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BLA B12a - API clone!
Old 21st January 2012 | Show parent
Registered User
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
does anyone here have a Summit 2ba-221 AND the BLA B12a?

If so, would the B12A give me anything sonically I don't already get from my Summit? I know, no transformer, but a tube in the Summit - I'm talking about when using the Summit in its solid state mode. Is there any sonic signature I gain from the BLA?
Old 26th November 2012
Registered User
🎧 10 years
Thanks for the great info everyone. After much deliberation between which pre's I just ordered a couple BLA B12's.
Old 4th December 2012
Registered User
🎧 10 years
Just ordered one!
Old 20th March 2013 | Show parent
Registered User
🎧 10 years

I have one, and I've been wondering how the SNR and headroom compare to the API's? I don't appear to be getting enough gain for my microphones. I've found it rather rough to get a usable signal on softer sources -- even when using a condenser. When I turn up the gain or compress, there is NOTICEABLY more hiss than I'd like to work with. This is especially so when using an SM7B. I typically like to record at -6dB input level in my DAW, but I can't get it there unless I use compression (if I crank the knob, I get too much hiss). Am I doing something wrong?

I use a 1/4" Balanced Mogami cable from the output, Line In to first combination input (1/4" flavor) on the back of my Profire 2626. I don't touch the gain knob for that channel on the interface, as per my understanding they won't do anything to a Line signal anyway. I crank up the gain on the preamp, and I can only get a softer signal (like a quiet nylon guitar finger-picking -- mic'ed by a condenser mic) up to -20dB or so on the meter before I start hearing hiss in my headphones. I'm not in the quietest of rooms, but it just seems that I shouldn't be hearing hiss at such low levels. Please respond soon! Thank you in advance.
Old 20th March 2013 | Show parent
Registered User
🎧 10 years
Why do you feel the need to track that hot? -6 is way hot. Why not track to -15 or less and turn up the headphone amp? Problem solved. But to answer your question, these pres are lacking in headroom compared to alot today. Just have to gain stage them differently.
Old 26th April 2013
Gear Head
guitar012001's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Black Lion B12A with CloudLifter CL-1 is Amazing!!

Hey Slutz,
My Peluso P12 came in today and I wanted to try it with all of my mic pre's. I started with the Black Lion B12A that I've owned for about 2 years and only used in once for mic'g an acoustic guitar. I used my Groove Tubes MD3a which has it's own attenuator on the mic itself. The recording came out great but had to eq because the MD3A can be a little dark. However, I used the Peluso P12 today for vocals it was amazing but, the gain was low. So I used the Clip Gain to increase the volume of the tracks. Then I started "Googling" for how to increase the gain of the Black Lion B12A. I found, researched, and called "CloudLifter" and spoke to one of the "Cloud" owners who explained all their devices. I went to Guitar Center 60 miles from my studio and purchased the CL-1! I connected it to my B12A, turned on the Phantom Power and got 25db more of clean gain! It's designed for passive mics, i.e. dynamics and ribbons. However, if you have a tube mic with it's own power supply, you can use the CloudLifter CL-1 and turn on the Phantom Power on your preamp (because the CloudLifter needs phantom power for the gain to work) and your "low gain" mic pre has new life. Now, the B12A has become a mainstay in my studio. I'm going to buy more of them now! It's got the real API 312 vibe going on now!!
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