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D.W. Fearn VT-1
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An essential part of the workflow of so many artists, engineers, producers, and other audio
professionals, VT-series microphone preamplifiers have long been the go-to weapon of choice as an ultra-high fidelity mic pre during tracking. Any microphone and any sound will benefit from the improved clarity, definition, and lack of solid-state artifacts.

Design Philosophy

In designing the VT preamp, no compromise in sonic quality, reliability, or ruggedness was permitted. Like the best tube equipment of the 1950s and ’60s, the VT preamp is built on a heavy-gauge aluminum chassis, utilizing point-to-point wiring. Each vacuum tube is selected for minimum noise and microphonics, and maximum sonic clarity. The front panel switches control sealed, gold-contact precision relays for all audio switching, eliminating the possibility of dirty contacts degrading the sound and minimizing the internal audio path. Four class-A triode amplifier sections (in two tubes) in each channel comprise the entire active circuit. This surprisingly simple circuit, along with top-quality components and careful design optimization, results in the sonic superiority that the VT preamp has become known for.

New models of VT-2 preamp feature an integrated, switchable 43 dB pad, enabling it to be patched into the Master Buss during mixdown and mastering to provide D.W. Fearn’s unique sonic signature to the final mix or mastering process. This replaces the need for the LP-1 Line pad, which was a separate box previously available from D.W. Fearn. The new design now makes the VT-2 a veritable triple threat, equally at home in recording, mixing, and mastering.


  • All vacuum-tube design
  • Lo-Z input position for superior performance with transformerless mics
  • Phase (polarity) reverse switch
  • +48 volt phantom power (completely disconnected when off)
  • Custom-design Jensen input and output transformers
  • 20 dB input pad (switchable)
  • True VU meters (amplifier isolated)
  • All point-to-point audio wiring
  • Gold input and output XLR connectors
  • Polypropylene and polystyrene coupling capacitors
  • All audio switching through gold-contact, sealed precision relays
  • International operation on 100, 120, or 220 VAC, 50/60 Hz
  • CE certified, RoHS-compliant
  • +4 dBm output
  • Conservatively rated precision components and rugged construction for stability and long life

  • Input 150 ohms
  • Input Load Impedance 1.5k ohms
  • Minimum Input Level -65 dBm nominal
  • Maximum Input Level @ 20 cps -30 dBm without pad, -5 dBm with 20 dB pad
  • Gain 53 dB
  • Frequency Response +/-0.25 dB 20 cps to 20 kc; -3 dB @ 0.5 cps and 55 kc
  • THD+Noise less than 0.25% 20 cps to 20 kc
  • Intermodulation Distortion SMPTE less than 0.02%
  • Signal to Noise Ratio 74 dB minimum
  • Equivalent Input Noise -124 dBm maximum
  • Output low-Z, transformer-balanced
  • Maximum Output Level +22 dBm, 20k ohm load
  • Power Requirements 100, 120, or 220 VAC, 50/60 Hz
  • Dimensions 19” (48.26cm) W, 5.25” (13.34cm) H, 14” (35.56cm) D


Anybody Still Rocking With D.W. Fearn Gear?

As part of an upgrade and expansion to my studio last month, I ordered a new VT-1 through Pro Audio LA. It's been on back order now for three weeks. D.W. Fearn: they're cool, they're bitchen, and they're in demand. They're worth the wait. Mine's supposed to ship this week. I really wanted a VT-2...

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DW Fearn Customer Service. You get what you pay for

I bought a used VT1 on reverb. Unit showed up dead. After some initial back and forth with the seller, who originally told me pss off, I emailed Jeff Hazelrigg. I emailed him at 645am on my way to work. He replied at 7am. This was a Friday. I mailed the unit to him...

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Preamps: Saving the Music Industry, one magic pixie dust box at a time...

...headroom and some with none etc To say a Soundcraft Ultramic preamp is the same thing as a Fearn VT-1 is pretty weird. To say a Mackie 1604 board is essentially the same thing as an SSL 9k is also weird. Maybe a Fearn won’t make much of a difference in the hands of...

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