Millennia Media HV-35P & HV-32P Portable Series Preamplifiers
Seriously, who doesn’t likes Millennia Media mic preamps? For clean, reference-style preamplification, there arguably may be equals, but there are none better. These fine mic amps are found in racked configurations, the 500 Series format, remote-controlled multi-channel rack units, and even the semi-portable TD-1.
Now we have the HV-32P and HV-35P, both based on the iconic HV-3, which are full featured, eminently portable and AC or DC-powered, with classic Millennia Media sound. Both are affordable, too, at $1,079 and $719 street, respectively. You’ll find the feature set to be nearly identical between the two-channel HV-32P and mono HV-35P. Click here for complete respective spec info: http://x.co/6CEQx and http://x.co/6CERY.
Please note the broader per-channel feature set of the single-channel HV-35P; its high-pass filter, polarity flip and a quarter-inch DI are all very useful features for music recording. The dual channel 32P is ideally suited for ENG and mobile recording work.
I started by tracking what may be the world’s quietest folk-duo with this HV-35P/HV-32P combo and got fine results. Yes, I needed the Ribbon feature and its extra 10 dB of gain, but noise wasn’t bad at all. Compared to my standard-bearer Millennia Media STT-1 channel strip, the HV-35P/HV-32P combo sounded thinner through the low-mids and more forward in their high frequencies, but exhibited the same clarity, depth of soundstage and easy articulation.
Next, I set about making my own ENG rig with both preamps, a Sony lavalier, a handheld condenser and my portable two-track. I recorded outdoors, exterior scenes, indoors and in various-sized rooms powered only by a prototype 10 x AA power supply with great results. After a brief, noisy “warm-up” period when applying phantom power, the 32P settled in for trouble-free operation with excellent detail and trademark clarity. The recessed controls and ergonomic I/O labeling proved to be lifesaving features. The HV-35P behaved equally well on a cold, blustery winter’s day. Hear a silly little “interview” I grabbed on-the-run with the HV-32P, showing some nice low-level detail as traffic and background music animate the scene at https://soundcloud.com/proaudio- review-magazine
The gain pots are a little loose for my taste, but the switches are ideal: firm, illuminated, color-coded and relay-switched (the slightly delayed pause is well worth the satisfying click). The chassis is perfect; three units will neatly attach to a Middle Atlantic Products rack shelf and the power supplies are ample. My only criticisms are features that I miss; I wish the DC power connector was locking and that the HV-32P had polarity flip.
Millennia reports that there are 35,000 channels of HV-3 in the field, in numerous configurations already. So now ENG gunners, on-location lap-toppers and FOH engineers who need a lightweight “money channel” or two can easily hop on the Millennia bandwagon.
From Joel Silverman, Managing Director of Millennia Music & Media
“Rob Tavaglione is one of the best reviewers in the business. I was surprised when I read his review of the HV-32P and HV-35P preamps that he noticed an audible difference between an STT-1 and the P Series on the low end.
“I think the frequency sweep (pictured at right) explains why Rob heard a difference between the STT-1 and the HV-32P and HV-35P. The input transformer on the STT-1 must have been accidentally engaged. The upper Red traces (bumps) on the Audio Precision frequency sweep are the STT-1 Main and Direct outs with the transformer. The Yellow is the STT-1’s Main out. Green is the Direct out. The Violet sweep is the HV-32P. The lower Red is the HV-35P. For almost the entire sweep they are on top of each other.
“The difference between all the preamps (without the transformer) is less than .4dB at 20Hz, about .2 at 30Hz and less than .1dB at 40Hz. The STT-1’s transformer is designed to resonate when hit with transients so the static sweep doesn’t tell the complete story. Imagine even more of a bump that rings at low frequencies.
“Now listen to the acoustic guitar tracks. https://soundcloud.com/pro-audio-review-magazine#sthash.YkyoIRb9.dpuf. That’s the difference Rob was hearing.”