ART Pro Channel II - Channel Strip & Tube Preamp
The ART Pro Channel II appeared on our recommended list for Channel Strips Under $500 when we published the first edition back in January 2016 where it remained until June 2020 when it had been out-ranked by the DBX 286s, TASCAM TA-1VP and PreSonus Studio Channel.
Many owners say the EQ on the ART Pro Channel II is transparent and sounds very good - it has a bypass switch as does the compressor.
Although it uses an optical compressor, most reviewers quite liked it with the only complaint being the minimum 2:1 ratio, but most weren't worried about that.
One negative comment that did come up many times was about the sound of the cheap Chinese made 12AX7 tubes it ships with - several people report replacing them with higher quality tubes and were impressed with the sound after doing that, although some say the original tubes are fine once you let them warm up.
It's primary use is for music production in home studios, although I did see one review from a HAM radio operator who had bought it and gave it 4/5 stars.
A nice added feature is that the VU meter is assignable to the output, input, or the compressor.
- Channels: 1
- Inputs: XLR (mic), 1/4" TRS (Instrument), 1/4" TRS (preamp insert)
- Outputs: XLR, 1/4" TRS, 600Ω balanced / 300Ω unbalanced
- Preamp: Mic +70dB gain class "A" Tube, with 48v phantom power, Instrument +64dB
- Compressor / Limiter: ratio from 2:1 to 30:1 with a threshold range of -20 dB to +20 dB
- Equalizer: +/- 12 dB on each band, Low Freq. Tuning: 40 / 120 Hz Selectable, MID 1 Freq. Tuning: 20 Hz to 2 KHz continuously variable, MID 2 Freq. Tuning: 200 Hz to 20 KHz continuously variable, High Freq. Tuning: 6 KHz / 18 KHz Selectable
- Rackmountable: Yes - 2U