Art Tube MP
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Art Tube MP
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All user reviews for the Art Tube MP

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Average Score:3.9( 3.9/5 based on 42 reviews )
 13 reviews31 %
 19 reviews45 %
 3 reviews7 %
 3 reviews7 %
 3 reviews7 %
View price information
chrislieck09/25/2012

chrislieck's review"For the money not bad"

Art Tube MP
For the money this tube does a pretty good job. I tell my students that want a tube preamp for their home studio www.comia.us that this is a great way to learn the art of tube pre amps. The sound is colored but in a pretty good way. Trust me I use top of the line pre amps all day but this unit for a desktop unit is very good. In the old days of recording we use to "ride the input" meaning controlling the signal as it is being recorded. This unit is great in that it sits on the desk and it so reasonable it really does the trick and it can take a hit. There are settings that are all over the internet that a lot of guys share or post but there is really not much to the unit. It has a simple design to it. I recommend this unit for my beginning students that are not aware of any uses for tube or that may over do it and not recognize the sound of a tube pre amp. Most younger guys have never use a tube at any time in their lives unless they play guitar and know the difference. Most can't even hear what tube can do for the sound. Sometimes I get a bit of a buzz from the stock tube but it goes away. It is not to noisy for the money but it does have a bit of noise. Always watch the way you use this tube pre amp. If you are slamming the tube you will hear everything including the noise but if you just use it in moderation it will bode well for you. Don't try to saturate the unit with really hot levels of inputs.

UTILIZATION

Very easy to use and not hard at all to get use to. Great sound for the money. I like it for simple vocal tracks and it is a good starting point for people that do not know how to use pre amps with tubes. It is extremely simple to set up and use. I do like the table top aspect of the unit. I like the fact that you can use it and ride your input stage right by your right hand. I ride the input all the time when recording vocalists and I wish more tube pre amps and or pre amps that other companies would make table top units. As engineers having the input gain right at your finger tips is a real plus when I record vocalists.

SOUND QUALITY

Colored sounding but not in a bad way very decent and the tube is fine. Don't waste money switching it out. The sound is somewhat like a gritty tone that is not real high quality but in no way does it sound bad. It is like the blue tube or the old blue tube presounus tube amp pre amps that you could get for about 150.00.

OVERALL OPINION

For the price I would really consider this unit. It gives you a tube sound for a very low price. You can't beat it. Again for the price what is out there that can even compare. I saw a review where they were saying the MPA II was ten times better but I have them and they are not 10 times better than this pre amp. I would say the main difference is the gain input stage and in some ways this unit is very much like the MPA.
AudioArtist09/11/2012

AudioArtist's review"Cheap and good enough for a first mic pre"

Art Tube MP
Art's Tube MP is exactly that, a tube mic pre-amp. It features xlr and 1/4inch inputs and outputs, and it is a desktop model which makes swapping cables a little bit more convienient. Newer models also include a decent VU meter and a brickwall limiter.

UTILIZATION

With the Tube MP, what you see is what you get. And in this case, it's not so much. Connectivity is quite ample, gain staging is sufficient for nearly any input source, phantom power and phase reversal are nice, and the limiting is a nice option but not all that great.
The controls are absurdly simple, a novice could use the Tube MP with no problem.
Setup and functionality are very straightforward though the lack of a power switch is a bit of a pain.
The manual is clear enough for what it has to say, which isn't much.

SOUND QUALITY

Sound quality? Well transparent would be the last word I would use to describe the Tube MP, moderately colored would be my choice. However, don't take that wrongly, what we all want from a tube mic-pre is to beef up or in some other way improve our sound.
The Tube MP accomplishes this quite well when you balance the price point with the overall product. The Tube MP does indeed impart some warmth to the signal but in my opinion it's more noticeable quality is a small amount of extra "focus" to the sound. In my experience the Tube MP has really helped with tightening up the upper midrange and treble of the source, and is helpful with virtually any microphone for adding a bit of "life" to the sound.
One thing to consider, Many complain that the included tube is just not all that great. The factory tube (12ax7a) is often replaced by the end user. A groove tube or a j-tubes replacement are common choices. Also, the unit can opperate with other 12a... tubes, a 12at7 for example. So, you may consider just swapping it out for a few other types and choosing the one that sounds the most pleasing to you.
As far as the complaints over the factory tube, I'm in agreement. The packaging claims, "built-in hand-selected 12ax7a tube." Well, if they mean to imply that some one actually picked a tube out of a box and manually installed it then I would say, "Yes indeed!" However, the idea that someone actuall installed a tube and then said, "This one's not quite good enough, let's try another!", is very unbelievable for a product of this price.

