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A-Designs - PACIFICA - Solid State Stereo Microphone Preamplifier

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A-Designs Audio - PACIFICA - Solid State Stereo Microphone Preamplifier
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What we're going to do is go back... WAY back!

...back into time... to the early 1970s, when the recording
industry was starting to bloom with the new technology of solid state. (Dig?)

Hit products were pumped out as fast as hit records—one after another. There was a creative industry within the audio world. It was, without question, a golden age. Some companies that emerged during that period were Neve, API, and
Quad Eight. Although it’s been decades, the benchmarks they set are still held as industry standards today.

Little is known about Quad Eight, though many feel that they were the best in their field. While debating is usually best left to the history books, A-Designs took up the challenge to take a closer look into the past and decide on its own.

With much research, interviews, and listening, we came up with a product that we feel needs to see the light of day again. With Quad Eight Ventura, Coronado and Pacifica console preamplifiers for reference, we closely examined the design and composition of the heart and soul in the consoles of these great pieces. After much design, A/Bing, and beta testing, the result is a solid state, single space, rack mounted, microphone pre amplifier from the “glory days.”

Cloning being what it is (same old same old), we decided to head outside the box and make the tribute something other than the legacy. We added our own touch to bring it to present day applications of the recording world.

And so the new A-Designs PACIFICA was born.

For the history of Quad Eight - Electrodyne, follow this link.

Pacifica Owner's Manual


  • Solid State Design
  • Custom input Transformers
  • Custom output Transformers
  • Single Rack Space
  • Balanced XLR Input
  • Balanced XLR Output
  • Level Controls
  • -20dB Pad Switch
  • 48v Switch
  • Phase Switch
  • Blue LED Power indicator
  • ON/OFF Switch
  • Toroid Power Transformer
  • 72dB Gain
  • Hi Z ¼ inch input for Direct Inject.
  • Red LED Phantom Indicator

What are the engineers saying about the A Designs Pacifica?

“The Pacifica has the depth of the Neve, the top end of a GML and the punch of the API-all rolled into one great mic pre.” Tony Shepperd-Producer/Engineer/Mix/ Studio Owner: Back Street Boys, Lionel Richie, Kenny Loggins, Melissa Etheridge, Elton John, Indie

“In a room filled with a very wide selection of pres such as 550's, 1073's and many more, the Pacifica instantly became the most frequently used preamp.” Yoni Gileadi-films and music: IMAX Mysteries of Egypt, IMAX Texas: The Big Picture, IMAX Mystic India; Recordings/Remix: Kaskade, Backside, David Bowie mash-up remix, Love Digit, Sunfall, Sofina.

"Finally a mic pre and D.I. for those of us tired of squinting with our ears. Its the past-but the way I WANT to remember it." Dylan Dresdow-Engineer/Grammy Award Nominee/ Tec Award Nominee/ Studio Owner: Black Eyed Peas, Ricky Martin, Tweet, Christina Aguilera, Indie

“If I had to start over, the Pacifica would be the first preamp I would buy. I've never heard a preamp with a 70's character that has such an open top end. It’s the most versatile preamp in our collection of 11 types of preamps.” Jason Buntz-Engineer/ Studio Owner/ Indie

"My overall impression is that it sits in there like a nice cross between Neve-ish and API-ish tones but with better transient response and more high end detail...overall very musical. I swear it went another octave above the API and Great River.”

"I can see it being an extremely versatile preamp that would get a lot of use on everything. Perfect for a small studio like mine that can't afford to have 20 different specialty preamps." Brad McGowan-Little Red Wagon Studios/ Engineer/ Indie

“Definitely a color that I could ‘paint’ the whole album with.I thought I was done buying preamps until this one arrived… it was like the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle that made the picture complete. [Now, what am I going to tell my wife?]” Barrett Nichols-Engineer/ Producer: Alpha Jerk Studio, Indie

“With thousands of dollars in vintage microphones at hand, only the Pacifica makes them sound the way I expect every time, now that I have heard it, no other mic pre will do.” Jeff Sheridan-Engineer/ Producer/ Studio Owner: Disney Voice Over, Disney’s 50th Anniversary Edition, Soundworks Studio, Indie

“If you are thinking something along the lines of an API pre, you really owe it to yourself to play around with the new A Designs Pacifica preamp. It has a similar feel/sound in the lows and mids (huge low end with slightly forward, but not obnoxious mids) but a top end that is extended and beautiful. On orchestral recording, it makes you sit up and take notice of the orchestra on the loud stuff, but yet has the subtlety needed for chamber music.” Benjamin Mass Engineer/Mix/Studio Owner: Fifth Circle Audio, Mancini Institute, Billy Childs, Bill Cunliffe, Randy Brecker, Bill Watrous, John Clayton, Christian McBride, Elmer Bernstein, Dave Grusin, Jerry Goldsmith, Eddie Daniels, Richard Stoltzman, Ernie Watts and Mark O'Connor, Indie

“A Designs Audio’s Pacifica is a perfect “10” Brains and Beauty!” Ted Perlman-Producer/Engineer/Composer/Musician/Studio Owner: Burt Bacharach, Bob Dylan, Neil Sedaka, Elton John, Carole King, Dolly Parton, Indie

“Now, my dilemma is that I want to keep the Pacifica even though I already own enough damn preamps. Should I sell one of the other ones? Damn.” Larry Crane, Engineer/Producer/Studio Owner/Tape Op Magazine: Indie


Input Impedance:   600 Ohm @ 400Hz
Gain Range:   72 dB
Noise (EIN):   -128 dB
Mic Phantom:   Switchable 48 Volt Power Source
Mic Input Phase:   Switchable 0 -180
Instrument Input Jack:   1/4" Phono
Output:   Balanced XLR
Frequency Response:   9Hz-101KHz
Distortion:   Less than 1%
Power Requirements:   100/120/230 VAC - 23 Watts
Dimensions:   19" x 1.75" x 10"
Weight:   11lbs. - 12.5 lbs. shipping weight

Owners Manual PDF 283 KB
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