PreSonus BlueTube DP V2 2-Channel Mic Preamp
Updated April 1, 2019 | by Hollagully
PreSonus BlueTube DP V2
- 2 input channel, dual path mic/instrument tube preamp with:
- High-headroom Class A XMAX mic preamplifier with 80dB gain range
- 12AX7 Vacuum tube gain stage
- Tube Drive tube-saturation control
- 48V Phantom power
- 80Hz High-pass filter
- -20dB Pad to reduce hot input levels
- Polarity-reverse switch
- Illuminated analog VU input-level meter
- 2 Balanced combo mic/unbalanced instrument inputs
- 2 Balanced XLR main (L/R) line outputs
- 2 Unbalanced ¼” main (L/R) line outputs
- Compact 1/2U chassis
- External 12 VDC, 1A power supply
PreSonus is a brand that is well-acknowledged by audio enthusiasts of all levels for their quality, performance, and reliability. As essential gear in top studios worldwide to budding home studios, their reputation is hard earned and the BlueTube DP V2 certainly measures up. For the purposes of this review, we’re speaking to the novice recordists who might not yet be able to afford a higher-end tube preamp, focusing on how this unit will help elevate recordings where no preamp is used at all.
This dual-path 2-channel tube preamp is built with both PreSonus’ popular XMAX Class-A solid-state preamps, which have been widely lauded for both their clarity and transparency, plus PreSonus’ tube preamps known for their warm, smooth sound. With this dual-path mic/instrument design, you get both types of high-quality sound on both channels—a completely transparent experience, or one that is coloured with tone and saturation.
The XMAX Class-A solid-state path offers up to 80dB of variable gain that is clear with no sign of colouration though very smooth with a rich overall sound. The tube path features an 12AX7 vacuum tube which operates on voltages double that of other preamplifiers in its class. It produces lots of headroom full of warm tone and an articulate high end with overall low noise. This is where the tone-shaping takes place, letting you introduce vibe and grit into the signal.
Switch the Tube Drive on and turn it up to discover a much more solid, thick response without such an increase in overall output. This flatters vocals and guitars, and gives a noticeably saturated quality that is widely usable, not offending any of the higher frequencies as some may expect from a budget preamplifier. Tube Drive produces a range of soft to full-on crunchy sounds that work well on a number of instruments and makes things seem quite a bit deeper and bigger than before.
In my opinion, the BlueTube DP V2 sounds good with everything from drums to guitars to keyboards to vocals and is a very cost-effective and good-sounding solid-state preamp. It is a total breeze to use and won’t require any need to look at the manual so getting set up is fast.
Although it lacks digital I/O for additional connectivity, it is surely one of the highest value budget preamps for any project studio and additionally makes a great direct box for live use. A pair of clean sounding preamp channels with the option of dialing in some classic Tube harmonic distortion at this going price is a total steal.
The BlueTube DP V2 is a half-rack unit in width and one unit tall. It unfortunately won’t fit side-by-side another unit in a rack but if all you need is something to fit comfortably on your desktop, this is it.
To help you out on your quest to find a great microphone preamp for your home studio, we’ve included links below to detailed reviews of a few models that make a good runner up to the PreSonus Bluetube.
We’ve put together The Ultimate Guide to Microphone Preamps that will teach you about all the components that give them character, and how to select the right one for what you’re after. Learn about a variety of affordable models that competently model some of the best sounding preamps of all time.
Warm Audio WA12, Golden Age Project Pre-73, ART Pro MPA 2 Tube