SA-T69 – Microphone Preamplifier & Equalizer

Mic Preamp & Equalizer with DI, Sowter Input Transformer, and Carnhill Inductors

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(6 customer reviews)


SA-T69 is an replica of one of the most desired units in popular music history, the Helios Type 69

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Recreating a classic mic preamp and equalizer

The SA-T69 is a replica of one of the most desired units in popular music history, the
Helios Type 69. With the aid of a Sowter input transformer (Lustraphone replica), Carnhill inductors and by respecting the original schematic we have managed to recreate every drop of character and usability of this classic channel strip at a price that makes it accessible to anyone.

Throughout the 60s and 70s, Olympic Studios in London became synonymous with great music. Led Zeppelin, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones, to name but a few, could regularly be found recording at Olympic. Built from the remains of an old TV studio, it became not only a desirable recording location but also a regular hangout for the greatest stars in music. What kept them coming back? The incredible sound of the consoles.

In the 1970s, off-the-shelf units were simply not available in the way that they are today, and it fell to the in-house designers and engineers to build the equipment which would shape the sound of popular music. Dick Swettenham, a brilliant design engineer, came to Olympic studios, where he designed and built some of the greatest consoles and units ever created. The pinnacle of these designs was the Helios Type 69, which later went into production and found its way into the world’s top studios.

It was the dynamic character and magical EQ of the unit that earned its reputation as the top choice of preamp and EQ not only for tracking, but also mixing acoustic guitars, acoustic instruments and drums. It would go on to be used on records by the Beatles, Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, and when many of the musicians from these iconic bands came to putting together their own studios, the Helios Type 69 was the unit of choice for the serious artist.

The Preamp section:
The signal path strictly follows the original schematic. The signal enters a Sowter input transformer (original Lustraphone replica) and passes through a fully discrete circuit from the preamp section to the EQ section. The gain is controlled by a 7 step rotary switch with 10dB gain increase per position which can be trimmed with the output control.

The EQ section:
The equalizer is pulled from the legendary Helios consoles built for Island Studios, The Rolling Stones, Apple Studios, and The Who. With the aid of two Carnhill inductors and by staying true to the original in every respect, the SA-T69 features a 10k high-shelf band, a 50hz low-cut or adjustable boost low band, as well as an adjustable “peak” or “through” mid band. The icing on the cake comes from the Vishay capacitors and ohmite carbon resistors to match the frequency response and harmonic distortion of the original unit.


The SA-T69 is made with premium components

We have gone to great lengths to faithfully match the sonic characteristics and behavior of the original using nothing but the best components available, leaving no detail untouched; Making our SA-T69 as distinctive and useful as possible. Each unit features a Sowter input transformer that precisely matches the original Lustraphone transformer, Carnhill inductors, Elma knobs and polystyrene capacitors as well as Vishay capacitors. These are the finest components available that stay true to the original components found on vintage units.


100% satisfaction guarantee – if you don’t love your SA-T69, we’ll refund you

If you’ve used an original Type 69 preamp-EQ before, we’re extremely confident the SA-T69 will put a big smile on your face every time you use it. However, if you’ve never touched the original before, as gear lovers ourselves we understand that the only way to
really know if this preamp and EQ is right for you, is to put it through its paces. That’s why the SA-T69 comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. This allows you to get it into your rack and see how it impacts upon your recordings. If you love it (and we think you will!), great…keep the unit and create amazing music with it. If not, no problems.

Just send it back to us and we’ll fully refund your purchase. And don’t worry, whichever way you decide to go we will remain friends.

Technical Specs

  • Sowter Input transformer (custom Lustraphone replica)
  • Carnhill output transformer
  • Carnhill Inductors
  • Vishay/BC capacitors
  • 70dB of Gain
  • Output Trim
  • Elma style knobs
  • 48V phantom power
  • Less than 0.5% THD
  • XLR input
  • XLR and TRS outputs
  • External power transformer (115V or 230V)
  • Final assembly by hand in Chile
  • 1 year warranty
  • 30-day money back guarantee

6 reviews for SA-T69 – Microphone Preamplifier & Equalizer

  1. daniel curiqueo


  2. sgink1

    Man oh man….I have not used an original helios so I cant make a comparison, but I do ownalot of high end mic pres, from, Neve, Api, Great River, etc and I see why this pre and eq are considered classic. I wish I ordered a stereo pair. I tested it using my Stam 47f into the SA-T9 Into my secret vocal chain via my Liason…the Stamchild is part of that chain, all being sum via my Greatriver mixmaster 20 hitting my Convert 2 back in my daw…and wow. Magic. Warmth, detail, cuts thru the mix effortlessly. the eq section is super musical and sweet, warm, and sounds great when gain is maxed out. Bro… your nuts. In a great way! cant wait for the rest of my gear!!! that 251…ooooooo weeeeeee!!!

  3. Agli

    These sound fantastic!!! Love it!!!

  4. Robert Ferris

    A friend and colleague of mine had a rack of 4 Helios strips back in the ’90s. I worked with those beasties for 5 years and never forgot it. The Pultec style EQs were so musical and intuitive. He also had a Neve board (full of 1073s) and later an 8088. I loved them as well. But for rock music, I preferred the Helios strips – incredibly musical with the uncanny ability to stack aggressive tracks without getting ugly-thick or boxy. The SAT69s sound just like the old Helios strips. Anyone who says otherwise is putting on sonic airs (IMHO). I never quite believed they would STACK UP, but they DO. They really do. Mr. Stam has hit the mark with dead-eye accuracy.

  5. Eric

    Love these channel strips so much! Compared to Neve and Api style pres and preferred these for a cleaner but hefty and beautiful vocal sound. Love them.

  6. Mark

    Big, war, tight… Love this on drums and guitars so far… Electric and acoustic. EQ points are perfect for fast tweaking…

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