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Benchmark MPA1

Two-channel mic preamp with stepped-resistor gain control, HPA2 headphone amplifier
MFR# 500-14600-000

Product Description

The Benchmark MPA1 is a two-channel microphone preamplifier designed and manufactured by Benchmark Media Systems, Inc.  The MPA1 is meticulously designed to Benchmark standards of transparency, ultra-low distortion, and ultra-low noise performance - making the MPA1 a perfect choice for stereo pairs, ribbon mics, and any other application where purity is the goal.

Pristine Input Stage
The input stage of the MPA1 is designed with high-voltage headroom (+29 dBu) and single-stage gain control to maximize signal-to-noise ratio.  The MPA1 maintains superb noise performance across the entire gain range (74 dB) by utilizing precision-matched, low-noise, transistor quad-arrays.  A servo-controlled circuit minimizes DC-offset and maximizes headroom.
Complete Low Frequency Response

The MPA1 exhibits exceptional low-frequency performance with a clever dual-capacitor AC-coupling design.  This dual-capacitor design defeats the limitations of single-capacitor AC-coupling designs, achieving an exceptionally low corner-frequency with excellent subsonic phase-accuracy.

Innovative Stepped-Resistor Gain Control
The gain control of the MPA1 is completely unique.  The gain is controlled via a 38-position, switched resistor ladder, set up in a continuously rotating orientation via relay control.  This gain control circuit offers 2 dB per step, 0-74 dB of gain without attenuation, and inter-channel gain precision of +/- 0.03 dB.  A make-beforebreak scheme creates a silent switching circuit.

Elegant Phantom Power Protection
The transistor stage is protected from phantom power surges with an ultra-fast, multi-stage protection circuit.  This circuit utilizes the high-speed capabilities of low-capacitance Schotky diodes and the high-current capabilities of TVS diodes to absorb the phantom power surges caused by shorts and plugging/unplugging microphones with +48V on.  This circuit is pre-biased so that it is isolated from the circuit in normal operation and activated when a surge occurs.

Product Specifications

Condition New
Tube or Solid State Solid State
Channels Dual-Channel
Chassis 19-inch Rack-mount
Rack Spaces 1U
Direct Input No
Digital I/O No

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I would like to thank VK for the wonderful sales assistance, service and prices. This was my first purchase with you and it won't be my last. I only wish I'd discovered you years ago!
Matthew R.
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Ryan F.
In almost 20 years in Pro audio buying, never did I receive a unit so well packed and exactly as described. Works flawlessly. The whole process has been so smooth. I will never hesitate to do business with you guys in the future and will recommend you to everyone I know.
Martin C.
This was my first experience buying something from Vintage King (although I surf the "used" categories on the website frequently!), and, despite being on the other side of the world, I had absolutely no trouble and everything went very smoothly.
Phil T.
The speed of delivery exceeded my expectations! I was VERY pleased that my shipment arrived in time for a scheduled vocal tracking session. The packing insured that my order arrived safely. And the sales staff responded quickly to questions regarding the product.
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