MANLEY
LABORATORIES, INC.
OWNER'S MANUAL
MANLEY LABS
MONO & DUAL MONO
MICROPHONE
PREAMPLIFIERS
MANLEY LABORATORIES, INC.
13880 MAGNOLIA AVE.
CHINO, CA. USA
TEL: (909) 627-4256
FAX: (909) 628-2482
email: emanley@netcom.com
http://www.manleylabs.com
REV. 6-22-2001
CONTENTS
SECTION
PAGE
INTRODUCTION
3
MAINS CONNECTIONS
4
BASICS
5
CONNECTING YOUR PREAMPLIFIER
6
OPERATION NOTES
8
FRONT PANEL
9
REAR PANEL
10
SPECIFICATIONS
11
TUBE AND PARTS LAYOUT
12
TROUBLESHOOTING
13
WARRANTY
15
WARRANTY REGISTRATION
16
APPENDIX 1
: TEMPLATE for STORING SETTINGS
(17)
APPENDIX 2
: WIRING YOUR OWN CABLES
(18)
2
INTRODUCTION
THANK YOU!...
for choosing the Manley Laboratories Microphone Preamplifier. We use this manual for both the
MONO and DUAL MONO versions. They are identical except the DUAL has two of everything.
These are all-tube Microphone Preamplifiers chock full of nice audiophile parts that combine flat
frequency response, very high headroom, low noise, and low distortion with a big rich beefy sound.
We wind the input and output transformers right here at Manley Labs. The Input Attenuator is
cleverly before the tube stage so that it can easily accomodate any reasonable signal level and
function like a variable pad. There is also a rotary GAIN switch which changes the amount of
negative feedback changing thepreamplifier's operating characteristics, slew rate and speed, (as well
as the gain) to suit a wide variety of tastes and styles. The direct inputs are favourite features of these
designs. There are both balanced and unbalanced outputs so that the preamplifier can interface with
virtually anything without hassle. But you knew all this anyway... which is why you bought it, so,
thank you again, and please enjoy!
GENERAL NOTES
LOCATION & VENTILATION
The Manley Microphone Preamplifier must be installed in a stable location with ample ventilation.
It is recommended, if this unit is rack mounted, that you allow enough clearance on the top and
bottom of the preamp such that a constant flow of air can flow through the ventilation holes.
WATER & MOISTURE
As with any electrical equipment, this preamplifier should not be used near water or moisture. It is
never a good idea to pour a cup of coffee into your micpreamp.
SERVICING
The user should not attempt to service the preamplifier beyond that described in the owner's manual.
Refer all servicing other than tube replacement to Manley Laboratories.
SPECIAL NOTES
Tubes may become loose during transit. Check to see that all the tubes are seated smartly in their
sockets. Please note, the tubes do get very hot during operation and high voltages are present inside
the chassis, so take care if poking your fingers around inside the chassis. The Safety People like us to
put warnings like this in our manual:
WARNING!
!
TO PREVENT THE RISK OF ELECTRIC SHOCK
DO NOT OPEN THE CABINET
REFER SERVICING TO
QUALIFIED PERSONEL
3
MAINS CONNECTIONS
Your preamplifier has been factory set to the correct mains voltage for your country. The
voltage setting is marked on the serial badge, located on the rear or side panel. Check that this
complies with your local mains supply.
Export units for certain markets have a molded mains plug fitted to comply with local
requirements. If your unit does not have a plug fitted the coloured wires should be connected
to the appropriate plug terminals in accordance with the following code.
GREEN/YELLOW
BLUE
BROWN
EARTH terminal
NEUTRALterminal
LIVE
terminal
As the colours of the wires in the mains lead may not correspond with the coloured marking
identifying the terminals in your plug proceed as follows;
The wire which is coloured GREEN/YELLOW must be connected to the terminal in the plug
which is marked by the letter E or by the safety earth symbol or coloured GREEN or GREEN
and YELLOW.
The wire which is coloured BLUE must be connected to the terminal in the plug which is
marked by the letter N or coloured BLACK.
The wire which is coloured BROWN must be connected to the terminal in the plug which is
marked by the letter L or coloured RED.
DO NOT CONNECT/SWITCH ON THE MAINS SUPPLY UNTIL ALL OTHER
CONNECTIONS HAVE BEEN MADE.
