The Twin Pak is a pair of Mike-E digitally controlled microphone preamp.

Mike-E, a high performance transformer-coupled mic preamp with a noise floor far below any microphone’s self noise, combined with a one-of-a-kind compressor/saturator circuit that delivers classic knee compression as well as versatile tonal ‘coloring’ that can replicate many of the best characteristics of vintage analog recording equipment.

In today’s modern age of digital recorders, DAWs and software plug-ins, Mike-E is the ultimate solution for getting a clean and strong, yet warm and musical signal into the box…and it couldn’t be easier to work – its front panel layout is so straight ahead that even inexperienced engineers will have no problem moving around on it right away.

Mic Preamp

This is a super low noise transformer input amplifier section with the gain under precise digital control. The signal to noise far exceeds any microphone in existence. Having used many mic preamps over the years, we’ve implemented a unique stepped gain control that should be impervious to the normal flakiness that age causes to pots and detented switches.  A “Bad!” LED indicates when the input signal is overloading the circuit.


The CompSat's unique circuitry sets the Mike-E apart from all other mic preamps.

SATURATOR - a multi stage soft-clipping circuit. At lower levels, a triode-type saturation affects the signal. As the level increases, a second unique clip circuit starts to more severely flatten out the peaks.

COMPRESSOR - based on ELI’s world famous Distressor, but with other characteristics (including a much longer attack time).  Preset ratios include: 2:1, 4:1, 8:1…and, of course, Nuke.

EMPHASIS - a two-stage circuit that boosts and soft clips high frequencies before the CompSat™ circuit, and then cuts the frequencies after it. Emphasis has the added perk of improving signal to noise, and is the reason analog tape decks used emphasis to begin with.

MIX - provides “parallel compression” technique achieved by mixing between the compressed and the dry (or uncompressed) signal. This can often help maintain transients and a sense of dynamic range while enhancing the low level nuances.

Other features include a front panel instrument input that allows the unit to function as an ultra-clean Direct Box and stereo-linking capabilities. Mike-E can also be combined with an EQ (such as the ELI Lil FrEQ), transforming it into one of the most powerful, flexible and complete channel strips on the market.

Mike-E's Seven Circuits

1. Mic Preamplifier with super low noise and stepped gain switching

2. Built in ‘Direct Box’, called the ‘Inst In’, offers unparalleled distortion, noise, and frequency response when pre-amping instruments.

3. ‘Colored’ 80Hz High pass filter emulates the warm low frequency cut of our favorite vintage equalizers.

4. Phase Switch to invert the audio signal 180 degrees.

5. CompSat offers both a musical Compressor/Limiter and a unique tape-like saturation circuit.

6. Emphasis high-frequency emphasis system softens high frequency ‘pile-ups’ and further the creamy color of the Mike-E.

7. Mix Control allows the blending of the Compressed/Saturated signal with the clean unprocessed “Dry” signal.


  • Mic Pre-Amplifier, Empirical Labs style. With its totally unique features, we think its the “deepest” and most versatile Mic preamplifier in existence. Yet still offers ease of use
  • Super high performance Mic Pre-Amplifier section. Transformer Input. The Signal to noise exceeds 130dB... far, far below the self noise of any microphone
  • Super Long Life gain Switching, 5 dB increments in Preamp section, with output pot for fine resolution gain setting. Sealed relays used throughout
  • “CompSat” Section that can not only soft saturate the peaks of waveforms to warm things up, but also offers a world class compressor with detented parameter selection
  • Germanium circuitry in the CompSat section to offer new warming characteristics
  • One of a kind Emphasis function, tames high frequency pileups, while offering frequency dependant saturation. Enhances Mike-E’s popular tape-like tone
  • High performance High Pass filter at 80Hz, 18dB per octave
  • Built in Instrument Preamp/Direct box – Just plug a guitar or bass etc into the front panel and the unit auto-senses it. Voila you have a high performance Empirical Labs direct box. The signal is then passed through the input trans former for some “IRON” in its sound
  • Renowned Empirical Labs digitally controlled analog topology
  • Huge "DISTRESSOR" knobs with high resolution numbering - For easy readability and repeatable settings. They also go to 10 1/2
  • A “BAD!” Hard Clip Indicator lights– A “Bad” Clip LED that lets user know he is within .5dB of hard clipping. It monitors many sections of the Preamp for internal clipping
  • Two CompSat LED indicators, one “WARM” and one “TOASTY” LED, indicating internal saturation circuitry
  • Locked, calibrated, output level - Allows speed in setting record and live mix levels
  • Extremely useful as a mixdown processor, too. Great for fitting the mixes together
  • Single height and light weight
  • Discrete and integrated combination -The best of speed/linearity with repeatability. Hand tested & selected components. All metal film and Roederstein resistors in the audio path - top quality components, most being high temperature military spec parts
  • Switchable 115/230 volt operation - Extra fuse provided inside unit
  • XLR and 1/4" phone ins and outs - XLR fully balanced design, pin 2 hot
  • No internal connectors, high reliability parts and military grade switches and relays. All contacts doubled up for maximum reliability
  • Linkable Compressor section
  • Interface and features found nowhere else.
  • Hand wired, calibrated in USA. Shipping weight 30 Lbs

ConditionBrand New (New)
Brand New items are sold by an authorized dealer or original builder and include all original packaging.Learn more
  • "Twin Pak" EL-9 Mike-E Preamp / Compressor Pair

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Lunchbox Audio

Bellingham, WA, United States
Joined Reverb:2015

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