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ART Tube MP Reviews

4.5 stars based on 43 customer reviews
Questions about the ART Tube MP?

Questions about the ART Tube MP?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from February 13, 2017Music Background:
    DJ, DAW, PA engineering

    Inexpensive yet has its use

    Use it as a mic pre is just average, but if you run it as a bass DI, this thing can be a sleeper!

    The best $ you can spend for!

  • from Fayetteville WV December 30, 2016

    Art tube mp

    Works well,easy to use!

  • from Lafayette, IN USA September 29, 2016

    Warm and Round, Just Like I Like It

    I bought one of these many years ago when they were on sale for a mere $25, thinking "what harm could it do if it doesn't sound good?" I'm happy to say that I still use it today - same tube - and the results are amazing! It gives a nice warm, round tone to vocal mics (which is mostly what I use it for), and lends body to otherwise sterile digital recordings. It's great for optimizing gain and eliminating clipping, which to me is especially important when recording to digital media. The price point is a bit higher now, and the VU meter is no longer included on the front pane (I love me some VU needle bounce), which is why I gave this review a half-star demerit. If you want a great sounding mic preamp for a small amount of scratch, this is your unit.

  • from New York December 17, 2015

    Great little mic pre!

    When tuned in just right you will add a nice subtle amount of tube warmth with the ART MP to a mic or acoustic guitar pickup. The ART is small enough to fit on any desk or travel. The 20db gain is the best part of this little pre amp.

  • from Lake Worth, FL April 18, 2015Music Background:
    Drummer/Engineer/Performer/Producer

    Excellent Buy

    For just $49 it couldn't get better. It won't change your entire world but, if you are looking for better results in your vocals without spending too much money, this is it. I have it going through my Comp16 from PreSonus, then to my Interface and it sounds great.

    I also change the tube it came with because it's super cheap and cheesy. I bought a Tung-Sol ECC803S 12AX7 with Gold Pins, sounds beautiful. I would suggest buying one; I got mine from C Tech Electronics (EBay) Fast Shipping. Don't go crazy spending too much money on expensive tubes.

    Great buy overall.

  • from Virginia February 5, 2015Music Background:
    Former semi-pro bassplayer, currently in VO work

    Step Up

    As you'll see below, I have already rated the preamp. You'll also note I mentioned having bought an "upscale" tube as a replacement. That was the SPAX7. Yes friends and neighbors, it really DOES make a difference. Depending on what you're running through this little jewel the difference may be large or small, but it will definitely be better.

    I think I'll empty my change jar on the china cabinet and buy another SPAX7...or 2

  • from UT January 21, 2015Music Background:
    Music Composer/Sound Engineer

    Clean Sound! Great Price!

    I am impressed, I was looking for a good deal for the price. It has a lot for a little price. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a Mic-pre for a low cost and a high quality. It also doubles as a DI box. I have other ART products and they have been impressive for being pretty rugged and keep a quality sound. I would recommend getting one, especially if you are starting out.

  • from Wimberley, Texas December 31, 2014Music Background:
    HOME RECORDING STUDIO

    I CAN'T BELIEVE THE PRICE...

    I can't say enough good about the Sweetwater Team.
    I've been a customer since 2010, & a satisfied one. :)

    The ART Tube MP? This little jewel delivers.
    Recording with:
    Hohner HW-350 Acoustic
    Fishman Neo-D Humbucking Pickup
    Digitech RP155 Processor
    Outstanding results. (And that's without the +20db gain)

    The ONLY unfortunate thing is this:
    Now I have to re-record alot of guitar tracks, but hey:
    "Good things come to those who wait, right?"
    IF YOU DON'T OWN ONE, MAKE IT HAPPEN. YOU WON'T BE SORRY.

    Thank you Spencer Kennedy, & The Sweetwater Team!

  • from Raleigh, NC December 26, 2014Music Background:
    Professional fiddle player in numerous Celtic bands

    An inexpensive, good tool to have on hand

    This is a good, inexpensive tool to warm up sound (particularly on violins), and to provide phantom power for mics that need them. It's easy to use, and works well. I'd give it a 5-star rating except that the indicator light failed after a few months of use. (The unit itself continued to work fine.) But Sweetwater gets the 5-star thumbs up--they shipped me a new one over a holiday with no fuss whatsoever, and I received it in two days (including the holiday). Thanks again for saving the day, Sweetwater! Your customer service is absolutely stellar, and is much appreciated!

