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PreSonus TUBEPre Reviews

4.0 stars based on 22 customer reviews
  • Billy Guilty
    from Salisbury MA August 19, 2011Music Background:
    60's and 70's rock giging musician

    sweet deal

    Your reading this because you know what your doing. You want to warm up some vocals or or put them a little more up front. This will do it. More than enough gain and just the right amount of drive to fatten em up. Plenty of head room if you take the time and dial it in. I first bought one to use with an SM 58. Liked it so much i bought another to use with my Super 55. I'ts powereful be carefull. Every gig i've played since i bought it i have recieved good compliments on the vocals sound. You can spend more money on another if you want but why??? Great for a gigs...

  • Customer
    from Fl July 10, 2010Music Background:
    Live sound Eng., Musician

    Great Investment

    Bought one of these several years ago. Great for vox, and I sometimes use this on bass guitar when on gigs. There's a significant difference when using on the bass guitar. Also, its a nice switch looking at that glowing VU meter instead of LEDs.

  • Jeff Harker
    from Columbia City, IN October 1, 2009Music Background:
    Electrical Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Vocalist

    Very, very nice preamp!

    This is one nice preamp. I use the TUBEPre as a live vocal preamp and love the sound coming from a Sennheiser e935 on the input, with the tube drive set at about 1 o'clock. I did replace the stock tube with an Electro-Harmonix "Mullard," and this combination yields an incredibly nice smooth and rich sound on my own voice. Very nice single channel preamp.

  • John Purcell
    from In Transition, USA July 11, 2011Music Background:
    Keyboard Player, Sound Sculptor, Obsessive Autodidact

    Great Vocal Pre for the Money

    This PreAmp does a really nice job of smoothing things out, and has (along with a Focusrite Saffire Pro) greatly improved the front end of my project studio. It's quite easy to get good levels (I'm not sure the meter is all that accurate, but it helps) I replaced the tube with a Mesa SPAX7, and that REALLY made things better in terms of noise. I'm sure lots of you home studio types have experienced difficulties in reducing ambient noise - AC, dishwasher, computer hum, traffic, sirens, etc.. The TUBEPre has really helped with this - so much so, that when I stop speaking I hear basically nothing. I really recommend switching out the tube - It's very easy, and the difference is worth it.

  • G
    from Yap, Micronesia December 1, 2009Music Background:
    Live Singer, Hobbyist

    Can beat the vocal warmth for the $$$!

    This is a really solid vocal preamp. I use it for live shows and it does a really nice job warming up the vocals when you turn up the drive. It gives you a nice, heavy, "breathy" sound for you guys out there that like to sing close to the mic (like me). I don't belt it out in most songs, and this little preamp helps deliver the warm sound I want and it really sounds so much better than just running my vocals through a mixer. I did upgrade to the Mullard tube and replaced the stock tube, but the stock tube sounds good too...the Mullard just has a certain quality I personally like. Oh, bonus: it has an instrument input, so you can warm up your guitar or bass while you at it ;-) Buy this preamp!

  • Kip
    from New City, NY USA August 18, 2008Music Background:

    I love this thing.

    I bought this TubePre preamp years ago. I originally wanted a step up from the built in pres on my Digi001. I loved using it over those 001 pres. Recently, I got another $300 range dual tube preamp, but I ended up selling it and going back to this TubePre. I love this thing. It's my favorite on acoustic guitar with an Audio-Technica Pro37, and my favorite on vocals with a Rode NT1000. Makes an excellent direct box for recording guitar or bass into your DAW as well. For the price, you can't beat this pre. It's useful in so many ways, I may buy another. Only down side is the light for the meter burned out within the first year. Oh well.

  • Jay Anthony
    from New Orlenas May 3, 2008Music Background:
    Producer, Enginner, and Song Writer

    Great Product!!!