OVERALL OPINION

What to admire most about the Tube MP is the price, quite obviously. What to dislike the most is that for a certain amount of extra money you could have purchased something far superior.
For the price, the Tube MP beats anything else available and it has a "best bang for the buck" factor as well. It sounds decent, it works, what do you expect for less than 50$?
Consider this, Art's Pro Channel sells for approx. 300$. Is it worth 10x as much as the Tube MP? Probably more like 8x. But all the added features and overall functionality are worth the extra money.
When choosing this piece of gear I urge you to consider, "What do I really want out of this product?"
06/29/2011

Anonymous 's review"Know what you're getting into"

Art Tube MP
Ahhh Art. Offering VERY inexpensive gear to anyone in a pinch or anyone looking to get started. Well, when someone asks for a cheap preamp at a music store, the Art Tube MP is usually what the salesman directs one toward. It is a very inexpensive single-channel tube preamplifier for those looking to give their sound just a bit of that notorious tube warmth directly in the signal chain.

The Tube MP is actually quite generous, giving you 1/4" and XLR connections for inputs AND outputs (not something you see often in budget gear). It has all of the obvious things that people don't seem to notice until they need them: phantom power, phase reverse and a strange button offering 20db of gain, which is just a convoluted way to add a 20db pad into the machine.

UTILIZATION

There's nothing particularly special about the Art Tube MP except for the fact that it allows you to adjust BOTH input and output. Once again, I must also mention the XLR outputs, which quite frankly, mean a bit more than most people realize.

SOUND QUALITY

This is of course where the opinion on the Tube MP splits. Yes, the Art Tube MP WILL impart a certain tube fullness to the signal chain. No, it will not do it terribly efficiently. The Tube MP suffers from an unfortunate but understandable "budget grit." I won't attempt to describe it; the Tube MP's low price and resultant popularity ensures sound samples galore for anyone to look up.

I won't say that it's bad though. If used in a busy mix, the Tube MP is a very cheap way to get a good fat sound in the chain, but I would personally never use it against a solid-state preamp like my trusty M-Audio DMP3 on a quieter recording.

OVERALL OPINION

The Tube MP is probably where people initially go when they want a dedicated preamp for the first time. It definitely manages its market well. clearly differentiating itself from the vanilla and sterile preamps that tend to come in most beginner interfaces that most people start off on.

For not a lot of money, and a clear idea of its limitations and what you want out of it, the Art Tube MP is a pretty darn steal. But make sure your purchase is educated, because very few people in the world who deal with this don't have a terrifyingly polar opinion about this brilliant little box.
moosers11/06/2010

moosers's review

Art Tube MP
The Art Tube MP is a simple, one channel tube based microphone preamp. Art offers up mostly affordable tube based gear that is aimed at home studio owners looking to warm up their sound a bit outside of the box. The mic pre has both 1/4" and XLR connections for both inputs and outputs and is powered up by a nine volt power supply. It's got built in phantom power, a phase reverse button, and a +20 db of gain, acting as a pad when not switched on. The tube inside of this is a 12AX7...

UTILIZATION

You really don't need to know anything in order to use the Art Tube MP. It's only got the basics you'd want with a mic pre and nothing more. It does however, give you independent input and output leveling control, which isn't something you'll find on most mic preamps. Other than that it's really a standard and simple mic pre, so I've never had a need to look at it's manual.

