Millennia HV-3C

High-speed Transformerless Solid State Stereo Mic Preamp with 4Hz-300kHz Frequency Range, and Gold Connectors and Switches
Millennia HV-3C image 1
Millennia HV-3C image 1
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Millennia HV-3C
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Millennia HV-3C Ultra-wide Dynamic Range Stereo Mic Preamp

The Millennia HV-3C is an updated design of the HV-3B two channel mic preamp, with improved mechanical design and cosmetics, and standard 36 step gain control. Combining a precisely matched octet of discrete bipolar transistors with a laser trimmed DC coupled FET-based output driver stage, the HV-3C is an entirely "double balanced," extremely wide dynamic range stereo microphone preamplifier intended for demanding acoustic recording. According to Gary Garritan of Garritan Orchestral Strings, "Millennia Media HV-3 is the preamp of choice. I own a number of high-end mic preamps and always reach for the HV-3 when recording orchestral samples."

Millennia HV-3C At-a-Glance
  • Super-clean Signal Path
  • High Headroom
  • Audiophile-quality Sound

Super-clean Signal Path
Unlike "textbook" mic preamplifiers, the HV-3C signal path never unbalances or rebalances the original signal - thus maintaining a high degree of signal integrity. Over 20,000 channels of HV-3 micamps are already in use by a who's-who in critical acoustic recording.
Unlike preamps using vacuum tubes, IC function modules and audio transformers (all of which can lend their own audio coloration) the Millennia HV-3C is precisely optimized towards capturing the subtlest detail of music and ambience.

High Headroom
With +23 dBu native input headroom, the HV-3C requires no input pads, attenuators, or switch points as found on common textbook preamp designs - thus avoiding yet another source of sonic degradation. Moreover, with its +32 dBu output headroom, ultra-high dynamic stability and linearity is assured. HV-3C uses the identical preamps as found in the HV-3D 8-ch units.

Audiophile-quality Sound
Uncompromising circuit design with meticulous selection and hand-matching of critical components assures consistently transparent audio performance at all dynamic excursions and frequency extensions. HV-3C signal path from input through output is entirely balanced with a minimum amplifier topology.

Millennia HV-3C Features:
  • High Speed Transformerless Design
  • 23 Db Input & 32 Db Output Headroom
  • Frequency response: +0/-3dB sub 4Hz to beyond 300kHz
  • No Pads (Attenuators) Required
  • Entirely Balanced Audio Path
  • Laser Trimmed Fet-Based Output
  • Thd+N Less Than 5 Ppm (.0005%)
  • Matched Discrete Transistor Octet Front-End
  • Precision Componentry Throughout
  • Gold Audio Connectors & Switches
  • Standard 36-Step Gain Control (1.5 Db Per Step)
  • Stereo Gain Matched To .08 Db
    • Ofc Audio Wiring, Silver Teflon Power Wiring
  • Ultra-Clean Toroid Power Supply
  • Welded 16 Gauge Steel Rack Chassis
  • Unsurpassed Ambience Retrieval
  • Effortless, Lifelike Musical Performance At All Dynamic Levels
With over 20,000 channels now in use, the Millennia Media HV-3 is a world standard for classical and critical acoustic music recording.

Additional Media

HV-3C User Manual
Studio Preamp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Preamp Type Solid State
Number of Channels 2
Frequency Response 3Hz-300kHz
Phantom Power Yes
Analog Inputs 2 x XLR
Analog Outputs 2 x XLR
Rack Spaces 1U
Height 1.75"
Depth 12"
Width 19"
Manufacturer Part Number HV-3C

Customer Reviews

Based on 7 reviews
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Modernist Harpsichord Recordings

I bought this for recording a CD of original modern harpsichord music in a maximalist style. Tonal clusters in the exterior registers, string harmonics, arpeggios, runs, you name it - this preamp has handled everything. I am running two M-49s through it which sound amazing. The thing is insanely quiet. It really allows the nuances of the instrument to speak for themselves.
Music background: Harpsichordist

High Praise for High Voltage

My Millennia HV-3 preamp is so old that it has the original cosmetics and 5-dB stepped pots for gain control. Those are the only two things I don't like about my unit, and as you can see, MM has fixed both. High voltage, high headroom, high bandwidth. If you think you can't hear what's over 20k, demo this preamp. My application is commercial recording, including a lot of voiceover. I like the signal chain to start out clean and clear - we can always add "character" later if we wish. The HV-3 is a key piece to that puzzle.
Music background: Recording Engineer, Commercial Studio Owner, Voiceoverist

So Clean, Simply Amazing

This was definitely money well spent. I was recording with an Audient Mico preamp before this, and the difference is so noticeably fantastic, I am extremely happy. I am recording solo piano, using a close mic condenser setup, and the clarity, the purity, and the overall crispness of the recordings is so much better than I expected. I feel like I've taken my recordings to a whole new level. Highly recommended.
Music background: Musician / Composer


The HV3C (along with other Millennia products) are often misunderstood. When people think "transformerless" and "clean" and "high headroom' they think digital, harsh, sterile, lacking character. I think it's totally unreasonable to think of this preamp with such harsh terms! I was a skeptic at first. Primarily working with API, Neve, and UA preamps, I've had my fair share of colored pre tone, which I love and still use all the time. However, there are instances when you don't want color, you don't want low-mid grit, you don't want warmth, but instead you have a higher goal - REALISM and CLARITY. This preamp sounds so "real" it's like you're sitting there listening to the performance in the room. It's my new goto for acoustic instruments (piano, acoustic guitar, strings, even overheads) as well as keyboard DI's, and almost any stereo recording (room mics, etc). I am wanting to hear the beautiful pristine sound that I hear in the room, unaffected by anything! It blows my APIs out of the water on strings and acoustic guitars. Not because the API pres sound bad, they are just not transparent; they add their own color to the chain. The HV3C is a MUST for anyone wanting beautifully clear, "as you hear it in the room" sounds. The top end on this thing is nuts - sounds so open and precise. Five stars, no question.
Music background: Recording Engineer / Mixer


Hands down, the best pre I've ever used. Had a pair of Neve Portico's but man! Heard this piece of gear and my mind was set. Goodbye coloured sound, hello neutrality!
Music background: Producer, Mixing/Mastering Engineer, Music lover! :)
See also: Millennia, Millennia Preamps