: Heritage Audio Super 8 preamp & OST-8 500 Series enclosure
Spanish manufacturer Heritage Audio introduced the Super 8 and OST-8 2U rackmount units. The Super 8 is an 8-channel 73-style preamp and the OST-8 is an enclosure for 8 500-Series modules. Both have built-in 24-bit / 192kHz analog-to-digital converters and generous analog & digital connectivity (no USB though). Come on, let’s dig into it…
Heritage Audio Super 8 mic preamp with ADC
The Super 8 packs eight 73-style mic/line/instrument preamps and 24-bit/192kHz conversion in 2U rack space. Talk about a flex! However, the unit does not connect to a computer over USB or Thunderbolt. You still need an audio interface with enough line and/or digital inputs (ADAT, S/PDIF, AES/EBU) to take all that beautiful audio into your DAW.
The preamp circuitry represents another respectful take on the original timeless schematics. It employs Carnhill input and output transformers, as well as Tantalum and Styroflex capacitors. The pres top out at 80dB of gain which is more than enough for the most gain-hungry mics on the planet!
All 8 channels have individual 48V, LINE, PHASE, and LoCut (-3db at 80Hz) buttons and switches. The first 3 channels also have LO-Z buttons to change the input impedance from 1200Ohm to 300Ohm, PAD buttons to reduce input sensitivity by -20db, JFET D.I. circuits and sweepable LoCut filters.
The ADC component handles resolution up to 24-bit / 192kHz and can sync externally over WordClock. It offers three digital output options – ADAT, SPDIF, and AES/EBU.
The unit also has an implementation of inserts (send / return). For any of the 8 channels, you can choose to send the preamplified signal to an external processor and return it to the unit for conversion. This will greatly simplify your life when you start patching in some outboard EQ and compression.
Heritage Audio OST-8 ADAT Enclosure
The 500 Series OST-8 ADAT enclosure provides a clean-sounding, properly powered, and straightforward path from 8 500-series modules into your audio interface. It fits and powers “double wide” modules alongside power-hungry class-A and vacuum tube designs. Heritage Audio’s On-Slot tech promises maximum protection, filtering, and isolation for each channel. All 8 have their own individually regulated and isolated power supplies. That’s up to 400mA per rail per slot, or 1.8 Amps total (2.0 Amps non continuous).
The ADC component is 24-bit, 192-kHz and syncs over WordClock. Connectivity is established over 1x ADAT. Like the Super 8, the OST-8 too has a send / return (insert) implementation. Each of the 8 channels lets you send signals to outboard gear pre- or post- Series 500 processing and back to the unit for conversion. This also means the OST-8 is a viable 8-channel standalone converter with ADAT.
Another wortwhile feature of the OST-8 is Link which links channels in pairs from a rear panel button. This makes stereo and parallel processing way easier than routing a bunch of patch cables.
Price and availability information
All in all, Heritage Audio delivers two seemingly uncompromising units. I still cannot reason with the lack of USB connection for computers, though. But the manufacturer probably had very serious considerations for not implementing it.
The Super 8 (formally written Súper 8) and OST-8 ADAT are both available now from Heritage Audio dealers. The SSP (Standalone Selling Prices incl. VAT) in Europe are EUR 4399 for the Super 8 and EUR 1099 for the OST-8.
- Super 8 side: Heritage Audio
- Super 8 front: Heritage Audio
- Super 8 rear: Heritage Audio
- OST 8 ADAT front view with preamp modules: Heritage Audio
- OST 8 ADAT front: Heritage Audio
- OST 8 ADAT rear: Heritage Audio
Good on Heritage Audio. Not just for another Neve preamp clone, but for doing it right with ADAT digital out and output attenuators on each channel. This is more suitable for home studios than the AMS Neve version of this same preamp. Output attenuators are a thoughtful addition as well, which the Neve lacks.