ART Pro MPA II Reviews4.3/5.0 based on 22 customer reviews
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from Little Rock Arkansas
April 4, 2013Music Background:
Recording and Live sound Engineer
PRO MPA IIThe ART MPA II is a great little preamp. It sounds great and it is extremely easy to use. The tube warmth is what I have been looking for for years. I use it with the Studio Projects B-1Microphone and an OSP Microphone. Both have large diaphram elements. I recommend it if anyone is looking for the warmth of a tube.
from Tampa, Fl.
January 31, 2013Music Background:
Recordind artist, producer
Pro mpa really rocksSo I read this blind test review in sos magazine that the pro moan sounded the same if not better in some cases than all these hi end boutique preamp so I decided to put it to the test. In a nutshell we were blown away.Give this thing a try it will not disappoint you.
from Sturgeon Bay WI
September 30, 2011Music Background:
Producer, owner of STUDIO 330
ART Pro MPA II steps up to the plateThis new ART preamp is really impressive with its features: variable impedance (great for ribbon mics), plenty of gain, two different voltage settings for the tubes, a variable (!) hi-pass filter, large VU meters, and most importantly- a Mid/Side matrix! That's why I had to have this box- I love using an M/S mic setup for acoustic guitar, and this box is very handy! Great design, great, transparent sound quality, all for how much...? This ART is used as much as my other preamps, some of which cost ten times as much. Now, if it just had built-in tube- optical compression...
from Atlanta, GA
September 15, 2011Music Background:
Recording / Live Sound Engineer
Good Quality - Extremely Low CostI give this 5 Stars just because of the quality you can get from this at this price point. I swapped the Chines tubes with 2 Mullard 12AX7's. This was my first preamp. I tracked half of Sho Baraka's Lions and Liars album with an Avant CV-12 going through this. Never had a problem with it. I have owned this for a few years already. Even though I have some more expensive pre's now I still use this in the studio. My advise is to get one and swap the tubes. It will do the job it was created to do.
February 14, 2010Music Background:
compared to the high endwe have in the studio a UNIVERSAL AUDIO la 610 an this unit ART pro mpa ii,they truley sound alike, no difference.we put both of these up aginst each other an they both sound great.i try not to get caught up in the popularity contest,because that what most of this is but this art sound just as good as the ua la610
from Signal Hill, CA
February 17, 2013Music Background:
AMAZING UPGRADEdefinitely complements my mini firewire410. The Impedance is what impresses me the most. Have not seen this on any other hardware under $650. Tubes are great, the build is sturdy, impedance/LCfilter is blowing my mind. Great job on ART's part.
from Minneapolis, MN
November 20, 2012Music Background:
So far, a great preampSo far, so good -- this unit delivers exactly as promised! I run a home studio, and need to record singers and occasionally voice-over artists. I use a Focusrite Saffire FW interface for my Mac, and this preamp blows away the built-ins on the Saffire. A great investment, and a terrific entry-level product!
from winchester va
September 13, 2012Music Background:
pro musician cd recordings
pre amp... art pro mpa IIgives me more control of the recordings and the mastering
August 21, 2012Music Background:
Artist, Music Production
ART Pro MPA IInot very much to say except that this is an awesome product for any time of studio. and at a very good price
June 4, 2012Music Background:
Pro musician, Hobbyist home studio
Handy featuresI have a couple of these that I have been using live on horns. I have been very happy with them. They sound good and they have a couple of features that I really like. Being able to vary the impedance is handy for getting the right sound out of horn mics. The variable low cut filter is also very nice. The metering is more detailed and visible than most preamps, and the lights are bright enough to see easily on a dark stage. There are XLR and TRS outputs for each channel, which makes it easier to connect the outputs to monitoring equipment without having to use a splitter.
May 1, 2012Music Background:
Independent artist and producer (ie man in a bedroom hiding from his family)
Versatile, nice soundI bought this as a DI box for bass and electric. The wide gain range, +20dB switch and switchable plate voltage give me a lot of flexibility in sculpting a nice sound to feed various amp sims. I haven't tried mid/side decoding yet (nor have I used it as a mic pre at all), but I will be doing that in time. It's very quiet and clean, but it also overdrives nicely: in particular it makes really, really good bass sounds (which is lucky because that's why I bought it.)
It's solidly built, with - wonder of wonders - stepped controls for the major parameters for easy recall. The meters are large, clear and easy to read. The 'tube warmth' gauge is a bit distracting (that's what ears are for) but it's easily ignored. The illuminated switches are perhaps a little ugly too, so it can lose half a star for that but really, who cares and a lot of people will like them.
It's not just great for the price, it's great.
Gilbert Vipraio (Gil-A-Monster Sound)
from San Antonio, Texas
March 19, 2012Music Background:
ART Pro MPA IIIn today's digital world, recording seem to loose the sonic character obtained by analog compression or saturation which seems to enhance the harmonic content and make the louder passages stand out with fullness instead of volume. This is especially true for vocals, acoustic guitar and the bass guitar.
The variable impedance dramatically changes the character of any mic to match the desired crispness or roundness desired. I find the crispy clean digital vocal to be annoying. I use the high tube plate voltage on vocals and it adds the butter the vocals needed. I was in the process of mastering an album for a local gospel group and we ended up re-recording the vocals even though they were previously recorded with some of the best pre-amps available.
A must for any recording studio (large or small) without spending thousands per channel.
