The highly anticipated release of the new generation of Chameleon Labs gear has finally begun! The new 7603 Preamp and EQ has been very highly anticipated. This isn't a small improvement over the 7602, it's a large improvement. The level of care, detail, and craftsmanship that's gone into this update is significant. Yes, they changed the look too, but that's the least significant thing going here. They also have some excellent 500 series racks out at well. Let's take a look.
The 7603 is Chameleon Labs' flagship preamp design. It is a beast of a unit that had the minds of CL's engineers behind every component. During the two-year process of designing the sleek preamp, the company reverse-engineered some of the most famous transformers to create their own. The input stage has two custom Chameleon Labs transformers (one for mic input, one for DI input), and the output stage is equipped with a transformer that was meticulously constructed to have extremely low-noise operation while also being an incredible color palette. The EQ section is CL's first inductor design. Inductor EQ's are more sought after for their saturation and the way they add impedance, almost compressing the signal. With 80dB on the input stage and 80dB on the output, the 7603 is a piece that will hold its own even among the most highly appraised preamps costing more than twice the price. It will easily find a place in home studios and the most professional studios all around the world.
The 880 is an 8-slot 500 series module power supply. Included in the box is the chassis, four Chameleon Labs slot covers, rubber feet and even a handle. This makes it great for stationary studio use, or for engineers on the go who have the pres, compressors, EQ's and other effects that they know and like. On the back, there are standard XLR inputs and outputs, but with a little something extra. Wired in parallel are DB25 connectors. Having a DB25 option is great for engineers who use DB25 connections into their consoles and converters. On the PCB inside the box, there is a switch next to each slot. This switch can route the output of the current channel directly to the input of the next channel. This eliminates the need for patch cables and can keep your noise floor lower.
If 8 slots is a bit too much, Chameleon Labs also released the CPS503, a 1-slot 500 series power supply. included in the $299 price is the half rack unit, the 5-pin XLR power adapter and a power link cable to link up another unit. You can daisy chain up to 8 total CPS503 power supplies! Also available is a chassis without the power adapter (strictly as an expander) for only $199. Chameleon Labs was really thinking outside the chassis when designing the 503.
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