  • from Skaggsville, MD USA November 24, 2014Music Background:
    Hobby, but father of two semi-pro musicians (drummer & guitarist) who have benefited from my genetics.

    MP2 still saves the day

    First, chronologically I belong more to the "very nice" rather than "blown away" school.
    But MP2 definitely deserves a 5.0. I have used one for around 4 years. This order was for two more. Not only is it a versatile recording accessory, but I use it on tube amps, effects, etc. when I really want to (over)drive the input. (Admittedly, no EQ is included, but if you are into recording you know that usually comes in closer to the board). It is just a case of a relatively simple tube box at an amazingly low price. Sure beats spending 3 digits or more when you're (actually me) stuck in a gear clogged bedroom and are not interested in professional stage-ware.

    Let me also thank Aaron Rom, who is a very helpful, knowledgeable and friendly person.

    Ed

  • from SYOSSET, NY November 10, 2014Music Background:
    Engineer | Producer |Singer-Songwriter

    Why Spend More for a Great Acoustic DI?

    It would be easy to spend a lot more money, but why? This little $50 puppy outclassed my existing DI (Also very good) by a pretty wide margin. I hadn't been super happy with the plugged in (gigging) tone of my acoustic for some time. And had been using a mic for studio work. Plugged into the ART Tube MP and ended up playing for a long, long time. It sounds that good, clear, open and warm. The natural musical compression from the stock 12AX7 and the rest of the circuit is spot on. Tempted to change the tube? Not at all, I"m not falling for that. Also using it as a vocal preamp in front of my PreSonus Firestudio Project, a definite improvement: warmer, thicker, noticeably less brittle. The PreSonus XMAX preamps are very good, just not the best in my opinion for vocals.

  • from South Hill, Va. September 21, 2014Music Background:
    VO Talent

    Does the Job!

    Doing VO work from a home studio, I was looking for something to attenuate the noise level as well as giving me a fuller sound. This jewel did it! I dropped the level on Pro tools to half what it was - run the preamp at 1/2 - input and output, and NAILED it. I also bought a hi-quality tube for replacement of the standard 12ax7. If the new tube gives as much of a boost to the overall sound quality as this original unit did I don't think I can stand it!! Buy it - you can't beat the quality for 4 times the price.

  • from Charlottesville. Va. August 28, 2014Music Background:
    Ex full time now weekend local bands

    ART Tube MP

    I really like things that are simple and can do one thing right. I thought that the preamps on my interface was doing a goo d job until I used this preamp instead. A clear tone and plenty of back up volume. A one step solution and then you can think about something else.

  • from Juneau A.K. April 16, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician, On guitar, drums, bass, and others

    review of the Art Tube MP

    Hey, guys just checkin in too let you know how impressed "VERY IMPRESSED" with my new ART Tube MP. I have just started working with it on my acoustic guitars and WOW.....i have barely scratched the surface of what this little baby can do. I can tell you for sure my acoustic guitars, steel or nylon string, have never sounded so good, crisp and clear, with the added touch of warmth from the the tube. No serious recording or performing guitarist should be with out one of these. I highly recommend it !!!!!! Can't wait too plug my electric guitar into this little monster.........

  • from kansas city, MO February 22, 2013Music Background:
    professional club musician

    Great for warming up your guitar when running direct from a floor processor

    i have an older one it has a vu meter but basically the same box . These are fantastic little devices : signal boost on long cable runs warming up your sound if you have a Boss me50 or a line 6 pod direct to the board this will give you that evasive tube warmth, run it in front of your fender twin for a little extra growl . there are tons of uses for these they are not expensive. which means you break one or lose one its not the end of the world and easily replaced i highly recommend these... my secret weapon...

  • from February 16, 2013Music Background:
    pro musician, recording engineer, live sound engineer

    Works Good!!

    Used as as a bass preamp and it works great! Great value!

  • from Atlanta, GA November 17, 2012Music Background:
    Rock, pop, jazz and blues semi pro

    Got tube amp feel with modeling software

    I was in need of a preamp to boost my mic and needed something very simple. This turned out to be a decent choice. There IS some noise present but if everything is connected properly it won't be too much of a problem; the signal to noise ratio is pretty good. Also I wanted to test the theory of putting a tube preamp in front of a guitar using software amps to get a more dynamic sound...well, it WORKED and quite well. Though its only truly noticeable with the gain cranked up, you still get a FEEL much closer to using a real tube amp, not just the sonic character (something ALL modeling tech still misses on--yes even that $2000 amp modeler everyone seems to drool on--due to a number of factors). I was pretty impressed and now don't even think about plugging into my software amps without some kind of physical tube preamp in the signal.

