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BAE Introduces New Matt Sorum Signature 312B Mic Preamp
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British Audio Engineering (BAE) will introduce the new Matt Sorum 312B microphone pre-amplifier at the upcoming Winter NAMM show, booth 1769.

The new 312B, based on the popular 312A model, carries the same dynamic range, frequency response and noise performance the BAE 312 Series is known for

The 312B also features a modified gain structure that utilizes an alternative Jensen input transformer designed to complement louder sources before needing the pad.

“l’ve always loved the 312A, but in certain situations I found them a little too hot,” explains Matt Sorum. “After talks with BAE, they came up with the solution, which I’m proud to say is now the Matt Sorum signature preamp.”  Sorum is most famous for his seven-year stint in Guns N’ Roses (1990-1997) and supergroup Velvet Revolver (2002-present), which is comprised in part of former Guns N’ Roses members Duff McKagan (bass) and Slash (lead guitar).

Due to its high gain structure, the 312A occasionally required the pad to be used with louder sources, such as a hot microphone on drums. BAE designed an option, adding an alternative Jensen transformer to create the Matt Sorum 312B. 

The new model provides equal performance and 7 dB less gain to assist recordings with a more adequate level for louder sources without losing the unique dynamic characteristics of the 312A. This allows engineers the option of owning the 312A as a pre-amp geared toward higher gain and the 312B for lower gain.

The 312B, as with the 312A, features the Avedis(r) 1122 Discrete Op-Amp with Jensen input and output transformers, which use direct-coupled circuitry with no capacitors in the signal path. The input impedance of the 312B has been enhanced to remain consistent, even after the pad is engaged, providing a steady load to the microphone.

The characteristics of the 312B offer excellent dynamic range, frequency response, and headroom before clipping.  The result is noise performance for a punchy sound that works well with a broad range of microphones.

The 312B comes in a 500 Series module format or as a fully loaded lunchbox. It includes a custom pull-on switch tailored to accentuate higher frequencies, a DI for instruments, a Phase Reverse switch, 48V for phantom power, and a PAD switch.

In 1999, BAE carved out a premium niche in the vintage Neve/API market as the first company to remanufacture the 1073 mic-pre/equalizer since its discontinuation by Neve in the 70s. After years of repurposing and racking up mic-pre’s and EQ from classic Neve and API consoles, BAE now faithfully recreates new versions using original sources, including Jensen transformers, Carnhill transformers, and Elma gold-plated switches from Switzerland. 

“Our gear is all discrete and completely hand-wired,” explains Mark Loughman (pronounced Lofman), who after serving as chief engineer for many years is now CEO and owner of BAE. “The original Neve 1073 mic pre/EQs are known as the Holy Grail of outboard gear, but manufacturing was discontinued in the 70s.  Eventually that supply has dried up, so we have gone to the original component suppliers to continue the legacy.”

British Audio Engineering


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