Microphone preamps can be maddening. Some color the sound so much you lose the source in a haze of distortion. Others are so transparent they leave a digital sheen across the sound. Still others you wonder if they’re even working at all!
Enter The Launcher, from Soyuz Microphones. Handmade in Russia (as are all their products), The Launcher features a custom, handwound transformer that is designed to add just a touch of color and warmth to your signal ala a 1970’s mixing desk. An inline preamp, it adds about 26 dB of gain, along with said color. Though it runs on phantom power, it does not send voltage thru to your mic, so you can use it with any dynamic mic or even ribbon mics that don’t require power thru their cable.
I’ve used mine mostly with my trusty Shure SM7b, but I’ve also tried it out on a Sennheiser e609 on both guitar and tenor sax. Every time The Launcher adds just a bit of color and definition to the sound that doesn’t overpower the inherent character of either the source nor the mic. I think it sounds great!
Most of the online demos of The Launcher don’t do it justice, IMHO. It needs to be heard in person for you to really tell what it does to your sound. As I said, I’ve found it very pleasing to my ears; hopefully you will, too.
More info can be found on the Soyuz Microphones website:
Buy it here at Sweetwater:
Full disclosure: I receive no compensation from either company; I’ve just been a Sweetwater customer for over 25 years and paid for The Launcher with my own money after demoing it.