Chameleon Labs 7602 MKII with X-MOD Option

1-channel Microphone Preamplifier and 3-band Equalizer with X-MOD Option
Chameleon Labs 7602 MKII with X-MOD Option image 1
Chameleon Labs 7602 MKII with X-MOD Option image 1
Sweetwater Savings: $200.00 MSRP: $1,399.00
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Special-ordered from Chameleon Labs and usually arrives to you within 1-2 weeks. Please note: special orders cannot be canceled or returned.
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Chameleon Labs 7602 MKII with X-MOD Option
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A Does-it-all Preamp/EQ with Upgraded Transformers

The Chameleon Labs 7602 MKII with X-MOD Option Mic Preamp/EQ updates a benchmark. The original Chameleon Labs 7602 microphone preamplifier and equalizer made serious waves when it came out in 2005. With the 7602 MKII, Chameleon Labs gives you the sound of a '70s British console preamp, plus an amazing, sound-morphing 3-band EQ that takes full advantage of modern analog precision circuitry. Add to that the X-MOD upgrade, and you have an incredible console-style preamp that will blow you away! Fortify your studio arsenal with the Chameleon Labs 7602 MKII with X-MOD Option.

Chameleon Labs 7602 MKII with X-MOD Option Mic Preamp / EQ at a Glance:
  • A powerful addition to your studio arsenal
  • The X-MOD option gives you high-end British input and output transformers
  • Built like a tank, for years of serious professional use
A powerful addition to your studio arsenal

The power of the 7602 MKII starts with its input stage, which allows you to select the perfect impedance for your microphone. This function alone makes the 7602 MKII invaluable to any serious engineer, because it allows you to get a wide range of tone out of a single microphone. It also lets you get the most out of ribbons and other "low-output" microphones. Next, there's the 7602 MKII's switchable highpass filter, which lets you cut out the mud and other useless low-frequency noise that can cloud up your sound. Shelving high- and low-frequency EQ controls with selectable cutoff frequencies give you an enormous range of tone, and semi-parametric mid control lets you dial in frequencies from 360Hz all the way up to 7.2k - perfect for fine-tuning your sound.

The X-MOD option gives you high-end British input and output transformers

The Chameleon Labs 7602 MKII with X-MOD Option X-MOD option adds high-end British input and output transformers from Carnhill/Saint Ives. These custom transformers give the 7602 MKII warm bottom end and smooth, gentle top that's perfect for tracking or mixing.

Built like a tank, for years of serious professional use

A high-end, Swiss-made, 20-position solid-gold gain switch assures not only mechanical-noise-free operation, but quality that's built to last. A Switchcraft DI is also ready for years of hard use. (You'll probably want to write this amazing preamp into your will.) Finally, US-made tantalum capacitors and custom wound transformers give the 7602 MKII robust sound, all the way up to its +80dB maximum gain. If you're looking for a single great preamplifier/EQ that you can use for any microphone and any sound source, the Chameleon Labs 7602 MKII microphone preamplifier and equalizer is it!

Chameleon Labs 7602 MKII with X-MOD Option Mic Preamp/EQ Features:
  • Single-channel preamp and 3-band EQ combo
  • X-MOD option adds high-end British input and output transformers from Carnhill/Saint Ives
  • Selectable impedance (300 ohms or 1.2 kohms) lets you get excellent results from any microphone
  • 5-position switchable highpass filter
  • Swiss-made, 20-position solid-gold gain switch with up to 80dB of gain
  • Robust Switchcraft DI
  • Shelving low-frequency control with four frequency selections: 220Hz, 110Hz, 60Hz, and 35Hz
  • Peaking mid-frequency control with six frequency selections: 360Hz, 700Hz, 1.6k, 3.2k, 4.8k, and 7.2k
  • Shelving high-frequency control with four frequency selections: 16k, 12k, 7k, 4.9k and 3.4k
  • All frequency bands feature 20db boost/cut
Meet your new go-to preamp/EQ: Chameleon Labs' 7602 MKII with X-MOD Option!

What Does "Special Order" Mean?

A special-order product is one that we don't normally keep in stock. We order it from the manufacturer as soon as you order from us. We have great relationships with all the manufacturers we carry, so we can get your special order to you as fast as or faster than anyone else. Remember that special orders are non-returnable and non-cancelable, so make sure the item is right for you. A Sweetwater Sales Engineer can help you decide — call (800) 222-4700 for assistance!

