ART Pro MPA-II Two Channel Mic Preamp
The ART Pro MPA-II is a 2-channel tube-driven microphone preamplifier, designed to reproduce the natural warmth of old preamps.
It utilizes 12AX7 tubes to get the job done, with a wider than usual frequency response and enough gain for working with ribbon mics.
It is housed in a rackmount form factor with an old school looking interface complete with backlit analog VU output meters.
For the price, this unit is armed with a 60dB gain knob, input impedance control and lowcut filters, all of which allow for a good level of control over the resulting sound.
Finally, it supports dual-mono and stereo operation, so it can tackle stereo tracks and recordings with ease.
- Channels: 2
- Mic Preamps: 2 Tube Preamps (12AX7 Tubes)
- Frequency Response: 15Hz - 48kHz
- Input Connectors: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4" (Hi-Z)
- Output Connectors: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4"
- Controls: 60dB Gain, Phantom Power, Impedance, Output, Low-cut Filter, Phase
- Dimensions: 3.5" x 8.75" x 19"
- Weight: 10.5 lbs.
Quite a lot of reviewers were pleasantly surprised with the sound quality of this preamp, especially when considering its price. Some thanked it for breathing new life to their recordings when cranked, while others use it subtly and appreciate how it smooths rough edges for a more polished result. While most reported using this amp in conjunction with vocal recording, there were others who had good results when using the unit for recording other instruments.
There are some who were not too happy with the resulting coloration, but this is more of a preference issue than quality. There are even those who have switched out the factory installed tube and reported better results. There were also a few who caution others to handle the unit with care, after they experienced build quality issues.
Highly recommended if you're looking to try what stereo tube preamps can do for your recordings and you're on a tight budget.
You might also like to take a look at our guide to The Best Mic Preamps.