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The Natural Sound Mic Preamp
Movers and shakers of professional audio dream about finding
that rare piece of equipment that will keep them on the cutting edge. A
career building tool that effortlessly produces awesome sound. The
Martech MSS-10 quickly established itself as the mic preamp of choice
for many of the audio elite because it has Natural Sound, the mythical
straight wire with gain. Its uncanny ability to deliver astonishing
realism is, simply stated, audio magic in a box. Join the hit makers who
already enjoy immense artistic satisfaction using the MSS-10 Natural
Sound Mic Preamp and turn your audio dreams into recording legends.
"I’m blown away in the sense that it’s very hi-fi and open and sweet,
but it’s not sterile and boring. It’s got fidelity but it’s got a lot of
character and a lot of soul and it brings things present in the track.
Audiophile used to be a bad word but this is hi-fi with soul."-Joe
Chiccarelli, Engineer on Elton John’s Songs From the West Coast
Why the MSS-10
In the past, world-class engineers collected the best tube and discrete
preamps, each for its own character. One for great top end, another for
clarity, a third for punch, and still another for bottom. Over time, these
preamps became almost mystical, credited for creating the magic of great
recordings. In reality, those talented engineers just used the preamp that
was least detrimental to the desired characteristic, struggling to maintain
the magic of the performance.
Martech MSS-10 brings a new paradigm to mic preamps. The real magic of the
MSS-10 is that it does absolutely nothing. With nothing to cheat your audio
you’ll hear it like never before! No sideshow hype or tacky disappearing
acts. Illusions of zip, zing, and whoompf can’t satisfy once you experience
real magic. Silky top, absolute clarity, knockdown punch, and fat bottom end
to make your world go ’round. The MSS-10 delivers the body and soul of the
performance with astonishing realism and immediacy. Real magic we call
"Shockingly good" is a stunning endorsement from Bruce Botnick, a man who
has heard it all. His engineering work, from the Doors to major motion
picture scores, is driven by his passion for audio. Bruce knows that the
secret of legendary recording lies in capturing the excitement and beauty of
the original performance. He selects only the best equipment that faithfully
reproduces every detail. Bruce uses the MSS-10 with his world-class mics
over other well-respected preamps, because the Natural Sound of the MSS-10
delivers the real magic he strives for.
What is Natural Sound?
seriously degrades audio there are many esoteric and vulgar words to
describe it. Gear that does a better job of preserving the original sound is
often called euphonic. By reproducing every detail of the original without
introducing any artifacts, we discovered something far better than euphonic;
something very special we call Natural Sound.
Sound is far from sterile, being full of life and vitality. And while
accuracy is often judged by static measurements, Natural Sound goes far
beyond technical precision by faithfully recreating the intricacies and
realism of the original performance.
Experience unconstrained dynamics that never remove the faintest detail or
pinch when the music soars. And when punch is required, stand back. Enjoy
airy top end without smear, crystal clear mids, real warmth without mud, and
extra octaves of rock solid bottom end. Natural Sound is simply
breathtaking. An aural seduction. The essence of what drives one’s passion
Sound. Nothing added. Nothing removed. Everything you always dreamed of.
Features and functions
The MSS-10 is comprised
of dual signal paths in a single unit, allowing flexibility in getting the
best audio from a microphone to a recorder.
preamp section uses two stages of gain from mic input to direct out,
providing wide bandwidth and a stable design. It features 65dB of gain
switched in 5dB steps, 48V phantom, 20dB pad and polarity reverse.
line driver section can select the preamp out or a balanced line input. This
makes a great EQ insert point. The level control adjusts continuously from
infinity to +10dB, allowing for riding of gain. The addition of a mute and
professional VU meter allows the finest audio quality possible to be sent
directly to the recorder. Engaging the Cal button provides precise VU
monitoring of the selected source.
only does it sound awesome, it looks like a piece of art. The sophisticated,
elegant appearance of the matte finish, nickel-plated faceplate matches your
finest microphones while ergonomic knobs and lighted push buttons provide
positional information at a glance from any angle. The beautiful package
tells your clients that you own only the best.
A peek under the lid
Tracing out the
schematic or unpotting the transformer will not reveal the secret of the
natural sound of the MSS-10. Martech’s Natural Sound Design Methodology uses
the exquisitely sensitive human ear to guide all design choices.
component and circuit was listened to, individually and collectively,
assuring the finest signal path possible. Thousands of hours were invested,
listening for the subtlest differences compared against a wire.
result, the heart of the MSS-10 comprises proprietary, high resolution, high
voltage, all discrete, non-inverting amplifiers along with a custom built,
oversize input transformer. Special silver switches with redundant contacts
are preconditioned with a stabilizing agent. Hard wiring avoids internal
connectors. Carefully tuned DC servo amps eliminate the coloration of
in-path capacitors, while improving bottom end response. Bipolar 24v rails
provide true +24dBm output even into an unbalanced input.
Finally, unique grounding techniques and balanced impedance outputs are used
to ensure a flawless interface to the outside world.
What others are saying
"The main solid-state mic pres we used were Martech MSS-10s; we found
those to be the best out of everything we had. At times, we had up to
eight of those going. Paul Simon’s vocal mic signal chain throughout the
album was a Neumann M149 through the Martech mic pre."
- Andy Smith, Engineer on recording Paul
Simon’s album You’re the One
"The MSS-10 gives me the clarity and musicality that I need for DSD and
96kHz/24 bit. The noise floor is well below the vintage microphones that I
use and doesn’t add unwanted coloration to the sound."
- Bruce Botnick, Producer/Mixer/ Engineer
on recording motion picture scores
"The first thing that I really noticed was on vocals, which sold me on it
immediately. It made the vocals sound really present, which required less
EQ and less compression to really get them to stand out on the track."
- Jerry Finn, Producer
on recording Blink 182’s albums Take
Off Your Pants & Jacket
and Enema of the State
"The Specs are impressive, but Martech clearly intends the performance to
be judged by the ear rather than the meter." -
Dave Foister - Studio Sound, June 1997
Judge for yourself
If you crave
astonishing realism check out the MSS-10 and judge Natural Sound for
yourself. The experience is so awesome that we sell the MSS-10 with a no
risk, no questions asked, 60-day buy back guarantee. So what are you waiting
for? Call us to order your very own and get ready to make history with your
Microphone preamplifier section
Maximum Input +22.5 dBu (@ 1kHz, THD 0.003%, 20 dB Pad In)
Maximum Output +24 dBu
Input Impedance 2,450 Ohms (@ 1kHz)
Output Impedance 50 Ohms
Frequency Response 10Hz – 20kHz (+0.5/-0.0)
EIN -126.5 dBu Typ. (10Hz–20kHz, 150 Ohm Source)
THD+N 0.0015% (20dB Gain
@ 1kHz, +4dBu Out)
CMRR 65dB Gain 60Hz 108dB 1kHz 85dB 10kHz 65dB
Line driver section
Maximum Input +24 dBu
Maximum Output +24 dBu
Input Impedance 20k Ohms (Balanced)
Output Impedance 50 Ohms
Frequency Response 10Hz – 200kHz (+0.0/-0.25)
THD+N 0.001% (0dB Gain @ 1kHz, +4dBu Out)
Power Consumption 10 Watts
Power Requirements 100–120, 220–240 VAC
mount chassis holds 4 MSS-10s
Steel with matching nickel-plated faceplate