Available as an assembled Module and as a DIY project.
This Module is currently available.
Hairball Audio Lola Microphone Preamp
A Modern Classic.
The Lola is our signature mic pre and a modern classic. Sounding unlike anything else currently available, the Lola mic pre is an original design by Hairball Audio offered in 500 series format.
The Lola mic pre borrows from hi-fi classics offered by the John Hardy Co. and Millenia, while adding low end girth and drive capabilities. Simply put, we think it sounds great on everything.
The Lola mic pre maintains a completely differential signal path from input to output lowering noise. In addition, because there are two op-amps in parallel, available output drive current is increased. This results in a lower output impedance improving the transformer's performance and overall, increasing the maximum undistorted gain. In this regard, it’s similar to running a single op-amp design on 24V rails.
Our transformers, custom designed by Ed Anderson, are meticulous recreations of the original 10468 input and 1166 output transformers found in the 1073 console channel strip. Modern recreations from larger transformer winders tend to focus on improving specifications, which washes out the original character and tone that made these transformers so famous.
The gain stage provides 65 dB of clean gain in 4.5dB steps utilizing a Grayhill rotary switch. The 600ohm; Bourns t-pad on the output, allows the user to fine tune the gain setting or pull back and drive the gain stage.
There are three illuminated push-button switches to select phantom power, phase and line mode. Activating the relay controlled line mode, flips the input transformer making it a step down input. This allows the user to use the Lola on line level material. A pad has not been included due to the low ratio and large adjustable gain of the Lola. A 1:1.75 ratio input means the Lola has a lowest gain setting of 15.5dB reducing the need for a pad.
The DI accepts a ¼” unbalanced cable; inserting a cable activates a relay that controls DI/Mic in circuitry. The DI passes through 2 FET buffers creating a differential signal to feed the 10468 input.
The light pipe LED meter has selectable VU and Peak metering. Though the VU mode is actually average metering (90% of RMS), it’s calibrated to VU metering with little effect on peak mode. 0dB on the meter scale represents +4 (1.23V) in VU mode. A simple resistor change allows the user to have 0dB equal to 0dB (0.775V), if preferred. Peak mode displays the peak value of the waveform in the same scale.
Metalwork made in the USA:
The front panel and L bracket are both made in the USA . As a nod to the original 10468 input transformer, the durable front panel is finished with a textured powder coat and the knobs are machined aluminum providing plenty of grip for the Grayhill rotary.