HAIRBALL LOLA Mic Pre
Designed by Mike Mabie of Hairball Audio to fill the gap between hifi and colored, the Lola is truly the best of both worlds. Clean and open while adding a thick richness, it’s unlike anything else in your rack.
Fully assembled and tested version of the JE-990 Discrete Op-Amp
Built to the specifications of Deane Jensen’s now famous JE-990 paper published in the February 1980 AES journal. The Hairball Audio version of the JE-990 utilizes a bottom layer mounted SSM2212 Analog Devices dual matched transistor. Op-Amps arrive fully test with a 48 burn-in. Tested for 12V-24V bipolar supplies.
- Ed Anderson 10468 input transformer
- Ed Anderson 1166-500 output transformer
- Aluminum PCB L-Bracket
- Powder coated faceplate
- 65 dB of gain
- Line switch for make-up gain on line signals
- Phantom Power
- Polarity switch
- DI input
- Stepped Grayhill input gain
- T-Pad output level
- 10 segment LED metering with selectable +4 VU or peak mode
API (and compatible) Lunchbox and VPR500 racking systems.
Fully built to perfection in Canada with a 1 year warranty.
These can be also build to order.
Extra info taken from Hairball site
The Lola mic pre maintains a completely differential signal path from input to output lowering noise. In addition, because there are two op-amps in parallel, available output drive current is increased. This results in a lower output impedance improving the transformer’s performance and overall, increasing the maximum undistorted gain. In this regard, it’s similar to running a single op-amp design on 24V rails.
Our transformers, custom designed by Ed Anderson, are meticulous recreations of the original 10468 input and 1166 output transformers found in the 1073 console channel strip. Modern recreations from larger transformer winders tend to focus on improving specifications, which washes out the original character and tone that made these transformers so famous.
The gain stage provides 65 dB of clean gain in 4.5dB steps utilizing a Grayhill rotary switch. The 600ohm; Bourns t-pad on the output, allows the user to fine tune the gain setting or pull back and drive the gain stage.
There are three illuminated push-button switches to select phantom power, phase and line mode. Activating the relay controlled line mode, flips the input transformer making it a step down input. This allows the user to use the Lola on line level material. A pad has not been included due to the low ratio and large adjustable gain of the Lola. A 1:1.75 ratio input means the Lola has a lowest gain setting of 15.5dB reducing the need for a pad.
The DI accepts a ¼” unbalanced cable; inserting a cable activates a relay that controls DI/Mic in circuitry. The DI passes through 2 FET buffers creating a differential signal to feed the 10468 input.
The light pipe LED meter has selectable VU and Peak metering. Though the VU mode is actually average metering (90% of RMS), it’s calibrated to VU metering with little effect on peak mode. 0dB on the meter scale represents +4 (1.23V) in VU mode. A simple resistor change allows the user to have 0dB equal to 0dB (0.775V), if preferred. Peak mode displays the peak value of the waveform in the same scale.
Metalwork made in the USA:
The front panel and L bracket are both made in the USA . As a nod to the original 10468 input transformer, the durable front panel is finished with a textured powder coat and the knobs are machined aluminum providing plenty of grip for the Grayhill rotary.