A LITTLE NOTE FOR LIVE ENGINEERS
The biggest concern for most engineers considering using tube gear live is its reliability. This is mostly quite
unjustified. You can visit just about any studio and see 30 and 40 year old tube gear working like new in the
racks. It is unlikely you will find any early solid state gear in use. Manley uses construction methods that
combine the most reliable parts of tube and solid state techniques like high quality circuit boards, strong overengineered chassis, transformer inputs and outputs, heavy 1/2 watt metal film resistors, and no electrolytic caps
in the signal path. This product should stand up to decades of heavy use. Unlike guitar amps that require retubing every 3 or 6 months - this unit has no "power tubes", "rectifier tubes" and in power amps where we do use
such "Glow Fets" we run them cool and they tend to average about 5 years. On a positive note about tube guitar
amps - who avoids them because they might not handle the road? For 50 years they have proven road-worthy,
more reliable than solid state or speakers and easy to repair and find parts. On the other hand, we know other
tube gear that is not built to our standards and that may be difficult to repair - look inside before you buy.
The only two concerns are: Tubes tend to become microphonic when subjected to lots of vibration. Typical
outboard racks have some reasonable impact protection and this will help. The best answer to your concern is:
Carry a few spare tubes! You can almost always fix a problem in a few minutes this way. Unlike solid state, most
tubes tend to die gradually (like a battery) so 90% of the time you have plenty of warning.
4
BASICS
This Microphone Preamp, like most mic preamps, is pretty easy to use. First we can discuss why
outboard mic pre's have become "a must have item" in almost every studio even though your console
probably has a bunch of them and that manufacturer claims that they are really great and you don't need
outboard mic pre's. Then, why is everybody buying them, using them, and why are most people going back
to tubes?
Good question. The signal from a typical mic is very low - anywhere from 20 to 70 dB below your
normal line level signals. 95% of the time 30 to 40 dB of gain is all that is needed to boost the signal to line
levels. Where you really need a lot of gain is with most ribbon mics and when you are recording quiet music
from a distance. What is required of a good Mic Pre? No EQ, no compression, nothing elaborate - just basic
gain. Each preamp, tube or solid state seems to impart a flavour or color (or personality) of its own. Some
of these flavours are subtle and some are not. Maybe it is the mic reacting different into different circuits.
A few engineers have an array of mic pre's and use them almost like effects - using each for a certain flavor
as needed. The rest of us only have the budget for one or two great mic pre's so we tend to choose one that
sounds "best", or is priced for us, or is used by "xxxxxx" or has cute ads. The Manley Mic Pre wins most
shoot-outs or at least ties with units twice as expensive. It is regularly used by major engineers, in "A" rooms
for famous artists and by hundreds of serious musicians in project studios. Most people choose the Manley
because it sounds "alive" and musical, warm and rich without audible distortion and the instrument sounds
like the real thing. What more is there ? You probably agree that if more color and personality is needed,
then the engineer has EQs and compressors and dozens of digital toys to squeeze that once clean signal
through. This is not the main function of a well engineered Mic Pre, however we have included the Gain
Control for some subtle differences of taste, style and so-called "tube warmth".
Some consider that the "headroom" factor is the most important issue in mic pre's. We believe that
it is just one of a number of issues. The input stage is unlikely to clip because the Attenuator (not the GAIN
switch) is before the tubes. This Preamplifier has more headroom than almost all mic pre's. The line driver
clips at between +30 and +32 dBV. This is about twice the voltage that most solid state can deliver. If
overdriven, which is not easy, it starts to clip in a gentle, smooth way, creating less nasty upper harmonics.
A more likely effect will be that the next device after the pre will be the place actually distorting. More
importantly are subtle issues of transient response. We believe this is one area where good tube circuits are
audibly superior to virtually all solid state. The transient details are important for reproducing the true
character of the instrument, the room and stereo image. Solid state often seems to smear transients, probably
due to the extreme amounts of negative feedback normally used to achieve the distortion specs. Transient
accuracy is not a "spec" and test benches don't produce hit records. You should be able to readily hear this
"effect" if your monitors are good. More than Left -Right it should also have nearness or depth.
Which brings us to the next topic - METERING - We do get questions like "How do I set up the Mic
Pre levels when there are no meters?". Answer - Look at where you are sending the signal, if it has meters
- use them. Why ? Most people are recording to digital mediums where there is no real standard. If you use
the tape machine's digital meters, you will most likely get the best recording levels using the machine's
meters. If we included a meter, it would most likely not be "calibrated" to your meters and mislead or
confuse the user. Also, if we included metering, it would be VU which is a standard of its own, appropriate
for analog tape only. Start off with the GAIN switch set to "45" which is what most people use. Turn up
the LEVEL control until the loudest peaks to tape are a few dB below maximum and not producing "Over"
Leds (for safety) and not too low (10 dB below clipping or lower). If we had a "Clipping LED" for the
preamp, it would be probably be dark when the machine's meters were pinned. Cosmetically a meter might
be nice but functionally it would be misleading or mostly useless.