  • from Owensboro, KY October 30, 2012Music Background:
    Musician, Audio Systems Technician

    Fit my need

    I purchased the ART Tube MP to use as a gain boost in our stage monitor setup. We use a pair of powered speakers for our front monitors and we use Roland Cube monitor amps as individual monitors for the band. This setup allows use to split our AUX feeds for some on-stage, personal tweaking. We put all the vocals in AUX 1, the instruments in AUX 2 and send them to each Cube monitor. The third channel of Cube handles a direct feed from the instrument. The front monitors use a mini mixer to feed the AUX signals to the powered speakers. The problem I had was that the Cube monitors AUX 1 channel is XLR in but channel 2 & 3 are 1/4". This sets up a signal imbalance between AUX 1 and AUX 2 that could not be compensated for at the main board. Thus the need for the signal boost on the 1/4" AUX 2 signal. The ART MP has handled that task very well. It has a fairly wide range of adjustment and is very flexible in achieving a good signal gain. I was not necessarily looking for the benefit of having the tube tone, but that seems to be nice, warm and rich. As an acoustic guitarist it has made me curious as to how it would sound as a DI for the guitar. I haven't tried it since I have a different setup to handle my acoustic amplification. I would also think that it would be a nice touch on vocals. I haven't had it in use very long, so I can't comment on how long it will last, but right now it seems to be a good unit.

  • from nyc July 30, 2012Music Background:
    live sound recording engineer

    again..so so...

    for those that are close to the floor...with
    dire straits bottom line equipment..this is a godsend.

    but for those that have spent few hundred dollars
    on mixers, or recorders, etc... this might be a downgrade
    in both sound quality ( squishing..and changing tones all over the place
    sometime to your liking, sometimes NOT...) and a guarantee of constant
    hissssing noise addition no matter what your gain is...
    but
    as an experimental toy, or LOUD gigs, or line level loud stuff going in...it might just work...
    NOT recommended for most condenser mics pls.
    might work on most cheap dynamics and cheap ribbons...and
    line level stuff.

  • from Southern California July 10, 2012Music Background:
    Worship team member, serious hobbyist

    If you don't have it-get it

    It's everything it's supposed to be for a very low price. I use it on my NS Design WAV electric upright bass at church (piezo pick-up). I needed something more than just a DI box to boost the signal to the mixer. This unit works great. Didn't need EQ, as I leave that to the sound guy.

  • from Southern California July 10, 2012Music Background:
    Worship team member, serious hobbyist

    If you don't have it-get it

    It's everything it's supposed to be for a very low price. I use it on my NS Design WAV electric upright bass at church (piezo pick-up). I needed something more than just a DI box to boost the signal to the mixer. This unit works great. Didn't need EQ, as I leave that to the sound guy.

  • from Fremont, Ohio May 8, 2012Music Background:
    Musician

    Even better

    I wrote an review as seen below, where I said that using the 20 db switch and the phase switch really boosted the output but I was wrong!. I didn't even need to go that far to exploit the capability of this awesome preamp!, I just simply disengaged all the switches and turned up the input and output knobs to half and adjusted the gain on my Mbox 2 interface accordingly and I have more gain than I'll ever need!, I'm buying another for my guitar a.s.a.p.!.

  • from Buffalo NY April 16, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Great, but replace tube

    Got this a few months ago to warm up bass and guitar, it peaked pretty easily. I switched out the tube to a sovitek tube. It now is much warmer and never peaks even when turned up to max. This also works great on vocalists, much better than any solid state preamp on a mixer.

  • from Fremont, Ohio March 23, 2012Music Background:
    Musician.

    Amazing!

    I ordered this preamp and received it the very next day!. This minor investment has made an drastic improvement in the sound and feel of my six string bass!. I thought I'd made an mistake until I engaged the 20db button and the phase switch and WOW!, the bass showed its true nature. If this bottom of the product line sounds like this then the more expensive ones should be unbelievable!!!.

  • from Washington State February 24, 2012Music Background:
    Technical background, no music.

    Simplicity and Substantiality

    For the price, one receives exceptional circuit design, excellent performance and solid construction. I use this MP for exchanging ideas and information. I record voice on PeakLE and send it as an email attachment.

    The specifications for this unit are no exaggeration. ART is a no nonsense technological company with the smarts to do it right.

