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June 2017 Giveaway

True Systems P-Solo Reviews

5.0 stars based on 13 customer reviews
Questions about the True Systems P-Solo?

Questions about the True Systems P-Solo?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

Sweetwater Advice

  • Jon Gillespie

    Absolutely stunning clarity, and perfect in its simplicity. The P-Solo is the legenday "wire with gain!" Finally a world-class preamp that you can have in your home studio for less than $500. Anyone who wants to get professional-grade quality out of their home studio should have the P-Solo as their money channel!

  • Kenny Bergle

    The only mic pres imported by Neumann. Stellar clarity and wonderful 'pre'sence! One can't go wrong with a True!

  • Dennis Konicki

    The PSolo is absolutely stunning. It is extremely quiet, and amazingly accurate. It's a must-have for anyone looking for a transparent mic preamp that delivers a microphone's nuances seamlessly into a system.

  • from MD June 21, 2017

    Fantastic

    I wont sit here and say that I have commercial studio quality coming from my home studio after purchasing this unit. But I will say that this stepped my recordings up to a very respectable level beyond the outboard pre's I was previously working with. Everything just sounds "right" through this pre. My K2 through here emits a tangible warmth. The DI with bass is great. I will say i didn't notice much of a difference when running an acoustic DI through the P-solo vs a presonus studio channel (tube all the way down) The only thing I don't like about this pre is the form. Would love some rack ears.... Otherwise, this thing is the best pre you will get for sub $800. Period.

  • from Joshua Tree.CA December 25, 2012Music Background:
    composer and recording artist

    true systems p-solo

    absolutely wonderful sound and easy to use. I highly recommend this product for any studio

  • from Hemet, California USA April 15, 2012Music Background:
    Professional Songwriter

    Professional

    This preamp will give you the feeling of being in a professional studio. The sounds that I get with microphones and direct plugin with my guitar are absolutely pristine. You don't need to think too long about what preamp to buy. You've found it.

  • from UK March 6, 2012

    P-Solo

    A very detailed preamp. I A/B'd it with a FMR RNP and it was so much richer and detailed that I sold the FMR. I'm now thinking of either getting another P-Solo or a Grace M101 to add to my P-Solo for stereo recording. It's a shame that there is NOT a single comparison between the Grace and P-Solo anywhere. It's like it's against the law to compare the two.If you search the first 2 million google hits of Grace M101 v P-Solo there is nothing. It seems the internet police have kept these 2 preamps from colliding........

  • from LA, CA October 27, 2011Music Background:
    Engineer

    A must have

    This is absolutely a pre everyone in the industry should have, unless you already have a Martech. Which is the cleanest preamp ever made IMO. But this is literally a small fraction of the cost of a Martech. I don't recommend this to be your only pre, but it definitely fills a niche that you're probably missing out on as you're reading this. I've found this to be the best sounding preamp I've run through for most female vocalists, bass guitars, lower resonance strings, and any room mic or ribbon. (Just add the cloud lifter for ribbons or dynamics). Male vocals is hit and miss with this, it really depends on the voice in that case. I love how long the throw is on the volume knob, it makes fine tuning your gain very easy. Its also a really beautiful piece of gear. These pictures don't do the brushed red metal justice. People who know nothing of preamps will imagine this costing thousands more than it does. Everyone who comes in to the studio always admires it.

  • from Las Vegas March 1, 2010Music Background:
    Voice over and Engineer_ Duke Morgan Productions LLC

    I was amazed


    When I recently purchased a new microphone I was really baffled which pre amp to choose. Throughout the years I had purchased, used and returned a lot of them.
    They all made great claims. This time I decided to call the manufacture of the company that built my microphone. I spoke with the developer about what Pre Amp would best compliment my microphone.

    He told me the P-SOLO by True systems.
    He was right! In all the years of spending upwards of over 2 grand on pre amps this little baby for around 500 dollars is well built and sounds fantastic, what a marriage. I suggest before you go through the agony of finding the right pre amp, just try this one.. No wonder they are always on back order. The P-SOLO- PRE AMP by TRUE SYSTEMS. Youll love it.

    Duke Morgan_

  • from Jasper, GA October 22, 2008Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Musician, Home Recordist, Hobbyist

    I Love This Thing!!

    This is probably hands down the best mic pre I've ever used. It doesn't have a whole lot of bells and whistles. But it beats the pants off of any pre I've owned previously. They all had bells and whistles. But they still don't compare to the P-Solo!! This thing has tons of gain to get your signal to the recorder. It seems to have more clarity than anything I've ever used. It makes any mic I've used with it sound fabulous from my Rode NT1-A to my Shure SM57. You can also play bass direct through it with great results. I still haven't played any direct guitars yet. But I will definitely be trying that as well. Everything sounds great it. Neumann who makes very expensive large condensers mics distribute True Systems Products because they were blown away by how their mics sounded through a True Systems Pre. Do yourself a favor and check it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed!!

