elysia skulpter 500 Series Microphone Preamp

500 Series Mic Preamp with Discrete Class A Topology, Dual Sound Shaper, Intelligent On-board Dynamics, Variable Highpass Filter, and Balanced DI Input

Sale priceRs. 84,057.00

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elysia skulpter 500 is the ultimate recording front end. Its audiophile preamp is based on single resistors controlling a fully discrete Class-A amplifier capable of complementing any microphone with a remarkably true and natural sound.

If additional mojo is needed, two variable saturation/filter stages and an intelligent onboard compressor make voices and instruments sound like a finished record right from the start.

Way more than just a preamp, the elysia skulpter 500 is a complete recording solution – everything you’ll ever need in front of your DAW.



Audiophile Gain Staging

skulpter uses an audiophile topology for setting gain: Fixed resistors switched by a cascade of relays and electronic switches. 

This setup is controlled by an encoder with 20 steps per rotation, providing a total of 40 gain values in 1.5/2 dB steps (total gain range: 3 – 65 dB).

The actual mic preamp and the direct input have a separate gain value each. If you change from Mic to DI or vice versa, the gain will automatically change accordingly. 

When skulpter is powered off its current gain setting is saved automatically, so the preamp will start with exactly the same amount of gain on the next session.

Dual Sound Shaper

The very open and natural sound character of skulpter can be shaped by two independent combinations of saturation and tweaked filter curves:

Shape One: Instruments

The first ingredient to achieve that big, fat sound is adding harmonics (THD). The intensity of this saturation is determined by the input level and the amount of preamp gain. The resulting sound is huge, with a massive body but no harsh peaks at all.

Shape Two: Vocals

Vocals benefit from the same saturation enhancement; and, like a tube-like characteristic curve, this results rather in musical soft clip limiting than in actual distortion.

Variable Low Cut

An essential standard tool for any preamp is a low cut for reducing low frequency rumble.

Instead of just a single or maybe two fixed frequencies, skulpter offers a variable low cut filter with a wide frequency range from 10 Hz to 375 Hz.

The slope of the filter is 12 dB/octave, and its amplifier is a discrete class-A design optimized for especially transparent performance.

Pure Polarity Reverse

The Phase Reverse function has been designed to eliminate the need for an additional inverting amp.

This means that reversing the phase will not add any additional circuitry to the signal path, so the sound will remain the same in both positions of the switch.

Switching the phase from normal to reverse (or vice versa) will automatically trigger a signal mute for a few milliseconds to avoid cracking and popping noises.

Intelligent Onboard Dynamics

An integrated compressor operated by just a single knob. Its potentiometer sets the threshold based on a fixed 3:1 ratio and a soft knee characteristic.
The all discrete class-A circuitry provides a premium quality audio path, and the RMS detector has been optimized to react noticeably well on vocals and instruments. 

This alone makes for a very musical and unobtrusive dynamics section on a par with the best compressors the market has to offer.

The compressor’s easy one-knob-operation is supported by elysia’s signature Auto Fast function, which will automatically reduce the attack to its shortest value when strong impulses and transients require it.

Balanced DI

An integrated front panel JFET DI makes it perfect for amplifying and shaping many kinds of different signals coming from guitars, basses, synths, effects…
The high input impedance of one megohm allows users to directly plug even instruments with passive pickups into the preamp without the danger of a mismatch causing dull and lifeless sounds. On the other hand, the input can handle high levels of up to +19 dBu!

The high amount of headroom and the fact that you can feed both balanced and unbalanced signals into this DI make it the perfect terminal for line signals – which will benefit big time from the purity of skulpter’s preamp with its amazing sound shaping and dynamics features.

Signal Mute Switch

Pressing the mute switch instantly reduces the output level to zero. While in this state, instruments can easily be changed on the DI, cables can be swapped, mics can be replaced by others – without blowing ears or speakers.
In addition, the mute function comes in really handy for canceling source signals from the recording room when silence is needed for listening to playbacks.
Apart from the dedicated switch, the elysia|skulpter automatically soft starts with the mute function enabled for a short moment, which avoids nasty surprises when powering up.

+48V Phantom Power

skulpter generates its own 48V phantom power on board, so this critical supply voltage is completely independent from the quality of the specific rack frame being used.
Whenever phantom power is switched on or off, skulpter shortly mutes its output to avoid cracking and other unwanted noises in the signal chain.

Note: In order to avoid accidentally activating or deactivating the phantom power supply, the corresponding button must be pushed for a period of 2 seconds to toggle its function.

Multifunction Meter

The fifteen LEDs of skulpter’s meter provide four pieces of vital information:

Input Clipping: A single LED located at the top of the meter will light up if clipping is detected at the input of the preamp. If the input does not clip, it means that the rest of the signal path is good as well. The LED increases in brightness to reflect the intensity of the overload.

Compression Intensity: Another single LED located at the bottom of the meter shows the amount of compression applied to a signal if the dynamics section of skulpter is active. This LED also changes in brightness to visually represent the amount of compression applied.

Level Meter: Thirteen LEDs in the middle of the meter show the output level of the preamp. For smooth transitions between different values instead of erratic flickering, these change in brightness, too. Level related effects of the compressor and sound shaper sections can be monitored on this meter as well.

Gain Indicator: If the Gain encoder is pushed, the level meter will turn into a gain indicator. In this case, the scale printed on the right side of the LEDs will apply, and the meter will show the amount of gain the preamp currently generates.

elysia skulpter 500 Features:

  • 500 Series mic preamp with compressor and saturation
  • 100% discrete Class A topology
  • Audiophile-grade gain staging
  • 65dB of gain, sufficient for low-output passive ribbon mics
  • Dual Sound Shaper: variable saturation/filter stages for instruments and vocals
  • Intelligent onboard compressor
  • Variable highpass filter
  • High-headroom, balanced DI input
  • Multifunction meter
  • 48V phantom power; Phase (polarity) reverse
  • Signal Mute switch
  • Stepped controllers for precision and repeatability

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