Empirical Labs EL9 Mike-E
When the engineering team at Empirical Labs sets out to build a microphone preamp, you can be sure it’ll deliver spectacular sound, be effortless to work, and will provide features unlike any other device in its class. To that end, we proudly present Mike-E, a high performance transformer-coupled mic preamp with a noise floor far below any microphone’s self noise, combined with a one-of-a-kind compressor/saturator circuit that delivers classic knee compression as well as versatile tonal ‘coloring’ that can replicate many of the best characteristics of vintage analog recording equipment.
In today’s modern age of digital recorders, DAWs and software plug-ins, Mike-E is the ultimate solution for getting a clean and strong, yet warm and musical signal into the box…and it couldn’t be easier to work – its front panel layout is so straight ahead that even inexperienced engineers will have no problem moving around on it right away.
This is a super low noise transformer input amplifier section with the gain under precise digital control. The signal to noise far exceeds any microphone in existence. Having used many mic preamps over the years, we’ve implemented a unique stepped gain control that should be impervious to the normal flakiness that age causes to pots and detented switches. A “Bad!” LED indicates when the input signal is overloading the circuit.
The CompSat's unique circuitry sets the Mike-E apart from all other mic preamps.
SATURATOR - a multi stage soft-clipping circuit. At lower levels, a triode-type saturation affects the signal. As the level increases, a second unique clip circuit starts to more severely flatten out the peaks.
COMPRESSOR - based on ELI’s world famous Distressor, but with other characteristics (including a much longer attack time). Preset ratios include: 2:1, 4:1, 8:1…and, of course, Nuke.
EMPHASIS - a two-stage circuit that boosts and soft clips high frequencies before the CompSat™ circuit, and then cuts the frequencies after it. Emphasis has the added perk of improving signal to noise, and is the reason analog tape decks used emphasis to begin with.
MIX - provides “parallel compression” technique achieved by mixing between the compressed and the dry (or uncompressed) signal. This can often help maintain transients and a sense of dynamic range while enhancing the low level nuances.
Other features include a front panel instrument input that allows the unit to function as an ultra-clean Direct Box and stereo-linking capabilities. Mike-E can also be combined with an EQ (such as the ELI Lil FrEQ), transforming it into one of the most powerful, flexible and complete channel strips on the market.
All prices on our website include 23% Portuguese VAT and are also displayed VAT free. If you’re buying from outside of Portugal and have a VAT registered business within the EU, you can buy directly on our store without VAT. Just add the product to your cart and go to the checkout page and there will be an option for you to enter and validate your VAT ID. If it's accepted through our system your order will be completed and fulfilled without VAT. Please note, if you use an express checkout or buy it now button the option to buy without VAT isn't available, you need to add the product to cart first and use the standard checkout procedure.
We can ship worldwide but our online store is configured to only handle orders to Europe (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom). If you want us to ship to a country outside this list just get and touch with us so we can quote you and let you know how much it would be to fulfil such order.
We have access to all the products of the brands we represent, however not all of them are listed. Please get in touch and let us know what you’re looking for, we can pretty much guarantee the best price in Europe.
We use UPS so you can expect 1 - 3 business days to get it after we ship (1-2 days if we’re shipping to continental Portugal). If the item you bought is in stock, we usually ship the same day (for orders placed until 11AM) or the next day at the latest. If we’re out of stock, we can usually get the products in 2-5 working days. Please get in touch if you have a specific deadline you have to meet before ordering. In some cases we can ship a demo unit to get you to work if the manufacturer has a longer lead time.
Bank transfer is preferred, but we take all major credit cards, PayPal, or cash if you’re picking up the gear at our shop. We don’t accept debit cards or checks at the moment.
If you’re looking for financing for your purchase get in touch as we might be able to help you with that.
According to EU law, we accept returns for all the products purchased through our online store during the next 14 days after receiving the goods, provided that the packaging is in it’s original condition. If this is not the case, we reserve the right to refuse the return or charge a re-stocking fee.
All returns need to be pre-approved by us and must be complete including accessories and documentation with original packaging.
You are responsible for return shipping costs including shipping insurance which is recommended to protect your items, as you are liable for items damaged during return shipment. Additionally, if you received free shipping on the order when we fulfilled it, we will be deducting the value of this shipping cost from your refund/discount.
We do not accept returns of the following goods: (1) Software and computers; (2) All custom or special order items; (3) Magnetic tape or other recording medium; (4) Personal use items, such as headphones or windscreens; (5) Studio furniture, racks and chairs.
After inspection of the returned goods, and providing that they meet the conditions stated above, we will issue a refund or give you credit for another purchase.
Everything we sell is covered by the manufacture's warranty, which is a least 1 year. Special conditions may apply.
Yes, we do. Please contact us to know if the software you’re looking for has an Education licence available.
We don’t through this website, but please check our Reverb store. There you can find B-Stock and Ex-Demo gear, as well as other stuff (used and new) from brands we don’t usually represent.
At Arda we try to work with only the best brands in the business, because we know how important is reliability in a professional environment. That being said, sometimes shit happens. If you run into some issue with anything you bought from us, please get in touch and we’ll try our best to take care of it ASAP. We might even be able to provide you with some sort of replacement gear in order to minimize downtime.