Martinsound Martech MSS-10

Microphone Preamplifier
Martinsound Martech MSS-10 image 1
Martinsound Martech MSS-10 image 1
Sweetwater Savings: $96.00 MSRP: $1,995.00
Or we have a demo model for just $1,709.00 ! Learn more
Special Order
Special-ordered from Martinsound and usually arrives to you within 1-2 weeks. Please note: special orders cannot be canceled or returned.
Note: While most of the items we sell ship for free, this item does not qualify for free shipping due to special circumstances.

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Martinsound Martech MSS-10
Special Order

The Natural Mic Preamp!

The movers and shakers of professional audio dream about finding that rare piece of equipment that will keep them on the cutting edge. A career building tool that will effortlessly deliver awesome sound. MSS-10, The Natural Mic Preamp is audio magic in a box. It sounds like the mythical straight wire with gain.

The MSS-10 is comprised of dual signal paths in a single unit, allowing flexibility in getting the best audio from a microphone to a recorder. The preamp section uses two stages of gain from mic input to direct out, providing wide bandwidth and a stable design. It features 65dB of gain switched in 5dB steps, 48V phantom, a 20dB pad and phase reverse. The line driver section can select the preamp out or a balanced line input. This makes a great EQ insert point. The level control adjusts continuously from infinity to +10dB, allowing for riding of gain. The addition of a mute and professional VU meter allows the finest audio quality possible to be sent directly to the recorder. Engaging the Cal button provides precise VU monitoring of the selected source. Not only does it sound awesome, it looks like a piece of art. The sophisticated, elegant appearance of the matte finish, nickel-plated faceplate matches your finest microphones while ergonomic knobs and lighted push buttons provide positional information at a glance from any angle.

Microphone Preamplifier Section:
  • Gain 20dB-65dB
  • Maximum Input +22.5 dBu (@ 1kHz, THD <= 0.003%, 20dB Pad In)
  • Maximum Output +24 dBu
  • Input Impedance 2,450 Ohms (@ 1kHz)
  • Output Impedance 50 Ohms
  • Frequency Response 10Hz - 20kHz (+0.5/-0.0)
  • EIN -126.5 dBu Typ. (10Hz-20kHz, 150 Ohm Source)
  • THD+N <=0.0015% (20dB Gain @ 1kHz, +4dBu Out, 10Hz-20kHz Bandwidth)
  • CMRR 65dB Gain 60Hz <=108dB 1kHz <=85dB 10kHz <=65dB
Line driver section:
  • Gain 10dB
  • Maximum Input +24 dBu
  • Maximum Output +24 dBu
  • Input Impedance 20k Ohms (Balanced)
  • Output Impedance 50 Ohms
  • Frequency Response 10Hz - 200kHz (+0.0/-0.25)
  • THD+N <=0.001% (0dB Gain @ 1kHz, +4dBu Out, 10Hz-20kHz Bandwidth)
Power supply:
  • Power Rails +24V
  • Phantom +48V
  • Power Consumption 10 Watts
  • Power Requirements 100-120, 220-240 VAC

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 10Hz-20kHz
Phantom Power Yes
Analog Inputs 2 x XLR
Analog Outputs 2 x XLR
Rack Spaces 3U
Manufacturer Part Number MM-010

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Write your review

The Most Underrated Pre In Existence

The MSS-10 is the most open pre I`ve ever heard. Sure, you can spend 4x the price of this pre and get yourself a vintage whatever but I rather save the $$$ and get one of these. I think the only thing that keeps this pre from gaining monumental status is its shoebox shape. Martinsound would be wise to reconstruct this unit so it fits into the standard 19".
Music background: Professional Musician

Go Natural!

