ART Pro Channel II (Yorkville Sound) REVIEW....
Based on much reading, I decided to take the plunge into the ART PRO CHANNEL II.
Wanting to stay with the flexibility of a preamp/power amp setup, because that's how I ride!
Here is a "Little Known Secret".....
There are endorsed Bassist out there playing "Orange" and the likes, but the SECRET is.......
If you look in the bottom of some of these Pro Players Racks
This is what they are using as their PreAmp and DI for FOH.
What does this mean?
That their Amps and Cabinets sounds are not going to the FOH.
The FOH is taking the DI from the ART Pro Channel II :)
So onto the review.....
First! Awesome looking 2RU unit. There are many "Buttons" and "Knobs" on this unit. This is not for the Faint Hearted!
It took me around 1.5hrs to dial in 4 or 5 different sounds that I like. Ultimately, the 5th one is the one I'm using. Here is a pic of my settings. This will be helpful to those who purchase and are not use to setting up a killer bass sound from scratch.
Also to note: There is Misinformation out on the web! Really?
Yes! Really! lol There are Product Descriptions for the Pro VLA or similar ART Product under the Pro Channel II.
This unit apparently only has a TUBE PRE and Solid State Comp and EQ...... and sounds GREAT!
The "Low Cut" is the knob in the pic upper left corner. I set it to 125hz but found that it removes bass from the thinner bass strings.
Moving to 45hz allows for a thicker sound on the thinner strings.
The "Pre Amp" is nearly full out! This was useful in removing some unwanted low mids. By pushing the preamp, this apparently will make the transformer react differently. A good thing for bass tone for sure.....Also, the Tube High Voltage button is engaged. This is GOOD for bass IMHO ;)
The "Compressor" Works great. It's OPTO and Transparent!
I personally like compression. Some here do not. If you do, look at my settings, works awesome! :)
The "Equalizer" is a Semi Parametric. Works great. Lots of tonal possibilities. My low mid cut is 450hz.
Although it show's 45hz on the knob, I have the X10 button depressed ;)
High Mids are cut as well at around 6000hz X10 button again.
If you follow the Manual by starting off by Bypassing the Comp and Eq, using the push buttons. You then use the Preamp and Gain knobs on the left to set your LED VU meter to around -5 db and ensure your peaks do not go into the RED and keep the red lit up.
After that, get those Comp and Eq buttons off bypass and start dialing in the Comp and Eq for your desired sound.
This unit kills Two Birds with one stone. Is a great Preamp with Comp/EQ and is also a ....... DI for the FOH.
For around $300.00, You get all this! Sweet!
If you get one, be patient. That Eq is worth learning!
Others here who have the ART Pro Channel II, Please post
pics of your settings for others to learn from or as starting
Tommy L sends.....
I had one in my studio for a while. It sounded good, but not great for recording purposes. In a live setting I'm sure it sounds great, but it definitely falls under the 'overkill' category for me.
I do have lots of experience with live sound. As for Recording, only a little. I use the M-Audio Octane 8 pre. I use it mostly for live application. Vocal clarity is way better than the preamps on my mixing console provide. Adds channel separation and everything stands proud in the mix. I also use the MAudio 2626 with Pro Tools. :) For demo's, this is just fine. I'm sure that there is much better out there ;)
Tommy L sends..... \m/ . . \m/
I had mentioned that the "LOW CUT" gave more bass on the thinner strings, but.........
At higher volumes, I found around 100hz a better choice.
At lower volumes, around 40hz sounds good.
Nice feature to have "Low Cut" A.K.A. "High Pass Filter".
Although my cabinets were not Farting Out at higher volumes,
there was a building low end nasty tone that got bigger as volumes increased.
So a little sweep of the "Low Cut" to 100hz takes out
the undesired low frequencies.
Tommy L sends.....
I'm curious as to which touring pros have this in their rack. I've never seen one in a touring rack, but that doesn't mean much.
I *have*, however, seen a Phil Jones rack mount pre in a certain "household name" pro's rack who is well known to endorse another amp manufacturer. The PJB literature claims as much, though it doesn't state a name.
The conversation went into the fact that quite a few Pro Bass Artists are using this
as a PreAmp/DI and the units are in the bottom of their racks.
They are not endorsed by ART/Yorkville so he couldn't "Name Drop". This seems to be a favored Pre/DI by these artists.
I'm not affiliated with ART/Yorkville. I'm just passing on information as it was presented to me.
This is a very versatile unit IMHO.
Tommy L sends....
Perhaps the distinction is subtle, but what I just read about unnamed sources seemed a lot more like unsubstantiated hearsay than information.
Back in the day I used a few different pre/power rigs, and was interested in the ART ProChannel (or one of its predecessors), but I never had the pleasure. I hope it gives you a lot of pleasure. :)
I couldn't care less if another artist is using it or not. Some others might need to hear
that others are using it to make a purchasing decision. I try things and give my honest opinion.
