Magneto Audio Labs’ debut product is the Variohm, a transformer-based device that can be used to vary the impedance relationship between a microphone and the preamplifier it’s being fed into.
The device is passive, meaning it requires no power source, and it can be used on microphones of all varieties. Controls are simple: there’s a bypass switch, a switched impedance knob — providing settings ranging from 50Ω to 2.4kΩ — and there are phase-reverse and phantom-power switches. The latter of these switches controls a circuit that defeats any supply voltage, and so will take any ‘phantom’ voltage out of the signal chain, to protect ribbon mics and the like.
Magneto Audio say that the much of the “magic” of certain mic/preamp combinations is in the impedance relationship between the two pieces of equipment. “If you get the right impedance relationship, it totally opens up the microphone and gives you all the sound that you could be getting of it.” The Variohm, they say, will enable home and project studio owners to get new sounds from their existing equipment, without having to spend lots of money on mics and preamps. It costs under $300 in the USA, and should be available by the time you read this.