DcSoundOp First Look: LaChapell 983s Mk2 Vacuum Tube Mic Pre

Taking a closer look, inside and out, of a vacuum microphone preamp designed and built in Minnesota.

In this video we’re taking a first look at the 983s mk2 vacuum microphone preamp from LaChapell Audio. With a single 12AX7 in each channel, the near unlimited variability this pre allows is something special to experience. Every mic, source and setup opens a whole new range of sounds to explore, from squeaky clean to absolute destruction. Using the tube drive control to dial in just the right amount of grit, harmonics and drive, it’s really up to you how this pre sounds.

Designed and built with pride in Minnesota, LaChapell offers a versatile option here in the one thousand dollar per channel price point. Be sure to look at their 500 series modules, as well as their original 992 flagship preamp for more high quality, no-nonsense choices. I sincerely look forward to trying both myself and sharing them here in the future. They have a number of different 500 series modules out currently, in a fairly wide range of prices. I have found the Audinate Avio adapters to be a really handy and affordable way to connect premium mic preamps to my Dante network for recording package. In single and two channel version, they open up a whole new world of possible uses for high-quality analog gear in modern production environments.

Pairing any 500 series modules with the appropriate chassis and power supply is always critical. For only a few hundred dollars now, you can get setup with the affordable Midas 500 Series rack chassis units. While not as feature rich as some options, this is a new lower entry point to building out high-quality signal chains.

Complete the whole bundle with a Focusrite AM2 PoE Dante network interface for easy headphone monitoring in the field, and you’ve got a killer mobile rig. One of the biggest challenges of working entirely in a Dante recording rig for mobile use is simply monitoring your inputs. The AM2, powered over the single network cable via PoE, is an elegant solution that lets you software monitor on the fly without breaking the bank or your back.


LaChapell Audio