The MSS-10 is comprised of dual signal paths in a single unit, allowing flexibility in getting the best audio from a microphone to a recorder
Why the MSS-10
In the past, world-class engineers collected the best tube and discrete preamps, each for its own character. One for great top end, another for clarity, a third for punch, and still another for bottom. Over time, these preamps became almost mystical, credited for creating the magic of great recordings. In reality, those talented engineers just used the preamp that was least detrimental to the desired characteristic, struggling to maintain the magic of the performance.
The Martech MSS-l0 brings a new paradigm to mic preamps. The real magic of the MSS-l0 is that it does absolutely nothing. With nothing to cheat your audio you'll hear it like never before! No sideshow hype or tacky disappearing acts. Illusions of zip, zing, and whoompf can't satisfy once you experience real magic. Silky top, absolute clarity, knockdown punch, and fat bottom end to make your world go 'round. The MSS-l0 delivers the body and soul of the performance with astonishing
realism and immediacy. Real magic we call Natural Sound.
"Shockingly good" is a stunning endorsement from Bruce Botnick, a man who has heard it all. His engineering work, from the Doors to major motion picture scores, is driven by his passion for audio.
Bruce knows that the secret of legendary recording lies in capturing the excitement and beauty of the
original performance. He selects only the best equipment that faithfully reproduces every detail.
Bruce uses the MSS-l0 with his world-class mics over other well-respected preamps, because the
Natural Sound of the MSS-l0 delivers the real magic he strives for.
Features and functions
The preamp section uses two stages of gain from mic input to direct out, providing wide bandwidth and a stable design. It features 65dB of gain switched in 5dB steps, 48V phantom, 20dB pad and polarity reverse.
The line driver section can select the preamp out or a balanced line input. This makes a great EQ insert point. The level control adjusts continuously from infinity to +10dB, allowing for riding of gain. The addition of a mute and professional VU meter allows the finest audio quality possible to be sent directly to the recorder. Engaging the Cal button provides precise VU monitoring of the selected source.
Not only does it sound awesome, it looks like a piece of art. The sophisticated, elegant appearance of the matte finish, nickel-plated faceplate matches your finest microphones while ergonomic knobs and lighted push buttons provide positional information at a glance from any angle. The beautiful package tells your clients that you own only the best.
A peek under the lid
Tracing out the schematic or unpotting the transformer will not reveal the secret of the natural sound of the MSS-10. Martech's Natural Sound Design Methodology uses the exquisitely sensitive human ear to guide all design choices.
Every component and circuit was listened to, individually and collectively, assuring the finest signal path possible. Thousands of hours were invested, listening for the subtlest differences compared against a wire.
As a result, the heart of the MSS-10 comprises proprietary, high resolution, high voltage, all discrete, non-inverting amplifiers along with a custom built, oversize input transformer. Special silver switches with redundant contacts are preconditioned with a stabilizing agent. Hard wiring avoids internal connectors. Carefully tuned DC servo amps eliminate the coloration of in-path capacitors, while improving bottom end response. Bipolar 24v rails provide true +24dBm output even into an unbalanced input.
Finally, unique grounding techniques and balanced impedance outputs are used to ensure a flawless interface to the outside world.
Microphone preamplifier section
Maximum Input: +22.5 dBu (@ 1kHz, THD 0.003%, 20 dB Pad In)
Maximum Output: +24 dBu
Input Impedance: 2,450 Ohms (@ 1kHz)
Output Impedance: 50 Ohms
Frequency Response: 10Hz - 20kHz (+0.5/-0.0)
EIN: -126.5 dBu Typ. (10Hz-20kHz, 150 Ohm Source)
THD+N: 0.0015% (20dB Gain @ 1kHz, +4dBu Out)
CMRR: 65dB Gain 60Hz 108dB 1kHz 85dB 10kHz 65dB
Line driver section
Maximum Input: +24 dBu
Maximum Output: +24 dBu
Input Impedance: 20k Ohms (Balanced)
Output Impedance: 50 Ohms
Frequency Response: 10Hz - 200kHz (+0.0/-0.25)
THD+N: 0.001% (0dB Gain @ 1kHz, +4dBu Out)
Power Rails: -+24V
Power Consumption: 10 Watts
Power Requirements: 100-120, 220-240 VAC
3u rack mount chassis holds 4 MSS-10s
Steel with matching nickel-plated faceplate
For months I have been searching for a recording chain to record the natural sound of my grand piano. I tried several preamps (NP2NV, Focusrite, DAV BG2, RME, Forssell, etc.) with an extensive collection of mics. Although many sounded very good it still did not sound like what I heard in the room. That is until I tried the Martech MSS-10. This is it! This unit is by far the most transparent sounding preamp that I have heard. I bought a pair of them.
If you're looking for a realistic, uncoloured, present, clear, detailed, natural, warm sound without sterility then you owe it to yourself to audition the MSS-10.