**Color knobs now shipping on modules**
**Special Edition Black faceplates available**
The Panther is a dual stage preamp in a 500 series format. Each stage uses a different gain structure, and by cascading the stages at different respective gain levels, the operator can access a wide variety of tones. The first gain stage is mostly clean gain, while the second adds warmth and harmonics. The first stage offers 46db of gain, while the second provides 40db, which allows either stage to provide the majority of necessary amplification and impart their respective tone. The input transformer has a step up of 1:5 which offers ~13db of gain, while the output is wired in 1:2 for an additional 6db. While we anticipate most applications won't require every available db, this configuration allows for the most flexibility with gain staging and tone shaping.
The Panther uses two discrete opamps for amplification, and we chose a revived version of the Neumann OA10 opamp for that role. The sound can be described as sweet and musical, with an extended low and and smooth highs. They are extremely detailed as well, even at higher gains nuance is retained. With high gain it begins to pick up some warmth in the mids and exhibit saturation/soft clipping at overload levels, excellent for getting some dirty/smoky vocals and gritty drums. They are laid out in the API 2520 package which allows users to experiment with other 2520 style opamps in the Panther.
To help showcase the variety of available flavors we chose the Lundahl transformers for input and output. They are very transparent while also providing a lot of impact and nuance, which we felt complemented the opamps and their combined effects. Lundahl are one of the few manufacturers who make bobbin wound transformers, which lends to the transformers high performance and small footprint.
The front panel includes interfacing controls like a -20db Mic Pad, an impedance matching Line Pad for mixing/post work, and an Transformer Impedance (Z) switch that will half the input ratio to 1:2.5. Along with allowing for higher impedance mics, this will drop the gain slightly and alter the load, which can act as a slight pad. In standard fashion a phantom and phase control is included as well. Lastly there is a high-z DI input on the front panel for interfacing instruments (1M Impedance).
Some other small additions: Gold pins and sockets for the opamps, balanced attenuator for the output pad, high grade audio and power caps, and low noise metal film resistors throughout. The first editions have NOS transistors while supplies last.
Stepped gain switches available by request, please don't hesitate to request other modifications as well.
**Panthers are built to order**