After having given 5 stars to both Millennia Media and Avalon preamps, I've run out of stars for the Martinsound. Millennia gets my respect for fitting their design into a standard 19" rack space (what a concept); the Avalon is a sound and a look I could never fall out of love with; but this one is different. I've wanted an MSS-10 since I heard a preamp "shootout" where the voice recorded through it just seemed to come "forward" in the speakers. This is the prime quality I'm looking for when recording voiceovers. The "natural sound," to quote the promotional materials, seems to come partly from the extended bandwidth and clarity, and partly from some more lively dynamics. When comparing raw recordings through this, and a focusrite preamp set to the same gain level, the focusrite seemed more "dense" - yielding a little more average loudness - and I could see this on the DAW screen as well. I was expecting to pick up more mouth noises with the MSS-10 versus the focusrite, but it actually seems like these are less of a problem. Maybe I'm hearing myself better and altering my performance? To my ears at least, what's coming out of the Martinsound is a very realistic presentation. I might go so far as to say, "natural." It's surely one of the world's premier mic pre's in the "uncolored" camp.
Music background: Voiceoverist, Recordist, Commercial Studio Owner

Sweet on saxes

Sounds sweet, lush and brilliant on soprano and tenor sax. No "mushiness"
Music background: Semi Pro

Martinsound Martech MSS-10

I own four of the MSS-10 preamps; I guess you could say I'm a fan. The price is steep but that pays dividends in the sound. The preamp is very clear and present without being harsh or overbearing. The input transformer lends a certain girth and focus in the lows and low-mids. The critical midrange is very articulate with no smearing of frequencies or shallowness in depth. The high end imparts a halo of presence without being an ice pick in the ear. There is a definite quality to the sound that yields a euphoric excitement. I LOVE THESE PREAMPS!! The only other pre that imparts the same sense of space around the recording is the DW Fearn line of tube gear. This is really an investment in sound. Vocals, stringed instruments, and percussion really benefit from the MSS-10 in ways lesser preamps simply can't match. Vocals really shine when combined with a quality tube compressor like the Tube Tech CL-1B, the result is simply stunning; and acoustic guitars have never sounded this good in my studio. Finally, I can only comment on the incredible MartinSound guarantee. If you can swing it, I guarantee you won't be returning it within the 60 days - it is really that good!!!
Music background: Studio owner/engineer

A Great Preamp

No question...this is a great sounding preamp. I played with one for a couple of weeks a few years ago, along with my Neumann TLM-170. It gave superb realism with acoustic guitar and voice -- lots of headroom, no noise. The quality of construction is simply the best that money can buy. This is a preamp that you will own for the rest of your life. My impression of the MSS-10 is that if were to buy one, I'd never regret it. So why didn't I buy one? I already own an API 512b mic preamp, and though the MSS-10 sounded better, to my ears it wasn't enough to justify buying it at the time. It sounds different ('s "warmer", if that sort of subjective term helps), and it's useful to have that sort of thing in one's arsenal. For that reason, it's still in the running as a second preamp. But if you're looking for your first high-quality preamp, the MSS-10 has one overwhelming drawback: no instrument input. If you need that flexibility in a preamp, the MSS-10 won't provide it. Martinsound will be glad to sell you their MSS-01 direct box to solve that deficiency, but at $595 (list), that brings the total cost to a mighty pricey $2,500 for a single-channel preamp with Hi-Z instrument input. Is it worth it? You'll have to let your ears be the judge. Martinsound offers a 60-day, no questions asked buyback guarantee, which speaks volumes about their confidence that you'll fall in love with their products. If I hadn't already owned the API 512b, I probably would have kept the MSS-10. I've never heard a better sounding preamp. I'm rating it 4.5 out of 5 stars because there's no instrument input. If it weren't for that, I'd give it 5 stars without blinking an eye.
Music background: Musician, Composer, Engineer, Producer

Sweetwater Advice

Thomas Leahy

I used this at Blackbird Studios in Nashville on a male pop vocal and got outstanding results, and it's the cleanest and clearest sounding preamp I've heard that doesn't make sources sound sterile and lifeless. While it's totally transparent, the Martinsound MSS-10 adds depth that other clean preamps lack. I also like the simplicity of its design, and the large VU meter lets me find the sweet spot easily.
See also: Martinsound, Martinsound Preamps