elysia skulpter 500 is the ultimate recording front end. Its audiophile preamp is based on single resistors controlling a fully discrete Class-A amplifier capable of complementing any microphone with a remarkably true and natural sound.
If additional mojo is needed, two variable saturation/filter stages and an intelligent onboard compressor make voices and instruments sound like a finished record right from the start.
Way more than just a preamp, the elysia skulpter 500 is a complete recording solution – everything you’ll ever need in front of your DAW.
A Complete Channel
Whether clean or colored, the sonic bliss does not stop at your mic locker. The elysia skulpter 500 provides a balanced DI input with significant headroom, so just about any signal coming from guitars, basses, synths and effects will benefit greatly from the elysia skulpter 500’s pristine amplification and versatile processing qualities.
Audiophile Gain Staging
Dual Sound Shaper
Shape One: Instruments
The first ingredient to achieve that big, fat sound is adding harmonics (THD). The intensity of this saturation is determined by the input level and the amount of preamp gain. At the same time, a pre-tailored EQ curve with a high frequency cut starting around 4 kHz is applied to the signal. The resulting sound is huge, with a massive body but no harsh peaks at all.
Shape Two: Vocals
Vocals benefit from the same saturation enhancement; and, like a tube-like characteristic curve, this results rather in musical soft clip limiting than in actual distortion. The preset EQ curve is of course a different one for vox, with up to 10 dB of high mid boost around 4.5 kHz.
Variable Low Cut
An essential standard tool for any preamp is a low cut for reducing low frequency rumble. Instead of just a single or maybe two fixed frequencies, the elysia skulpter 500 offers a variable low cut filter with a wide frequency range from 10 Hz to 375 Hz.
The slope of the filter is 12 dB/octave, and its amplifier is a discrete class-A design optimized for especially transparent performance.
Intelligent Onboard Dynamics
The elysia skulpter 500 features an integrated compressor operated by just a single knob. Its potentiometer sets the threshold based on a fixed 3:1 ratio and a soft knee characteristic, while the attack and release parameters were selected for their universal usefulness.
The all discrete class-A circuitry provides a premium quality audio path, and the RMS detector has been optimized to react noticeably well on vocals and instruments. This alone makes for a very musical and unobtrusive dynamics section on a par with the best compressors the market has to offer.
The elysia skulpter 500 can handle way more than “just” your complete microphone locker. An integrated front panel JFET DI makes it perfect for amplifying and shaping many kinds of different signals coming from guitars, basses, synths, effects…
The high input impedance of one megohm allows users to directly plug even instruments with passive pickups into the preamp without the danger of a mismatch causing dull and lifeless sounds. On the other hand, the input can handle high levels of up to +19 dBu!
The high amount of headroom and the fact that you can feed both balanced and unbalanced signals into this DI make it the perfect terminal for line signals – which will obviously benefit big time from the purity of the preamp with its amazing sound shaping and dynamics features.
The fifteen LEDs of the elysia skulpter 500’s meter provide four pieces of vital information:
A single LED located at the top of the meter will light up if clipping is detected at the input of the preamp. If the input does not clip, it means that the rest of the signal path is good as well. The LED increases in brightness to reflect the intensity of the overload.
Another single LED located at the bottom of the meter shows the amount of compression applied to a signal if the dynamics section of the elysia skulpter 500 is active. This LED also changes in brightness to visually represent the amount of compression applied.
Thirteen LEDs in the middle of the meter show the output level of the preamp. For smooth transitions between different values instead of erratic flickering, these change in brightness, too. Level related effects of the compressor and sound shaper sections can be monitored on this meter as well.
If the Gain encoder is pushed, the level meter will turn into a gain indicator. In this case, the scale printed on the right side of the LEDs will apply, and the meter will show the amount of gain the preamp currently generates.
Pure Phase Reverse
The Phase Reverse function has been designed to eliminate the need for an additional inverting amp. This means that reversing the phase will not add any additional circuitry to the signal path, so the sound will remain the same in both positions of the switch.
Switching the phase from normal to reverse (or vice versa) will automatically trigger a signal mute for a few milliseconds to avoid cracking and popping noises.