ART Pro MPA II Tube Mic Preamp Review

May 25, 2017  |  by Hollagully  |  in MUSIC, TECHNOLOGY

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ART Pro MPA II

  • 2-channel Variable Input Impedance Mic Preamp (150 Ohms To 2400 Ohms)
  • Tube based gain stage with selectable plate voltage
  • Large, dual, backlit VU Meters
  • Backlit function switches
  • Switchable +48V phantom power per channel
  • Phase reverse per channel
  • Variable low-cut filter per channel
  • Low noise at lower gain settings
  • Extremely low total harmonic distortion (THD)
  • Wide frequency response
  • Instrument input on front panel with automatic input selection
  • Supports Mid/Side miking technique
  • Operates at +4dBu/-10dbv Output
  • Selectable Stereo/Dual operation of output controls
  • Automatic Instrument Input Selection

The ART Pro MPA II is commonly considered one of the best value-for-money mic preamps on the market as it is loaded with professional features while also having the ability to produce very controllable tube character at an absolute steal of a price.

Ideal for any sized studio or live setting, the preamp offers 2-channels that delivers a total of 70dB of gain that can operate in either stereo or dual-mono mode, variable input impedance, mid/side processing, highpass filters, stereo linking, and a dual-tube gain stage with selectable low or high plate voltages. Two integrated hand-selected 12AX7 tubes deliver wider variation of preamp tone and performance.

With all of the available gain you can bring your ribbon microphone signals way up to reach their full sonic character. Implement the variable input impedance to draw out a rich range of tones from each of your microphones. Use it to match the preamplifier to your microphones, or creatively mismatch tones for a one-of-a-kind sound.

Use the ART Pro MPA II as a dual-channel DI box using the 2 front panel instrument inputs or power your favourite condenser microphones with switchable 48V phantom power. Large back-lit analog moving-coil VU output meters have adjustable calibration trims. Between these meters are multi-colored LED lights labelled Tube Warmth that show the amount show tube drive being used.

On the rear panel is where you with find the mic inputs and balanced XLR and TRS jack outputs, while a high‑impedance instrument input is conveniently positioned on the front. This will automatically bypass the mic input when connected.

The impedance control ranges from 150 to 2.4K Ohms and can be used in conjunction with the low-cut filter as to keep the lows under control while increasing the impedance. This filter has a smooth 6dB/octave cut that can be swept from 10Hz to 200Hz.

The ART Pro MPA II is durably constructed for years of heavy use in literally any recording scenario. Its front panel is made of black anodized aluminum and the unit sits in a 2u rack-mountable steel chassis. It offer a variety of tonalities from completely transparent, subtly warm or absolutely aggressive and give you the flexibility to tackle any project with with professionalism—even using some of your cheapest microphones.

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