Chandler Limited Little Devil Pre Amp – 500-Series Mic Preamp
Unique-sounding 500-series preamp module with controllable feedback and bias
The Chandler Limited Little Devil Pre Amp has already become the new favorite preamp of high-profile Chandler users. Perhaps the best piece of Chandler gear yet, the Little Devil Pre Amp has a Class-A gain stage that is unlike anything Chandler Ltd. has done. What makes the Chandler Little Devil Pre Amp so special are several unique features that contribute to its big, open sound. Nearly every parameter of the little Devil Pre Amp is changeable, including the ability to adjust both the feedback and bias of the amplifier to control harmonic content and distortion characteristics. Other features of the Little Devil Pre Amp include high- and low-input impedance; low cut filter; bright switch; and transformer-balanced line in for using the Little Devil Pre Amp to add color on tracks or entire mixes.
Chandler Limited Little Devil Pre Amp unique features:
- Any parameter of the sound is changeable
- Adjust both Feedback and Bias of the amplifier
Chandler Limited Little Devil Pre Amp key features:
- High and low input impedance
- Transformer-balanced line in
- Low cut and bright switches
- No power-up issues with lunchboxes and rack systems
Don’t forget to check out RSPE’s Rack Revolution, a virtual 500-series rack builder that lets you custom-configure the perfect 500-series lunchbox for your studio, DAW, or mobile recording rig. RSPE carries every 500-series module imaginable, including mic preamps, compressor-limiters, equalizers, and 500 power racks.
Inside The Box — Chandler Limited Little Devil Pre Amp
The Little Devil’s feedback control increases harmonics thousands of times over the range of the control. The nature of clipping and distortion also changes, ranging from soft Class-A clipping to super soft, gushy tube distortion. The sounds range from a very colored and over-biased tone to a gently colored and in-your-face tone.
How the feedback and bias works
Some users may be familiar with Chandler’s Germanium pre amp, which incorporates variable negative feedback—possibly the first time in a preamp. On the Little Devil preamp, Chandler Limited wanted to take this a step further and allow you to change the bias of the gain stage at the same time as the feedback. So what does this mean?
You can modify nearly any parameter of the sound of the Little Devil pre with the use of the feedback/bias control. It will change the frequency response of the high and low areas, harmonic distortion, nature of clipping, and the overall tonal characteristic of the pre amp. For example, with the feedback on full, the sound gets “gushy” (as users have described it). The unit will soft clip much earlier, harmonics increase exponentially, high frequencies are slightly increased, and the unit takes on a very high-voltage, over-biased, Class A personality.
With the feedback control low you get a very colored but more tame sound. Harmonics are very low (in the range of .007%) and noise is the lowest possible with the unit, in the area of -93dB. The sound could be described as an accurate but interestingly colored Class A sound.
With the Little Devil’s Feedback/Gain control set near the middle of its range you will get the most headroom, and what could be considered the most typical operation of a mic pre. In that position, all parameters tend to come into the norm for a Class A-style mic pre, but don't let that keep you from using it set there. The pre always has a great colored sound we all look for.
With the feedback all the way down you will not get much level. This is the nature of feedback. Lots of feedback equals very little gain. Chandler Limited’s Wade Goeke designed it like that because there are very specific sounds you can get. For example, with lots of feedback (control off or counter clockwise), you get very little distortion and the noise floor is very low. It also allows you to use the pre with almost no gain for recording loud sources such as drums and guitar.
Little Devil preamp feedback/gain control settings:
- Control off or counter clockwise: Lots of feedback, little gain.
- Control full or clockwise: Very little feedback, lots of gain.
There are three different input types on the Devil Little 500 Pre Amp, mic, line, and DI. The mic/line switches between the transformer-balanced mic and line inputs. The Little Devil 500 preamp is more than just a mic pre; it’s also a processor. Switching to the line input processes any line-level source, such as tape or DAW tracks, bus sub-mixes, or the main stereo bus. For unbalanced sources such as bass and keyboards select the DI input.
Outside The Box — Chandler Limited Little Devil Pre Amp
In keeping with its namesake, Little Devil Pre Amp sports a bright red front panel with all controls are marked +/- 1 to 6 in the playful spirit of the Little Devil concept.
