BCD Audio intros new version of ALT-1 stand-alone mic amplifier

BCD Audio has announced ALT-1D, a new version of its ALT-1 stand-alone microphone amplifier. The original ALT-1 microphone amplifier was designed in 1993 in response to demand for a simple to use stand-alone microphone amplifier for journalist and unattended studio use. The unit was to be as simple to use as possible, with the minimum of controls, but the best attainable audio performance under real operating conditions in the field. According to the company, it has been a popular product, with around 4,000 unit sales to date.

A feature of the unit was the ‘take’ switch, which, when pressed, would make the unit learn the correct audio gain required for that user. Once the unit learned the setting, the compressor/ limiter/ AGC system would maintain the correct level. The remote-accessible ‘take’ switch allows the unit to be controlled from a news control system.

Since then, further applications have appeared, and units are installed in news and weather booths, direct to PC recording, unattended studios, and emergency microphone use in main TV news studios.

“It’s not easy to replace a winning product, but increased manufacturing costs and the switch to surface mount production has made a replacement unit essential,” said Mike Law, CEO of BCD Audio. “All of the original features are however maintained, with some carefully thought out extensions.”

Front panel switching, LED indicators for Compressor / Limiter, AGC and mic input on balanced XLR with switchable phantom power are retained. Line output on balanced XLR is retained, and now includes fault protection. The DC inlet is retained, but the unit can now be powered from the D9 in fixed installations.

A remote ‘take’ switch with LED connects at the D9, and replaces the remote control mini-jack variant. An added ‘mute’ input is added as well. An unbalanced audio output is present at the D9, for use with unbalanced destinations, such as PC sound cards.

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