Art Tube MP
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Art Tube MP
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AudioArtist 09/12/2012

Art Tube MP : AudioArtist のユーザーレビュー (content in English)

"Cheap and good enough for a first mic pre"
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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?"