Music Valet Preview - Dizengoff Audio D4

Posted on Feb 05, 2015

I’m a huge fan of Matt Newport’s product designs.  Matt and his former company,  Black Lion Audio (BLA), forged a path that enabled the masses to finally get that ‘big studio’ sound they were looking for out of their modest home recording equipment, through expertly designed modifications to existing digital recording equipment.  


With modifications as their base, Matt and BLA began building super high-end analog to digital and digital to analog converters, microphone/instrument preamps, compressors, digital clocks and other periphery gear.  Among the rest of us mortals, Matt and BLA also counted some of the biggest names in music production (Mutt Lange, Tony Maserati, Tom Lord-Alge) as their user base.


Upon selling BLA in 2013, Matt took a much needed break and is now back with a number of very focused and unique products.  I recently visited Matt at his design lab in Chicago where he unveiled his latest offering, the Dizengoff Audio D4 preamp. Based around a British Console design used at Abbey Road Studios from the mid to late 60’s, it was the sound of The Beatles, Pink Floyd and The Zombies. Matt describes the sound as ‘huge’ and ‘open’ with the ability to color the sound to grab that John Lennon ‘Revolution’ vibe if one so desires.


Matt promised an early demo unit and it arrived a few weeks back.  Upon receipt, I grabbed a few friends (huge thanks to Grant Essig, Dan Mehrmann and Christian Kirk) and jumped into my favorite local studio.  After plugging in the D4 and letting it warm up a bit, you notice an immediate presence that seems to focus the instrument or vocal.  In a studio full of top shelf preamps from Shadow Hills, Chandler, Avalon, etc our engineer was blown away by what the D4 did with his Wunder CM7 microphone.  To my own ear, the combo of the D4 with the Wunder CM7 and even the AKG C414 on vocals sounded ready at the recording stage.  You could almost hear the finished sound at the source, instead of wondering what would be needed to clean it up at the mix stage.


Hearing the D4 for our own ears definitely inspired us to record a song and visualize the process.  That’s really what gear is supposed to do...get you excited about making music and facilitating the process with the least amount of friction.  The D4 definitely succeeds on both fronts.


See the Dizengoff Audio D4 in action:



Learn more about Dizengoff Audio here.



Richard LaBonte, Music Valet