5
CONNECTING YOUR PREAMPLIFIER
There are two inputs and two outputs for each channel on the Mic Preamplifier. You generally only
have to use one input and one output per channel.
On the back panel are female XLR's labelled MIC INPUT A and MIC INPUT B. The signal from
the MICROPHONES get plugged in here. There are a few warnings and suggestions. These connectors also "send" PHANTOM POWER to the mics. Some mics can be damaged by the 48 volts of
phantom power. A few dynamics and a few ribbon mics have been known to "fry" when fed phantom power. The suggestion is to ALWAYS have PHANTOM switched off when switching mics,
cables, patches that involve mics etc. You ONLY use phantom power for SOLID STATE
CONDENSOR MICS. Tube mics, dynamic mics, ribbon mics and battery powered mics should
have phantom switched "off". This is true for all mic pre's. With this MIC PRE you "PULL THE
TOGGLE to SWITCH PHANTOM". It is a locking toggle to prevent "accidents". The second great
reason for not using phantom if you don't have to is that - if you change a connection with phantom
on, then the pre amp will be fed a quick burst of 48 volts (when it normally is amplifying about a
hundredth of a volt), which can then be monitored - usually once. After you have replaced your
speakers, you have learned a valuable lesson about turning down the volume of the monitors before
changing mics or mic patches. This is a good idea with phantom on or off. Consider a variation of
this - any mic connection just a little bit bad, it will be extra noisy with phantom turned on. This
goes for cables, patchbays, patch cords etc. Suggestion #2 - Avoid running mic signals through
patchbays. Some patchbays "ground" all the "sleeves" which can add a ground loop into your delicate mic signal. Suggestion #3 - Set up the Mic Pre in the studio near the mic and use a short mic
cable. Why ? Microphones often have "light duty" line drivers and you can lose an audible amount
of signal in long cables. You can get the best fidelity by having the Mic Pre close to the mic at the
"cost" of having to walk into the studio to adjust a level control. You also avoid almost all of that
phantom power / patching problem because now you are patching a line level signal only. Suggestion #4 - If you have a weird cable plugged into the mic input that has either pin 2 or pin 3 shorted to
ground, and you turn on the phantom power, you will probably fry the input transformer. You
probably do not want to do this. Check your cables...
The MIC INPUT XLR PIN OUT is :
PIN 1 = GROUND
PIN 2 = HOT or positive going phase
PIN 3 = LOW or negative going phase
(provided that the PHASE SWITCH is set to "0˚")
There is a 1/4" (mono) jack on the front panel for plugging instruments in directly. It is not
quite the same thing as a "Direct Box" designed for guitar or bass but it works fine and is remarkable with keyboards. The PHASE SWITCH should be set to the "DIRECT IN" (middle) position
when using this 1/4" jack or else the signal may be loaded down. The Direct Input is always on and
switching to the middle position disconnects the MIC input and Mic transformer. Almost always the
DIRECT IN sounds better in the middle position. Of course, you can also use any "direct boxes" you
may have with the mic input with either the 0˚ or 180˚ settings. Check whether it may need phantom
power, otherwise leave it off !
6
This Mic Pre also has two outputs for each channel. One is balanced and one unbalanced.
The XLR is a true transformer balanced output. The 1/4" mono (tip -sleeve) jack is unbalanced
and gets its signal before the transformer.
The XLR PIN OUT is:
The 1/4" PIN OUT is:
PIN 1 = CIRCUIT GROUND
SLEEVE = CIRCUIT GROUND
PIN 2 = HOT or positive going phase
TIP = SIGNAL
PIN 3 = LOW or negative going phase
(providing that the Phase Switch is set to 0˚ and there is no plug in the 1/4" output)
We used to only provide an unbalanced output and it fed both the XLR and 1/4". Now we
give you options. The purists amongst you will probably prefer the unbalanced output because
it goes through one less component and the purists demand that the signal gets forced through
the best and as few as possible (it's one of the big reasons they chose the Manley Mic Pre). The
Studio Pro's will probably prefer the balanced output for two reasons. The first is that they require
the easiest patching and least hassle set-up with any situation they might encounter in any studio
they might be using. Transformer balanced outputs are easily the best solution. The second reason
is that they may like the "sound" of transformers. One well known engineer told us he "loves the
sound of great transformers and hates the sound of bad ones". These are great transformers because they have virtually no "sound" of their own. You can verify this by comparing the
outputs. We wind the transformers ourselves and we are probably the last or only audio
manufacturer doing so. We had to, to get the quality that we wanted.