Additional Media

Studio Preamp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Preamp Type Solid State
Number of Channels 1
Frequency Response 11Hz-77.65kHz
Phantom Power Yes
EQ 3-band
Analog Inputs 1 x XLR (mix), 1 x XLR (line), 1 x TS (DI)
Analog Outputs 1 x XLR
Rack Spaces 1U
Height 1.75"
Width 19"
Manufacturer Part Number 7602MKII XMOD

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
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"British Sound"

The eq has frequency selections that I found most useful among all the neve style pre. And upgraded transformers give it a high-end sound at all. Great units for the bucks.


So, out of the box, I marveled at the build quality. The hunk of aluminum used on the front panel alone (at least twice normal thickness) was impressive. Add to that beautifully detented Mic/Line input and EQ center frequency selection pots, and smooth, un-detented EQ gain/reduce and master output pots - it all feels REALLY good. Some (me included) might have liked detented EQ Gain/Reduce pots for easy recallability, but so what - these let you get into the 'spaces in-between with the perfect amount of gain/cut. So, I am not complaining.The 4 LED 'meter' might seem underwhelming, but let's face it: these days, recording straight into DAWs, there's no real reason to record hot - you never want an over, and we all know things can get louder as the session wears on and the band warms up. I never used these LEDs except to get in the ball park - and the ball park was just tickling the amber on the input (with the output straight up at noon). The result was a quiet 'medium strength' signal with lots of room to protect from overs. OK, I turned it on and tried it with a Blue Baby Bottle Condenser mic, and a Rode NTK Tube Condenser. In both cases, compared to my Focusrite ISA828, there was a beefier and rounder low end. That 'British metal' sound - not heavy metal, boys and girls, TRANSFORMER metal! I have to say that the baby bottle sounded better than it's ever sounded! And that was before I played with the EQ.They both sounded big, warm, round, positively CREAMY *without* sounding dark or muted! Definitely not neutral like my ISA828. This thing had character! And don't be fooled, folks: most of the warm sound associated with vintage preamps comes from TRANSFORMERS, NOT TUBES! That's why the MKII with X-Mod is so good: vintage spec. transformers.Incidentally, they recommend the 300/1.2K Ohm impedance switch to be set @ 1.2K for 'most professional microphones today'. Well, maybe so, but at that setting both mics sounded more compressed and less open than at the 300 Ohm setting. I will probably be using that setting most of the time. I also tend to use the lower impedance settings on my ISA828 too.Now to play with the EQ. The highpass filter, primarily for rumble, was OK - transparent. Not usuable above the 60 Hz mark, unless you want to simulate an old recording or a telephone conversation, so the additional 160 and 300 Hz settings seem to extraneous in general applications. The other three EQ bands are musical and quite useful for general tone shaping. The 'Q' (width of the frequency bell or shelf curve) is not settable - so this is not a parametric EQ, which makes some things, like phase artifacts, a non-issue. It also means this is not a laser scalpel. You would not use this to boost or cut one problematic frequency; this is for general tone shaping, and it seems to excel at that. It's quiet, musical, and QUITE useful. The Lo EQ is a shelving slope with 4 selectable center frequencies of 35, 60, 110 & 220 Hz respectively. Again - with all three bands you select the center freq. and the amount of boost or cut, but not the 'width' of the shelf or bell). Because this preamp already gave me a little of that big round bass, I used the low EQ on my already big and round sounding Rode NTK to tame it a little. I didn't need it at all on the Baby Bottle.The mid peaking EQ has six center frequency selections: 360, 700, 1.3, 3.2, 4.8 and 7.2 K. with 20DB of boost/cut. Didn't need it for these mics - but I DID use it later in DI and Line In modes.The High shelving EQ has 5 frequency selections, which overlap the mid: 3.4, 4.9, 7.0, 12.0 and 16.0 K. Again, you get 20 DB of boost/cut. I used this to add some 'air' to the NTK in the 16K range - which it did nicely, as long as you didn't really push the boost into sibilance land. 12K was also useful on the mic. The other bands, not so much - but they were useful for D/I and Line In. Like I said, all bands are quiet, musical and highly useful for tweaking an input You will rarely ever yank the boost or cut all the way. 12 noon is neutral, and I rarely went below 10:00 (o'clock notation used on all of these) in cut or beyond 2:30 in boost. It feels like the Q of all of these is pretty wide. FOr example, playing in the 16KHz range on the high most definitely affected stuff well below 12K - as a general-purpose tone shaping EQ will.Then I plugged a strat right into the D/I and fired it up. It sounded a little dark to me compared to my countryman. So this time I used all three of the EQ bands (though not the High Pass), judiciously, and got EASILY the best D/I'd guitar sound of my life. Full, vibrant, not sterile at all, but not shrieky either!Then I took the line output from my AXE-FX II into the line input on this wonder box. Again, a tad dark, so I EQ'd it. Low was off this time, mid using the 700 Hz band at about 2:00 boost, high was set at 7K, about 1:50 boost. OMG! Again, the BEST sound I've ever gotten for my preferred method of tracking guitar (AXE-FX II with amp and cab modeling on, line out to the preamp). The ability to do a little 'pre-dialing' of the guitar tone before getting into the DAW was great - no EQ needed later to get it to sit in the mix, and the sparkling-but-not-strident tone with some beef on my dropped-D tuning really helped me perform better.This thing exceeds on all counts. I'd say that compared to the pretty neutral ISA828 it's definitely got more bottom, and perhaps a tad less top. The bottom can be rounded off with the EQ and the top can be dialed in without hiss or weird phasing artifacts, so what's not to love? I'd love to have eight of these things instead of my ISA828. Or would I? FIrst of all, it'd cost 8 grand! Secondly, I can still see the place for my ISA for lots of things, especially mic'ing drums, piano etc. For guitar cabinets, I'd probably use two mics and both preamps. For line in from my AXE or as a D/I - this thing is unparalleledAnd for vocals? Well, if it's a single vocal mic, this box will be used 100% of the time.I have never personally owned a preamp this good, or this flexible and music. But I HAVE used others, including vintage Neve, Harrison, API and Amek gear, and this preamp is IN THEIR LEAGUE. I'd say that it's a steal at this price.
Music background: Recording artist, live engineer, studio owner, producer, film-scorer, sound design.

