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Aphex 207 Review

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For all of us that own a home or project studio who would like to move beyond the preamps that came with our audio interface, the 207 is a clear, sound choice.

Today, with home and project studio’s becoming common place, the need for great sounding gear at affordable prices continues to grow. Aphex Systems hits the mark with the 207, a two channel tube mic and instrument preamp.

I had the opportunity to use the 207 in Sweetwater’s Studio B. We recorded into a Pro Tools Mix system, while monitoring through Mackie HR824’s. We recorded several passes using Blue’s new Baby Bottle on an acoustic guitar and I was happily surprised at the quality and low noise of the 207. The sound of the 207 was warm, but not colored. If you’ve owned the popular Aphex 107 preamp in the past you will appreciate the sound and added benefits of the 207. Taking what was best from the 107, Aphex added several enhancements to fill out the 207. One enhancement that we took advantage of when recording vocals is MicLim. Previously available only on Aphex’s more expensive higher-end products, MicLim offers up to 20dB in gain reduction by detecting the preamp’s output signal and instructing the input attenuator to proportionately reduce the level just enough to prevent clipping. While I found that just a little MicLim goes a long way, this would be extremely handy when recording vocals to avoid “digital clipping”.

I think the 207 sounds as great as it looks. The two direct inputs on the front panel would make any keyboard sound much richer and fuller, and all connections were solid a professional. The manual for the 207 was a breathe of fresh air in that it was easy to understand and very informative. For all of us that own a home or project studio who would like to move beyond the preamps that came with our audio interface, the 207 is a clear, sound choice.

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