If you read the PIN OUT carefully, you may have noticed we specified CIRCUIT GROUND
rather than just GROUND. We have a few terminals on the back panel for various "ground
schemes". The CIRCUIT GROUND is the same ground as the electronics in the Mic Pre while
the CHASSIS GROUND is the same as the steel enclosure that is bolted to the rack and is
connected to the "third pin AC Mains Ground. Both terminals are normally connected together
with a small "ground strap" but this strap can be moved to the side and wire can be attached to
the terminals. These are "MINI BANANA" style and will not accept regular size bananas found
on electronic test gear. Be careful with the ground strap because it can get lost if the terminals
are loose. If it does get lost - you can use a short bare wire.
There are two good reasons for using these ground terminals. The first is finding and fixing
hum and the second is preventing hum. If you have plugged everything in right and you are getting
hum then you have a number of options with these terminals. You can try simply moving the strap
so that chassis ground is separate from circuit ground. This is similar to breaking off the third pin
AC ground but includes the ground from rack mounting . One can experiment with attaching a
wire between the console ground and the circuit ground or between a rack and the chassis ground.
These are all techniques some technicians use when wiring studios. They also often cut the
ground (shield) on one side of the cable to prevent loops. DO NOT cut the shield on MIC cables
because you lose phantom, shielding at the mic, and hum only gets worse !
One other cause of hum - Some gear may radiate a field into whatever is closest. Move the
Mic Pre or the offender away from each other.
7
OPERATIONAL NOTES
SWITCHING ON
Allow this unit a few minutes for the tubes to warm up before use. It is not recommended that you
leave your preamplifier permanently switched on. This only wastes electricity and tube life. Your
preamplifier has solid state rectification and reaches peak operating condition in approximately 30
minutes.
TUBE LIFE
As with all tubes, their quality degrades with age. This is due to cathode emission, a natural process
found in all tubes. We recommend that you have your preamplifier checked every 4-5 years,
depending on usage, usually the preamplifier will require re-tubing after this time has elapsed.
Increased noise is usually a sign that the tubes need replacing.
OPERATION
The Microphone Preamplifier is equipped with a switchable 48 Volt phantom supply. Pull the
toggle to turn phantom power on or off. You should only turn phantom power on once you have a solid
state(FET) condensor mic plugged in and patched through to the Mic Pre and the monitor volume is way
down or off. DO NOT use phantom with an unbalanced cable, unbalanced output mic, or valuable ribbon
mics. Damage to the Mic or preamp may result. Do not change mics or mic patches with phantom power
on especially if the monitors are up. See page 6.
The 40 dB Microphone Preamplifier is equipped with five preset GAINs, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 dB.
These "numbers" are only if the ATTENUATE control is turned to full. The GAIN control is not a pad.
The input attenuator is kinda like a pad. GAIN sets the amount of negative feedback used in the Mic Pre.
These preset gains affect tonal quality, noise and linearity characteristics. At lower gains (40 dB setting)
the Pre Amp has a very clean quality, in some ways like solid state and is the best at minimizing tube hiss.
50 is a "normal" setting because it tends to sound most like the source, and is very musical and real. The
lower settings can sound slightly slower, further back and more mellow by comparison. The 60 dB setting
uses almost no feedback and can give a slightly more punchy and forward or aggressive sound. It may be
a little "hot" (more than simply warm) for some tastes. Experiment to discover your own descriptions. You
will likely find a few settings that you prefer for your style of music.
The INPUT ATTENUATE controls the amount of signal entering the amplifier circuit. Use this
control to adjust the level of the input signal. It has no effect on the tonal quality and simply sets the level
sent to tape. Use the tape machine's meters to optimise levels.
The PHASE SWITCH can reverse the polarity of the mic signal. The middle position is used for
the 1/4" DIRECT INPUT and de-selects the mic input transformer. Reversing the polarity or phase is often
needed when two or more mics are picking up the same source. For example it would be needed when one
mics the top and bottom of a snare - one skin is going towards one mic and the other skin is going away
from the other mic. If one signal is not "reversed" then you lose lows. Polarity reverse can also help with
some vocal / mic / headphone situations because " somewhere " the polarity flipped one too many times.
It happens. General advise - try it each way - listen, with vocals always ask the singer which way they prefer.
The headphones may "cancel" with the sound they hear in their skull while singing.
8
FRONT PANEL
40
CHANNEL A
48V ON
•
45
• 50
CHANNEL B
IN
DIRECT
DIRECT
PHANTOM
INPUT ATTENUATE
A B
C
MANLEY
IN
180º
180º
PHANTOM
POWER
48V ON
0º
0º
INPUT ATTENUATE
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
DUAL MONO MICROPHONE PREAMPLIFIER
DESIGNED BY DAVID MANLEY
HANDCRAFTED IN CHINO, CALIFORNIA
K
L M
A
LED PHANTOM INDICATOR Illuminates when 48V phantom power switch is activated on channel A.
