Make / Model: John Hardy M-1 (2-channel)
Purchased: Direct, 2003
Price: $1150 (New)
My first experience with the John Hardy M-1 mic preamp was in borrowing the 4-channel unit from an engineer friend for a session. And it blew me away. It just took whatever mic you had plugged into it, and made it the best version of that mic. But while his version had the transformer output option, the M-1 I purchased, a two-channel, did not.
To my ears, the M-1 with output transformer adds a very slight hardness (an I’m using that word very lightly) to the sound, and SEEMS to slow down the transients.
Transformerless, a snare drum mic’d with the Beyer m201 into Hardy M-1 almost makes me BLINK, the audio is so fucking quick. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.
The transformerless M-1 is all about transients, clarity, speed.
The only way I can compare it: Think of your typical API mic amp, speed up the response to unbelievable, and take away all coloration, thats an M-1.
It’s really the most amazing mic pre I’ve ever heard.