Outstanding value, great sound!

This pre with the X-MOD option is a really great addition to any studio and is very affordable. I had first been exposed to the 1st edition of these preamps a few years ago at a studio in Los Angeles and fell in love with the way they handled vocals and bass. When I learned of the MK II and the X-MOD output transformer upgrade to Carnhills I was ready to buy. This unit does not disappoint, and it does what so much of Chameleon labs gear does: takes inspiration from classical features from classic gear and then updates the design with affordable, high quality components. I don't think there's anyone who's used this preamp that doesn't feel like its worth way more than it's price tag. It is a very sturdy design with heavy duty input jack for DI and high quality knobs. This pre, for me, excels on vocals, bass, and DI guitars. I provide it very clean power from a Monster PRO 3500 on the analog circuit and it is extremely clean, low noise. It pairs well with microphones like the SM7B with ease and sounds awesome with a Lauten Oceanus as well as a Rode NT5's, AKG Solidtube, and even cheap Groove Tubes GT55. It is versatile and smooth EQ section does a fantastically good job shaping bass DI. Finally, comparing the 7602 MK II to a neve 1073 and the comparable Vintech, I've found to be three different subtle voices, all beautiful additions to get the job done. If you're looking for value per dollar though, the CL solution is one worth seriously considering.
Music background: Artist/Producer/Engineer

cameleon labs 7602 mk2

After receiving excellent service from Brad at sweetwater , I got the preamp we started recording I thought the sound was excellent but with the eq switch engaged we noticed a lot of noise, even so I noticed a great sound without the eq on. I alerted Brad at Sweetwater and he swapped out the unit for a SSL alpha channel now I am truly amazed at the guitar sound it is clear and exact to what is in the room. either unit would work with what we are doing just had issues with the eq noise in the chameleon labs very cool indeed! Buy I rally dig the ssl alpha channel Thanks Brad!
Music background: 26 years recording and playing
See also: Chameleon Labs, Chameleon Labs Preamps, Chameleon Labs Channel Strips