B
PHANTOM SWITCH PULL TO SWITCH. ON provides 48V phantom power to the input XLR for use
with phantom powered microphones (FET condensor).
C
INPUT ATTENUATE Adjusts the amplitude of the incoming signal entering the preamplifier circuit. This
is the main control to set-up level to tape.
D
DIRECT INPUT. Plug an instrument in here and use like a direct box with variable gain.
Use the center position of the PHASE SWITCH with this input.
E
PHASE SWITCH. For channel A only. 0˚ is the normal setting where a positive going signal from the mic
pin 2 should produce a positive going signal to the speaker. The 180˚ position reverses the phase (polarity)
of the mic signal and is often needed with multiple mics and vocals.
F
GAIN dB. For both channels. Not a pad - Adjusts the amount of negative feedback which will affect gain,
linearity, transient response, noise and clipping characteristics. Selects between 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 dB of
maximum gain.
G
PHASE SWITCH. For channel B only. 0˚ is the normal setting where a positive going signal from the mic
pin 2 should produce a positive going signal to the speaker. The 180˚ position reverses the phase (polarity)
of the mic signal and is often needed with multiple mics and vocals.
H
DIRECT INPUT. Plug an instrument in here and use like a direct box with variable gain.
Use the center position of the PHASE SWITCH with this input.
I
INPUT ATTENUATE Adjusts the amplitude of the incoming signal entering the preamplifier circuit. This
is the main control to set-up level to tape for channel B.
J
PHANTOM SWITCH PULL TO SWITCH. ON provides 48V phantom power to the input XLR for use
with phantom powered microphones (FET condensor).
K
LED PHANTOM INDICATOR Illuminates when 48V phantom power switch is activated on channel B
L
LED POWER INDICATOR Illuminates when the preamplifier is powered.
M
POWER SWITCH Switch up to turn on the power, down to turn the power off.
9
REAR PANEL
FUSE
1 AMP SLO-BLO
CIRCUIT
UNBALANCED
OUTPUT B
UNBALANCED
OUTPUT A
CHASSIS
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
A
IEC MAINS SOCKET Standard IEC mains socket (120/240 VAC)
B
FUSE HOLDER
C
I
Replace with 1A SLO-BLO fuse only.
GROUND TERMINALS Separate CIRCUIT GROUND AND CHASSIS
GROUND normally joined together. Used for finding and fixing hum.
D
BALANCED OUTPUT B (XLR) (transformer),
PIN 1 = GROUND
PIN 2 = HOT
PIN 3 = LOW
E
UNBALANCED OUTPUT B (1/4" MONO) ,
SLEVE = GROUND
TIP = SIGNAL
F
BALANCED OUTPUT A (XLR) (transformer),
PIN 1 = GROUND
PIN 2 = HOT
PIN 3 = LOW
G
UNBALANCED OUTPUT A (1/4" MONO) ,
SLEVE = GROUND
TIP = SIGNAL
H MICROPHONE INPUT B (XLR) Balanced
PIN 1 = GROUND
PIN 2 = HOT
PIN 3 = LOW
I MICROPHONE INPUT A (XLR) Balanced
PIN 1 = GROUND
PIN 2 = HOT
PIN 3 = LOW
10
SPECIFICATIONS
Vacuum Tubes:
1 x 12AX7LPS, 1 x 6414 per channel
Frequency Response
20 Hz - 60 KHz ( +/- 1 dB)
THD
.05%
Signal to Noise Ratio
80 dB or better typical
depends on settings and tubes
Maximum Output
+32 dBv ( 70 volts RMS ! )
+15 dBm into 600 Ω
Maximum Input
450 mV with maximum gain settings.
The Input Attenuator is before the tubes so normal
maximum input is much higher.
Gain
40 to 60 dB maximum gain depending
on the setting of the GAIN SWITCH
Input Impedance
2400 Ohm, transformer coupled
optimised for mics with 100 to 600 ohm output
impedances.
300 KΩ 1/4 direct input
Output Impedance
50 ohms (from 20 Hz to 20 kHz)
best driving 10 KΩ or higher
will drive 600Ω input with less headroom
Transformer coupled balanced output
MULTI CAP™coupled unbalanced output
Power Consumption
18 Watts
Size
19" X 1.75" X 10" (1U)
Shipping Weight
12 lbs
@ 1kHz, +4 dBv out
11
TROUBLE-SHOOTING
NO POWER, NO INDICATORS, NADA - Probably something to do with AC power. Is it plugged in? Murphy's Law.
