The Artistic MicPre Plus features a revolutionary tube type distortion circuit. The variable color control allows to adjust this feature from very subtle to extremely pronounced . In addition, the Color feature is also level dependent in the same way tube gear behaves. Variable color enables a myriad of new creative possibilities and prevents cold and stale sounds. Turning the Color knob all the way counter clockwise, the Color LED turns off and the Color circuit is completely disabled.
Another key component to achieve best performance levels is the OPA2 discrete audio operational amplifier. As all Fredenstein products, it is not a copy of an older design, but a proprietary design manufactured in SMT technology. Matched and integrated dual input transistors guarantee vastly improved specifications compared to older designs. The OPA2, following the tradition of well known manufactures, is socketed and can be exchanged without tools. The industry standard pin-out makes it compatible with many manufactures. The sound is further defined by the American-made steel-core output transformer, which is known for its smooth vintage sound without being dark or just “mid-rangy”.
A 2 MOhms high impedance direct input is located on the front-panel, it accepts balanced and unbalanced signals, the rear microphone input is automatically disconnected when a plug is inserted in the DI connector. The Artistic MicPre Plus features a maximum gain of 65 dB, a 20 dB Pad, switchable polarity, selectable input impedance, and Phantom-Power support. The output level is indicated with a SIG and a +20dB LED.
The Artistic Compressor is a single channel FET compressor with multi-channel link capability in the 500 series form factor.
Familiar controls include; rotary controls for Input Gain, Release Time, Compression Ratio, Make-up Gain and Wet-Dry Mixing (parallel compression). Like many vintage compressors there is no Threshold control. Instead, one uses the Input Gain knob to increase the gain until the appropriate amount of compression is achieved. This tends to feel more natural and musical, but perhaps less nerdy and precise. The Attack Time can be set in three steps with a toggle switch, and the side-chain low cut filter offers 2 frequencies. There is also one toggle switch for Bypass and another for Link. The LED bar-graph meter indicates the gain reduction in the range of 1dB to 16dB.
It's punchy and detailed sound is generated by three major components:
1) Fredenstein's proprietary Reverse-Mancini FET architecture
2) Our advanced OPA2 discrete Audio Operational Amplifier
3) The American made vintage style steel core output transformer
The Artistic Compressor shares some of the well understood sonic characterisics of famous FET compressors but brings some extra refinements, such as, virtually no interaction between the Attack, Release and Threshold controls. The Mix knob also brings some extra versatility to the FET compressor architecture and gives the option of keeping some transients while lifting up the quiet bits.
The Artistic Compressor can be an aggressive brick wall, become bouncy for dance tracks, or just enhance sweetly, smoothly and subtly, depending on how you want to set it. This is a rather versatile dynamics processor, built with surprisingly high quality parts for the price.
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