Vintage Magic: Seventh Circle Audio’s SCA N72 & SCA A12 Microphone Preamp Module

Enter the sonic realms of not one, but two top-notch gems from Seventh Circle Audio: the SCA N72 and the SCA A12.

Hailing from the heart of the USA, Seventh Circle Audio, spearheaded by the visionary Tim Ryan since 2001, has garnered a devoted following for its prowess in resurrecting vintage classics.

Initially renowned for its DIY kits nestled within their proprietary SC2 chassis, the company has recently broadened its horizons, unveiling 500 series modules tailored for the wider population of audio enthusiasts.

While the option to save a cool $120US beckons those adept with a soldering iron, today we explore the pre-built and meticulously tested versions.


What sets Seventh Circle apart is its steadfast commitment to authenticity and performance, eschewing the typical marketing rigamarole in favour of delivering preamps that punch well above their wallet-weight.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s delve into the world of the N72 and the A12.

N72 A12

First in our spotlight is the N72, a subtle nod to the iconic Neve 1272 lineage, modified to serve as a microphone preamp. Embracing Carnhill transformers, descendants of the legendary Marinair and St Ives family, the N72 beckons with up to 70dB of gain, adjusted via a satisfying stepped potentiometer.

audio gain

Over the other side we’ve got the A12, Seventh Circle’s homage to the vintage API 312. Anchored by a bespoke SC25 op amp akin to the revered API 2520, and outfitted with a cinemag input and output transformer, the A12 offers an equally great experience with its 70dB of gain, controlled by a premium stepped Grayhill potentiometer.


Both preamps, borne of transformer-based architecture, exude distinct character reminiscent of their esteemed ancestors.

We used an SM57 to capture a snare drum, next shifting over to a guitar amp and finally, to vocals. This allowed us to really hear the N72 and A12 against their vintage counterparts, revealing nuances that blur the lines between past and present.


The Seventh Circle offerings stand tall, delivering a sonic experience akin to their Neve and API progenitors. The resemblance is pretty damn striking, placing us firmly within the coveted sonic realms of vintage grandeur.

Solidly constructed, both the N72 and A12 come equipped with essential features including gain, trim, phase flip, and phantom power, with the N72 offering an additional impedance switch for mic matching and tonal sculpting.

And now, the price tag—a mere fraction of their inspirations’ cost—makes the Seventh Circle duo a pretty reasonable proposition. The SCA N72, available at $499US pre-built or $379US for the DIY enthusiasts, and the SCA A12, priced at $449US pre-built or $349US for the DIY aficionados, await at the Seventh Circle website, ready to infuse your sonic endeavours with a little vintage magic.