Check the fuse on the back panel. A blown fuse often looks blackened inside or the little wire inside looks broken. A very
blackened fuse is a big hint that a short occured. Try replacing the fuse with a good one of the same value and size. If it blows
too then prepare to send the unit back to the dealer or factory for repair. The fuse is a protection device and it should blow
if there is a problem. If the unit works with a new fuse, fine. Check the MAINS VOLTAGE SELECTOR if one is fitted. Some
of our models are able to have them and some don't. It should be set correctly for your mains voltage.
LIGHTS BUT NO SOUND - First try plugging the in and out cables into some other piece of gear to verify that your wires
are OK. Next check the front panel, try the PHASE (0-180) switch or PHANTOM. If you have sound now it might be a good
idea to turn up the levels to about 1 o'clock (rather than fully counterclockwise which is "minus infinity". The XLR inputs
and outputs are transformer balanced and floating. "Floating" refers to a very useful feature of transformers where they can
be used without a ground reference - this prevents ground loops before they happen rather than electronically cancel them.
Transformer "floating" inputs and outputs do not tie ground to the center tap. It allows the output to be equally happy driving
balanced or unbalanced inputs. This Preamp has both transformer floating outputs and transformerless unbalanced outputs
with +4 dBm nominal levels. The XLR outputs require that both PIN 2 and PIN 3 be connected (but not to each other). To
interface to unbalanced units you should connect PIN 3 to Ground or PIN 1. Brainless solution - use the 1/4" unbalanced inputs
and outputs to interface to unbalanced gear. Some low cost consoles use a stereo 1/4" jack for INSERTs. This has caused lots
of grief. These are unbalanced for both send and recieve. With transformer floating inputs and outputs PIN 3 must be grounded
(or connected to PIN 1) when used with unbalanced lines but not for balanced. No -10 dBv output is provided, but you can
turn down the input if you can live with 14 dB more hiss than should really be there
LEVELS SEEM TO BE WRONG, NO BOTTOM - Several possible scenarios - most likely a broken cable. Manley uses
the professional standard of +4 dBm = Zero VU = 1.23 volts AC RMS. A lot of semi-pro gear uses the hi-fi reference of 10 dBv = Zero VU. Generally RCA phono jacks are unbalanced -10dBv levels and most XLRs are balanced or pseudobalanced. This does not imply that all unbalanced lines are -10 or all XLRs are +4 or should be balanced. Manley provides
unbalanced +4 outputs on most of the pro gear. If one chooses to use this unbalanced output to drive a unit expecting -10 levels
(ADAT RCA jacks) expect plenty of level. This is a 14 dB difference that will certainly look goofy and may tend to distort.
Often there are switches on the semi-pro gear to choose the pro reference level. We do not provide that kind of switch because
of inevitable compromises in the signal path. If the loss looks close to 6 dB and it sounds thin then one half of the signal is
lost. The cause is probably wiring again. One of the two signal carrying wires (the third is ground / shield on pin 1) is not
happening. Check the cables carefully because occasionally a cable gets modified to work with a certain unit and it seems
to work but its wrong in other situations. If we are discussing the same levels, in most cases, you can use an unbalanced output
to drive a balanced input and a balanced output to drive an unbalanced input. Some pseudo-balanced op-amp circuits may
have problems driving an unbalanced input and also have problems driving transformers or 600 ohm inputs. The thing to really
consider is the levels appropriate for each input and output and not jump to conclusions because it says balanced or
unbalanced. Unbalanced simply means there is a signal and ground - balanced means 3 wires, 2 signals (opposite phase) and
ground.
ONE SIDE WORKS FINE BUT THE OTHER SIDE IS DEAD - Let's assume this is not wiring. We are pretty sure it is
the MIC PRE. If it were solid state you would generally send it back for repair. Being a tube unit, you can probably find the
problem and fix it in a few minutes. Not too many years ago, people could "fix" their own stuff by taking a bag of tubes down
to the corner and checking said tubes on a tube tester. These are practically extinct but no prob'. Most Manley gear is two
channel meaning you can swap tubes to determine the bad boy. Do two at a time just watching that they are the same number.
Be careful - there are some high voltages inside the chassis and tubes can get pretty warm but if you can replace a light bulb
you should be able to cruise through this. Just remember tubes use high voltages - Don't grab the circuit board! Before you
remove a tube, just take a look at them powered up. They should glow a bit and they should be warm. If one is not, you have
already found the problem. The tube's filament (heater) is burnt out or broken like a dead light bulb. The other big visual
symptom is a tube that has turned milky white - that indicates air has gotten into the tube or we joke "the vacuum leaked out".
