ART Digital MPA II

2-channel Tube Microphone Preamplifier with 48V Phantom Power, Selectable Input Impedance, 24-bit/192kHz A/D Converter, Analog and Digital Outputs, VU Metering, and Word Clock I/O
ART Digital MPA II image 1
ART Digital MPA II image 1
$399.00
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ART Digital MPA II
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Versatile Tube Preamplifier Steps Up Your Sound!

ART's Digital MPA-II is a value-packed 2-channel tube microphone preamplifier. It's loaded with the right complement of professional features to deliver a serious sonic upgrade for any project studio or mobile recording studio. For flexible flavor, the ART Digital MPA-II features variable input impedance, so you can dial in a range of tones to suit your microphones. And, certainly not to be overlooked, a quality onboard A/D converter lets you output a digital signal - over S/PDIF, ADAT, or AES - so you can integrate the Digital MPA-II into virtually any setup.

ART Digital MPA-II 2-channel Tube Microphone Preamplifier at a Glance:
  • Two channels of flexible tube preamplification
  • Supports dual-mono and stereo operation, as well as mid/side miking
  • Large VU meters and multicolored LEDs display levels
  • High-quality onboard A/D converter with flexible digital connectivity

Two channels of flexible tube preamplification
If you're looking to bring your recordings up to the level, there's nothing like introducing a quality preamplifier. And, with ART's Digital MPA-II, you'll have more than enough sonic range to dial in nearly any sound imaginable - no matter what kind of microphones you have in your mic locker right now, or the microphones you add to it in the future. That's because, on each channel you have selectable phantom power for your condensers. Plus, there's plenty of gain onboard for bringing your ribbon microphone signals up into usable levels. Beyond that, variable input impedance lets you draw out a rich range of tones from each of your microphones - use it to match the preamplifier to your microphones, or creatively mismatch tones for a unique sound. Plus, you can operate the ART Digital MPA-II at high or normal plate voltage, for an even wider range of sounds. There's also a per-channel low-cut filter to squelch issues with rumble.

Supports dual-mono and stereo operation, as well as mid/side miking
Your preamplification needs will vary depending on what you want to do and what you're recording - but, luckily, ART equipped the Digital MPA-II with the flexibility to meet your changing needs. You can operate the preamplifier in dual-mono or stereo, to suit what you're recording. There's even selectable support for mid/side microphone setups.

Large VU meters and multicolored LEDs display levels
Get an eye on what's going on using the ART Digital MPA-II's full assortment of metering. Onboard, two professional VU meters display input or output levels, while its multicolored LED arrays, with average or peak hold, show you tube gain and digital output levels.

High-quality onboard A/D converter with flexible digital connectivity
One of the most important aspects of the Digital MPA-II - and what separates it from its brother, the Pro MPA-II - is its built-in A/D converter, with S/PDIF, ADAT, and AES/EBU outputs. Thanks to that variety of connectors, it's easy to add the Digital MPA-II to almost any interface setup you have. Beyond that, a rotary control on the front panel lets you select a range of format and sample rates from 44.1kHz to 192kHz and from 16-bit to 24-bit. Two word clock connectors are onboard as well, and there's a push button for looping through the word clock signal.

ART Digital MPA-II 2-channel Tube Microphone Preamplifier Features:
  • Variable Input Impedance For Flexible Microphone Voicing (150 Ohms To 2400 Ohms)
  • Selectable Plate Voltage
  • Large VU Meters
  • Backlit Function Switches
  • Discrete Class-A Input Microphone Preamplifier
  • Low Noise at Lower Gain Settings
  • Low Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)
  • Wide Frequency Response
  • Front-mounted Instrument Input Jack
  • Supports Mid/Side Miking Technique
  • Operates at +4dbm/-10dbv Output
  • Selectable Stereo/Dual-mono Operation of Output Controls
  • Automatic Instrument Input Selection
  • 24-204KHz External sample rate
  • 44.1K, 48K, 88.2K, 96K, 176.4K, 192K Internal sample rates
  • 24/16 bit switchable dithering
  • Wide dynamic range A/D
  • Rotary Encoder for quick selection of sample rate
  • Separate analog and digital output level controls
  • Digital Level LED meters display both Average and Peak level
  • ADAT optical I/O
  • Sync to incoming ADAT data rate
  • Switch selectable optical output (S/PDIF or ADAT)
  • AES/EBU and S/PDIF outputs
  • Two word clock jacks allowing loop through
The ART Digital MPA-II is an incredible value-packed addition to any project studio wanting a step up in recording quality!