  • from near Saratoga, NY January 11, 2012Music Background:
    jack of all trades, old dog learning new tricks.

    for what it cost, it works...

    This is a nice little pre. I have used it as a direct box for an active EMG pick up bass with good results as long as I don't drive it to hard. It does break up when overdriven, but for the music I play, soft acoustic mostly, the initial distortion is pleasing, however, go a bit further and it quickly turn to hash. But up to that point it adds a nice degree of warmth. Not so good with my Tele, I just did not care for the sound. I have yet to try it with a microphone, and I suspect that if you don't require too much gain, it will suffice. Like all gear, I wish it had an on - off switch. Plugging and unplugging a wall wart is not my idea of user friendly design. Well built box, I'll keep it. I have not tried swapping out the tube for a name brand and I suspect ART uses cheapo tubes, but if I ever run out of things to do, I may to see if that changes the distortion characteristics.

  • from Riverside, California January 3, 2012Music Background:
    Artist

    Art tube MP

    Works great for my purposes,

  • from Bluffton SC September 30, 2011Music Background:
    Sound and lighting tech for a large church

    Does the trick

    We needed to connect an XLR microphone needing phantom power to a home theater amplifier to have it work as a PA system.

    Plugged this into power, amp and mike into it and we were in business.

    Simple to use and works like a champ.

  • from Minnesota August 29, 2011Music Background:
    Live sound, Recording

    Good product Just saturate the tube and you should have no problems with it

    well I really like this I use 2 for my overhead mics because i dont have actual overhead mics the mics i use sound much better than overhead in my opinon but the one thing i had to do like with every new tube or new tube amp turn it on leave it on for 3-4 days to saturate the tube the tube MUST be burned in its what everyone seems to neglect causing every flaw ive read in all these reviews its a great product yeah the tube could be replaced if you wanna spend the $30 to get a good tube i will replace the tube eventually but it works great and i also use one from the out on my board then into my computer its easier than recording then transfering it to a tape then back to digital but always saturate anything that has a tube when the tube is brand new

  • from Phoenix, AZ March 4, 2011Music Background:
    Touring Musician - Over 8 Years

    Can't be beat for the price!

    I use this mixer for one reason and one reason alone. I connect my microphone to the pre amp, and then run into various stomp boxes, to use effects with my vocals. For this use, and any other use for a preamp, this is an absolute charm of a pre amp. It's incredibly powerful, and warm.

    For those leaving bad reviews, and thinking it should be as great as the $1,000 pre amps, you're crazy. It's affordable and a great bang for the buck.

  • from Orlando, FL USA May 6, 2010Music Background:
    Musician, Recording Engineer, Recording Arts Student .....

    Think about it

    If you want a really cheap mic pre maybe this is what you looking for. I recommend to just go a little bit higher and get at least the Tube Pac.
    I have a Tube Pac and it's awesome the warmness you can get in the sound but this one its no good the sound isn't great and you maybe having bad noise when you turn on the +20db.

  • from Wilmington, DE January 10, 2010Music Background:
    Professional Voiceover and Broadcaster

    Very Nice

    Warms the already excellent Shure SM-7B for professional broadcast & voiceover work I do. Perhaps output & gain could have be a bit more headroom. Overall good match.

  • from Jasper, Georgia July 7, 2009Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Musician and Singer, Home Recordist and Hobbyist,etc.

    Great if used correctly!!

    I really do love these actually! I own two of them. I can't think of a better pre to buy if your on a tight budget. But you do have to use them correctly. They can either sound really good or really bad depending on how you dial it up! They are super simple to operate. They really sound great as a mic-pre for vocals/acoustic guitar and it's a great direct box for bass guitar. Buy two of them!!

  • from February 8, 2009Music Background:
    profesinal music producer.

    Awesome tone and price

    You by this thing and happiness will flow through you like prune juice with old people. just an amazing tube pre. i have the presonus one too but dosent warm up the mics like this, especialy a large condenser mic. Buy at least 2 andd just use it for fantom power or extra volume and you will know the meaning of life.

  • from NY November 14, 2008Music Background:
    Songwriter, Producer

    A little black pepper

    This is a great little spice to add to your sonic stew. Every once in a while you may want to distort something or round it out a bit... this is a cool device for that. We recorded some bass through my Avalon 737 and then ran the signal out to this to give it a little crunch. As with all spices, use sparingly.

  • from New York, NY USA October 23, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer/Producer

    Surprisingly...good...