  • from Chicago August 29, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Exceptional

    I've been using the P-Solo for a week in the studio and the improvement to my signal chain is astounding. My recordings have improved dramatically.

    The clarity, low noise, and the accurate but flattering sound are exceptional. It is hard to believe this is a $500 unit.

  • from Staten Island, NY June 5, 2008Music Background:
    Producer, Studio Owner, Singer, Composer, Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer & Musician.

    "The TRUTH"

    I use this mic pre with an AKG C 414 B-XLS, Shure SM57, SM58 & SM Beta 58. I record Hip Hop, RnB, Reggaeton, live brass, woodwinds & percussion with true, top notch, pro sound quality.

    My opinion's:

    1. This Mic is the truth.
    2. If you have no talent or potential, there is absolutely no piece of equiptment that will help you sound good.
    3. Any, and I repeat any decent, good or great mic will sound professional through this preamp.
    4. Hands down the best mic pre for $500 bucks (A NO BRAINER).
    5. Lastly, as good as any top shelf mic pre $500 & up.

  • from Pennsylvania December 22, 2007Music Background:
    engineer

    Very nice.

    I have used and own a whole lot of preamps in this budget range and up. Currently owning efforts from great river, chandler limited, universal audio, api and so on. I have read a ton on how this mic pre in particular wasn't very useful for male vocals and whlie I adore my other preamps for most male voices, mine just hadn't come across the way I thought it should. This preamp really gave me a "wow" factor both on my own vocals (low and gritty) and on things like acoustic guitars. I matched this one with a mojave ma-200 and it has become a real "go to" combo for me in the short time I have had it. I am really surprised that no one has reviewed this yet. Best of luck to all you potential buyers out there. I personally give this one a 5/5 10/10 or whatever you want to judge it on.

  • from Washington, DC December 21, 2015Music Background:
    Singer-Songwriter, Producer

    Great for Acoustic Guitar

    I've been using the True P-Solo for a few years now along with a Grace 101 and handful of other decent pre's and mics. I record a lot music that highlights acoustic guitar and my favorite recording chain for this is a Neumann Km 184 through this preamp. My current interface is an Apogee Duet 2 and the combo of the three give me an extremely smooth sound on strummed guitars with little need for EQ when done in the right room. A lot of people wonder how it compares to the Grace 101 and from personal experience I can say they sound noticeably different. I love both of them; they're very clean and impart less of "a sound" than the tube and transformer pres I have but there's something about the P-Solo that seems smoother yet with slightly more detail or grain than the Grace. It's a subtle difference but they do both have their own unique sound. People talk about this or that pre or mic being the best thing ever, or whether mics are more important than pres and vice-versa, but my experience has been that the it's combining the right mic and pre for a given situation that ultimately yield the best reults. I have to admit I don't love the Neumann KM 184 with a lot of pres but with this one it's a truly great combo! My large diaphragm mics sound great though it too and tend to give even more detail if i want the guitar to stand out in a track. I prefer a large diaphragm mic through a tube pre for vocals but this thing is an all around great pre for acoustic instruments. The one thing I would love to see on more mic pres is a rotary knob for HPF like the Daking Mic One pre which makes rolling off bass frequencies much easier. Overall this thing is well built, simple to use and the LED meters tell me what's going on with level in a simple uncluttered way. I've never had any trouble with it and I wouldn't dream of parting with it.

  • from Birmingham, AL June 2, 2009Music Background:
    Recording/Live Sound Engineer

    Oh yes, it does make a difference!

    First, I purchased this thru Sweetwater, and the service was perfect. The box hit my doorstep in under 48 hrs with no special shipping. Second... We all wonder as we look at these pieces of gear: will it really sound better than the stock preamps in my interface? I can tell you ABSOLUTELY! I own a Presonus Firestudio, and have always been pleased with its preamps. They are true and quiet and get the job done. However, the first time I plugged in my P-Solo and patched it in, it was like taking a blanket off the microphone. The transients were so much better. The low end was true and full and warm. But perhaps best of all, the upper-midrange and high end were clear and present! I really noticed a difference when recording a female vocalist in her upper range. You may find tube gear that colors the sound more to your liking, but this thing really gives a nice, full and clear signal.

  • from The heartland August 18, 2008Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Is this worth $500?

    I wanted to upgrade my sound from my current Mackie CR 1604 pre’s and the max my budget could afford was the True. We compared the True to the Mackie and the relatively inexpensive M-Audio DMP3, which costs $160 for two channels. The True was a huge improvement on vocals, DI bass guitar, and acoustic guitar. The tone was transparent, smooth, warm, and immediately noticeable. For kick, snare, and tambourine there was not much difference at all. For synth and DI guitar it improved some but not a major difference. The mics used were an AKG 414 (vocals, kick, tambourine), Shure SM-81 (acoustic guitar), and Shure SM-57 (snare). I thought that the True would blow the other pre’s out of the water, but surprisingly, the Mackie and M-Audio performed almost as good as the True.

