Good unit , I have 2 of the ealier versions pro vla’s, and bought thi one as well. CHANGE the tubes to some good 12AU7;s, and they sound much nicer. I bought my VLA 18 years ago when I was just starting out. At the time I couldn’t afford anything better and probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference anyway.

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Like others have already posted, we use the preamp with the 20db pad «in», the tube voltage plate engaged and phantom power engaged when needed. The price is right & the sound is a vast improvement on where we were previously. Most importantly, I can live with the downfalls of the unit – which isn’t something I can say about most of the «cheap alternatives» I’ve come across over the years. As a home studio for ourselves & our friends, I can’t foresee us upgrading anytime soon. It had a pretty good overall sound quality on the sources I recorded. Due to the other material recorded not yet being release I could only provide examples of the guitar track presented here.

  • I think the rule of thumb here is, ANYTHING will sound «better» than the cheap Chinese tubes that ship with the unit.
  • And recordings lack a lot of character, top end, presence.
  • You will have instead, colors and colors to choose from.

But it will be useful for some things with proper mic choice and placement. Variable Impedance is crucial to preserve the character of ribbon and dynamic microphones. So when it gets down to what matters most, it’s not the name or the price of the gear used to create a customers music, it’s what they think about it when they listen to the final product. And for me, that’s all that matters…so thank you ART.

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For my part I live on a test I recorded the mix in and I send the warmest rcupre. I would also suggest to get something that is only a preamp instead of a channel strip, you’ll have enough headache figuring out mic placement, gheto treatment and gain staging. Instrument or piece of studio gear, however, many people want to have the peace of mind in knowing that their investment will be protected should the product no longer be performing at 100%. Everyone that is into tubes eventually has the itch to swap them out and try something different.

So Far, A Great Preamp

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The ART Pro MPA II is a highly sought-after tube preamp that is widely considered the best value-for-money mic preamps on the market. With two Variable Input Impedance channels featuring 12AX7 tubes and 70db of gain, this tube preamp offers professional functionality and sound that outperforms much of it’s competition. Though considered to be a budget mic preamp it still sits confidently next to more expensive high-end products, offering vibe and character to anything going through it. With it’s wide range of features, professional sound and great price, it is not uncommon for project studios to pick up several of the ART Pro MPA II to serve justice to a good performance. I purchased it new, and used it a hand full of times on a few projects and was very unimpressed. All the the gain, impedance, and level knobs had a great deal of noise.

After shopping for hours online, this was the most obvious choice of preamp for my price range. The build quality of the preamp itself is great and the tonal quality of the preamp is way above expectations. There is virtually no noise with the gain and output settings correctly positioned.

The analog meters are used to see the effects of the input gain setting. To prevent damage to the controls and cosmetics avoid rough handling and excessive vibration. Protect the controls from damage during transit. Use adequate padding if you need to ship the unit. To avoid injury to yourself or damage to the equipment take care when lifting, moving or carrying the unit.

There are XLR and TRS outputs for each channel, which makes it easier to connect the outputs to monitoring equipment without having to use a splitter. Variable Input Impedance is intended to optimize the inputs for the widest possible range of microphone sources. The ability to vary the input impedance of a microphone preamplifier changes the load the microphone ‘sees’ in the system, dramatically altering its performance and sonic character.