NEW updated black VELVET !

The Velvet is a vocal/instrument mono channel strip. The unit consists of a preamp, an optical leveler and a passive 4-band bell EQ. The Velvet was built on the same concepts as our Affinity preamp and Solution leveler, which have gained an

hear it...

excellent reputation over several years. However the specifics of this particular unit have required certain adjustments. First of all, the changes were made to the leveler detect side chain (EQ can be inserted into the side chain) and to the DC power chain, since the Velvet essentially contains 3 separate devices connected in series. The unit has a large number of connective capabilities and can be split into two parts: the preamp and the leveler/EQ. Which allows devcie to be very versatile in all kinds of studio setups with various outboard equipment (even to be used in two independent signal paths) not only for tracking vocals/instruments but also for post processing (warming up the tracks/VST instruments with the leveler and EQ).

The front panel consists of five sections. The Preamp section contains +48V Phantom Power switch, 0/180 Phase switch, Input Gain knob (a 10-step attenuator switch), 80Hz Low Cut switch, TRS High-Z DI input, which can be used simultaneously and independently of the Mic/Line Low-Z input (the Hi-Z input uses a separate tube cascade), and Ribbon/ Condenser mode switch.  Amplification range is divided into two parts: 40db/+20db for condenser/ribbon modes respectively, which results in a lower noise floor thanks to optimal amplification use in each mode. Opto Compressor section contains side chain 80Hz Low Cut filter switch (to prevent false leveler triggers: low frequency pops, drum and other studio noises), Pre EQ/Post EQ switch for inserting EQ into the leveler side chain (this way compression can be frequency-dependent – in Post EQ position), Soft Knee/Hard Knee switch, which selects soft (but fast) or hard (but slow) compression curves, Peak Reduction and Ratio knobs, which set the threshold and the ratio, and Bypass switch. The Master section houses Master Level knob, Insert On/Off switch (turns on the Insert function and splits the unit into two independent devices). The Meter section has backlit VU-meter, Master Output/Reduction VU-meter mode switch, Zero Adj. calibration trimmer and Power On/Off switch. The controls use high-quality pots, which do not contribute any noise to the signal and have a long service life. Passive 4-band bell EQ has Low and High bands with +/-3dB set at 100Hz and 8KHz, Low Mid and High Mid bands with +/-6dB set at 800Hz and 2KHz, as well as a Bypass switch. This type of EQ does not produce crazy sound effects or deep equalization and is meant mainly for subtle voice/instrument character correction with elegance and finesse typical of passive EQ.

The Velvet has a transformer-based balanced Low-Z mic input based on excellent  shielded Jensen or Cinemag input transformers, which have acquired an impeccable reputation after many years of service. In addition the unit includes Hi-Z DI input, transformer-balanced direct Line Input to the Leveler+EQ (as well as the Return In), transformer-balanced direct output from the Preamp (as well as the Send Out) and two transformer-balanced Main Inputs. The Velvet architecture allows the Preamp and the Leveler + EQ to be used simultaneously as separate units (in Insert On mode), Fig. 1 Thus it is possible to connect outboard preamps (or signal sources) directly to the Velvet Leveler + EQ and your outboard compressors/EQ directly to the  Velvet Preamp, with creating two independent processing channels in fact

On top of that, having 3 outputs – one direct from the Preamp and two main outs – allows to record more than one track version in one take. For example, it is possible to track to two channels (Fig. 2) – clean (or processed through an outboard compressor/EQ) signal via Preamp Direct Out and the signal processed through the Velvet Leveler/EQ. Also, aside from the onboard Leveller/EQ it is possible to connect outboard compressors and/or EQ (Fig. 3). This way during mixing the user gets a chance to choose the best version of the track: Velvet Leveler + EQ and/or outboard compressors/EQ’s via Preamp Direct Out. Thanks to two equal transformer-balanced Main Outs the second Out can be used for line monitoring.

The channel strip is built on 5 Soviet military tubes - dual triode 6N3P (full analog of 6CC42/5670/6385 tubes) in the first cascade, the dual triodes 6N5P (closest analog of ECC88/E88CC/6D8J/CCa/6922 tubes) in second, and penthode 6P1P in the output stage. Russian (Soviet) military tubes made at the Svetlana plant have high quality long-life cathodes and demonstrate outstanding linear characteristics. All tube cascades are pure Class A with no feedbacks and cathode followers.

The signal path is pure tube. There are no electrolytic capacitors - only high-ouality film capacitors. Electrolytic capacitors are only used in the power chain. The high quality passive components - a soviet military grade and  such as WIMA, Siemens, Neutrik - are used throughout. All audio chains are built with high-quality shielded oxygen-free wire.

All the device outputs are outfitted with powerful toroidal transformers, which can be subjected to any active load with no harm to the sound or matching with other devices. These are proprietary transformers with a Hi-Mu core made of rare materials allowing for a minimum number of the turns in transformer coils, which favorably affects the sound.

A very reliable multipattern switch, on ceramic base (soviet military grade),  with uninterrupted  dual knife contacts coated by   thick silver covering is used as an input attenuator and in EQ.

The passive EQ is  wired on the EQ switches.

As a power transformer the Velvet uses either a toroidal transformer(the USA variant) or a conventional laminated military transformer - TAN. In order to minimize power net noise and hum the preamp power circuit uses a stabilized DC voltage for plate and filament. Power transformer is well shielded inside a metal box with ventilation grids.

The rear panel houses balanced Mic and Line XLR inputs, direct balanced XLR output from Preamp, 2 main balanced XLR outputs, balanced Send/Return XLR output/input respectively (all transformer), Ground/Lift switches, IEC power socket, fuse.

To eliminate ground loop hum the preamp assembly is completed with consideration for the topology of the given circuits. The housing is not connected to the ground of the circuit. However there is a ground/lift switches on the rear panel, which connects or disconnects the housing with the internal ground whenever necessary.



Mic Inp. level,bal.


High-Z di-input level,unbal.


Line Inp.level,bal.


Output level,balanced


Mic Input/Output Imp.  DI-Input Imp.

   1,5Kohm/600ohm       1Mom

Gain up


Noice floor


Frequency response,(+/-1,0dB)


THD+N(1Khz@16dBu)less than

   1,2%, 0,5% typ.

             Opto Leveler

Gain Reduction

  up 30 dB

Threshold level

  from -30dB

Attack Time

  Hard-5msec           Soft-150-170msec

Release Time

  Hard-10msec          Soft-60msec.for      50%rel.0,5sec. for   full release

               Passive Bell EQ

Low & High range,dB

Low Mid & High Mid range,dB




  230-240V/120V          50-60Hz,30WA


WxHxD:   19"x5,2"x12"   (occupies 3U);                  Weight:   9.2 kg/20,3 lbs.



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