Additional Media

Digital MPA II User Manual
Studio Preamp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Preamp Type Tube
Number of Channels 2
Frequency Response 15Hz-48khz
Phantom Power Yes
Analog Inputs 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4" (Line), 2 x 1/4" (Hi-Z)
Analog Outputs 2 x XLR
Digital Inputs 1 x ADAT (Optical)
Digital Outputs 1 x S/PDIF (Optical), 1 x S/PDIF (Coax), 1 x AES/EBU (XLR)
Clock I/O 2 x Word Clock
Channel Inserts Yes
Rack Spaces 2U
Height 3.5"
Depth 8.75"
Width 19"
Weight 10.5 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number DIGITALMPAII

Customer Reviews

4.5/5
Based on 8 reviews
Write your review
5/5

ART Digital MPA II

Bang for the buck, this this preamp is really, really good. It does what it's supposed to do with no muss/no fuss. Key features that drew me to it were the insert loops (although disappointed that the loop only works in digital out mode) and the ability to use it in analog out, or digital out modes. My rating of 5 stars is based on price point, as there are many, many more preamps on the market which are esoterically higher performance, but will cost light years more money. All-in-all, I'm very satisfied with my purchase.
Music background: Decades of experience as musician and studio engineer
5/5

Pretty good

This unit is great, I mostly use it along with my Rode Nt1-A condenser mics. I have recorded guitar, overheads, and vocals along with some direct in bass on this and all of it has sounded great. The sound is pretty clean too. The digital out is a big plus but the only con is it can't sync to anything over 48Khz with adat so I can't use a 96Khz sample rate with my recordings. Other than that I love this unit and I'm sure it will serve me well for years to come.
Music background: Musician, student, Hobbyist
5/5

superb tube pramp w/ digital out

I got this along with ART mpl stereo compressor for recording stereo instrruments, ect, but I end up using this setup more than expected. Plenty of variables on this unit such as high/low tube voltage selection, variable impedence on mic inputs and best of all realy great sound, not transparent, but great sound including supringly excellent A to D conversion. Bass guitar plugged direct in and then into the MPL compressor works fantastic. I also run almost all my electric guitar tracks through this either direct or miced. I have other choices but this MPA works so well. Clean vocals need a good solid-state pre, but for warmth and great sound this is my go to. I also run my stero drum overhead mics through this first to tame the shrill of the cymbals. Unit looks classy and high end, build quality is surprisingly sturdy and secure. I've moved mine several times, and it gets rolled around my studio in my rack several times a week with no issues yet. Changing the stock tubes isn't nesseary but don't be afraid to experiment with other matched pairs. The end results from my low $ studio, with good ears and engineering, actualy sound better, BETTER than the for-hire studio my career musician friend records at. I sold a top grade, single channel preamp to get this MPA and the MPL with $ left over and absoltutely no regrets. Incredibly versitile and quality stereo preamp for a rediculously low cost.
Music background: lifelong musician with plenty of engineering / self producing expierience
4.5/5

ARP Digital MPA II

The ART Digital MPA II is awesome. I love using it and the shipping was right on time. I have another unit and it doesn't come close to the quality of the ARP. I would recommend it to everyone!
4.5/5

For the $, this unit CAN'T be beat!

Was going to give it a 5 rating, but it's not fair to the $2000 pre's, so I ONLY gave it a 4.5... It's TOTALLY AWESOME to have added 2 more channels of Pre's, without burning any of my pre's on my interface.. This was actually the main reason I bought this, but this this is SO MUCH MORE! The warmth is AWESOME! For digital, it sounds very analog-ish... There are SO MANY reasons to add this pre to your setup, no matter how highend of gear you have! I wouldn't be changing any tubes until AFTER you play with the unit. I almost ordered tubes as I ordered the pre, but after trying it from the factory, I'm not changing anything until I need to... I'm running mine from the Spdif Outs only, but DID run tests comparing the digital to Analog outs. The converters in this unit seem AWESOME! But I'm still using 24bit, 44,100 rate, so maybe my stuff is dated!lol... I guess I'm "old school"!lmao. Best of luck! And trust me, you will LOVE this unit! Just buy it and thank me later!lol. Mike
Music background: Full time
See also: ART, ART Preamps