Tape Head Preamp
Tape Head Preamp
July 14, 2019
Merill Audio MASTER TRIDENT Tape Head Preamplifier
MASTER TRIDENT Tape Head Preamplifier
April 22, 2020

MASTER Tape Head Preamp

$16,000.00

The Merrill Audio MASTER Tape Head Preamplifier design is to be the ultimate in Tape Reproduction of Master Tapes. With Master Tapes, there is a great deal of information, a huge Dynamic Contrast between the loud and the soft, much faster transients and immediacy. Voice, strings, percussions, horns all play with greater ease. The room echo provides lingering decay as does the sound boards of the Guitar, Piano and strings. There are rich, abundant harmonics from the musical instruments that are highly complex and integrated. All of this must be kept intact and separated, without masking another, without removing detail and decay, while being natural, have the ability to provide instantaneous transients.

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The Merrill Audio MASTER Tape Head Preamplifier design is to be the ultimate in Tape Reproduction of Master Tapes. With Master Tapes, there is a great deal of information, a huge Dynamic Contrast between the loud and the soft, much faster transients and immediacy. Voice, strings, percussions, horns all play with greater ease. The room echo provides lingering decay as does the sound boards of the Guitar, Piano and strings. There are rich, abundant harmonics from the musical instruments that are highly complex and integrated. All of this must be kept intact and separated, without masking another, without removing detail and decay, while being natural, have the ability to provide instantaneous transients.

To get all the details and decay, the noise floor had to be invisible. For the transients to be instantaneous the power supply should appear limitless, and the music to be reproduced faithfully the power supply had to be clean. To accomplish this a 5 stage power supply is engaged, with the first stage done externally to remove any noise from the AC power source. Once the removal of noise from the power regulation was done, the power had to provide feed to instantaneous transients with the feel of unlimited power.

The Tape Head Outputs range from 0.4mV to 4mV. The MASTER Tape Head Preamp is designed to operate from 0.1mV to 6mV. The Audio Signal is amplified 3, 500 times using 0.1% tolerance components and custom designed multilayer board using advanced Computer Aided Design software. The Circuit Board was hand designed using the CAD software is to identify and isolate noise sources. All Parasitic impedances which are detail and decay destroyers, has to be removed. The Hand Designed Circuit Board using CAD software to make sure each of the parasitic impedances were avoided.

The result was the Merrill Audio MASTER Tape Head preamplifier that reproduces with full integrity every nuance, detail and decay to present at full 3 dimensional stage with superb 3 dimensional staging and simply the best immediacy that is available from tape.

Features 

Full color Touch Screen for easy control
External KRATOS II power supply
High Frequency Level Control
High Frequency Circuit In/Out option switch
Output level Control
Channel Balance Control
VU Meter level Control
Settings saved to memory
6 Eq/Speed settings3.75 IPS with NAB equalization
7.5 IPS with NAB equalization
15 IPS with NAB equalization
15 IPS with NAB equalization
7.5 ips with IEC Equalization
15 ips with IEC equalization
30 IPS with IEC2 equalization
GAIA II footers
2 gain settings 71dB or 65dB
Fully balanced inputs and outputs.
Dual Mono design.
Eq Channel matching better than 0.1dB
EQ available3.75 IPS NAB
7.5 IPS NAB
7.5 IPS IEC
15 IPS NAB
15 IPS IEC
30 IPS IEC2
Channel Balance0dB to 71dB selectable in 1024 increments
Color Touch Screen480×800 TFT Capacitive Touch Screen, 5” screen
S/NBetter than 110dB
Gain71dB, with  level control from 0dB to 71dB output selectable in 1024 settings
InputBalanced
OutputBalanced
Output Impedance50 ohms
Maximum output voltage24 volts
External power supply Standard
Dual Mono design
Display configurable for brightnessDelayed dim or off.
FootersIsoacoustics GAIA III
DimensionsDual Mono PURE Tape Head Preamp, 430mm (17”) x 400mm (16”) x 110mm (4.4”) without footers. 430mm (17”) x 400mm (16”) x 150mm (5.9”) with footers
External Kratos II Power Supply, 153mm (6”) x 88mm (3.5) x 310mm ( 12.2” )

Specifications

EQ available3.75 IPS NAB
7.5 IPS NAB
7.5 IPS IEC
15 IPS NAB
15 IPS IEC
30 IPS IEC2
Channel Balance0dB to 71dB selectable in 1024 increments
Color Touch Screen480×800 TFT Capacitive Touch Screen, 5” screen
S/NBetter than 110dB
Gain71dB, with  level control from 0dB to 71dB output selectable in 1024 settings
InputBalanced
OutputBalanced
Output Impedance50 ohms
Maximum output voltage24 volts
External power supply Standard
Dual Mono design
Display configurable for brightnessDelayed dim or off.
FootersIsoacoustics GAIA III
DimensionsDual Mono PURE Tape Head Preamp, 430mm (17”) x 400mm (16”) x 110mm (4.4”) without footers. 430mm (17”) x 400mm (16”) x 150mm (5.9”) with footers
External Kratos II Power Supply, 153mm (6”) x 88mm (3.5) x 310mm ( 12.2” )