True class A discrete stereo microphone amplifier, stepped
Elma gain controls, Lundahl output transformers.
So what is new in the MA2.2B:
Functions are now controlled with illuminated push button switches with «clickless» operation, no more thumps on the output.
The gain pot has been replaced with a calibrated 24 position Elma switch for accurate stereo matching between channels.
We have added a useful 19 segment peak output level meter.
But, the original audio and power supply design of the MA-2.2 has been retained.
buzz audio heritage
Designed to provide transparent amplification to reveal the true source, they do not come any better than this. If you wish to record your sounds with the utmost warmth and clarity possible, you have found the tool for the job. And it’s not just us blowing our trumpet here, it’s what hundreds of users have told us over the years since we began building the very first MA-2 back in 1993, (re-vamped as the MA2.2 in 1999). The MA2.2B is a very high end product designed without low price as a primary goal, so it is an investment for sure. However, the high standard of workmanship and meticulously engineered construction means it will last a life time – something our users who purchased 20 years ago now experience.
audio path quality
The circuitry used in the MA-2.2B preamp was developed by Buzz Audio designer Tim Farrant in the 1990’s and was dubbed «True Class A». The resulting BE40 series of amplifiers exhibit very wide frequency response (into the mega-hertz ) and ultra fast slew rates (140V/uS) even at 60dB of gain. These attributes, plus the inherently low distortion provide the exceptionally pure top end sound of the MA-2.2B. In addition, the over engineered power supply design with localized Class A regulators for each amplifier stage supplies the grunt needed for an authoritive and accurate bottom end – it sounds tight and never over blown. Instead of an input transformer we use a stack of Wima film capacitors and these do not exhibit the low frequency phase problems associated with transformers, and sound MUCH better than polarized capacitors found in competing high end products.
As many of our users have discovered, the MA-2.2B sounds amazingly vibrant when recording acoustic guitar and percussion. It is equally at home on vocal and piano duties – and you will be very surprised how tight a kick drum can sound using this preamp – no more bouncing balls! Stringed instruments, choirs and full orchestras will be reproduced with the full dynamic range they require with zero midrange harshness. One could say, this preamp records everything with an uncanny life-like accuracy. It is virtually uncolored but exhibits a huge amount of vibe and musicality. The low reactance Wima capacitor input stage stack matches well with all microphone types and the noise specification is within 0.5dB of the theoretical minimum possible, so ribbon, capacitor and dynamic mics’ are no problem for this preamp. Indulge yourself!
controls and functions
GAIN dB – a 24 position Elma audio switch to set the gain of the preamp between +14 to +66dB.
MUTE – when engaged, the audio output of the MA2.2B is switched off. On power up, the mute is always engaged to avoid thumps on the output.
-20dB – when engaged, a 20dB resistive pad is inserted right at the input to cater for high input level signals.
Ø REV – when engaged, the polarity or phase of the input signal is reversed 180 degrees.
LO-Z – changes the mic input loading from 3k ohms to 1k ohms, which can change the overall tone of the connected microphone.
48V – when engaged 48V phantom power is supplied to the connected microphone. On power up it is always set to off to avoid disasters!
POWER – A handy power on/off switch and associated power led, conveniently located on the front panel!
As standard the MA-2.2B has an unbalanced output, avoiding the extra stages required for the balanced function so as to keep the signal path as simple as possible. If you treat the output of the MA2.2B as balanced, you should have no problem with interconnection to other equipment. The unit can however be supplied or retrofitted with high spec Lundahl LL1517 output transformers. When the transformers are fitted, the direct unbalanced output is still available on the rear panel via a 1/4″ jack socket. When fitted, the transformer add a bit more warmth to the sound. (We can also offer the Lundahl amorphous core LL1684 transformer to special order).