A-Designs Pacifica - If you're looking for a preamp with the depth of a Neve, the clear midrange of API, and the top end of a Massenburg, you'll find all that in the Pacifica by A Designs. In fact, that's what people who have access to all of the above are saying about the Pacifica.
What makes Pacifica different?
In the early days of large recording consoles there were but three companies that were dominating the studios. Quad Eight was arguably considered as one of the best sounding at that time.
A Designs Pacifica brings back the sound of the Quad Eight console of the '70s (Pink Floyd's The Wall and Boston's More Than a Feeling were mixed on Quad Eight), which in its day was considered the best of the top three - the other two being Neve and API.
The A Designs Audio "Pacifica" recaptures this legendary sound with a preamp unlike any you have heard before. No wonder the Pacifica was nominated for the Mix Magazine 2006 Tec Award!
If you're a small studio that can only afford one really good preamp, give the A Designs Pacifica some serious consideration.
A-Designs Pacifica Features :
- Custom wound input and output transformers
- Direct Inject Hi Z
- Custom cast aluminum knobs
- Balanced XLR output connectors
- Red LED Phantom Indicator
- Blue LED power indicator
- On/Off power switch and internal power supply
- Toroidal power transformer
- Single rackspace
- Lots of tone without tubes!
- All solid-state design
- 72dB Gain
- -20dB Pad
- 48v Phantom Power
- Phase Switch
What we're going to do is go back... WAY back!
...back into time... to the early 1970s, when the recording industry was starting to bloom with the new technology of solid state. (Dig?)
Hit products were pumped out as fast as hit record--one after another. There was a creative industry within the audio world. It was, without question, a golden age. Some companies that emerged during that period were Neve, API, and Quad Eight. Although it's been decades, the benchmarks they set are still held as industry standards today.
Little is known about Quad Eight, though many feel that they were the best in their field. While debating is usually best left to the history books, A-Designs took up the challenge to take a closer look into the past and decide on its own.
With much research, interviews, and listening, we came up with a product that we feel needs to see the light of day again. With Quad Eight Ventura, Coronado and Pacifica console preamplifiers for reference, we closely examined the design and composition of the heart and soul in the consoles of these great pieces. After much design, A/Bing, and beta testing, the result is a solid state, single space, rack mounted, microphone pre amplifier from the "glory days."
Cloning being what it is (same old same old), we decided to head outside the box and make the tribute something other than the legacy. We added our own touch to bring it to present day applications of the recording world.
And so the new A-Designs PACIFICA was born.
Our thanks go out to Tom and Dave at CineMag for the great work on the transformers.
Custom wound input AND output transformers
In building any mic-pre with soul, one of the most important elements are the transformers. A Designs actually tracked down the original drawings for the old Quad 8 console transformers and went one step further - they convinced the son of the original Quad 8 designer to rebuilt them for A Designs -by ear-by hand. After many prototypes of core alloys and experiments in winding techniques, the sound of the A Designs Pacifica was born. Employing sonically crafted input and output transformer pairs, the Pacifica's sound is unlike anything on the market.
Direct Inject :
Unlike modern transformer-less designs, The Direct Inject front panel input is designed to go directly to the input transformer for fullest sound. The Pacifica offers extraordinary tone to today's guitar, bass and keyboard players.
Color Scheme :
A Designs Audio wanted to keep the look of the old Quad Eight consoles with its Pacifica; the faceplate is a creamy off-white and the cast-aluminum knobs are red along with the red and gray switch caps. All of these are duplicates of the original colors from that era. The Pacifica is as distinctive in looks as it is in sound.
Pad, Phase and 48v :
The Pad is a -20dB, the Phase reverses Polarity, and the 48v is a full 48volt Phantom Power supply for condenser microphones. These three features will provide you with all the tools necessary for a great sound.