Art Tube MP/C Project
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Art Tube MP/C Project

Tube MP/C Project, Tube Pre-amp from Art.

SlapKid 11/27/2014

Art Tube MP/C Project : SlapKid's user review

«  Really nice and useful »
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I've had it for a year. I use it with an electric guitar inserted before the effects chain or a programmable Marshall MG or Fender Mustang V v2 amp.
It's a tube preamp/opto-compressor combo with comprehensive connections, all within a compact and sturdy package.
The PSU is external, it's like a digitec (rp155), so it's easy to replace if you ever need to.
It features an XLR input with 48V phantom power, if needed, a jack instrument input on the front panel (for a standard electric guitar, for instance), one balanced XLR output, (transformer-isolated), and one unbalanced jack output with line/instrument level switch (which is great to input a guitar amp directly without any level issues).
The buttons are backlit, which is indispensable and well thought-out.
And it's analog, obviously. It has an on/off switch.

USE

I use it as a guitar player and it's easy to use and effective without racking your brains.
You only need to find the right dialings for the compressor section. I, for example, use these settings: Compressor and phase invert engaged, the pots set to 3, 9 and 2 o'clock, and instrument level selected on the rear.

My goal: I have lots of different guitars, so I needed a leveler to avoid having to fiddle with the rest of my setup, which is much appreciated with dialed-in amps, obviously.
And to get some sonic advantages while at it.

SOUND QUALITY

My guitars benefit from more warmth and more precision, too. It's huskier and more aggressive, even though I use the built-in compressor (it can't be compared to my compressor pedals, which simply flounder in comparison).

The ART substantially enhances my programmable Marshall MG, be it with clean or distorted sounds. It's a real treat. What's more, the ART reins in a bit the bridge pickup of my Telecaster, making it less shrill, but still incredibly useful with distortion.
It really embellishes sound. Once the compressor has been set I don't need to touch anything else, except the instrument input to change guitars, but that's it.

OVERALL OPINION

It's a real treat for what I use it and it doesn't produce any noise. Do note that it's better to let the tube warm up for about twenty minutes before you start dialing in, because it does have an effect on sound.

The days when it was a pain to switch guitars with my programmable amps are now gone thanks to the ART (by the way, I don't understand why none of the modern programmable multi-effects/amps feature a simple analog input gain control).
Regarding the use with headphones within a home studio, the quality that the ART brings with it is obvious. It's great for those endless winter afternoons (I used an excellent Autocom via insert before, but for guitars you don't want hi-fi!).
It's simple but comprehensive, versatile as hell, with a distinctive and nice sound, and it doesn't generate any unwanted noise.
Plus, it's sturdy, inexpensive and looks sexy.
I would probably buy it again, even though the Presonus studio channel is tempting me, because it offers more possibilities, but it's also more expensive and less sturdy.