Chandler Limited Germanium Preamp/DI

Preamp/DI with Germanium Transistors and Unique Feedback Circuit
4.5/5 5 Write review Item ID: GermaniumPre
Chandler Limited Germanium Preamp/DI image 1
Chandler Limited Germanium Preamp/DI image 1
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Chandler Limited Germanium Preamp/DI
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Classic Germanium Design!

The Chandler Limited Germanium Preamp/DI is a throwback to a time when gear sounded great. Germanium transistors have been used in audio gear including Neve, EMI, Telefunken, and Fairchild for their unique sonic characteristics. It hasn't been used in current gear for a while now, but that all changes with the Germanium Preamp/DI. What make this preamp unique are the gain circuits. The Gain/Germanium Drive control and Feedback control are intricately linked. Gain acts as a standard gain control, but roll up the amount of Feedback and the Germanium Pre realizes its full potential, as well as adding a small bass boost and a tasty high-frequency roll-off. For cleaner tones keep the Feedback on the restrained side, or crank it up for fat guitars and vocals. There aren't any other preamps like the Chandler Limited Germanium Preamp/DI.

Chandler Limited Germanium Preamp/DI at a Glance:
  • Outfit your studio with a unique-sounding preamp
  • Reap the sonic benefits of germanium transistors
  • Your sonic obsession: Chandler's mission
Outfit your studio with a unique-sounding preamp

The Germanium Preamp/DI is a cutting-edge design by Chandler Limited designer Wade Goeke that uses classic germanium transistors in all Class A, transformer balanced, circuits. The use of germanium devices opens a whole new sound palate not found in any pro audio equipment currently manufactured. The results are warm and tube-like, with a fat bottom end. Yes, this is the classic vintage coloration we all gush over, and it's yours for the taking - in the Germanium Preamp/DI.

Reap the sonic benefits of germanium transistors

Smooth-sounding germanium transistors were the basis of the earliest transistor designs by Neve (1053, 1055, 1057), EMI ( TG12345 MKI), Telefunken, and Fairchild. Those familiar with these units can attest to the special sound of the germanium tranasistor. Chandler Limited's Germanium series runs on +40 volt power, high current, and has a huge +34 output before clipping. The sound is warm and smooth as with many vintage style circuits, but you'll find a whole new world of smooth here as well as a sound that settles in perfectly to your tracks without fighting.

Your sonic obsession: Chandler's mission

Recording engineers are always looking for fresh tonal colors and approaches when tracking - it's an obsession. Chandler feeds this addiction with their innovative take on the technologies of the past. They start with painstaking component selection. The Germanium Preamp/DI's parts list reads like a 40-year-old document. Seriously - they just don't build 'em this way anymore. Hand-wired and assembled in the USA, the Germanium Preamp/DI utilizes 100% discrete transistor circuitry and specially wound transformers. Aside from the fact that you'll have this puppy forever, the weapons-grade build quality is a means to an end - the sound. Glorious, fat, supremely musical sound. Stock your arsenal with a serious weapon - the Chandler Limited Preamp/DI.

Chandler Limited Germanium Preamp/DI Features:
  • I/O: XLR
  • DI - Unbalanced jack with 100k input impedance
  • Germanium Drive controls the input gain of the Germanium amp
  • Pad and Thick Switches
  • Feedback Control to adjust the amount of signal fed from the amplifier output back to the input
  • 10-segment LED VU meter
  • Note: this unit requires the Chandler Limited Power Supply
Chandler Limited Germanium Preamp/DI - Modern preamp with vintage sound!

Additional Media

Germanium Preamp/DI Cue Sheet
Germanium Preamp/DI User Manual
Studio Preamp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Preamp Type Solid State
Number of Channels 1
Phantom Power Yes
Analog Inputs 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" (Hi-Z)
Analog Outputs 1 x XLR
Rack Spaces 1U
Height 1.75"
Width 19"
Manufacturer Part Number Germanium Preamp

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
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Guitar & Bass GoTo Pre

I purchased this rather impulsively after getting a call from my sweetwater rep and chatting about it over the phone. I had already been looking at these germanium pres after reading a couple of reviews and being in the market for another flavor of DI and mic pre. I was a little skeptical at first to go with the Chandler considering you have to buy the Pre and then buy the power supply to go along with it which is not cheap but I went with it anyway. WOW this is the king's DI. I run my Marshall heads into a hotplate and then into the Chandler and then into my daw where I pair it up with cabinet impulses. I swear my guitar tracks are now bigger, wider and full of harmonics!..This is the best guitar pre I've used yet. Its just different sounding than other pres Ive tried recently. By the way, this thing is a work of art in its construction. Mark from Sweetwater told me about how its point to point hand wired and after taking the lid off and checking inside I noticed how beautifully built this was. If you want an awesome sounding bass DI you have found the holy grail in my opinion. The feedback knob adds a whole layer of butter to the tone that I just cant get with my UA LA-610 (which I love). This is definitely a keeper and unlike any other pre I own. I have other DI/pres that I love but this one is just beautiful and in its own little class by itself!...I would definitely give this a try. Its more than worth the expense. I have tried pres that cost 2-3 thousand dollars and have not been as happy as I am with this baby!..Enjoy!
Music background: Hobbyist and serious recording and guitar enthusiast

Chandler Germanium

Fantastic tone for guitar! Really opens up space in mixes. Would highly recommend for any home studio engineers!
Music background: Recording Engineer, Session Musician, Guitar Instructor, Live Performer

Where have you been my whole life....

After auditioning many mic/pre combinations I decided to try the Germanium out with my singer. She fell in love with the Germanium instantly! Although this isn't the Abbey Road series, it does remind me of the sound of the Beatles vocals. It's just smooth and full, and when you dig in it takes it well. After we tracked vocals I plugged in my bass and I knew it wasn't going back. Then we tracked DI'ed electric guitar - and it made a huge difference when we fed that signal to the amp sim! I've gone from "well, let's try it..." to "...maybe I should get a second one"! My only wishes are very small: the rackmount option for the power supply (which you have to call the company for) is not simple and the faceplate doesn't match. And I always prefer detents in pots - I go back and forth between projects almost daily, and recall is an issue...
Music background: Recording Engineer/Educator

The Color Comes Standard

The sounds you can get from these preamps are impressive. I'm always looking to color my guitars, keyboards and bass, to give them a signature sound, and these babies certainly do the trick. The "Thick" button is flat out great!
Music background: Writer / Engineer / Guitar Player


My favorite pre for "troubled" rock vocalists and an amazing bass DI. The feedback circuit and Thick button are very useful.
Music background: Engineer/editor

Sweetwater Advice

Ashton Vaudt

I can’t imagine life without the Germanium Pre! With a design based on early circuits, Chandler has created a solid state preamp with great versatility. It delivers a well-defined midrange, which - for sources like vocals - can be very tricky. And the feedback knob adds a bit more gain with harmonic distortion that exemplifies early preamps.
See also: Chandler Limited, Chandler Limited Preamps