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Retro Instruments 500PRE 500 Series Tube Mic Preamp (Demo Deal)

500 series microphone preamp featuring three 12AT7 tubes and circuit topology of the Sta-Level - experience the unrestrained transient detail only tube power can provide!

Product Description

The Retro Instruments 500PRE is a vintage-inspired 500 Series microphone preamplifier that combines the circuit topology of the legendary Sta-Level tube compressor with class-leading distortion, noise and frequency response characteristics in a compact package. Equipped with three powerful 12AT7 tubes, the 500PRE delivers thick, rich analog tone with gentle limiting characteristics—making it the perfect tool for tracking and mixing.


The Retro Instruments 500PRE packs the massive tone of the Sta-Level compressor into a compact 500 series module. This thick, rich-sounding preamp offers the same depth, detail and musicality of your favorite tube compressors from yesteryear. With minimal distortion, vanishingly low noise, and a balanced, neutral frequency response, the 500PRE delivers world-class tone that never sounds plastic and brittle like solid-state amplifiers.


The Retro Instruments 500PRE features an inviting interface with rugged, heavy-duty knobs and a durable steel chassis. A large input knob at the top lets you dial up an impressive 75 dB of amplification.

Below the input knob are three hefty switches for Gain Select, Phantom Power and Polarity. The Gain Select switch toggles between two input modes. Low Gain mode uses a classic two-stage amplifier and can sustain +10 dBu input levels without overload, while High Gain mode uses a high gain, three stage topology.

Below the Gain Select switch is the Phantom Power switch, which is used to provide 48 V for recording with condenser microphones. The Polarity switch lets you invert the polarity of the incoming signal—a useful feature when recording in stereo.


Equipped with three new-production TAD 12AT7 tubes and soft-start circuitry that minimizes stress to the tubes and power supply, the 500PRE is built to last. Unlike old-school tube gear which can take what seems like an eternity to heat up, the 500PRE is warm and ready to go in less than 60 seconds. And for those who prefer the original, the 500PRE is also compatible with vintage and new-old-stock tubes.

In addition to giving your recordings a rich, warm tone, 500PRE gracefully limits input signals at +18 dBu, without destroying the details of your transients. The perfect limiter for both tracking and mixing, 500PRE is ideal for fattening up tracks with thick, rich harmonics that never sound plastic or brittle like solid-state amplifiers, even when overdriven.

Product Specifications

Condition Demo / B-Stock
Unit Weight 2.4 lb
Tube or Solid State Tube
Channels Single-Channel
Chassis Module
Module Type 500 Series
Module Slot Count 1 Slot
Tube Complement 12AT7

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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.
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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.
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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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