Sebatron's stunning two-channel tube mic preamp and D.I. with wide scale VU metering, impecable detail, and a musical and open tone. A Sound Pure exclusive!
Since we test gear daily in the Sound Pure studio, it’s rare that we are ever “wowed” by a new piece of gear, particularly by a mic pre - there are just so many of them that are “oh so similar” and that are being released at a blinding pace. But the Sebatron Axis has done just that - it has wowed us.
For two channels, in its price class, we would expect a fair amount of tube saturation/grunge (since it’s easy and inexpensive to “design” that in). Creating a tube preamp that does clean, clear, and open is incredibly difficult. The pinnacle of tube-driven audio design came to us sometime in the '60s, based around high-voltage, high-headroom, linear-sounding amplifiers, while maintaining the euphonic integrity of the music.
Most preamps in this price class don't have the goal in mind of “unparalleled clarity” (and the rare ones that do are usually 2-3 times more money). The majority of amplifiers go for the “guts” – they are based around trying to sound “wooly,” as folks have been led to believe tube based units should sound (through marketing hype).
The Sebatron Axis is one of the very few preamps we have ever encountered that can provide a truly professional level of detail, clarity, and transparency suitable for the most serious acoustic and classical recording challenges, AND ALSO that can be cranked to deliver professional-caliber high-voltage tube saturation for that classic tube warmth and roundness, without a loss of low end focus. The AXIS is not a power-starved, muddy, modern-day budget tube preamp. It’s a cost effective, professional-level tool that will complement any style or form of music extremely well.
Use it on classical and acoustics…. OR… use it on electric guitars. Its tonal variability makes the AXIS the most sonically flexible preamp we have ever encountered by accomplishing both clean and saturated colors (and everything between), all at world-class sonic capability. At the AXIS price point, it is one of the finest investments you can make in your studio.
In situations where we’ve boosted the gain of the AXIS to a more colored setting, the AXIS delivers a really warm, mellow, and even deliciously rich bottom-end, while preserving all the musicality and detail from the harmonics and overtones of whatever instrument (or voice) you’ve put in front of it.
At a low gain setting, the AXIS takes on a very different tonal behavior- you get absolute cleanliness, detail, and transparency. You hear every little detail of what the mics are hearing, translated with perfection.
We’ve even had situations where the Axis literally “fixed” situations that otherwise would not have worked. When we first created one particular combination of mics, preamp, guitar, player, and room with the Sebatron set to low gain (its most revealing setting), things were bright, tinny, and unforgiving… however, when we increased the gain, we achieved a huge sonic improvement: glued-together, warm, and smooth. In just about every other preamp, we would have had to switch the mics (or at the very least the preamp). In most home studios, that’s not always possible, making the sonic flexibility of this particular piece a real benefit.
It’s not only sonically flexible, it’s also musically flexible. Use it on just about any acoustic or electric instrument. We’ve had it working equally well taming drum overheads, recording transparent and detailed piano and classical ensembles, or recording serious distorted electric guitars as we have with acoustic instruments. Its versatility makes it the perfect choice for someone that needs two to four channels that can cover all of their foreseeable studio needs, and can do so at a no-compromise professional level.
Most preamps that make the claim of tube greatness, sonic transparency, or even tonal variation fall on their face at either the clean or colored setting, and often fall short at both tasks. The Sebatron, however, performs at a level superior to most preamps dedicated to a single tonal task, be it clean or colored, and excels on both ends of the coloration spectrum and everything between. Since we are now using this preamp on just about every single serious pro session that finds its way through the Sound Pure Studios, we’d love to talk to you more about it.
Check out our ever-growing collection of videos and clips featuring this truly magical preamp from Sebatron.