    Overall, the True is a really good pre-amp, the best I’ve ever heard. And I’ll use it as my primary pre. But I can only compare it to the only pre’s I’ve ever known… the Mackie and M-Audio. So is it worth $500 when the others are almost as good for a fraction of the cost? And are the pre’s that cost more than $500 any better than the True?

Reviews

  • Emmett Andrews
    3-09-2009

    I have a very successful friend in the voiceover industry who swears by the TRUE Systems P-Solo. So when I brought one home, high hopes came with it. Having worked with this friend on a professional level for quite some time, I had some idea of what to expect...His recordings are consistently clean, full and detailed. But this guy has the type of voice that can make a Mr. Microphone sound good. Still, I often wondered why he chose a preamp in this price range, while most of his colleagues are using preamps that cost three times as much or more.

    Carrying the box up to my studio, I actually wondered if someone had stolen the P-Solo out of the box because it seemed much too lightweight. Unpacking the box was equally as interesting when I discovered that the P-Solo was, in fact, in the box. Pulling it from the box, I had immediate mixed feelings. First, the bright red faceplate is stunning. It's a pretty, shiny piece that anyone would be glad to display in their studio. But it didn't feel right...I'm used to preamps being heavy, awkward pieces. I've even come to a point where I associate weight with quality. While the P-Solo seemed sturdy, at no more than five pounds, it felt too light to have any quality components (or any components at all) inside the chassis. It also bears one giant gain knob dominating the front panel, giving it a unique, but straightforward appearance. TRUE could've gone for a modern look with lots of knobs, dials, switches and lights. Conversely, they could have followed the modern trend and created something that appeared to be made 50 years ago. But they took a different approach and met in the middle with vintage simplicity, married to modern design.

    In use, the P-Solo connects via a single TRS cable. I started out as I always do, which is by connecting my trusty Audio-Technica AT4040. I know the mic well, which gives me a good basis for comparison between preamps. For recording, I ran TRS into my Soundcraft M4 mixer, which has onboard A/D and S/Pdif out. I monitor with a set of Alesis M1Active 620 monitors and Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro headphones. The headphones, which I've been using exclusively for over five years, are great for listening to the subtle nuances of preamps.

    I immediately had to back off the gain, as the P-Solo is much hotter than I expected it to be. While there is a ribbon mic version of the P-Solo available, I suspect there's enough gain in the original version to get adequate gain from a ribbon mic or dynamic with a low output level. Once the levels were adjusted, I started recording and monitoring through my headphones, simply reading a basic script into the microphone and recording. The first thing I noticed was a darker sound than I'm used to. Initially, I thought this was a problem, but as I listened more and my ears adjusted, I realized that I'm used to listening to preamps that have some color in the upper midrange and near the top. The P-Solo is essentially colorless, so it isn't that it's a dark preamp, it's just more neutral than what I'm used to hearing. Once I had that realization, I started to comprehend the possibilities for the P-Solo. I typically run everything through a slightly colored preamp. Everything that passes through it (likewise with many other pres I've tested) has that "signature sound" stamped on it. The P-Solo is so transparent, it is not limited by a "signature sound". Think of it like a painter, his paints and his canvas: If a painter always paints on a blue canvas, everything he paints will have a blue tint to it. If that canvas is blank, however, he will have many more options with his color choices (microphones). The P-Solo doesn't dilute the sound of the mic that it amplifies. You can really hear the differences between mics, as I found by plugging in a Shure KSM 44 for comparison.

    As I used it more, I became more and more fond of the preamp. Nothing about it sounded bad, no matter what I threw at it. In my experience, most preamps have a weakness or two, but from almost whisper soft speaking, to a full scream, to sounds (like the jingle of keys), everything sounded right. The P-Solo is much more flat than flattering, which certainly left me with a lot of freedom for working inside the box. It's an ideal choice for a digital front-end, where color can be added through the use of plug-ins to-taste.

    I only spent a short amount of time testing the DI. As a DI, it was clean, just as the preamp was clean. On my bass, for instance, a quick A/B with my normal preamp, as well as running direct to a channel on my Soundcraft console proved that, once again, the P-Solo was an improvement over the alternatives. You can use both the preamp and DI, which simply amounts to an added value.

    The ultimate verdict is that the P-Solo is a rock solid piece of gear. I can't think of a single studio that would not benefit from having a transparent preamp like this on-board. If you're only looking for one good preamp, the P-Solo should be a top contender. If you've got a rack full of colorful preamps, you would be wise to consider adding the P-Solo to your arsenal to handle those "colorless" needs! This is a purchase you'd never regret.

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