Either way replace the tube. They are not hard to find - even Radio Shack carries a fair tube stock and Manley can ship you
a tested one. Back to swapping - before you pull a tube, pull the power out, let the unit sit and cool and discharge for a minute
or two, then swap, then power, then check. Gentle with those tubes, don't bend the pins by trying to insert them not quite right.
A little rocking of them as you pull them out or put them in helps. When the problem follows the tube you found the problem
- a bad tube. No soldering, no meters, one screwdriver - easy. 9 times out of 10 you can "fix" tube gear by replacing a tube
and you can verify that the tube is bad by swapping with the other channel.
HUM - Let's assume it knows the words. Once again - several possibilities - several cures. Most likely it is a ground loop.
The two most common procedures are: try a 3 pin to 2 pin AC adapter (about a dollar at the hardware store) which is better
than messing up the power cable by bending the ground pin until it breaks off. Method two - cutting the shield on one side
of the cable (PIN 1). This is done by some studios at every female XLR to "break" all loops. You may get a loop simply from
the rack. All the other gear in the rack is "dumping" ground noise onto the rack rails. Try removing the Limiter from the rack
so that it is not touching any metal. You may have cured a non-loop hum. Some gear radiates a magnetic field and some gear
(especially if it has transformers) might receive that hum. A little distance was all it took. A cool method of reducing all sorts
of hum and noise is to use the new 60-0-60 balanced AC power transformers available from Equi=Tech and Furman. It costs
more but works best. Hum is more likely with the unbalanced inputs and outputs because these signals are ground referenced.
IT MAKES NOISES WHEN THE FRONT PANEL IS TAPPED - An easy one. Some tubes become microphonic over
time. That means they start acting like a bad microphone. Vibration has caused the supports for the little parts in the tube to
loosen and now the tube is sensitive to vibration. Easy - Replace the tube. Which one? The one that makes the most noise when
you tap it. It will have to be on , connected and speakers up but not too loud for the sake of your speakers.
IT GOT HISSY - Also easy. This is again a common tube symptom. You could swap tubes to find the culprit but an educated
guess is OK too. Generally the first tube in the path is the one with the most gain and dealing with the softest signals. The
usual suspect is the tube that is usually located closest to the front panel volume pot or the 12AX7LPS (or 12AT7, 12AU7,
5814 on other models). You may find that you need to choose the quietest tube out of several of that type.
DISTORTION - This might be a tube. Swapping is a good way to find out. It may be a wiring thing or mismatch as well.
Wiring problems usually accompany the distortion with a major loss of signal. Mismatches are a bit tougher. The input and
output impedances of this preamp are very reasonable. Without even explaining the term "impedance" it is enough to say that
a lot of gear is simply not capable of driving pro levels and low impedances. It will sound like lost headroom, early clipping,
distortion on peaks.We do not expect these problems with this unit, but you may find this further down the chain. Often
changing the order of processors will do the trick. Another not so rare place to look is the patchbay, your settings, the meter
levels - it happens.
SNAPS, CRACKLES, POPS - Along with hiss, microphonics, a dead channel, distortion and a few other wierd symptoms
is probably due to a tube. Try a channel swap or a tube swap. Not the tube? The next most likely possibility is a bad tube socket
(caused by bent tube pins or roughly inserting a tube. A technician may have to replace the socket. Another possibility is the
famous "broken wire". This is usually obvious if one just looks. Vibration may eventually weaken a wire or solder joint. Again
this is an easy repair for any tech or someone handy with a soldering iron.
IT GAVE ME A SHOCK ! - If you got a little shock while handling a mic cable while phantom was turned on you probably
deserve it. Go back and read the section on Phantom Power. That was a 48 volt, almost no current, little surprise. Any and
every MIC PRE can give you this minor jolt. The solution? Turn Phantom off when patching. If you got the shock while the
top is open and you are changing tubes - well....again we warned you on page 3, page 12 and once again. Tubes use high voltage
(300-400 VDC) but very little current. One should be very aware of this before opening the top. Again - let the power supply
capacitors discharge, don't grab the circuit board, use one hand, use gloves, etc. For what it is worth, the voltage in the unit
can cause pain, a pin-hole burn and a big surprise but the current is so small that there is almost no chance it might be lethal.
A bigger concern is the current from the 120V or 220V AC mains is when you plug something in the wall. Be careful, be aware.
