Boutique gear maker Sonic Farm has introduced an interesting new hardware pre-amp — the Xcalibur JC. Based on the original Xcalibur pre-amp, the JC bears its name because it was designed in tandem with famous producer Joe Chiccarelli.
The way the story goes, Joe was testing the pre at Sunset Studio and came up with some requests so the unit could better suit his workflow:
- The 3-way attenuator switch was replaced with a master pot
- OD Gain now has three stages (mid/low/high)
- A 3-position post-drive Low Pass filter has been added
Everything else remains as on the Xcalibur Standard. Fashioned in striking red, the pre features 2 tubes per channel — one is for clean gain, the other for overdrive. The dual-stage overdrive makes it possible to go from clean to saturated, while a combination of JFET transistor and pentode tube presents a smoother breakup.
There’s a 3-position pre-overdrive filter to clear low-end buildups. The way the preamp is meant to be used, the clean signal blends with the tube stage to produce some pleasant harmonics.
Overall, this is a pretty cool pre, and having a producer like Joe Chicarelli endorse it will surely get it some love among the pro-audio crowd.
If you are asking for the price, Xcalibur Standard is USD 2224, while Xcalibur JC costs USD 2302. These are reasonable prices for a high-end preamp, so head to Sonic Farm if you are interested.