Crescendo is SPL’s new 8-in microphone preamp. It has a discrete construction with proprietary high-voltage amplifiers, SPL’s own SUPRA operational amplifiers, and an internal operating voltage of +/- 60V.
With 120V total internal voltage, it’s virtually impossible to overdrive the preamps, SPL says, which is a significant innovation. It gives SPL the right to claim clean and distortion-free amplification appropriate for the unit’s premium price tag. If you are after sonic purity, this is the kind of tech you probably need in your life. There virtually no signal colouration whatsoever, says SPL.
The input differential amplifiers of the crescendo are made with transistor pairs, each combined in a separate housing. Precise component matching of the transistors and thermal coupling are implemented with the goal of high common-mode rejection and lowest possible THD (total harmonic distortion) values, according to SPL. The signal flow is fully balanced, which is rare for a preamp.
The discrete op-amps of the output stage have no problems driving long cable runs, SPL says. Meanwhile, the output stages work as current amplifiers with more than 6 mA quiescent current on tap in pure Class-A operation. SPL dispensed with coupling condensators to avoid their sonic disadvantages (diffusion, lower dynamic range). They also employed active servo circuits in place of DC components for improved sound quality.
Each of the eight preamp sections of the SPL Crescendo has individual controls and VU meter, as well as a phase reversal switch, phantom power, a -20dB PAD switch, and a switch for the VU meter level (VU -10).
Price and availability
The SPL Crescendo is available now with a suggested retail price of EUR 4,999.