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ART USB Dual Pre Reviews

4.0 stars based on 15 customer reviews
Questions about the ART USB Dual Pre?

Questions about the ART USB Dual Pre?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • Gary Hall
    from October 24, 2014Music Background:
    Equipment designer, teacher, ambient performer

    Got more than I was looking for.

    I went shopping for a dual mic preamp to use with my performance rig based on iPad and iPod Touch. I ended up with not only a fine dual pre, but a very functional USB audio interface with 0-latency monitoring and mixing capability. I suppose I didn't study the description enough, because I was not expecting such full function. I had the impression is provided audio input in only. A very good set of functions at an excellent price. And it sounds good. Now I just need to decide if I need 2 more.

  • Piotr Grella-Mozejko
    from Edmonton, AB, Canada May 28, 2010Music Background:
    Composer/Pro Performer

    Excellent value for the money

    You will get what you paid for, and a little more. For the price, this unit is almost priceless. It works without a smallest hitch powered through USB port (even via a Belkin USB unpowered hub!). Considering its size (another big selling point for a touring musician!), it is very well designed; compact and sturdy. Both preamps are very quiet. The manufacturer claims that the unit may be used as an audio interface and, apparently, is valued for its clean, warm sound. As every one, I take such statements with a grain of salt. Yet what the manufacturer says is completely true! The sound is indeed clean and warm. ( If used for recording, I recommend normalising afterwards.) I use it with the fantastic Edirol FA-101 interface, connected through ins 3-4. Under MacOSX no drivers are necessary. Also, I was able to create an Aggregate Device on my Mac, combingthe Dual Pre with the Edirol interface, giving me 10 ins/12 outs; this works great with Ableton Live 8. I played recordings made with this setup (plus a pair of Samson cardioid mics) for a couple of top notch pro engineers. They were positively surprised by the very high quality of the resultant sound. I recommend this product very warmly. BTW, Sweetwater service was superb and friendly, at least as good as what we are used to in Canada. Overall VERY POSITIVE experience.

  • Oinc
    from Buffalo NY February 5, 2010Music Background:
    Composer, Classical music, Live-Electronics.

    Does exactly what it says...great unit.

    I'm giving this little a 5 start rating because I'm considering its price. You get 2 ins (XLR-1/4") and two outs (1/4") plus a headphone output. Works great, no noise, decent gain-level, USB powered, and ultra portable! I'm using it only for rehearsals with string quartets, solo bassoon, solo cello, etc and it works great. I'm using it both for MaxMSP and Logic. You can get decent materials out of it. Highly recommended for these occasions. However, I wouldn't use it for a live situation or a more serious recording project. Overall, highly recommended, and for $80 you can't go wrong. Trust me!

  • Peyton Morgan
    from Lynchburg, Va December 28, 2013Music Background:
    Serious Amateur Pianist/Musician

    Can record stereo mics to any PC USB with this.

    Gets it's power from the USB
    This unit takes XLR or high impedance input.
    (Dynamic or condenser mics, switchable phantom power)
    Headphone or XLR output.
    Using Audigy software, can edit/splice and output to MP3
    and create CDs
    I really like it.

  • Rick Hagerty
    from Kenosha WI August 7, 2010Music Background:
    Radio Theater Sound Engineer, Radio Show host/ producer

