ART Voice Channel - Stereo Channel Strip & Mic Preamp

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$536
ART Voice Channel - Channel Strip & Mic Preamp

The ART Voice Channel is a full featured tube preamp with built-in dynamics processor, EQ and digital output, and rightly so because Advanced Research and Technology or ART designed it to be an all-one-one preamp solution.

At the core of this unit is a class A tube preamp circuit with a 12AX7 tube, selectable voltage plate and variable impedance - which makes the preamp by itself quite versatile.

Factor in its other features which include gate, compressor, expander, de-esser and parametric EQ - and you get a truly versatile preamp that can even do digital recording via its built-in analog to digital converter and USB output for direct recording.

Features

  • Channels: 1
  • Mic Preamp: 12AX7 Tube Driven
  • Sample Rate: 44.1 to 192 KHz
  • Frequency Response: 16Hz - 42kHz (-1dB)
  • Input Connectors: 2 x Combo (XLR/Hi-Z), 6 x Combo (XLR/Line), 1 x ADAT
  • Output Connectors: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" (Mic Pre Out), 2 x S/PDIF
  • Control Knobs: Gain, Impedance, Threshold, Attack/mSec, Ratio, Release/Sec, De-esser, De-esser Freq, Expander/Gate threshold, Low, Mid1, Mid1-Freq, Mid2, Mid2-Freq, High, Output Level, Sample Rate/Dither
  • Control Buttons: Power, Pad, Invert, Phantom Power, Low Cut, Tube Voltage, Expand/Gate, Low Frequency, High Frequency, EQ Position, EQ Bypass, Optical Output
  • Dimensions: 3.5" x 9.17" x 19"
  • Weight: 10.5 lbs.

Pro

Outstanding and affordable don't usually go together in reviews, but there are many who share both sentiments after trying out the Art Voice Channel. It's value for money is often commended, as well as its versatility. Many are also impressed with the quality of its sound, which some even compare to more expensive preamps. Reviewers liked the variable input voltage and impedance which means you can use it to great effect with all kinds of microphones including ribbons.

Cons

Some experienced users who already have dedicated gear for compression and EQ are not as impressed with its feature set. But there are some who are quite pleased with the preamp sound quality. Those who want a more straightforward preamp find the Art Voice Channel to be too complex for their liking - if you don't have a lot of studio production experience then this may not be the best option for you.

Overall

Packed with extra features, the ART Voice Channel is highly recommended for those looking for more value for their money. We quote Sound on Sound's Mike Senior: "If you need a lot of control for tracking a wide variety of different instruments and vocalists, the Voice Channel's parameter‑rich multi‑processing will make sonic problem‑solving a great deal easier."

This was on our recommended list for The Highest Rated Channel Strips Under $500 and Mic Preamps Under $500 but had to be removed from those lists due to a price increase above $500.

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