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Triton Audio D2O Mic Pre
4.5 4.5 out of 5, based on 1 Review

Triton's D2O is a truly hand-crafted, boutique microphone preamp with an insane amount of clean gain, headroom and versatility. It's built like a tank and available as a standalone or 500 version.

13th March 2012

Triton Audio D2O Standalone by adamboon

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Triton Audio D2O Mic Pre

The Triton Audio D2O is the first (and usually only) pre I go for when I'm tracking Vocals or using any low-output mic like an Shure SM7, Beyer M88, or ribbon mic (Although I do tend to use their FetHead a lot on ribbons).

I'm talking here about the FET only (previous) version, as it's the only one I've used so far. The new one with the tube/FET switching looks even more versatile and like even better value, can't wait to get my hands on one of them!

This is one of the most detailed, subtly flattering audio products I've ever used. To be honest the first time I plugged it up and turned it up I was immediately a little underwhelmed - I felt it was a bit to wire-with-gain for my tastes. it wasn't until I patched the same mic into another pre that I noticed all the nice things I was missing by doing so, the pre is very neutral and ludicrously detailed. It also has a certain "Airy" quality about it (but not fake). I know there's a lot of good stuff out there, but you should seriously try one of these out. The performance for $ ratio is outstanding.

So, the details. Front and centre is a big stepped gain knob. Gain goes up to 75dB in 6dB steps. there is no trim, which isn't a problem for me as I usually go into a comp or desk channel anyway. I don't think it would be a big problem straight into an interface either.
There are 4 buttons along the bottom, the first of which changes the input transformer (Lundahl)'s ratio which changes the gain and input impedance settings (which also effects the pre's interaction with the microphone itself) There is probably a lot more detail someone can go into about all this, but I just press the switch a few times and listen to what happens. One way seems a little brighter and louder, the other seems a little warmer but it seems to depend on a lot of factors.
Second button is a phase switch (always handy).
third up is an amp feedback gain switch (for me, for new units it switches between high-gain FET and lower gain Tube amp topologies. This is super cool). I guess this is still a little like the newer version in that it has one high-gain super-clean mode and a lower gain "Character" mode. again, I just flick around and use my ears.
Last up is a phantom switch WITH a LED to let you know if phantom is being supplied or not. I love this feature, as I'm a bit of a nervous nelly about sending phantom to things that don't like/need it (truth is, this is usually why I place a FetHead on the end of a lead that will plug into a ribbon mic. Then I KNOW there is no way that mic can get hit with phantom power).
Above is a classy little power indicator (for me, I think on the newer ones the Logo glows with a back-shadow, very classy).

On the back is an XLR input and output as well as a 1/4" jack, a power switch and a DC in. The D2O takes 24v AC in and comes with a very chunky "Lead Bump" Power supply. As stated above, it is also available in a 500 series format.

All of the Triton products scream "Attention to detail" and feel really pro.

As mentioned above. I've got the previous version, it is FET only (there was also a previous version with a tube in circuit at all times). the new one is switchable between High-Gain FET only and lower gain Tube/FET. The new face plate is also a little clearer and easier to understand. If it was a perfect world, and I could change anything, I'd like a HPF but this is already a very full featured pre and I guess that's really an EQ thing.

If your looking for a versatile, incredibly detailed, mic pre that's affordable and able to deliver clean gain for days you really should have a listen to one of these. Don't expect to be blown away within the first minute, but you'll probably be smitten within the first day!


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