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ART DPS-II Reviews

4.5 stars based on 6 customer reviews
  • from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil December 29, 2011Music Background:
    FOH, Pro Musician

    Nice and cheap preamp!

    I never used any dedicated preamp before, but when I compared this ART with the ones inside my LS9 the ART is a lot better. I will use it to vocals on a live and recording setup. The S/PDIF out is great, this way I don't have to use the LS9 inputs and its preamps, cause the console has only XLR inputs. I did a quick test through the presets and there are a lot of options, but I found the ones I wanted quickly, which are not the presets indicated as vocals, funny.

  • from West Chester, PA November 16, 2012Music Background:
    Pro musician, Recording Engineer, Hobbyist

    Excellent for the price

    The Preamp out of the box sounded pretty good but I changed the tube out with a Groove Tubes 12AX7 russian made and it sounds great. I have recorded main vocals and acoustic guitars. I have also used it for a direct input on bass and it sounds great. you really need to mess with the presets it has on the fronit to get the sound you want. There are many options and they all sound different depending on what you are recording.

    We have used ART preamps for my band many times and for the money you cant beat this. I would buy a rack of these and just swap out the stock tubes and be completely happy.

  • from Marlow, OK April 27, 2012Music Background:
    Singer, songwriter, recording, production

    Versatile piece of gear...

    This is a decently versatile piece of gear which can serve the function of several needs. I was kind of skeptical at its merit for usefulness when deciding to buy one, but even at a minimum, you get 2 very decent pre-amps for a great price. Add to this the digital out features, it easily can make use of the S/PDIF inputs on your AD/DA which usually lay dormant in most cases, thus another 2 mic inputs without sacrifice.

    The tube effect can be viewed as either wonderful for some coloration or not. I was not overly impressed with the musical breakup of the saturation, but there again I haven't changed the tube to see if it improved it. Even if it did I would suspect a premium tube would still not give the full benefit of a high voltage setup, but there again it doesn't have the price tag of a high voltage setup.

    The preset selections from the VR3 knob can give some quick results to getting some coloration, and some signal overload protection as well, I think it is more justified in the case of the latter. I think I would have preferred a variable dial in on this, but hey... sometimes fewer choices are better, and keep us from wasting time on the decision process.

    The 2 most important features of this unit in order of importance to me are... Variable impedance, and selectable digital pass-through.
    With the ability to select the ADAT channel on which each unit operates, you can basically stack four of these units and daisy-chain them into one 8 channel ADAT input on your AD/DA. This makes it very modular, so if you want to buy 1 unit now, 1 later etc. you can do this and still only tie up one ADAT input on your AD/DA.

    But you ask... why not just buy an 8 channel mic pre for 1/2 the cost of two of these? Well, this brings me to the most effective feature of these units (at least to me)... Variable impedance. It makes any mic cheap or expensive take on a whole new life, and sound radically different. Dial them in just right, and you can hit the sweet spot that cuts through the mix, or sits where you need it in the background.

    I tested some cheap dynamic mics on it as well, and was amazed at how they came to life and sounded even better than some well known studio condenser workhorses. Imagine how it will make a very good mic sound!

    I am convinced, impedance plays a much bigger role than we realize, and so far I haven't seen an 8 channel mic pre setup that gives you this feature.

    This piece of gear holds a decent plot of real estate in the good effect for great price world.

  • from northern NJ April 2, 2012Music Background:

    Versatile pre-amp

    Once unit is connected correctly, all works as indicated. Nice to have multiple input capability and a S/PDIF stream to take advantage of the digital input on the Delta 1010lt. 10 channels now covers the entire band.

  • from northwest seattle August 8, 2008Music Background:
    professional amateur

    Lowest priced dual channel digital preamp

    At the recommendation of Craig Anderton (from Sound on Sound) I was looking for a mic preamp to feed directly to my computer interface via SPDIF, and I decided to buy this one, which happens to be the lowest priced one of its kind on the market.

    I tested this against the pres on an M-Audio Omni/Delta 66 and a MOTU 828mk3, and it sounds alot better than either one. It's pretty smooth and quiet from the digital out--though the sound quality via analogue is a little inferior. In any case, the "valve" and impedance controls allow you to color the sound in different ways.

  • from Orlando, FL September 3, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician & Recording Engineer

    Great for the price

    I needed to add a couple extra channels on a budget for my Presonus 1818VSL and just plugged in the ART DPS-11 and boom there it was! I used these two extra channels for drums overheads with two LDC mics, tweaked a little bit and they sounded great. Better than the on board Presonus preamps (no disrespect to Presonus, love the 1818VSL). I have other go to preamps I use while I record certain instrument/vocals so I haven't had a chance to experience with the product outside of the overheads. But it works, sounds good and until I can spend thousands, will do me just fine. Even then I'll still use it for my two extra channels. Big ups to Tom Koch and Sweetwater for all their help!

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