And for what it's worth, the executive I spoke with at Yorkville
sounded genuine. But you are correct....I personally didn't
see one in a Pro Bassists Rack.
I based my purchasing decision on the fact that I've owned and used the ART Tube MP and
Tube Levlar Compressor from 1999. The Tube Levlar has been a favorite piece of mine.
Considering the price of the Pro Channel II, I believe that
you are getting tremendous value for your dollar spent.
I've been using Carvin power amps since 1998. There are many here that would touch it. They've never let me down and have always performed very well. Great bang for the buck as I've gotten lots of use out of the seven that I own.
I have power hungry JBL SR Series 4732a's and 4715a's and the Carvin amps didn't break a sweat. I purchased them based on the build facts. Mil Spec Circuit boards and soldering techniques. Massive Toroidal Transformers and huge capacitors to handle quick bass transients. Is there better?
Thank you JazzDog! It currently is (giving me pleasure) and it did what I wanted
it to do. And it cleaned up the floor in front of me as well.
No more Floor units. ;)
Tommy L sends....
One thing about this preamp is that it definitely has a sound. Not an ultra transparent front end, but for bass I prefer something with a little character to something that's truly neutral. The switchable tube voltage is a handy feature for alternating the type of voicing. I was surprised to like the starved plate setting as much as I did. I preferred the full voltage, but it wasn't a case of one or the other at all like I expected.
I'm sure that I would much prefer a Messa Boogie Carbine and
410 Cabinet. lol I haven't tried one, but I'm sure it would be sweet!
But really, for around $300.00 Cdn or I've seen it as low as
$267.00 USD.......It may not be for everyone, but heck, It does a lot for that price.
I was just going to keep my Tube Levlar and Tube MP Preamp and I was going to add to my pedals a Bass EQ.
But apparently a good one is 249 USD Whirlwind Bass 10 EQ
There is a Boss GEB-7 for $99 USD.....
So I cleaned up the floor and got something in the rack that
is workable and was easy on the wallet :)
So far..... I'm not disappointed. I really like the "Low Cut"
for when I need more volume, it keeps the cabinets under control :)
I recently purchased one of these units and like the features for use as my bass pre going into my mbox but the DI is extremely noisy to the point of being unusable while the 1/4" output is not.
before i return it does anyone know if changing the tubes will eliminate this problem?
Mine was very noisy on the XLR. I did not have room in my rack for the depth of XLRs so used right angled jacks so was not unduly worried.
I later did some mods to it and discovered that one of the circuit board securing screws was loose. I tightened them all down, including the ones with the grounding leads. Some time later I tried the XLR again and it was silent.
I'm not saying it was definitely the grounding screws causing it but worth a try.
Edit - It is unlikely that changing the tube will make any difference because there is a single signal path right through the unit. The very last bit of circuitry is the XLR balanced driver (where the unbalanced signal is inverted to produce the balanced one).
First thing that I need to know is.... What is a Mbox?
There is a PAD on the back of the unit. +4db 1.3v used for most pro audio or for going into a Pro Audio Amplifier. -10db 0.3v used for most consumer products.
I hope this helps as my unit is not noisy.
Tommy L sends......
What is the HPF 35hz in your chain? (Edit..... must be too early for me.... lol High Pass Filter) But you have it on your Pro Channel II
Can you expand on your usage and why?
Also, I'd love to see a pic of your settings on the Pro Channel II, as I'm thinking of
building the a pair of 15/6's or 12/6's :)
Tommy L sends....
+1 to delta7fred it's a grounding problem and it could be the other unit at fault.
Cool that you have an ART Pro Channel....
Because I'm thinking of building the 15/6 or 12/6
I'd really like to see a picture of your settings.
I'm trying to get pictures up here so the faint hearted can
have a good starting point to find their sound.
Tommy L sends.....
My old set up consisted of the Tube Levlar. I really liked it. The new ART PC II has the Opto compressor.
Works great, but I might hit the "bypass" switch on my unit and try using my Tube Levlar and see what that does.
Do you have pictures of your settings?
Tommy L sends....
Sorry, don't have my rig available to take a picture. It's at the rehearsal space.
Anyway, I have the LOW-CUT set at 40 Hz. Compressor is bypassed, HI-MID 4000 Hz -6 db. That's all. I play a Jazz Bass with DiMarzio Model J and Audere Preamp, where I boost the bass and mid, and cut the highs slightly.
At quiet gigs or at home I run the EQ bypassed on the Art.
I noticed that at higher volumes with my three cabinets (EA NL210, and 2 Carvin 15's) 40hz sounds great a lower volumes
But at higher volumes, I have to set the LowCut around 100hz. I play a 5 string 35" scale. Keeps the cabs happy.
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