    I picked the ART Tube MP because (a) I wanted something to warm my vocals up and (b) I'm a hard budget. I wasn't expecting anything spectacular, so I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the sound coming out of this thing. It's obviously not an Avalon, but wow! It added warmth where I needed it.

  • from Indy October 9, 2008Music Background:
    20+ years writing and recording music

    Must have for ANY start-up studio

    If you are looking for a piece of gear that will warm up your vocals and acoustic guitars, then you have found it.
    For the price there is nothing on the market that can touch this. I can tell you in our small studio we give this thing a work out, and it has never failed to impress or perform.
    Buy the ART Tube MP you will not be disappointed.

  • from Byfield, MA October 6, 2008Music Background:
    Musician, Live and Recorded Sound

    Warm up your live sound!

    I got one of these when they first came out. I was still using a cassette 4 track to record demos at home- this was the perfect addition. Now I have a small digital recording studio and I still occasionally find myself throwing this in the mix for a certain sound. But more and more I have used it live as a preamp for acoustic guitar. It does add a little warmth (and edge if you want it) and is built pretty solid, not to mention being this affordable you could buy another for almost the price of a new tube if you break it!

  • from Meridian, ID USA August 25, 2008Music Background:
    Live Sound, Live Recording, Sound system consultant!

    Great Product!

    I love using these for live sound. I've been using them for 6 years. They are really smooth on acoustic guitars! They compress the sound in a very natural and pleasant way. I'll use one of these over a passive direct box any day! I've been know to throw one of these even on vocals if I don't have a compressor available. This can be just enough to make the extreme dynamics tolerable and makes vocal simply sound better in the process. These small preamps have an unusual way of gluing together what goes through them. Dynamics are less extreme and subtle harsh details are pleasantly softened. At the same time all the pleasant sound are left alone or enhanced. Line outs on an acoustic guitars rarely sound anywhere near as good as the actual guitar. These make these line outs much more pleasant. I've recorded some live stuff that was just not pleasant or enjoyable sounding. Running it through one of these before I start mixing is often a life saver. I purchased a TubeFire 8 hoping to get multiple channels of the Tube MP sound, but it doesn't have it. In a live setting, perfectly transparent is often harsh and unenjoyable. These Tube MP's somehow make these kinds of things simply more enjoyable.

  • from Texas May 19, 2007Music Background:
    Guitarist, Amateur Recording Engineer

    Is this for real?

    I bought two of these because I needed a couple cheap preamps to fill in for a while until I could get some better ones, but I didn't need to get better pre's after using these! I can't believe the quality of this preamp for such a great price! Very clear and subtle, even with phantom power. I recommend this to anyone looking for a good pre on a budget.

  • from vancouver b.c. canada December 18, 2006Music Background:
    engineer/ bassist/guitarist

    warm , basic , quiet , perfect !!!!

    i have just bought two tube mp's over the last week and replaced the stock chinese tubes(hissy and microphonic) with a JJ 12ax7 in one, and a Groove Tubes 12ax7 in the other.Im impressed with how clean these things run even with the gain up high. Let's just say you will probably never use the 20 db gain boost. These things definetly smooth out the peaks and with enough gain you could probably forgoe using a compressor on bass and percussion.

  • from Tiffin, OH July 26, 2006Music Background:
    recording / live sound engineer, singer & vocal percussionist, musician (cello, guitar, bass, sax) and music technologist in general

    That much for that much?

    Okay, this litle box is no $8000 preamp obviously, but I have used it on stage as DI to warm up my cello's/ acoustic guitar's somewhat harsh piezos, on bass (upright and electric); and in my project studio to track everything from vocals, to raps, to guitars, sax, bass...
    Would I like to use an Avlon DI instead on my bass signls - sure, but i can't afford one!
    This little box does more than any other under-$100- equipment-investment i have ever made and it does it well!!
    Also check out their Project Series TubeMP that can be found in the Sugary H2O of Fort Wayne, IN (and on this website).

  • from Brunswick, ME January 2, 2006

    Tube MP adds nice color Sterile Digi recordings

    I record a lot of hip hop, both vocals and tracking the beats out into protools and e-magic logic. This lil' pre-amp always come through. From kicks and snares, to bass lines; and from rappers to smooth backup r&b-ish vocal stacks, the Tube MP delivers. Try it out, its cheap, but worth more than its weight in gold!

Questions about the ART Tube MP?

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Type your question below or call us at (800) 222-4700

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