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Item Reviews for: ART Pro Channel Tube Mic Preamp and Compressor with EQ  -  ART 215 LIST

Great bang for your buck.
By: Jdubelu from Tampa, FL, USA      Submitted: 1/2/2012

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Quality Would you consider this product to be made well? How dependable? It seems to be made O.K. You have the ability to swap out the tubes I would recommend some NOS. Features What do you consider to be the best features of this product? What features would you add to this product if you could? Tube AND Optical compression. Shelving and Parametric EQ is always a plus as well. Ease of Use How easy is this product to use? How easy is the product to use with other products? Did it take long for you to learn to use this product? Was the manual helpful? How playable do you consider this product to be? Plug and play for anyone with outboard gear experience. Should be easy to setup and use for a novice as well. Sound How is the tone? Surprising good for a cost effective piece. Reliability How has it stood up over time? Ive only had it for a short while, but It seems as if it will last. The 5 year warrant helped my purchase, just in case. General Your general opinion of this product. Pretty good piece to add to a digital system. Tube warmth/saturation helps certain tracks cut through the mix easily.
Review of ART Pro Channel Tube Mic Pre
By: CDscofield from Tumwater, WA      Submitted: 12/6/2011

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Quality Would you consider this product to be made well? How dependable? It seems well-made. I didn't drop kick it or anything to REALLY see if it was sturdy, but yeah, it's metal, solid, and the knobs push back a bit. Features What do you consider to be the best features of this product? What features would you add to this product if you could? I'd say the ART's best feature is the amount and felxibility of its features for the price. It's very useful, has a wide range of features, including full bypass of both EQ and Comp if you don't want them. It's not a high end Pre, but wow! for the price. I also like the big VU meter on the front, at least 2 inches wide and well lit, with switchable display, so you can alternately look at preamp level, output level, and compression impact. Also, under the VU meter there are two rows of simultaneous LED readouts displaying both your preamp level and gain reduction. These LED rows light up in opposite directions,giving you a very clear sense of your signal strength AND the force of the compressor working against it. It's a great visual representation of what compression does to output. Ease of Use How easy is this product to use? How easy is the product to use with other products? Did it take long for you to learn to use this product? Was the manual helpful? How playable do you consider this product to be? If you're experienced using a compressor and a parametric EQ, then it's completely easy to use. It does have a lot of dials, and many small push-buttons on the front panel, and many of them are small with small white print against a black finish. So you have to do some peering, and it's better used in a bright, easy to access location (like my studio) than on a rack on a dimly lit stage. But don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about this aspect of it, just saying that those qualities require you to work more diligently with the front panel to ensure that you've got the settings you meant to have. Sound How is the tone? For the price, it's totally decent. I use some Grace 101 preAmps, and so compared to them, it's a bit murky (or flavored, if that's how you want to look at it). But is it worth the price? Abso-freakin-lutely! For the price it's awesome! I mean if someday you fill your studio with Neumanns and Neves, you might want to cast it aside, but I'll bet you'd still be able to find a use for it because of its flexibile features. Meanwhile, it's damn handy and its flavor varieties are quite useful and trackable. Reliability How has it stood up over time? Can't really vote on this since it's only 3 weeks old. With about 6 hours of use it hasn't gone up in a puff of smoke. So that's a good start. General Your general opinion of this product. I'm really happy with it. I bought it to serve one of two purposes, depending on how it sounded when I tried it out. I tried it as the front end for my live bass rig. Bass plugged directly into the ART, then out to a power amp. It sounded great--lots of gain and I liked the comp and EQ--but as mentioned above, its many front panel details made me think it'd be more useful in the studio. Then I tried it as the preAmp on a specialty mic--the Meridian acoustic guitar mic. That mic is really really bright, but useful because it's a system that clips right onto the body of your guitar. Anyway, the features of the ART were perfect for tweaking the tone of the Meridian and getting a warmer acoustic guitar signal to "tape". Sitting on a shelf on my mixing console, the ART's detailed front panel was easier to manage--once the settings on the ART were dialed in then I leave it alon, and it sits there, ready to use day after day with the Meridian.
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