- Gain: Up to 66dB
- Feedback/Bias: Changes the bias and negative feedback of the class A gain circuit
- Impedance: Selects low or high impedance for both mic and line.
- Mic/Line: This is more than just a mic pre, it is a processor
- Low Cut: Gently sloping low cut at 100Hz
- Output: Acts as a fader on a mixing console and is used to trim the signal
- Bright: Increases high frequency information on the output transformer
- 48V: 48 volt phantom power
- Phase: Phase reverses the output polarity of the unit at the output transformer
- DI: Unbalanced direct input
Chandler Limited 500-Series Compatibility
All Chandler 500 series units have now been tested and proven to have no power issues in the following racks: API 500V 10-slot with L200 PSU; API 500-6B Lunchbox; API 500-6B HC “new version” Lunchbox; BAE 11-slot with power one supply; BAE 6-slot portable with power one supply; BAE 6-slot with Avedis designed supply; A-Designs 2-slot; Purple Sweet 10; and Empirical Labs 2-slot.
Little Devil EQs and Little Devil Compressors have been upgraded to eliminate the power conflict experienced with some 3rd party racks and lunchboxes. The upgrade has been tested in the racks listed above. Any Little Devil EQ or Little Devil Compressor with compatibility issues can be returned to Chandler Limited for a free upgrade (parts and labor), however, Chandler Limited will not cover shipping costs.
Who’s using Chandler Limited:
I used the Devil pre on electric guitar, comparing it to 1073s, 312s and TG-2s. It sounded amazing, super open sounding, and full low end. The feedback control was awesome, added serious mojo to the sound. I am a huge fan of all of the other pres Wade makes, but this one might take the cake! I cannot wait to get my hands on another one or 4! It would make a rad channel strip combined with the Little Devil EQ and Compressor.
–Shawn Dealey, engineer (Counting Crows)
I love the Devil! First it was the Devil EQ and compressor, now the preamp and insane boost pedal! I tried the preamp on kick and snare comparing to some of my other favorites and it came out on top by a wide margin. Everyone in the room wanted a pair. I don’t know how Wade does it, but with volumes matched between different preamps, the Devil just sounds . . . MORE! Great low end. Adjustable attitude with the feedback control . . . and that bright switch! Perfect to liven up a 57 or a ribbon mic.
–Ryan Hewitt (Avett Brothers, Red Hot Chili Peppers)
I don’t know how you did it, but this mic pre has a superb clarity, but still tons of character and it has a great mid-range punch without losing bottom or top end, which could make it my top choice for electric guitars (right now it’s the TG-2, so it would at least stay in the family). The feedback control lets you add more harmonic content to the sound and push it way forward. The bright switch opens up a vocal track really nicely. Tried it on electric guitar and vocals so far, which is quite a spectrum for a mic pre, and it kicks butt on both. Awesome box. Man, you did it again. It’s amazing how your stuff always stands out from the crowd. Everything’s got its own distinct sound and it totally hits my taste. You are creating the “modern vintage”! Plug it in and it makes you feel better, no kidding (I used to have to listen to Back in Black to make me feel better). Great job Wade.
–Michael Wagener (Mötley Crüe, Overkill, Accept, Great White, Poison, Alice Cooper, Extreme, Megadeth, Janet Jackson, Ozzy Osbourne, Dokken, Metallica, White Lion, Skid Row)
About Chandler Limited
Based in a small Iowa town in the middle of nowhere, Chandler Limited signal-processing equipment is highly regarded for its ability to add the warmth of analog to today’s digital recording process. Chandler Limited works directly with EMI and Abbey Road studios to reintroduce some of the exact equipment used at Abbey Road Studios to record such bands as The Beatles and Pink Floyd.
Priding itself on hand-wiring all their products, Chandler products have been featured prominently in albums, movies, television, and even video games. And now, Chandler Limited enters the 500 race with its new line of 500-series modules for your favorite lunch box. Using all-discrete circuits that combine Chandler’s best designs with the hottest designs from the past; transformer balanced everything; and the American handmade quality you expect, the Chandler Limited 500-series modules will take your lunchbox or rack system to a new level.
The Chandler Limited Little Devil Pre Amp might be the best piece of Chandler Limited gear yet. For more information, call or chat with an RSPE representative today.