ART Tube MP Mic Preamp

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 2250+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$110
ART Tube MP Mic Preamp

Gearank High Notes

ART Tube MP: Highest Rated Condenser Microphone Preamp Under $200 - 2020.04

Gearank Recommendation

The ART Tube MP was on our recommended list for Microphone Preamps when we published the first edition in February 2017 and it remained there until it was out-ranked in February 2018.

Then in April 2020 its ratings were high enough to go back on the list where it remained until being out-ranked by the Behringer MIC2200 V2 in September 2022.

Overview

When you think of tube based gear, you might automatically think they're more expensive variants. This isn't the case with the Art Tube MP. The Art Tube MP is a portable single channel mic preamp that features a 12AX7 vacuum tube along with a transformer-less design to give it a great balance of character and clarity.

It comes in a desktop form factor, making it ideal for producers on the go or those with a minimal or budget oriented setup.

Controls include a phantom power switch and phase reversal switch. It also has dedicated input and output gain knobs, allowing you to raise the input level to drive the tube.

Specifications

  • Channel: 1
  • Mic Preamps: 1 Tube Preamp
  • Tubes: 12AX7 Tube
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz-20kHz
  • Input Connectors: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4"
  • Output Connectors: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4"
  • Controls: 70dB Gain, 48V Phantom Power, Phase Reversal Switch, I/O Gain
  • Dimensions: 2" x 5" x 5.5"
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs.
Although this was previously on our recommended list, there are now options with higher ratings in our guide to The Best Microphone Preamps

Comments

In the nineties (I believe it

In the nineties (I believe it was 1996) I already reviewed that tiny pre-amp for a Dutch Recording Magazine? Later on I had to pay about 400 Dutch gulden (say ±200 €) for this small tube-amp. It also was the first affordable tube-based microphone-preamp for the home-recording musician. Although I never understood the profound meaning of 'hand-selected' 😎.

Nevertheless, I used it many times on miked vocals and acoustic guitar, but also as a DI-Box for bass. The lack of a power-switch didn't bother me. Using a [Master Switch] it was just on or off. But it was the lack of compression. So, a few years later I purchased the excellent Envoice (by the German brand Mindprint; unfortunately obsolete). This tube-based channelstrip contained a 3-band EQ (with a Q-controlled middle section), compression and some nice filter-adjustments. After all these years it still does a very nice job in my extended homestudio...!

I have an ART Pro Tube Preamp

I have an ART Pro Tube Preamp, an earlier production version purchased in 2013. I have used it for several years to record radio ads at home. I generally concur with your critique. However, the lack of power switch is more than offset by its very fine - and warm - output. The audio file quality is comparable to that of many recording studios. Once set up correctly with a quality microphone, sound card and the usual acoustic goodies, it makes home recording a snap.