    I purchased the PreSonus TubePre to see how good it works running sounds from keyboard workstations to pro tools and i was very suprised, very thick warm sounds which makes it easy to mix.I didn't get the chance to use it for vocals yet but pretty sure it works great too. I strongly recommend this pre amp if you in recording engineering and producing. OO yeah and its a very good price lolz

  • Anonymous Sources
    from Saint Louis, MO USA March 16, 2008Music Background:
    Semi-pro musician, hobbyist, home studio

    Versatile, sounds great

    I upgraded the tube in this preamp and run my '77 Rhodes Mark I through it into a pretty dated solid-state Fender Bass amp.. the results are pretty amazing. Also works well with a bass through the same amp and as a pre-amp for recording purposes. 2 outputs let you use it as a DI box, too. I highly recommend this product, and pretty much everything I've tried from Presonus has sounded great, why don't they just invest in some freakin power switches? Just an annoyance, but come on what's the deal? Anyway, beef up your tone... check out this pre.

  • Kory Knabenshue
    from February 2, 2007


    This is a cool product. I have used it for mics and guitars. The cool thing about it is you can have a mic plugged into the XLR input and play through the 1/4 inch output. You can also use the 1/4 inch's together at the same time as using the XLR's together. So you can use it for a guitar and a mic at the same time and to different amps or speakers.

  • bluesTone
    from Amarillo, TX August 12, 2011Music Background:

    nice pre amp

    Presonus has delivered a standard in this product that should be copied. How about a no-hype, does what it says, is what it is, pre-amp at a cost just about anyone can afford? I originally bought these for low-cost recording facilities I installed at my universerity, they were so transparent and reliable I decided to try them in my own studio. For awhile I was using the tube section to add subtle warmth to my condenser mics but soon realized that the solid state pre-amp in the device was very transparent stand-alone, low-noise, and IMO very good sounding. My large diameter condenser mics deliver a ton of spacious ambience along with the source target through this amp. The devices are rugged even though the construction appears thrifty. Folks with electronics skills will appreciate how easy it is to modify one of these. You can experiment with different 12AX7s if you want to get a different tone but I like the stock choice. They've been producing for years now, no failures and the devices installed at the university are hot 24-7. I may invest in a Focusrite ISA One to have more features and an upgraded sound but can't justify it yet, these little tube-pre amps just won't give upů

  • Daniel
    from Sacramento September 19, 2009Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Home Studio Owner

    Great Buy!

    As some of the other reviewers have stated, there is some noise (at very high gains), but certainly not enough to ruin the product. The sound that this tube pre provides is wonderful for the price.

    The fact that if need be the tube can be upgraded to other tubes also gives this product added versatility.

    I woulod recomend this product, and I may buy more of them!

  • phagood
    from Nashville, TN October 14, 2008Music Background:
    Live Sound, Studio Engineering

    Nice Little Piece

    Works great as an instrument DI. Like the gain and drive knobs, and the meter. Adds a bit too much noise to a vocal or acoustic track. One important thing is to upgrade the stock tube. That will help noise, and make it much smoother. But a great buy for the price.

  • phagood
    from Nashville, TN USA September 13, 2008Music Background:
    Live Sound, Recording Engineer, Music Business Student

    Great DI

    This is a nice little Pre for the price. It is a great DI for bass, or anything that needs a little warmth. The stock tube is not anything special, but with a tube upgrade it really brings the overdrive to life. A good buy to have around for live sound. It is a bit noisy for the studio, but for a low budget still a studio option.

  • Josh Conti
    from Titusville, FL January 29, 2008Music Background:
    Engineer, Producer, Musician


