Following on the success of their acclaimed Core reference channel strip that we reviewed in December 2014 (http://sosm.ag/dec14manley), Manley Labs announce the Manley Force, a four-channel, high-voltage vacuum tube microphone preamplifier with a retail price of $2,500.
The Force incorporates the same mic preamp as the Core reference channel strip, using trademarked hand-wound Manley Iron mic input transformers and 12AX7 vacuum tube amplifying stage operating from 300 rails. Each channel includes a high-impedance, 1/4-inch instrument input as well as an XLR microphone input. On the front, each channel features a 120 Hz high-pass filter, variable input-level pad, phase invert, selectable +48V phantom power, and a high/low gain switch. The CNC machined faceplate features seven-way LED metering for each channel providing instant visible feedback for audio levels. The universal power supply accepts any voltage or frequency from anywhere in the world facilitating travel for international recording projects. As with all Manley gear, each unit is painstakingly hand-wired using silver solder and audiophile-grade components, and hand-built in California.
"From the onset I wanted this product to blow the doors off the price-to-value ratio, while retaining every single ounce ofManley quality, reliability, and integrity," explains Manley Labs President and co-founder EveAnna Manley. "Everyone is wondering how we could possibly do this for $2,500. We achieved this by prioritizing what really matters — delivering that signature Manley sound — and by engineering it to build efficiently. We really paid attention to how it pops together."