January 25, 2012Music Background:
Recording Engineer, Independent Artist, Singer/Songwriter
Impressive and AffordableWhat can I say? After shopping for hours online, this was the most obvious choice of preamp for my price range. The build quality of the preamp itself is great and the tonal quality of the preamp is way above expectations. there is virtually no noise with the gain and output settings correctly positioned. and it is very easy to blend between a more saturated tube tone and an almost solid state characteristic using the low cut filters and various impedance selections. i just love how this preamp makes it so easy to record using multiple mics and the mid/side matrix and stereo blend option does that trick very well. I would highly recommend this preamp to any home studio owner or even a pro environment to add a high quality, affordable tube preamp to their collection.
from Long Island, NY
September 3, 2011Music Background:
Makes Guitars Shine!Recently purchased this unit, my first session with it I recorded a mesa dual rectifier, and the MPA definitely gave the recording some extra sparkle and harmonic restoration. The plate voltage is great, you can get a very sharp shape to heavily distorted guitars with it. This unit is also really awesome for stereo mic'ing a drum kit. ART makes some of the best bang for your buck equipment you can get!
Allens Sound Company
November 10, 2010Music Background:
Recording Engineer, Studio Owner, Live Sound
Great Unit ... Small PriceI bought this unit to use on a few scratch demos. I now use it regularly in my studio! It has a warm, tube sound that is as good as my other $2500 preamps. It is a little finicky when driving the tube ... it is OK to overdrive the tube a little to get that growly sound but to much and it distorts. A very good pre for the money.
from dennis, mississippi
July 31, 2010Music Background:
A amazing unita nice unit, very good quality, many features,
Tom @ Deer Lane Recording
from Ivoryton, Ct.
February 25, 2013Music Background:
Pro musician, Studio owner.
Great sounding, versatile unit.Recorded vocals, bass, acoustic and electric guitars, all with great results. Quiet even at high gains. Great value.
from New Brunswick, Canada
July 8, 2012Music Background:
It is definitely all it's cracked up to beGreat preamp for the price. The sound is subtle but warm. Gives vocal tracks an extra bit of fullness, and guitar tracks and extra bit of punch. The mid-side matrix works by turning the outputs into the "left" and "right" outputs. It sends the mid mic out of both outputs creating a "center", and sends the two phase variations of the side mic out of the outputs as well. This enables mid-side with just two outputs. The downside here is that you cannot edit the mics separately because they are basically mixed into a stereo signal within the preamp. Anyway, it works well, and it looks pretty. It's no Avalon AD2022, but if you have the money for the AD2022, you wouldn't be buying this.
February 8, 2012Music Background:
Guitarrist, mix engineer, mastering engineer, electronic engineer
NiiceOver all it is great piece of kit! Cheap for what it is. When you engage a bitof gain or adjust the impedances the stereo image suffers a bit, to ART i wouls ask better matching on hi and low current settingd. Other than that its great!
February 7, 2012
ART Pro MPA II - good tube mic pres with some hard to find featuresThis microphone preamp occupies the top of the ART product lineup (together with Digital MPA-II)
The built-in quality is decent but not solid.
1. One of the plastic knob covers fell off within a week (easily corrected with crazy glue).
2. The analog VU output meters presented another issue. When removing protective film, one of the meter needle got a jolt of electrostatic charge and it was hovering near the middle of the readout for a couple of days (before coming back to zero).
Now, the good news:
1. Adjustable VU output meters - easy to calibrate
2. Variable Input Impedance - an important feature that is very hard find in any price range, let alone at this pricepoint.
Variable Impedance is crucial to preserve the character of ribbon and dynamic microphones.
3. Selectable Plate Voltage - unlike some other ART products, you can actually take a full advantage of the tube tone by applying high voltage.
4. Stereo switch - musician can split mono input channel into two.
5. High Z instrument lines up front - very convenient.
6. Maximum Gain: 75dB
7. The beauty of the tube preamp - one can improve/modify the tone by simply replacing the tubes. (This, however, will void the warranty)
The stock tubes in MPA II are not great and quite noisy for the microphone preamp. 12AX7 is a weapon of choice for guitar preamps where it's imperative for tube to "break up" creating distortion. In microphone applications the intent is quite the opposite: have as much "headroom", get clean 20-60 dB boost.
In my opinion, ART Pro MPA II offers a great value and lots of hard to find options.
from Nashville, TN
February 23, 2012Music Background:
engineer, producer, multi-instrumentalist
Not all it's cracked to be.Claiming M/S Matrix... Not the case. When recording in M/S a cardioid or omni is placed toward the front and a figure 8 is placed where the polar pattern is perpendicular to the cardioid/omni. So for lack of better explanation. Two mics are used, and three outputs are gathered. To really function as a M/S Matrix there's two inputs and three outputs. The figure 8's normal phase is used on one output, that signal is then doubled, the phase reversed and then sent to the second output. The cardioid or omni is the 3rd and final output. This preamp only has 2 outputs and claims to "decode" the phase shift from the figure 8 mic. If this can function properly as an M/S Matrix I'd like to be shown how.
from Athens, GA
January 6, 2010Music Background:
Finicky piece of equipmentI briefly owned this dual channel preamp. I purchased it new, and used it a hand full of times on a few projects and was very unimpressed. All the the gain, impedance, and level knobs had a great deal of noise. Channel one in my particular unit worked sometimes, and others not. The few instances i did make through the technical difficulties, the sound quality i got from this unit was mediocre. I wouldn't recommend this product to even the smallest project studio. There are other units in this price range that are much more reliable with a night to day jump in sound quality.