Three months ago, Soho Sonic Studios was fortunate enough to be loaned a ‘Lev Systems Integrity II’ dual channel mic pre amp. The Lev is designed and hand made by one of Yoram Lev, Top recording and mixing engineer with 25 years of experience, Based in Israel.
The Integrity II is a transformer-less design for a pristine and clear signal path. Straight out of the box, the Integrity II looks fantastic. The red, brushed metal finish and components on the faceplate ooze quality. The mic amp comes with toggles for phantom power, high pass filter’s and to switch between the XLR mic inputs on the rear, and the unbalanced instrument inputs on the front of the unit.
Once plugged in, the slick dual colour LED’s to the right of the gain control flash to show the unit is powered on. These act as input meters for the mic amp, giving you an indication of optimum levels (green light) and when your input source is clipping the preamp (red light).
Over the 3 months we had the “Integrity II”, I have used the pre amp in a wide variety of situations including tracking vocals, drums and acoustic instruments. We also held a blind pre amp ‘shout out’ where we compared it to the other pre amps available in our studio.
We found the Lev to sound extremely transparent and clean. The mic amp has loads of gain, and was an appropriate choice whenever we wanted to capture a sound without noise or coloration. On drums, the Lev was very fast and snappy. The gain control offered low enough gain to be used without a pad on loud signals such as close micing kick and snare drums.
In our shootout, we preferred the Lev on male vocals and softly picked acoustic guitar. It gave us a very clean and realistic representation of the sound source.
We are happy to recommend this pre amp to any other studios looking for a clean and three dimensional sound.
OJ (Ofer Shabi) – MD at Soho Sonic Studios &
Arie Van Der Poel – Engineer at Soho Sonic