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Preamps and Processors:
Preamplifiers (2 or more Channels)
Headway EDB-2 Dual Channel Blending Preamp with Mic Input
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Headway EDB-2 Dual Channel Preamp
This preamp is a real problem-solver. I've been searching for an good, relatively affordable option for blending a mic and a preamp. Certainly, with Acoustic Image and Grace Design, we have a couple really nice preamps to do that, but if you can't or won't justify spending $700-1000 for a preamp, there just don't seem to be very many choices. We used to stock a really well-designed preamp that was specifically engineered for blending a mic and a pickup on a doublebass -- but unfortunately, while the design was good, the execution wasn't, and we had to discontinue carrying that model for reliability problems.
This preamp, though, is just what I've been looking for. Designed and distributed by Headway, in Oxfordshire, England, this versatile preamp gives you two channels for instrument-level input. Those inputs have switchable impedance levels to get the optimal sound from various pickups. If that weren't enough, it adds an option for a microphone on one of the channels (with optional phantom power - its 18v is enough to properly power the DPA mic, we tried it ourselves!)... with all of those options, you have a real "solution box" that can do most anything.
It's kind of hard to get into the totality of all that this box can do without having your eyes glaze over, but I'll try...
The preamp has a 1/4" output for sending to your stage amp, as well as a DI output (for sending to the house soundboard/PA) on a standard XLR with a ground lift. There are separate gain controls for each channel, and a master volume (with a mute switch for when it's time to tune or take five).
- As I mentioned above, it has an appropriate input with phantom power, so it can run many condenser mics that can work with 18v power (the DPA 4099B mic works well). You can blend that with a piezo-electric OR magnetic pickup plugged into channel 1; so, a Realist, a Bass Max, a Full Circle, a Headway Band, a Krivo - even the Ehrlund EAP (I have heard from several people who have used the Headway in place of the OEM preamp from Ehrlund.)
- Or, you could blend two pickups; the two 1/4" inputs have three impedance settings each, so you can maximize the tone quality by tailoring each channel to each pickup. So if you want to blend a Realist and a Krivo, or a Bass Max and a BP-100, or... well, you get the idea.
- Or, you can use this preamp in place of one of the K&K Systems - like the Bass Master Rockabilly or the Bass Master Pro - because the channel-2 1/4" input can accept a TRS (stereo) input cable and split out the two channels for you to blend as you see fit. So it replaces the pocket preamp included with those systems (and we even sell the transducer networks separately, if you want to assemble a custom system - just ask!)
- You can even use it for jamming along with tunes at home - it has a 1/8" auxillary input that you can use for i-devices, MP3 players, and the like. Cool!
The semi-parametric, fixed-depth (-12dB) notch filter allows you to "dial in" problem frequencies that are causing feedback or wolf tones, and notch them out with a very thin frequency cut; you can adjust that frequency, as well as the "Q" (which is how wide a swath you're cutting) to kill feedback with surgical precision. It can be applied to one of the two channels (you'd usually use it on the mic channel when using a mic.)
The five-band interactive Baxandall EQ (Bass, Low Mid, High Mid, Presence, Treble) can be applied to channel 1, channel 2, or both. The controls can boost or cut, and have clear "detents" at their midpoints to indicate the flat setting.
You can flip the phase of either channel 1 or channel 2 (or neither) to improve tone, correct phasing issues, or fight feedback.
The preamp has a "range" switch - most of my customers will set it to "Bass," I would think - to optimize the tone and response for your instrument; it applies a low-cut filter based on the instrument used, in order to remove the rumble and noise of subsonics.
The preamp can be phantom-powered through its XLR output (if the lift is not engaged) -- or can be powered by the 18V, 200mA power supply or two 9V batteries (included).
The case for the unit was thoughtfully designed with a pre-threaded mounting hole on the bottom - you can screw it right onto a standard mic stand for easy access!
The power switch features a standby position, allowing you to switch power to the EDB1 on or off without causing major "thumps" through the PA.
The EDB-2 boasts Refined Class "A" Inputs and Pro Audio IC Components, easy to read Pro-Audio design layout and sturdy metal housings built to withstand "Life on the Road."
Features and Specs:
- Twin channel with individual inputs & gain controls
- Three-position Impedance switch for each 1/4" input
- +Hi = >20 Meg Ohms
- Hi = 5 Meg Ohms
- Active/Low = 1 Meg Ohms
- 5 Band EQ assignable to Channel 1, 2 or both
- Bass (120Hz)
- L. Mid (590Hz)
- H. Mid (880Hz)
- Presence (2.8kHz)
- Treble (10kHz)
- Notch Filter assignable to Channel 1 or 2
- Huge 0-32 dB Gain to interface with most mixers/desks etc
- Phantom Power is assignable to either "ring", "tip", or XLR to power virtually all instrument microphones/pickups.
- Phase Reverse assignable to each channel
- Earth Lift Switch (that's "ground lift" to we Americans)
- "Range" Switch tuned for specific instruments i.e. Violin, Guitar, Bass etc
- iPod Input for backing tracks, practice routines etc
- Mute Switch
- Mono, Stereo & XLR Inputs, Jack and XLR Outputs
- Battery or Mains powered (USA/Canada 110v power supply included)
- The EDB-2 is supplied with belt clips, rubber feet and is threaded for microphone stands
- Dimensions: 5.5"L x 3.7"W x 1.7"D)
- Weight: 20 oz.
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