    After buying 2 Studio Projects C1 mics from Sweetwater awhile back (and i bought 2 because of how amazing they are), I realized that I needed to clean up my mic sound by bypassing the internal 48v phantom power on my board. Im not made of money so I had to shop the lower tier preamps... since i had used presonus equipment before I decided to pick up a Tubepre and after plugging it in for the first time I was impressed. For under 100 bucks this little box had cleaned up my signal and warmed up my mics. I had always appreciated the sound of my C1s but after running them through the Tubepre, i liked them even more. I record alot of vocals and Im not a fan of using compression or massive amounts of eq to make a voice cut through a mix and this unit helps me bring the vocals out just the way i want them to. I was recording a female alt acoustic artist (vocals, guitar and percussion tracks) at a friend's project studio and after putting his Rode NTK next to my C1 and Tubepre chain (both mics running into a m-audio 1814 connected to a custom pc running protools m-powered)and during mixdown I and the artist both kept favoring the C1 tracks over the NTK tracks. So much so that when I was listening to the final track in my car, I realized that I had relegated the NTK tracks to a background/ambience role and the C1 tracks I had moved to the front of the mix. I love my Tubepre and I bought a second one sometime ago so i could run both C1s one their own preamp. I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone for any application and any mic. The only thing I dislike on this unit is the lack of a power switch. It's annoying to have to reach around all my gear to unplug it everytime I use it. But the present mids, transparent highs and deep bass and the warmth of a 12ax7 tube far outweigh the lack of a switch.

  • J HOOK
    from Los Angeles January 18, 2009Music Background:
    1st im a Producer, 2ed Recording Engineer,

    I Like it but just "LIKE" not love :(

    i have just for vocals and its cool......but it hums way to loud and i get that in my playback on my PT 7.4 LE i am going to chang out the tube but a $100.00 and your on your way up to a better sound and a stronger mic (- the hummmmmmm) i like it over all it get the job done

  • jeremy
    from michigan August 25, 2011Music Background:
    home recording, musician

    so so

    well. i liked this better than the other presonus equipment i've messed with but it still didn't toot my horn to say the least. very thin sound not much beef on the tone. unimpressed. i took it back and bought another art tube mp. which i know has a bad rep but i still like it more than this one.

  • Tracelle Givens
    from Dallas, Texas November 12, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer

    Good for Starters

    This pre-amp will be ideal for a person that doesnt know much about pre-amps. But for me I kind of out grew this pre-amp plus the tube started shorting out so I tried to replace it and it hasnt been right ever since. Its a decent pre-amp for a average home studio but after a year or so of using it you will want to just spend the money for a quality pre-amp. Sometimes (most times) paying for quality is better than being frugal.

  • Jon
    from Haslett, MI February 18, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Studio Owner

    Too Noisy

    This is a preamp for the price. There is too much self noise, however. It's not a true tube amp. Also, the gain doesn't do much.

  • LCD
    from Maryland, USA March 30, 2006

    Definitely a great value.

    Plain and simple... for $100 this is about as good as you can get. Warm sound, reliable, great on vocals and instruments. My only gripe: NO POWER SWITCH! But I work around it. If you're on a budget, this one's for you.

  • nick
    from nj April 1, 2005


    while i agree with the other reviewers that this is a great sounding tube pre at a fantastic price i must say that my tube burnt out and got real noisy after only about a year of use, and when i tried to open the unit to change the tube one of the screws was stuck and ended up getting stripped....now i am left with a useless 100$ tube pre.....i like it, but i would move up in quality on my next one

  • M.Knox
    from Philadelphia, PA. January 1, 2005

    Totally worth it!!!

    OK. I purchased this strictly for vocals and I have to say for the price tag I am impressed to the fullest. This unit adds warmth to your vacals as soon as you plug it and it sounds very natural which is very important to me. As a HipHop producer most of my clients love this sound and so do I. Very simple to use plus it seems to work even before you turn up the drive. It has plent of gain for anyone in any situation so dont be fooled by the price tag. This is quality not crap! By far the best in its price range. I plan on buying the rest of the units that accompany this one, I cant wait. If your worried about budget this is the solution!

  • Todd Zimmerman
    from Kalamazoo, MI January 1, 2004

    TubePre better than it should be.

    This tiny preamp is much better than it should be for the price.
    While I am not really impressed with it as a mic preamp (vocals),
    as an instrument preamp it really shines. It sounds great on a direct bass signal.
    There are drawbacks, no power switch, rear I/O only, wall wart...
    but what do you expect for a unit that costs next to nothing.
    If you are looking for something with more character than your mixer's preamps,
    this is worth checking into.

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