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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by FreaqyFrequency, Sep 17, 2008.
Does anyone have any experience with these?
I have Tube MP... nothing special unless you just want a volume boost (only used this for vocals). It might warm things up a hair.
I have an ART Levelar which I used to use, and liked a lot. I prefer not to use compression these days.
One of my favorite things about tubiness is the natural compression that occurs. These preamps wont give you that unless you are using an all tube setup.
I have an ART Tube PAC. I use it solely to provide some clean tube warmth in front of my AI Focus. It does that very nicely. It also has a compression feature, which I don't use; but it has no EQ.
It was very inexpensive (used) and it's even smaller and lighter than the Focus!
I have this and I get the exact same results, except to me there's a definite warming of tone if you add it through vocals or anything else you might put it through. However, it's better used to boost a signal, if anything. Still a great deal for $30.
I used the ART Tube Channel for quite a while. I consider that it is essentially a poor man's Demeter 201 - This is the Tube PAC pre combined with the Tube EQ section. You aren't going to get 'tubey' warmth out of it. It's quite hifi - remember - this is a Microphone pre-amp. Not a place where you generally want a lot of grind. FWIW - I'll buy another for my recording rack one day.
The MP stuff is not in the same league.
I have an ART MPA Gold that I use in my home recording setup. It's one of the few ART pres that doesn't use a staved-plate design for the tubes. It's nicely warm sounding, but can do clean very well also.
I have an old tube channel. This is quite different from current units. It has a mind-boggling array of features, yet is easy to use. This thing is amazing. You can hear and see it here:
Bought mine used from craigb here on TB. This is a model 259, and has been discontinued for at least 2 years. It has two 12-AX7 tubes, as you can see from this diagram.
It can get plenty dirty, compressed, and extreme, but set flat, it is purity itself. A great unit--I'll never sell it.
Here is the blurb from the spec sheet:
The Tube Channel is a single-space, tube recording channel featuring individual circuits which
include a tube mic preamp, an optical compressor, and a four-band, tube-based parametric
EQ. The Tube Channel follows the strong A R T tradition of exceptional quality tube-based
products. With the Tube Channel, A R T has created a world-class dynamics processing channel
designed to accommodate any microphone or instrument going to any digital or analog
The award-winning, tube-based preamp features over 60dB of gain, +48v phantom power, and
a 20dB pad. Independent input and output gain controls are provided. Visual feedback for the
amount of tube drive is available via a unique tube character LED array. The optical compressor
design is related to A R T's critically-acclaimed Pro VLA. The optical compressor features
compression and limiting settings, selectable release times, adjustable threshold, and output
level controls. Gain reduction is displayed via a four-segment LED array. The four-band
parametric EQ section provides selectable high and low shelving filters with two mid-bands
which sweep from 20Hz to 20kHz. The mid-bands overlap from 200Hz to 2kHz for the ultimate
Insert points are available between each of the three processing sections. These inserts provide
direct outputs from the preamp and the compressor for signal routing flexibility. Additionally,
these inserts allow each processing section to be isolated for independent usage or to change
the order of the processing sections (eg. you can place the EQ before the compressor).
Dimensions: 5.25"D x 19"W x 1.75"H
Weight: 8.0 lbs
Maximum Gain: XLR to XLR 81dB
1/4" to 1/4" 63dB
Dynamic Range: >90dB (no weighting)
Input Impedance: 1.67k ohms (XLR), 1M Ohm (1/4")
Output Impedance: 600 ohms (XLR), 300 Ohms (1/4")
Maximum Input Level: +15dBu (XLR), +21dBu (1/4")
Maximum Output Level: +27dBu (XLR), +22dBu (1/4")
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): <0.1%
Equivalent Input Noise (EIN): -129dBu (XLR to XLR, "A" weighted)
CMMR: 90dB (typical)
Tubes: Two hand-selected 12AX7a
Phantom Power: +48v DC (switchable)
Compression Ratio: 2.3:1 (comp)/ 6:1 (lim)
Attack Time: 6.5ms
Release Time: 200ms (fast), 70ms-1sec (auto)
EQ Frequency Bands:
Low Shelf: 40Hz/120Hz Selectable
Low-Mid Sweepable: 20Hz to 200Hz/ 200Hz to 2KHz
High-Mid Sweepable: 200Hz to 2KHz/ 2KHz to 20KHz
High Shelf: 6KHz/18KHz Selectable
Gain/Frequency Band: ±12dB
Power Requirements: 100-125 VAC, 25W Export units configured
for country of destination
I have an ART Pro-Channel - preamp / compressor / eq. I like it a lot, especially for recording direct. Had it in my gig rack for a while but don't have space for it anymore. I got some nice vintage-like tones out of it by overdriving the preamp, eqing out the upper mids, and mixing that with the clean signal. It's got two compressors and a switch to change between tube or optical. Both compressors are ok but nothing special.
I have used a mpa gold for all my good recordings it is a great unit
on my myspace all my recordings are a mtd grendel =>mpagold => protools/cubase
I have a pro channel on the way to me as we speak and a matched set of jj tubes for it waiting !!