One of the things that stood out most about the Tampa was its simplicity and ease of use.
I recently recorded some guitar tracks through the M-Audio Tampa preamp. One of the things that stood out most about the Tampa was its simplicity and ease of use. The design is reminiscent of my favorite, rare vintage gear sporting the military style knobs, switches and luminescent VU meters – very inspiring. I plugged in direct, hit the input switch to instrument’ level mode, ran S/PDIF out to my PC and that’s how easy it was.
The Tampa has a compressor that is easy to adjust and monitor using the dedicated gain monitor VU meter. It has a corresponding VU meter showing input level. If you need to connect a vintage mic, you can actually change the impedance to match your mic’s impedance (2400,1200, 600, or 300 ohms). The sample resolution is 24-bit mono and the rate can easily be switched between 44.1/48/88.2/96 kHz.
The Tampa incorporates a very cool feature which is “Temporal Harmonic Alignment” emulating a natural acoustic phenomenon which expresses the unique harmonic phase relationships between the fundamental sound and the harmonics. This is a process that occurs in nature and tube technology that makes mid-range content sound more pleasing.
Having said all that, I know what you’re thinking… “Well, how does the Tampa really sound?” The results of my recordings while bypassing the compressor were a smooth, warm signal with minimal coloration. Adding compression to the signal path gave me the right punch without added coloration (thanks to the optical compressor).
The Tampa sounds subtly warm and enabled a smooth and clean recording of my guitar. I definitely have this preamp on my wish list.