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Microphone Tube Pre-Amp for Bass??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Contrapuntal, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. Contrapuntal


    Mar 1, 2004
  2. Contrapuntal


    Mar 1, 2004
    I just happened across the Behringer first...definately wouldn't buy one if someone else had something similar. The ART MP V3 looks cool...how does it sound? I see one for sale on eBay for $99 and cheaper on eBay...a fraction of the Ampeg and Aguilar DIs.


    The V3™ presets were created and fine-tuned by some of the industry's top studio and live-sound engineers, along with our veteran engineering department. V3™ allows you to select between a multitude of preamp settings designed for guitars (electric and acoustic), keyboards, bass guitars, drums, vocals and more.
  3. waxcomb


    Jun 29, 2003
    Martinez, CA
    I use a Tube MP into a Levelar and it sounds nice. There are very few knobs to turn and it sounds nice. I got my MP for $25 used and the Levelar for $50 used. I use this as the preamp for my Workingman's 10 and also for recording into my BR-8. I put an old JAN Phillips tube into the MP for a smoother sound.
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    The Holy Grail? Then you want THIS:

    Notice the Monty Python-like graphics, as well.

    The Holy Grail

  6. Contrapuntal


    Mar 1, 2004
    Hehe. I won't even ask what the Avalon costs. Certainly not in the $100 range. Nice graphics though...very peaceful. Avalonian even.

    Smash, assuming I know nothing about amp tubes, would these mic amps use the same tubes as bass amps? Guess I could go dig up the info on the net....

    Guess there's only one way to find out if these add the warmth I'd like...and that's go buy one.
  7. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Alternative to Munji's Holy Grail.

    Don't know if this is better sounding than the "True Voice" or not.
  8. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Another thought, that's "vintage" and "almost" tube, is the mic pre's that come out of old Neve consoles and the like. You can find them in the 400 dollar range on eBay, if you don't mind doing a little soldering and wiring (you probably have to hook up the connectors, and maybe a power supply), you can have yourself a killer sounding bass pre. The ones to watch for are the Neve 1272 and 1290. The 1290 is nice because it has extra gain. They have all kinds of uses, both live and in the studio, and they're fat Fat FAT! :)
  9. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    I've had excellent results with the Presonus Tube Pre.
    Gotta love the Tube Drive!

  10. saxybill1

    saxybill1 Attorney

    Nov 9, 2004
    I use the newer art mic preamp and am completely satisfied with it. Adds the warmth you want.
  11. Has anyone compared this with the Sansamp BDDI (when used as a pre to obtain tube warmth/roundness?)
  12. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i've used the UA 1176 in my guitar players studio. I'd take it out on gigs too, (but he'd kill me).
  13. brooklynbassguy

    brooklynbassguy Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    maplewood, nj, usa
    I've had both the presonus and the art. I prefer the art. I sometimes use it with a D-Tar equinox, sometimes not, but it's clean, punchy, and super portable...
  14. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    One of the best tube mic pres that I have used for bass is the Peavey VMP-2. If you can find one of these, they are highly sought after.
  15. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    The ARTs, Behringers, and ProSonus are toys with toobz- you can spend the money for them but it's even cheaper just to put a blanket over your speakers. If you want the real deal, check out the Groove Tubes Brick. Street is about $300 and it actually sounds really good.
  16. 7thbass


    Nov 21, 2003
    Houston, Tx
    I have heard through the web about mods to the Bellari MP105. I think the Bellari is not toob design (low voltage?) but more like a real tube pre. The mod included replacing op amps with analog devices op amps. The mod was at http://www.blacklionaudio.com/roundsound.htm, although link not working at this time.
  17. KataPolt


    Aug 4, 2004
    Is this what you're talking about?


    I have never seen one of these. Can you share your review, if you have experience with it?

  18. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    No, the Ditto is just a DI. The Brick is a DI and a Mic Pre.



    It's a good clean mic pre design that colors the sound in a good way as the gain goes up. If you want it to be clean, it does clean, but it will also do some nice compression and even ordered harmonics mojo if you boost the gain beyond unity.

    I tried one out last week for a few days, and found it to sound very good on bass (both as a DI and as a pre in a rig), and excellent on kick and snare. It's useable on just about everything, though the gain isn't quite quiet enough for use with ribbon mics.

    It's not a tone shaper, in that it has no EQ or tone controls. It's not a turd polisher- what comes out is what goes in, aside from some compression and gain-derived "excitement" at higher gain settings. If the bass doesn't sound good already, it won't sound good through the Brick. But if the bass does sound good, it will sound good when recorded with the Brick.

    I haven't A/B'd it with the Avalon U5, but based on past experience I'd give the nod to the U5, both for sound and for versatility. But given the price difference, the Brick is a solid contender.

    Read the Groove Tubes literature- it offers some other nice benefits besides being a pre, particularly with passive basses.
  19. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Ok...so , someone let the cat out of the bag..."toys with toobs" (perhaps we should try a little spell check as well?)

    I have a few tube and SS mic and inst preamps which I use for different situations (incl a UA 1176, TL Audio vp2051; Avalon vt737p; Avalon U5, Green River...) They all impart different and unique "character" yet all share a common trait: the input sections in which the input is either sent staight to a 12AX7's first amplifier stage via a single resistor or via a very high quality input tarnsformer.

    Now, granted these are all very expensive devices....and save for the Avalon U5, I would not, and do not, gig out with them....but the sonic results are what it seems that everyone in looking for in using lower quality, inexpensive "tube" mic pres. Most, if not all of these (and I have used the ART, presonus) use op amp inputs and drop a single 12AX7 somewhere in the path amongst all the ICs. This follows a very widely used marketing ploy of the 90s where manufacturers would put 12AX7s in just about anythiing and everything to cop to the tube mania of gaining "warmth" and such (all this does is add a bit of tube noise, which might be taken at times as "warmth" ;-) ). Adding a tube to a IC/Op amp designed circuit does not make it a "tube preamp"....antics with semantics.

    Tube ot not, the quality of a device, sound-wise, is measured by the design and components used. That is why devices such as I listed are quite expensive. You cannot gain those sonic results in a $99 preamp. The components are inferior, the design not of comparable quality.

    Someone mentioned Neve channel strips, which are a standard of the industry (most major studios have Neve preamps, eqs or compressor modules on hand). They are simply incredible sounding...and 100% solid state. Very warm, fat, round....not a tube in sight.

    Adding an inexpensive "tube" mic pre can, and will, alter your tone (and sometimes this can be a good thing....I have used the aforementioned ART pre in recording sessions for a "low-fi" kinda tone. But don't expect stellar results. At best it will bring in a new flavor of noise to your signal.

    My advice would be to save some $ and drop a little more on a device with a well designed and constructed circuit. There are really good mic pres out there in $500 range, which will do a helluva lot more for you than the "toys with toobs" mentioned here.

  20. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    I used this mic pre for Lohio's 4-song EP (http://users.1st.net/milk/Lohio/) and I loved the tone I got with it. Played my Warwick Streamer LX5 into it and straight into the board...