Thermionic Culture have introduced a new 2U two-channel mic preamp. Suggested by an SOS reader in the tie-breaker of a former Thermionic Culture competition in Sound On Sound, the Snow Petrel name was officially adopted by designer Vic Keary, who liked the image of a warm bird in a cold landscape, finding a parallel with his company’s valve-based products and their place in a colder world of solid-state devices.
According to Keary, the final low-noise, all-valve design of the Snow Petrel had creative input from Brian Sowter of Sowter Transformers, Tim Vine-Lott (ex-Technical Director at AIR Studios) and Colin Beanland, the owner of Coles Electroacoustics, who all sought to refine it as far as possible, so that it would even sound good with low-output ribbon mics such as the Coles 4038. The finished design incorporates switchable 48V phantom power, a switchable Air EQ control, plus two types of attenuation (before and after the output stage). Thermionic Culture claim it produces “outstanding results” with ribbon mics, and can be adjusted for use with higher-output mics too. It’s available to order now, costing £2700 including VAT$3299.