The Aurora GTQ2 Mark III is a 2-channel preamp that offers a modern twist on the classic British iron sound with variable impedance, custom Marinair input and output transformers, a DI for days, and a simple yet highly musical EQ.
The two-channel Aurora GTQ2 Mark III takes its cues from Geoff Tanner’s time as head of the electrical design drawing office for Rupert Neve & Co. and brings the classic sound into modern times with Geoff’s unique vision. A 2-channel, Class A discrete preamp, the GTQ2 incorporates balanced input and output transformers are made to Geoff’s exacting specifications by the old Marinair crew in the UK, who lent their expertise to Mr. Neve. The transformers are the secret sauce (Marinair sauce?) that give the GTQ2 the warm yet extremely punchy sound that only great iron in the hands of a master designer such as Geoff Tanner can provide.
Aurora Audio GTQ2 Mark III—Just the Facts:
- Transformer-balanced inputs and outputs
- All Class-A discrete transistor circuitry
- Stepped adjustable gain in 5dB steps from –10dB to +80dB
- Rear jacks provide an unbalanced output at the same level as balanced Selectable input impedance on the rear panel
- Three-band EQ: + 15dB adjustment 80Hz (Bass), 12kHz (Treble) mid frequencies of 400Hz, 1.6kHz 3.2kHz ±18dB
Aurora Audio GTQ2 Mark III Under the Hood
With adjustable input impedance coupled with a ribbon mic-friendly 80dB gain enables the GTQ2 to cleanly amplify any low-sensitivity mics your care to put in its signal path, including vintage ribbon mics, classic dynamic mics, and high output condensers alike. Of course, in pro audio, cleanliness is next to nothing, and sometimes we want a little dirt. When the occasion arrives, turn up the input gain on the GTQ2, use the output level control to prevent A/D overload, and hear the classic harmonics and overtones that made the Class A British sound so sought after.
The GTQ2 sports a 3-band EQ that’s simple yet highly effective and musically satisfying—and you don’t need a degree in nuclear physics to fly it. This 3-band small wonder is an incredibly powerful tone shaping tool. Geoff saw the opportunity to simplify the EQ section by focusing on the most musical frequencies so you can spend your time recording and not twiddling knobs. The high-end shelving at 12kHz (like a preamp whose last name ends in 73) provides air and sheen while never getting thin or shrill. The low-end shelving at 80Hz gives you enough power to fill out an anemic sound or cut to get rid of any offending rumble. The Midrange control at 400Hz, 1.6K, and 3.2K can either help you get rid of mud or make tracks cut through a dense mix without sounding harsh.
Not your average DI
If DIs could go to eleven, the DI in the GTQ2 would go to twelve. Unique to Aurora Audio, the GTQ2’s DI has a 10Meg ohm input that gives you the full girlfriend experience (frequency, meant to say, “full frequency experience” there). Run your bass or keyboards through this DI and you will hear bass and keyboards with a whole new sense of clarity and fullness. For those recording instruments “in the box,” such as electric guitars, your amp and room simulations will sound far more realistic than ever, since the GTQ2 provides unparalleled source material for the modeling program to react to.
Truly an all-purpose mic pre, the GTQ2 flatters any mic you put into it. Used worldwide by professionals in music, film, and TV, the GTQ2 makes any instrument, vocal, or sound effect, sound exactly right—and if it sounds right, it is right (so says Joe Meek).
Aurora Audio GTQ2 fit and finish
A solid 1U chassis with the traditional RAF blue-grey paint, the front panel controls include gain in 5dB steps up to 80dB, buttons for high-pass filter, +48V phantom power, equalizer in/out, and phase reverse. Rotary pots include 80Hz low-frequency shelf (+15dB), 12kHz high-frequency shelf (+15dB), mid boost/cut and 3-position midrange frequency selector at 400Hz, 1.6kHz, and 3.2kHz.
Rear-panel I/O includes 2x XLRF, 2x XLRM, 2x 1/4" outputs, individual impedance selector switches for each channel (300 ohms, 1,200 ohms), and IEC power connector.
If you’re a fan of the big iron sound of the ’70s with British sensibilities, but want something with its own character, an Aurora Audio GTQ2 Mark III will fix your rack, Jack. For more information call or chat online with your PAD Professional today.
- Input impedance: 1,200 ohms or 300 ohms balanced and floating
- Balanced and floating Output will drive any impedance from 600 ohms upwards
- I. Input impedance: 10Megohms
- Frequency response <20Hz to>50KHz + 1dB
- Distortion: <0.075% @ 1KHz
- EIN: <-125dB @ 80dB gain
- Dimensions (WxHxD):19" x 1U x 11" (482.6mm 44.45mm 279.4mm)
- Weight: 20 lb.