When Retro Instruments first announced the brand's new 500PRE ($799), we knew we were in love before we ever even heard it. After all, what's not to love about bringing the Sta-Level design to the 500 Series world and packing three tubes into that compact module. Little did we know, we had something to do with the inspiration for it.

"It was inspired by the Vintage King April Fools’ Day post on the 500 Series Fairchild 670," says Retro Instruments Owner/Designer Phil Moore. "“The performance of the 500PRE exceeded my expectations. It’s based on professional tube console program amplifiers from the era of the Sta-Level and 176. It’s got 75 dB of gain and no compromises."

While the 75 dB of gain will make the 500PRE a great tool for tracking sessions, the 500 Series module can also be vital during the mixing process. Remember, the 500PRE is based on the Sta-Level, which is a classic limiter design. So while this module is a mic pre, it can also act as a tube limiter and really fatten up your tracks.

For our new demo video, Phil sent over two Retro Instrument 500PREs so that we could record drums and piano, in addition to guitar, bass, and vocals. Watch below to hear the sound of both gain stages used on recordings featuring Dustin Mclaughlin, Bryan Reilly, and Olivia Millerschin.

Jacob SchneiderIf you have any questions about the Retro Instruments 500PRE or would like to purchase one for your studio, contact a Vintage King Audio Consultant via email or by phone at 866.644.0160