Black Lion Audio B173MKII Overview
Designed for recording engineers who want an updated take on the classic ’73-style unit, the Black Lion Audio B173 mkII is a single-channel preamp with a warm, creamy, 1970s tone. It’s suitable for recording vocals, keyboards, guitars, basses, and more.
This preamp gives you a half-rack package, with an XLR connection for microphones and a 1/4″ jack for line-level or Hi-Z instruments. The output connection is handled by the 1/4″ TRS output on the rear of the unit.
The unit offers a stepped input gain knob to ensure repeatability. It’ll provide you with up to 70 dB of gain. You’ll find controls for phantom power and polarity, while a Hi-Z switch will allow you to plug in your favorite guitar or bass for a DI recording.
The preamp utilizes a creamy CineMag transformer for that classic velvety ’73-style sound. The output control is situated after the transformer. So, if you wished, you could drive the signal hard with the gain knob for a harmonically rich tone, then lower the output knob to avoid clipping your digital converter downstream.