London-based imprint Pope Audio made it onto the scene in recent years with 500 Series format offerings like the BAX 2020 and the Dirty C chorus module, both garnering praise from audio pros around the world. More than just another 500 Series preamp, Pope Audio’s PRE-BX includes a host of other features to help mold your sources on the way in.

We recently had the pleasure of tracking with the new PRE-BX at the Vintage King Nashville showroom. Check out our demo video below featuring performances from Kevin Schuck (Acoustic Guitar), Hayl (Vocals), Rick Ford (Bass), Andy Catlin (Moog Minimoog Model, Mellotron, Korg Prologue), and Jack Reed (Electric Guitar). Engineered by Charlie Garetz.

With the PRE-BX, Pope delivers a hybrid topology preamp, utilizing an API-style input stage combined with a Neve-style output stage. The front end features two of the iconic 2520 Op Amps for that unmistakable American console flavor, and the Carnhill transformer on the output end delivers the iconic British Iron sound.

The PRE-BX is more than a simple preamp, though. It's also equipped with high and low EQ bands based on Pope's popular BAX EQ circuit for shaping sources on the way in. The smooth Baxandall style curvature is perfect for shaving off boominess, clarifying top-end, and sculpting your tone.

The BAX EQ section has a “HI” and “Low," but no mid-frequency control. Like the BAX2020, the (very gentle) slopes start at 20KHz and 20Hz respectively. For the Pre-BX, the gains are about +/-7db, so you can't do too much wrong!

In addition to the preamp’s flavorful component blend and the smooth, built-in BAX EQ, Pope’s new preamp offers other thoughtful touches, too. A Transformer Ratio switch on the front end allows users to toggle between 1:1 and 3:1 output levels, which makes for easy driving in cases where saturation is crucial.

Internal impedance switching options enable you to switch between the default 600 Ohm level and the 150 Ohm option, which is helpful when using older ribbon and dynamic microphones. Standard appointments like phantom power control, Mic/Hi-Z control, and EQ In can be found as well, and the front panel combo jack is a nice touch for quickly patching in external sources.

Those wanting to maximize their front end with 500 Series format modules often find themselves having to compete for space—more preamps mean fewer EQs. But the PRE-BX offers the best of both worlds. With a blend of API and Neve-style sounds, plus Pope’s acclaimed BAX EQ, the PRE-BX makes it easy to dial in a wide range of tones suitable for sessions of any genre.

Josh FrostIf you're interested in purchasing the new Pope Audio PRE-BX mic preamp, we're here to help! Please contact a Vintage King Audio Consultant via email or by phone at 866.644.0160.