SOUND QUALITY

If you're looking to warm up your sound a bit outside of your audio interface and DAW, the Art Tube MP is a super cheap way to do so. It's not going to give you a super clean sound at all, but it's a warmer option when compared to any audio interfaces' preamps. I wouldn't use the Tube MP in a professional studio, as it's not up to par, but in a home studio it's a perfect fit. It's so cheap that almost anyone can afford it, and for this reason it's an incredibly well selling product. It's not going to tear down any barriers in terms of it's sound, but when compared with what most people are using with their audio interface, it's a lot warmed and fuller sounding.

OVERALL OPINION

The Art Tube MP is the best way to get a tube microphone preamp for less than $100 US dollars. It's the perfect supplement to your audio interfaces' preamps, which most of the time can sound dull and lifeless. If you want to put together a home studio spending as little money as possible, but still want at least a tube based mic pre for warmer sounds, the Art Tube MP is the ticket you're looking for...
MGR/ToneTaster10/28/2010

MGR/ToneTaster's review"ART Tube MP Preamp"

Art Tube MP
I have the original and most basic model ART Tube MP. It is black with no VU meter. I have been recording music for many years but I am not a professional. In recent years I have taken great interest in tube related amplifiers and equipment and enjoy doing sound tests etc. I feel that I know a LOT about the Tube MP.

I bought it in the early 2000s but I don%27t remember where or for how much.

The most basic model Tube MP is a great value because it is so inexpensive, well made, and good sounding if used right.

The only thing I don%27t like about the unit is the information provided with it. It took me quite a while to learn how to get the most out of it. I documented my experiences and what I learned in the form of videos which you can find on YouTube if you search under the name 'ToneTaster'.

Amazing construction for $30.00!

The ART Tube MP is great for the money if you know how to use it. If you don%27t it can mess up your sound. I have not tried the other more expensive models but I tend to think that the simple one is all you need and its wiser to save your money for a great preamp rather than spend few hundred for a fancier one of these.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
Audiofanzine FR03/08/2009

Audiofanzine FR's review

Art Tube MP
(Originally written by barbilux/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
Most people use it with guitar but I personally use it with a condenser mic for vocals and my DAW. T-Bone MB78 Beta.

Housing and components seem to be rugged (connections, switch and controls are good).

The 48v phantom power can be switched off.

UTILIZATION

Easy and convenient to adjust the gain level. Wide and good sensitivity. Some people might miss a scale around the controls to write down their settings more precisely, but the clip indicator and the computer meters ought to be enough!

SOUND QUALITY

I always use settings so that it stays linear, and I like its sound clarity. I get neutral and faithful voices.

OVERALL OPINION

I've been using it for one year and I'm satisfied.

It was recommended to me via Audiofanzine and it has a good value for money.

I read that tubes give a smoother and warmer sound than solid-state but I haven't done any test in that regard... I use the original tube. This preamp works good.

It's a top product among versatile low priced products.
RickD04/24/2008

RickD's review

Art Tube MP
-What Technology? (analog, digital, tube...)
Analogue, tube.

- What available effects, or type of effects, are there?
No effects, just a preamp.

- What connection types are there?
Jack & XLR, in & out.

- Is it rackable, or in rack form?
Not rackable, not a pedal, just a little box.

Has +20dB switch, input gain, output gain, phantom power, phase inverse.
So no high-pass filter...

UTILIZATION

- Is the general configuration/setup simple?
Couldn't really be much simpler.

- Is the sound or effects editing easy?
No editing, just in & out.

- Is the manual clear and sufficient?...
Can't remember ever needing it.

Problem: one led, that changes colour, no meters. It's green normally, then changes to orange or red when you get to or above 0dB. So, needless to say, using this to set levels is a bit like playing the lottery.

SOUND QUALITY

- Is the sound of your instruments or your microphones faithfully reproduced?
Is the pre-amp transparent or does it color the sound?

I haven't compared this side by side with other preamps on the same source so it's hard to tell. I doubt it's very transparent, then again i haven't noticed any major problems.
I've recorded bass through this, and vocals, amongst others and they were all quite ok to me.

OVERALL OPINION

- For how long have you been using it?
About 8 years.