    Very Versatile and Handy

    Consumer reviews can be very misleading due to prejudices, misunderstandings and both positive and negative over reactions . I try to be objective and realistic because I like to be actually helpful rather than vent.
    Now on with the review. The Art USB Dual is a JEWEL Pre. The caveats? It'is neither a Grace Design preamp nor a 24 bit 96kHz Cakewalk interface. It's not intended to be a high end studio console that fits in your pocket. It is an extremely handy tool of excellent quality that can make remote productions very convenient and make your day. It is the most versatile product of it's nature. There's nothing else to compare it with. Let's take a close look. It's relatively tiny and very compact. That makes it easy to carry and store. The disadvantage here is the slight clumsy use of the controls. The preamps sound very good and he phantom power is claimed to be a full 48 volts. My unit seemed to be prone to slight hum on the USB line which turned out to be caused by my laptop a/c adapter. The bit depth is 16, which seems troublesome for folks who think numbers are the end all answer to sound quality . Sixteen bit depth at a 44.1 kHz sample rate is absolute CD quality and is the best your end product will be, no matter what. If you are doing very complex studio mixing and editing, you may need the 24 bit headroom. In that case you probably wouldn't be using a USB interface. Technique and mic quality are far more significant considerations.
    The battery compartment issue is interesting. I purchased the latest version, hoping the overly tight fit would be fixed. It is however, still a problem. If you insert the battery all the way it may become a permanent installation. I am actually going to turn this into a positive. Simply don't put it all the way down. It stays very secure even with the battery half exposed. The positive note here is that it helps to remind you to remove it after the job, thus saving battery leakage or drainage from forgetting to turn it off. Nothing is perfect, but I do think the USB Dual Pre is the perfect solution for portability and versatility. A combination USB interface and an analog preamp for providing a couple of extra inputs can make all the difference in achieving a successful project. As I said, there's nothing comparable. .

  • Jeremy
    from Gainesville, GA USA March 17, 2010Music Background:
    Student, Live Sound/Recording Engineer, Bass Player

    Excellent So Far

    I bought this box to replace a much larger rig (mixer, 8-track HDD Recorder) for some simple stereo recording; mostly instrumental/vocal recital-type stuff.

    So far, this Interface does exactly what it's supposed to. I'm running this through Ableton Live8 and it's working beautifully. Very low noise, clean sound.

    My only minor issue is the 9-volt battery slot is a bit difficult to work with... It's a piece of cardboard between the battery and the inner-workings of the preamp. This makes it difficult to change batteries.

    Other than that I'm pleased with it's performance.

    I'll post another review after I can get some serious use out of it.

  • Hank Hall
    from Valdosta, GA February 11, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician, hobbyist Recording and sound engineer

    So far, so good

    It took me a while to get it up and running properly in Adobe Audition. I had issues with noise, not recording properly, but but after a little research, I found it was Windows 7 issues, not issues with the ART USB Dual Pre. I've only used it a little so far, but its very straight forward and easy to control. If you get it figured out with your system, its an extremely quiet preamp. No latency if you get the recommended ASIO drivers. Also its built like a tank. On a budget and with a little patience to get everything configured, I definitely recommend the Art USB Dual Pre

  • Rick Smith
    from St Louis, MO USA September 25, 2013Music Background:
    Classic Rock and Contemporary Christian Guitarist

    Perfect little Guitar & Mic Input for iPad

    Just picked this unit up to use as an interface to my iPad for Digital guitar apps. Works like a champ. I really had to search the web to find out this will work with an iPad and it isn't directly stated so I will here. THIS WORKS WITH AN IPAD!

    I have guitar to one of the inputs, USB to iPad thru Camera Connection Kit, and one of the outputs back to my guitar rig mixer and power amp. I am using it to interface my guitar with JamUp Pro which provides excellent Guitar Amp and effects modeling. I have the ART USB + Ipad as one of the selectable preamps in my rig and it's perfect. Plus I still have the other input to use for a mic.

    I have tried several other options like iRig and GuitarConnect Pro and have had poor success, but now I have a winner. There are more expensive option that claim to work, but not for this awesome price and it's packed with features and VERY flexible and compact.

    With the battery, the preamp is powered by the battery but the USB path is powered by the buss so you don't draw as much power from the USB and keeps the iPad happy. It will also run without the battery powered strictly from the buss but the iPad may not like it as well.

    It also make a perfect little portable rig also. It is VERY compact and with the battery + USB buss power, All I need is my guitar, the Art USB, and my ipad and can send a feed to the Front of house or amp and also have built in headphone monitoring. Perfect!