CAN'T GET ENOUGH LEVEL -This may happen. This design has a maximum gain of 60 dB. This may be short of what
is needed for some situations. Do not be afraid to turn up the INPUT ATTENUATOR pot. In other words it reduces the signal
as one turns counter-clockwise. If you turn up the INPUT, you are using less attenuation with the same gain. It is a good thing
to use both less attenuation and less gain. Not a conventional modern concept, but one rooted in old school recording and one
of the biggest reasons why this MIC PRE sounds so damn good. Sometimes we like to design where "all controls at 12:00"
is a good starting point but this is not so cool when it affects the sonic quality. Some designs just sound best at full tilt and
this MIC PRE leans that way. BTW, we built a 60 dB pre and almost nobody wanted it - now discontinued.
If this is the problem when using the INSTRUMENT (or DIRECT) IN - sorry. It is optimised for synths, drum machines and
electronic sources. You may find that a typical good direct box used normally into the MIC INPUT does the trick. The
Instrument Input has about 25 dB of gain and most guitars and basses seem to need in the neighborhood of 20 dB but some
guitars are not as hot as others and 25 dB has not been enough for some instruments. Another good reason for using a direct
box is the input impedance of the MIC PRE DIRECT INPUT is 100K ohms. This is OK, but with a direct box it is more likely
1meg (1000K) to 10 meg which is bound to give more highs. On the other hand, most owners report rather remarkable results
using the DIRECT IN for all sorts of instruments. Maybe that stomp box might help........
WARRANTY
All Manley Laboratories equipment is covered by a limited warranty against defects in
materials and workmanship for a period of 90 days from date of purchase to the original
purchaser only. A further optional limited 5 year warranty is available to the original purchaser
upon proper registration of ownership within 30 days of date of first purchase.
Proper registration is made by filling out and returning to the factory the warranty card
attached to this general warranty statement, along with a copy of the original sales receipt as
proof of the original date of purchase. Only 1 card is issued with each unit, and the serial
number is already recorded on it.
If the warranty registration card has already been removed then this is not a new unit, and is
therefore not warranted by the factory. If you believe this to be a new unit then please contact
the factory with the details of purchase.
This warranty is provided by the dealer where the unit was purchased, and by Manley
Laboratories, Inc. Under the terms of the warranty defective parts will be repaired or replaced
without charge, excepting the cost of tubes. Tubes are warranted for six months provided the
warranty registration is completed as outlined in paragraph 1.
If a Manley Laboratories product fails to meet the above warranty, then the purchaser's sole
remedy shall be to return the product to Manley Laboratories, where the defect will be repaired
without charge for parts and labour. The product will then be returned via prepaid, insured
freight, method and carrier to be determined solely by Manley Laboratories. All returns to the
factory must be in the original packing, (new packing will be supplied for no charge if needed),
accompanied by a written description of the defect, and must be shipped to Manley
Laboratories via insured freight at the customer's own expense. Charges for unauthorized
service and transportation costs are not reimbursable under this warranty, and all warrantees,
express or implied, become null and void where the product has been damaged by misuse,
accident, neglect, modification, tampering or unauthorized alteration by anyone other than
Manley Laboratories.
The warrantor assumes no liability for property damage or any other incidental or
consequental damage whatsoever which may result from failure of this product. Any and all
warrantees of merchantability and fitness implied by law are limited to the duration of the
expressed warranty. All warrantees apply only to Manley Laboratories products purchased and
used in the USA.
Some states do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts, so the above
limitations may not apply to you. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of
incidental or consequential damges, so the above exclusion may not apply to you.
This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may also have other rights which vary
from state to state.
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WARRANTY REGISTRATION
We ask that you please fill out this registration form and send the bottom half to:
MANLEY LABORATORIES
REGISTRATION DEPARTMENT
13880 MAGNOLIA AVE.
CHINO CA, 91710
or you may FAX IT to (909) 628-2482
There is also on-line registration in the Tech Support Section of our website www.manleylabs.com
Registration entitles you to product support, full warranty benefits, and notice of product
enhancements and upgrades. You MUST complete and return the following to validate your
warranty and registration. Thank you again for choosing our gear.
MODEL ____________________ SERIAL No. ______________________
PURCHASE DATE ______________ SUPPLIER ______________________
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------PLEASE DETACH THIS PORTION AND SEND IT TO MANLEY LABORATORIES
MONO MICROPHONE PREAMPLIFIER
DUAL MONO MICROPHONE PREAMPLIFIER SERIAL No. ________________
PURCHASE DATE __________________________ SUPPLIER _______________________
NAME OF OWNER ___________________________________________________________
NAME OF STUDIO ___________________________________________________________
ADDRESS ___________________________________________________________________
CITY, STATE, ZIP ____________________________________________________________
TELEPHONE NUMBER _______________________________________________________
EMAIL ADDRESS ____________________________________________________________
Comments? We appreciate your feedback___________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
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