If you’re an audio engineer, you probably salivate at the mention of the word “Neumann”—and now you have reason to salivate anew: Neumann, the company behind many of your favorite microphones, is releasing its first microphone preamp since the 1980s. Use it on vocals, guitars, drums, bass, or anything you want to sound clear, yet vibrant—alive, yet uncolored.
The Neumann V 402 has a two-channel transformerless design, one that is geared for all sorts of instruments and microphone signals. With its switchable -20 dB pad, the preamp is suitable for high-level sources up to +28 dBu. It does this all without imparting distortion, because this preamp was expressly designed with transparency in mind; it’s meant to preserve the detail of whatever runs through it.
A switchable low-cut filter is on hand to eliminate unwanted low-frequency rumble or noise. If you need to DI an instrument such as a guitar or bass, you’ll appreciate the Hi-Z instrument inputs. What’s more, you can monitor the signal straight from the preamp, thanks to a built-in, high-quality headphone amplifier. Use this feature to see what coloration your interface might bring to the recording—because there certainly won’t be undue coloration from the preamp itself. Neumann prides itself on an inherently clean signal path: in the company’s own words, this preamp “neither adds nor detracts” at any gain setting.