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Black Lion Audio Launches B173 mkII, B12A mkIII Preamps

Black Lion Audio has launched its new “UK style” B173 mkII and “US style” B12A mkIII portable preamps, each offered as a half rack-sized unit.

Black Lion Audio B173 mkII and B12A mkIII Preamps
Black Lion Audio B173 mkII (top) and B12A mkIII preamps.

Chicago, IL (October 13, 2020)—Black Lion Audio has launched its new “UK style” B173 mkII and “US style” B12A mkIII portable preamps, each offered as a half rack-sized unit.

The B173 mkII uses the same Cinemag input and output transformers that are found in the company’s ‘full-size’ B173 Quad mic preamp, providing 70 dB of gain, a revamped gain stage and reportedly a lower noise floor for a cleaner, lower distortion sound.

The front panel-positioned Hi-Z In (high impedance input) is intended to bring a harmonically rich tone to guitars, keyboards, and synthesizers, while the stepped input 1073-style Gain and variable Output Level attenuation knobs allow for control over transformer saturation. 48V phantom power and phase inverse controls round out the front panel; the back includes XLR In (input) and TRS Out (output) connections literally.

Real-World Review: Black Lion 500 Series Preamps

Meanwhile, the B12A mkIII has some similar features, albeit with different results. It too offers Cinemag input and output transformers providing 70 dB of gain, and the Hi-Z In input provides harmonically rich tones and the stepped 312A-style input GAIN control aids setting in the right spot. Likewise, there are 48V phantom power and phase inverse controls, plus an 18 dB PAD, and rear panel-positioned XLR In and TRS Out connections.

The B173 mkII runs $449.00 USD, while the B12A mkIII is available with a MAP of $399.00

Black Lion Audio • www.blacklionaudio.com

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