Tube Mic Preamps (the lower priced ones) - Jemsite
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2003, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Nebraska
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Tube Mic Preamps (the lower priced ones)

anyone out there using or have used the Art Tube MP or Tube MP OPL?

I just want to see how you like it or not.

I've heard they're a bit noisy, true?

thanks

Robbie
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2003, 12:51 PM
 
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Location: Cincinnati, OH USA
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I've used several different ART tube preamps, including the original Tube MP, the Tube Channel (combines the preamp with compression & parametric EQ), and the TPS (which has variable preamp voicing). I think they sound great for the money--I haven't found them to be particularly noisy.

Right now I use the tube channels for recording guitar amps, and the TPS preamps for bass/drums/vocals/etc.

--Brent
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2003, 01:42 PM
 
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I have an ART StudioV3, and I think it's great for the price. I also read the Harmony Central reviews about the noise, but I really think it's a matter of balancing the input and output levels. I did a few tests, and got it to be quiet with a phantom-powered large diaphragm condenser. It did take some playing with the levels to find that low noise / good output level balance, though. It's more than adequate for home recording.

-Ben
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2003, 03:07 PM
 
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Many (most? all?) of the cheap tube pres are cheap solid state pres with a subtle 12ax7 fuzz circuit in them. That is, they're NOT tube pres. That's understandable, being 50x cheaper than a Manley, great river, etc.

My advice is, if you like the sound, fine (always true). If you want one as a different flavor in addition to your other pre(s), even better. But think pretty hard before choosing one over a cheap mixer like a 4 channel Mackie or Soundcraft. Even the newer Behringers have gotten some good press. The pres on these have gotten very good as all 'round cheap & cheerful useable gear.

The cheapest tube pre I'd rely on as my *only* pre would be the Peavey VMP2, running around $700 if they still make it. That's a nice piece of gear.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2003, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JESTER700

The cheapest tube pre I'd rely on as my *only* pre would be the Peavey VMP2, running around $700 if they still make it. That's a nice piece of gear.
jester, your idea of cheap and my idea of cheap are VASTLY different.

thanks for the advice, though?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2003, 04:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superuser
jester, your idea of cheap and my idea of cheap are VASTLY different.
Agreed... if you're dropping that kinda scratch, you'd better be recording for a label released CD or running some sort of pro studio. For cheap, effective home recording, I don't see why anyone would need a $1000 mic preamp. Unless you've got money to burn... if I did, I'm sure I would get the best $ could buy as well.

-Ben
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2003, 04:45 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Tube MP

I picked up a Tube MP for $59 used...

I dunno if was just beat to death before I got it, but sometimes it just plain doesn't work -- you can tap on it an it'll send little plinks into the recording program etc...

But, power it down, let it sit for an hour and plug it back in... works fine for another 3 weeks...

I use it primarily on snare drum (the mic underneath for the super-crack) and it brings out a nice full sparkle -- much better than just running thru the mackie board.

Is it nicer than a Manley or Neve? No. But it didn't cost an arm and a leg either.

I also have a Behringer Tube Ultragain -- it's kind of a stereo Tube MP on steroids. I imparts a nice warm fuzziness to guitar tracks and sometimes I like it on vocals... but not always. Sometimes the TLM103 sounds just fine thru a solid-state pre.

I got the Behringer at the same place for $149 in the box. No problems so far.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2003, 07:38 PM
 
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No, my idea of cheap isn't that different - I don't own the Peavey; I just worked with them. I use a modified symetrix sx202 when it's worth the trouble to go one better than my Mackie's built in pres. And I wouldn't mind getting one of the toy tube pres for another color at my level; I just wouldn't want to be limited to it - I don't find the current starved 12ax7 fuzzbox sound to be quite right for vocals or acoustic guitar (I think there are DX plugs that give a better "tube sound" than this). But that's just me. I WOULD be happy being "limited" to something like the VMP2, but like you I don't have that kind of scratch laying around.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2003, 05:08 PM
 
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Could you get away with an Art Tube pre? I'm kind of in the same boat here. I'm not looking for your beautiful, expensive, holy-grail-of-preamps here, just something that works and has decent tone. (I don't want it to sound like absolute crap...)
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2003, 05:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaper
Could you get away with an Art Tube pre?
Yes. Really, if you're not convinced, I can email you 2 things I did when I first got the ART StudioV3- #1- me noodling on the elec/acoustic (Direct In to the pre and then to the computer), and #2, mic-ing my amp with just clean guitar: The mic is going through the pre and into my computer's soundcard. Because there's no backing track or anything, you get as pure a representation of the pre as you're gonna get. Note though that I was not playing for anyone- just checking clipping levels & figuring out the preamp, so I'm doing no more than just futzing.

I'll MP3 the 1 minute clips and zip 'em if you 2 (Reaper and Superuser) want them. Let me know and send me an email if you do... I'll get around to it later tonight if you want.

-Ben
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