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Fender TBP-1 ($600+) vs Art Tube MP Studio ($30)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by The Ro, Mar 6, 2013.


  1. The Ro

    The Ro

    Mar 6, 2013
    OK so I know its kind of an apples and oranges type of thing but...

    I recently purchased an Art Tube MP Studio for use as a PA preamp for acoustic guitar just so I could get something useable into my PA without hogging up a mic preamp channel. I tried it out in place of my Fender TBP-1 in my rig not really expecting much. Surprise! I like it more. All for 1/20th of the price.

    Granted, the Art Tube MP doesn't have nearly the features the TBP-1 has, but how many places do you really need to be able to EQ your sound? I never really liked the TBP-1's distortion anyway, and I never found myself taking advantage of the multiple outputs and crossover on the back.

    My rig: Conklin Groove Tools 5-string -> Acoustic Image Series II Focus -> Bag End D10BX-D

    Both of the preamps do a good job of adding some tube warmth and dirty funkiness to the sound. Without something up front the AI Amp sounds a bit sterile (I play double bass as well and its great for that though). The Art I have discovered sounds especially nice when pushed just to the edge of clipping. The TBP-1 maybe adds a touch more 'tubeyness' but really mucks up (and even drops the volume) of anything I'm playing on my low B string below the E. Even on higher notes I find I'm enjoying the sound of the Art better.

    Is there something I should consider before getting rid of my TBP-1? Has anyone else experienced the muddiness/lower volume of the really deep notes through this pre? Could this problem maybe be caused by shot tubes?
     
  2. KPJ

    KPJ

    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    How are you setting the EQ on the TBP-1? It has a Fender tone stack so bass and treble are essentially boost only. 2-10-2 (bass, mid, treble) is the flat setting for the TBP-1.
     
  3. The Ro

    The Ro

    Mar 6, 2013
    Yeah I've read about the 2-10-2 thing. I've had the TBP-1 for years so I've tried just about everything. Usually I set it around 4-10-4ish, room balance flat, and use the vari-Q to boost some mids around 600Hz or so. Makes for a cool sound, but the low low end is muddy and quiet no matter what I do. Pulling the Bass EQ knob out makes it muddier and turning the bass EQ up helps bring the low end up, but also makes it muddier and makes the lows above low E too loud and boomy. Do I have a lemon?
     

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