The elysia skulpter 500 does not use a potentiometer for changing its gain, but a much more audiophile topology instead: Fixed resistors switched by a cascade of relays and electronic switches. This setup is controlled by an encoder with 20 steps per rotation, providing a total of 40 gain values in 1.5/2 dB steps (total gain range: 3 - 65 dB).
The following amplifier is a fully discrete class-A design. Similar to many tube amps, it operates in feed forward mode, which means it works without high amounts of negative feedback. The result is an extremely natural and beautiful sounding preamp.
The elysia skulpter 500 provides an ample amount of gain, starting at unusually low values and going up to what you’ll need to properly amplify ribbons with high gain requirements. A huge benefit of this is that an additional pad becomes completely unnecessary, resulting in a better signal-to-noise ratio.
The actual mic preamp and the direct input have a separate gain value each. If you change from Mic to DI or vice versa, the gain will automatically change accordingly. This comes in really handy as in most of the cases microphones require a considerably higher amount of gain, which would be way too much for a synth or similar sources plugged into the DI.
Using single resistors arranged in a cascade guarantees exact gain values. As a result, multiple preamps do not require factory matching or consecutive serial numbers when forming stereo pairs or multichannel configurations.
When an elysia skulpter 500 is powered off its current gain setting is saved automatically, so the preamp will start with exactly the same amount of gain on the next session.