Dave Hill Designs is proud to introduce a totally unique design concept in microphone pre amplifier technology, The Europa One. High fidelity preamp with an harmonics controller.
After years of design to prototype to production we feel the recording industry is ready to experience a feature packed Europa One!
Included are the standard functions such as phase, phantom power and an instrument input. The microphone input has 3 input impedance choices which are 2.2K ohms for normal microphone operation, 300 ohm and a Hi-z choice for different microphone sounds. The instrument input has an impedance of 1.2 Meg ohms which is ideal for guitars. The gain over all is adjustable in 1db steps from 0 to 66db on the mic input and 0 to 30 db on the instrument input. Gain is displayed on a 2 digit led display. The low cut filter which is a 3 pole, 18db per octave has 8 frequencies 148 Hz, 130 Hz, 117 Hz, 100 Hz, 81 Hz, 63 Hz, 48 Hz, 33 Hz, and off.
Unique to the Europa pre-amp are 3 controls for changing the color of the pre-amp. The first control is a SPEED which changes how fast the pre-amp can respond. The control goes from 0 to 8 with 8 being the fastest rate, and 0 being very drastic. The even harmonic control provides 9 levels of color from 0 to 8, and the odd harmonic control which also has 9 levels color with the 0 setting being the cleanest in both cases. These three controls are a series analog process so that the even harmonic control affects the sound of the speed control and the odd harmonic control affects the sound of both the speed and even harmonic controls
All the controls; gain, speed, even harmonic, the odd harmonic controls are stepped which makes it easy to recall settings.
The level meter has a 0 VU reference point of (+4dbu) with one db steps going to +20 db above 0VU and to -25 db below 0 VU with the steps being larger than 1 db below -16 db.
The maximum output level is +24 dbu balanced with the maximum balanced input level of +24 dbu at 0 db of gain. This allows the Europa 1 pre-amp to be used in a mix environment for coloring.
Europa 1 is a preamplifier that is constructed with 91 transistors in it's main audio path and it is of discrete Class A topology. The preamplifier controls are either traditional pre-amplifier type controls or color controls. It is also necessary to understand that distortion may not sound like what one normally thinks distortion is. Distortions can be very pleasing colors - sounds.
Allow a 20 minute warm up period for optimum operation.
The gain display shows the firmware version on power up, this is the left most digit of the gain display
The gain control circuit uses some of the latest technology that allows digital gain control over analog circuits. The preamplifier circuit with it's gain control elements has 1 db gain steps that range of 0 db of gain to 66 db of gain. The maximum signal level is +24dbu. Balanced in, balanced or unbalanced out. The 0 db gain setting allows for post processing during mixing, and eliminates the need for a pad switch. Gain is displayed on a 2 digit display.
Other standard preamplifier type control functions are also available. They are, phase flip and 48 volt phantom power.
The input impedance of the mic preamplifier has 3 choices.
The HI-z selection is in the range of 200K ohm and will provide very little loading of the source. The second position has an impedance of approximately 2.2K ohms. With the third position having an input impedance of 300 ohms for color choices.
Speed is the first control in the color set. All color controls are series connected. They affect each other. The speed control changes the slew rate of the preamplifier. This is the same as rate of change. The result of this is that low level signals are unaffected, but a large signals that changes quickly will be slowed down.
The even harmonic control changes the amount of even harmonic content. This is a color that can thicken a sound and is very difficult to describe. This is mostly second harmonic.
The odd harmonic control changes the amount of odd harmonics that are added to the audio path. Odd harmonics can make a sound brighter and the way this control works it can also add detail and a compression effect. The compression happens because of amplifier overload.
The hi-pass filter is a third order 18 db pre octave filter of a type that has good time domain response. The filter has 8 frequencies 148 Hz, 130 Hz, 117 Hz, 100 Hz, 81 Hz, 63 Hz, 48 Hz, 33 Hz, and off.
The instrument input has 1.2 Meg ohm impedance and has a gain range of 0 db to 30 db. The input impedance switch should be set to HI-z. The other settings will load the instrument pre and cause gain loss an increased distortion. This may or may not be useful
The meter is calibrated so that 0VU on the meter is +4 dbu, the top of the meter shows +20 db above +4. The maximum level is +24 dbu.