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ART Pro Channel => Berg IP/EX112 **UPDATE**

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dunamis, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    I'm wondering if anyone's tried an ART Pro Channel as a front end for the Berg IPs?

    I've been searching for the right front end for my IP/EX112 ever since I got the amp. I've tried a few different pre's, most recently the Summit TD-100. It's a very high quality piece, but I really wanted more control over my tone. I especially missed having compression and EQ available.

    I tried Summit's TLA-50 with the TD-100 but I find I don't like the sound of the TLA that much, and I was still lacking EQ (other then the EQ on the bass). I was thinking a 1ru comp like a dbx or something but then, along with a compressor, I'd need a larger rack...

    I searched Basstasters for pre's that have on-board compression and EQ, and I really like how the ART Tube Channel sounds. It looks to be very similar to the Pro Channel that has replaced it, so I ordered up a Pro Channel. I've been playing around with it now for a couple of weeks and IMO it is the best pre I've tried with the IPs!

    ART doesn't get a lot of love around TB. Do you think it could be because their stuff is relatively inexpensive and 'non-boutique'? I paid $270 for the Pro Channel (new). Comparing the sound of this unit to the more expensive stuff I've tried has convinced me that the Pro Channel would be a bargain at twice the price!

    I was wondering if anyone has tried the Pro Channel (or maybe the old Tube Channel) and if so, what do you think? So far, for me, it's the perfect front end for the IP stack.

    I like way the gain staging works-- you can crank the input gain to drive the preamp tube as much as desired, and then set the output level of the mic pre section without effecting the tube drive. The Summit can't do this. In fact, it's basically the whole reason for the "Berg Mod", which allows a higher setting on the output gain control to drive the tube without producing too hot of an input signal for the IP to handle.

    The Pro Channel has both optical and tube compressors with attack and release, ratio, and threshold controls as well as make up gain. The optical is clean and transparent, and is faster then the tube compressor, which acts more like a traditional leveling amplifier type comp. I like the optical when I want to add some punch. The tube comp works well for smoothing things out, and adds additional warmth.

    The EQ is four band-- shelving type on the LO and HI, and parametric on LoMids and HiMids. I find it a very usable EQ, although I try to use only a little cut for finger noise and maybe a touch of LoMid moost to add thump, unless there is a real room problem I need to deal with!

    In addition to the 4 band, there is a seperate Lo Cut control in the preamp section that provides a hard roll-off below a selectable frequency. This is a good set up, as I can roll off all the lows below say 40 or 50 hz to quell a rumbly-muddy room or 'hollow stage" effects and still have control over the lows above that point using the LO shelving in the EQ section.

    The Pro Channel has plenty enough gain to drive the power section of the IP to full output, and it has lots off flexibility and tone control to achieve the tone I've been looking for. IMO, it really brings out the best in my IP/EX112 stack!:bassist:

    I think this thing sounds really good! So, I'm wondering "have I drunk the kool-aid"? Like I said, ART doesn't seem to get much love around here. Maybe I just have a lead ear (or whatever the opposite of a golden ear is)!

    Has anybody tried out a Pro Channel (either with the IPs or whatever)? If so, what are your experiences with this piece?
  2. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I haven't tried it, but I figure you are at least as well off drinking your own koolaid as someone else's : }
  3. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    Well, when it was working, I loved the Pro Channel.:(

    I now have had two of these. The first quit working in the first hour or so (compressor section died). I figured it was just a defective unit.

    ART (Yorkville) sent a replacement. It seemed to work fine but then it stopped working after a few days (used it maybe 5 or 6 hours total). This time it looks like the preamp section that's the problem. :mad:

    Could it be that the thing just can't stand up to bass? I wasn't using extreme settings or anything-- no overdrive or clipping at all when it quit.:bawl:

    So I'm back on the hunt for the perfect preamp for my Berg stack. I had been thinking about a Fender TBP-1... suggestions?
  4. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
  5. I have been using the Tube Channel as my backup pre for many years. It is voiced beautifully for bass. I have never had any trouble with it. It was made, however, before the Yorkville days.

  6. Cbluez


    Feb 27, 2006
    Castlegar area, BC
    I've owned one for over a year now, giving it heavy use in bands from heavy rock to country.This is the most versatile, best sounding preamp i've ever had.

    I run a jazz type bass with TI jazz flats, Dimarzio J's & with Audere preamp, and then off to a Crown XLS602 and then a Schroeder 4x10.

    Taking the lid off it's very well and solidly built with quality electronics.

    The main preamp section is very clean to gritty, (the LEDs are fab for setting this up)the compressor section (although I don't use it much, but it's always on) is very smooth with optical or tube type, and the tone section with shelf/parametric is the best I've ever used. Extreme small increments make audible differences..I wish It had one more parametric channel is all....the meter is pretty useless really, but looks cool. The buttons for switching in and out the eq and compressore are very handy for doing A/B type tests with new strings/basses or whatever..

    If you can't find a sound you love in 5 minutes (always the test of a good preamp) with this thing you probably need some better quality guitars amps and speakers.

    I haven't owned all the high end boutique stuff and I'm sure I could find something I love at mega bucks, but for the working poor bassist you really can't beat this unit for quality, versatility, sound and price.

    I didn't know about Yorkville...hopefully they haven't wrecked it and turned it into another mediocre product. (Just my opinion Yorkville fans.)
  7. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Sorry to hear that, Dunamis.

    I've got a TD-100 on order, but understand about the EQ thing. Maybe a decent parametric EQ would help out?

    If the Bass Buddy were tube-driven it might be perfect, but I've gotten spoiled by tubes.

    FWIW, I liked the Alembic preamp a lot with my IP.
  8. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    cool, i too thought the ART on basstasters was one of the best sounding units.

  9. Scott McArron

    Scott McArron Supporting Member

    Really? :eyebrow: Ahh... to each his own. :D
  10. Scott McArron

    Scott McArron Supporting Member

  11. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions!

    Cbluez-- +1 too all you wrote about the Pro Channel. It sounds great to me too!

    I got back from out of town travel last night and tried the Pro Channel again. It seems to be working now. I need to get some time to play through it for a while and see if the problem starts again. I don't know much about electronics. Could it be that it only occurs when things warm up?

    If it does start again, I think I'll send the Pro Channel off to Yorkville for waranty repair and then try it again. I do love the sound and the feature set. Hopefully, it will get to point where I trust it to gig with.:meh:
  12. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas

    I had wondered about these units...staying tuned in for final results.
  13. Groovin


    May 25, 2006
    Wash, D.C.
    Guys, just my .02

    If everyone loves the Summit but wants some good ole EQ, you can always do what I do:

    I bought a used Art Tube Para EQ to pair with my Summit. It sounds GREAT! Sometimes, I use it alone. Of course it is noisier than the summit and does not have that "magic" feel that the summit does but for live work, hell yeah, it rocks. Cost me $75 and damn near sounds as good live as my Summit. For quieter settings or times when I go direct or in the studio, I use the Summit only.
  14. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member


    I hear that. $950 is just a LITTLE steep for a parametric EQ. :eek: I got my dbx para EQ used for $75, and it's great, though it's also a full width single rack space. I know the FEQ-50 would be incredible and would look great next to the TD-100, but even I can't rationalize dropping that kind of dough on an EQ.
  15. I was thinking about getting one to drive my GK 1001rb MK II's power amp section. It's a good pre, but I'd like something else.

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