    I also plan on recording some of my music with this thing using the built in 12 track recording in my guitar app. It would also work with other DAW recording apps for the iPad.

    The battery compartment is tight and I haven't had to remove it yet but I will get it out.

  • Mary Cottrill
    from Williamsburg VA August 14, 2013Music Background:
    Auditorium Manager and Technician

    Fixed computer audio problems

    Thanks for the tip on which product to purchase. This took care of ongoing computer audio problems from PowerPoint embeded movies. We can now rely on the sound to be right. Thanks!

  • Chris Blouch
    from VA, USA June 27, 2012Music Background:
    Keyboards/AV guy for small church

    Works but preamp a bit weak

    Wanted something more portable than hauling a Mackie 1202 mixer around to pull computer, device and mic audio into my laptop for podcasting. Worked well but the SM58 XLR mic was pretty soft even with the gain all the way up while I had to keep the gain down for the iPhone on the second channel. Seems the preamp isn't quite as strong as the one I have in the Mackie mixer, but this is a lot more portable.

  • USAMindy
    from OH June 23, 2012Music Background:

    USB preamp

    includes two inputs, compact, sturdy, easy solution

  • Jay Downing
    from Fulton, Missouri February 25, 2015Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, musician for 38 years

    It works

    Not a bad preamp. This one loads it's own drivers and is ready to go quickly. The web is replete with horror stories about USB interface software that doesn't work with certain operating systems or software programs, but this one is simple. Sounds clear and strong. On/Off light is on either way. Phantom power light is always off either way (?) The green signal indicator light comes on only shortly before the clip light comes on, but I'm sure that this is to encourage a strong, usable signal. Satisfied an old cranky guy that hates computers, but is learning to deal with it. Could be better, but I'll take it.

  • David
    from Phoenix, AZ February 2, 2015Music Background:
    semi pro musician.

    Some driver issues

    For the price this provides very good sounding I/O. It worked fine with Windows 7. However, the lack of a driver for Chrome is disappointing. Chome is expected to catch Apple in market share in the coming year (although the market will still be Windows dominated) so this needs to be fixed.

  • Customer
    from March 14, 2010

    Take out battery: simple

    Superglue a heavy-duty L-shape to the battery and you will be able to pull it out.

  • Paul T
    from Seattle, WA June 26, 2009Music Background:
    Nature Recordist

    Nice unit with fatal flaw; can't remove dead batteries!

    Electrically, this dual preamp does exactly what it should. The pres are quiet, the construction quality is robust (with one glaring exception- more on that in a minute) and the pots are static-free. When running the unit on an external power adapter (not included) or via USB, you'll probably be a happy camper.

    HOWEVER. If you need to run it on a 9V battery for field use, you're out of luck. The battery "compartment" is, believe it or not, a taped-together CARDBOARD sleeve which seems to be intended to keep the battery case from shorting out the nearby, and fully exposed, electronics. The battery is held in place by friction alone; there are no walls whatsoever on the battery 'compartment.' Unfortunately (to put it mildly) there is absolutely no way to remove a dead battery from the unit! That's right, it's stuck in there forever. There's no room for needle-nosed pliers to get a grip, there's no possible way to get your fingernails around the battery, there's no little red 'battery removal' ribbon like there used to be on old-fashioned electronics... and even if there were, the cardboard sleeve fits in the opening so tightly that I'm not sure the battery could be removed before the ribbon broke.

    Unless you have the foresight to stuff a little gremlin inside the unit who can shove dead batteries out for you, (which I didn't,) you're well and truly out of luck when it comes time to change the battery.

    ART really blew it on the battery 'compartment' design. The unit is otherwise a dandy, affordable preamp- but how they let this flaw get past them is anyone's guess. Disappointing, to say the very least.

Questions about the ART USB Dual Pre?

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