- What thing do you like most/least about it?
Most: it's cheap now, and still better than most preamps on cheap little desks. Can be used as a DI...can provide phantom power...you can go in with a jack and go out on XLR...so you can have looong lengths of cable even with an instrument.

- Did you try many other models before getting this one?
None. There were none at the time.

- What is your opinion about the value for the price?
The price i paid was very high (950 Francs / £95 / 143 €) but now it's worth about 39 €. So would i buy it for £95 again? Hell no! Is it a bargain at 39€ ? Hell yes!

- Knowing what you know now, would you make the same choice?...
It has come in handy so i can't complain, sometimes i would have been stuck without it...and i will use it again for a gig...
But i will sell it sooner or later, i suppose. The question is...if you want to buy something like this, what else is there? Would you buy Behringer over ART? I wouldn't...

Final word:
If you're playing a gig and going through a cheap desk then using this will definitely improve matters considerably.
If you're recording at home, i'm not sure this will of much use on its own.
MGR/Joel McCain05/17/2004

MGR/Joel McCain's review"ART Tube MP"

Art Tube MP
I had just bought a condenser mic that required phantom power, but i was unaware that I didn't have anything that would supply it. I went to long and mcquade and bought it for $80 canadian. Because I've been sold on the superior sound of tubes, i bought this unit instead of just a basic phantom power provider. I was told it would work on other intruments that weren't mics.

this thing is absolutely amazing, although it's really a preamp for a mic, I use it all the time with my guitar. I have a line6 spider2 amp and a digitech gnx3 which i use to get my distortion sounds, and i used to think they sounded great and very close to the originals before i plugged my guitar into this thing. It contains a 12AX7 tube, the kind of tube in most highend preamps of your favourite marshall, mesa, fender etc. This unit turns the digital models in your processor or amp into the real things that play just like the tube amps. I dont know why more people dont try it.

you can use both outputs at once, but only one input, if I had forked out the money to buy the next model it would have two channels, so i have no reall grounds to complain.

tough metal casing, the knobs are perfect, smooth turning but with enough resistance to be very precise.

if your doing anything digital and want that classic tube tone of the higher end equipment, then here's your $80 solution, 69US i think. especially if your amp or floor processor is a digital amp modeler, buy this thing.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
papy dj02/15/2014

papy dj's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Reliable and easy to use"

Art Tube MP
What technology is used? lamp
What are the effects or types of effects available? significantly reduces the micro amp feedback
What is the connection? Jack 6.5 and XLR (In / Out)
Is this a rack or rack MODEL? not mount model

UTILIZATION

The general configuration is it simple? Yes
Editing sounds and effects is it easy? Yes
The manual is clear and sufficient? Yes

SOUND QUALITY

The sound of your instruments or microphones is properly reproduced? Yes
The preamp is it clear or does it brings a stain? Neutral, not breathing or snoring same high level of amplification

OVERALL OPINION

How long have you use it? almost ten years
What is the particular feature you like best: simple to implement and pay
Least: Looking
Have you tried many other models before buying it: No
How would you rate the quality / price ratio: Excellent
With experience, you do again this choice without a doubt
Analog-Man07/27/2013

Analog-Man's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Add life to your recordings!"

Art Tube MP
Driven by a small preamp dual triode ECC83 (12AX7)
TL082 operational amplifier (not low noise)
a bunch of transistors and passive components.

UTILIZATION

Tested to pre-amplify a Fender Rhodes, the result is pretty grim
unpleasant background noise, the tube is useless
I tried to use a condenser microphone (AKG C535) with phantom power:
do not even think it is a real massacre.

SOUND QUALITY

Surprised by the overall quality I removed to perform some steps:
The tube is powered by a series of doublers Latour from the AC power supply
preamp result only 56 volts of high voltage!
12AX7 knowing that performs well with 300 volts and is saying!

OVERALL OPINION

Flee, this thing is useless!
those who claim to "warm sound" because it is a poor tube "made in China inside"
have never worked with real tube preamp.
Needless to replace the tube with a Telefunken or Siemens 50s
is to give jam to pigs ...