Just ordered a new preamp!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dakine, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    looks nice! my only gripe would be that there is no instrument input on the front... :(
  2. Yeah, the rear jack is a drawback.

    The ART Pro Channel has great reviews in pro audio circles. It's incredibly flexible ... two separate sends/inserts before compression and before eq ... three stages of tube gain ... and has 80dB of gain!

    The EQ is sweepable with selectable Q factors. You can choose between two different compressors. And the preamp/compressor/eq are totally independent, each with their own insert/send (so you can independently run three instruments with individual gain).

    But the coolest thing is the three stages of tube gain, which can sound clean, warm, fuzzy, to buzzy.

    And it costs less than my Alembic F1X, which sounds great but is not flexible and cannot do tube distortion.

    Should arrive in a couple of days!
  3. Looks very interesting, let us know how it sounds.
  4. Here's a snippet of a review from ProRec.com:

    I was similarly enamored with the Pro Channel on bass guitar. I set up the preamp to add “warmth” to the point of barely audible distortion. I used the Variable mu compressor at 3:1 for about 6-12 dBs of gain reduction. Finally I get into the EQ, using a 40 Hz low shelf boost combined with a 15 Hz low cut on the preamp to get a sound that was surprisingly controlled for its size. The slightly compressed and edgy sound was very amp-like. I loved the sound of bass guitar through the Pro Channel.
  5. The ART arrived last night and I set it up in my living room. I don't have much experience with it yet, but a few things jump out immediately:

    It has an incredible amount of gain. 80dB worth. I used to set my power amp gain at 12:00 or higher. Now I can just set it to "one". As a result, there is less hiss.

    The preamp is very tubey-sounding. You can dial in a clean tone, slight fuzz, or overdriven buzz.

    The compressor sounds great, though I'm not really a compressor kind of guy. Didn't hear any pumping, breathing, etc.

    The EQ section is very flexible - two separate sweepable mid controls, and a shelving low and high control. The "Q" is selectable. The bands overlap for even more control.

    Lastly, it's very, very quiet. Totally suitable for studio use. Not _dead_ quiet, but even with treble EQ maxed out, it's very, very quiet.

    I'll report more after some gigs.
  6. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    An ART Pro Channel as a bass preamp? Interesting, I would have thought of it in that application. I look forward to hearing your reviews on it. I have been thinking about trying out ART's new TCS tube compressor, might have to add the Pro Channel on to that list too.
  7. Thanks for the report, please keep us up to date. This pre is really interesting.
  8. I started another thread recently on a Behringer powered mixer that I acquired in a trade. It turned out to work really well for bass guitar in a loud rock/funk live setting.

    It got me thinking "outside the box." Pro audio gear is usually much more flexible than dedicated guitar/bass gear. It's nice to have all those extra inputs/outputs and controls.

    You really don't need a "bass" preamp - any quality preamp with lots of headroom, a low noise floor, and an instrument level input will do. I would argue that you pay extra for fewer features with bass-specific gear.

    I originally found the ART while looking for a mic preamp to put in front of my digital recorder. So far, it sounds really, really good, even with my cheap microphone.
  9. bben


    Feb 28, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    Glad to hear that it's a low-noise option. The low-bucks ART stuff tends to be pretty noisy.

    Using mic preamps for bass is actually pretty common, but the really good mic preamps (eg. Millenia, Avalon, Focusrite, etc.) can be very expensive.
  10. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Got a buddy that uses the ART Tube EQ as his pre. Drives a Hafler pwoer amp really well and has a real nice clear sound. For the money I'd say the ART stuff I have played around with has been a real value.

    I am not a fan of their real lo-dough mic pre and compressor though. I'm really not a fan of any of the 'desktop' format boxes. They take up too much space, cabling is a PITA and they are generally pretty flimsy (except for a Bellari Tube Pre I still have ... that one is built like a tank. Still a PITA because of the footprint and cabling though ...) If I can't rack it, it doesn't belong in my setup ... with the exception of the DR-5 and a few stomp boxes I can't live without.

    My buddies Tube EQ is that same half rack, desktop footprint. He Velcro's it to his rack when he sets up for a gig. That's OK I guess. I still like my stuff bolted though.

    OK - end of rant. I'm looking forward to hearing how you like this box is a couple of weeks or months.
  11. Using mic pre's for bass is kind of a new concept for me. Really opens up the possibilities!

    ART products are not the most highly regarded, lots of complaints about noise etc. This unit seems to be an exception. It's a great value at $420 new. They're hard to find and I had to buy mine without hearing it first, after reading some great reviews. I will definitely NOT be returning it. It is as quiet as an Alembic F1X without a doubt, and much more flexible.

    I don't have any gigs for a few weeks but I'll be doing some recording with it this month. More later!