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Studio Projects VTB1 Reviews

4.0 stars based on 21 customer reviews
Questions about the Studio Projects VTB1?

Questions about the Studio Projects VTB1?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • Dlund
    from Seattle, WA USA January 18, 2012Music Background:
    Pro engineer for over 12yrs.

    Great little pre

    Very versatile little preamp. Lots of headroom. Bright and clear. Used with Rode NT1 and sE-X1 mics as well as many others everything sounds great. This is my go-to bass DI box. Dial in a little tube drive on it and this will cover just about any electric bass tone you could want. If you're thinking about this one, just do yourself a favor and get it.

  • Robert Turner
    from Floral Park, NY February 13, 2010Music Background:
    Amateur Hobbyist Recording Musician.

    The Studio Projects VTB1 Mic Pre amp

    I just finished recording some vocals with the Studio Projects VTB1 Mic Pre Amp. I used to have to eat the mic to get any volume or punch on the vocals. This thing is fantastic. It adds such warmth and depth to the sound of your voice. I had been relying on the mic pre-amps that came with my Yamaha recorder. They seemed to do the job at first, but the vocals always sounded flat, dead, no presence. I bought the Studio Projects VTB1 and right out of the box I couldn't believe how much better the vocals sounded.
    It works great on acoustic guitars too. I didn't add any hiss or harshness to the sound at all. You can adjust the amount of solid state vs. tube warmth sound you want. I found it sounded best with the knobs set straight up the middle at the 12 o'clock settings. Equal amount of tube and solid state. It's not that the pre amp just makes your vocals sound louder, it makes them sound better, more professional sounding. And who doesn't want that. You can't go wrong.

  • Acoustic Guy
    from Wyoming, USA September 22, 2008Music Background:

    Very Solid Construction and Sound!

    The first thing I noticed when I pulled it out of the box was the solid construction. Well built and doesn't feel like cheap plastic as some others tend to. I use this with my toneport UX2 and AKG perception 200 mic, and it really gives a great boost in tone and volume. Very quiet as well. Excellent value for this price range.

  • Joshua "J-Duvv" Harris
    from Southaven, MS USA April 28, 2008Music Background:
    Producer, Recording Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Student, Etc.....

    Very Valuable Mic Pre at a Very Reasonable Price

    I just got the mic on 4/25/08, and I'm already in love with the sound that's generated from it. I recommend this mic pre to any and every one.

  • Donnie Bryant
    from Georgia February 3, 2008Music Background:
    cow bell professional

    Best tube pre for the $$$$$

    I can't believe a $120 sound good as some of the $1000 + pres I have used to record acoustic guitar, voice etc.. This is the way it should be. Everything priced cheap and not a mortgage payment. Jeez. A freind told me this was a deal and he was right. And my ears believe it. Put a vintage tube in it..and it will sound even better..

  • Chad
    from chicago February 18, 2007Music Background:
    Recording Engineer and Pro Musician


    I couldn't believe the vocals I got out of this $130 pre. They put all the money into the circutry on this one. If you're thinking about it, buy it.

  • Srdjan Merkovic
    from September 24, 2014Music Background:

    Studio Projects VTB1

    A little richer sound of the same microphone at the same position than JoeMeek SixQ, picked up every detail that needs to be picked up. Great dynamic and S/N ratio.

  • Bunny Hider
    from The Batcave June 20, 2011Music Background:
    writer, performer, engineer

    fail safe little buy

    Super handy and well built. If your a home recording type on a budget pick one up. you can run whatever through it, jack up your signal and add some warmth. if your tracking drums it's a nice boost for a 57 on a snare...seriously, if your just getting going with tracking on your own grab one for sure!

  • Kevin
    from July 16, 2010


    If I could describe this pre in one word, it would be "Warm!" Really! For the price it amazed me. Great value! Sounds great on vocals and acoustic guitar. However, I think the best use of this pre is using it as a DI for Bass. This thing made my cheap starter bass sound HUGE! The only thing I didn't really like about this unit is the tube blend. The tube sounds cheap, and distorts if you turn the knob past a certain setting. Also, make sure it warms up for half an hour before using it, or it sounds cold and brittle. Other than that, highly recommend this pre whether its your first pre, or if your a big gearhead who's curious about what the big deal is about the VTB1. Satisfied.

  • Nelson
    from Evanston, IL September 11, 2008Music Background:
    Music Tech/Music Performance Student

    Great Value

    I bought this preamp for use with a Beyerdynamic condenser a few years ago and it has worked amazingly ever since. Recently I bought an Oktava ribbon mic, which generally requires quite a bit of gain, and this preamp does the job fairly well. I have to turn it up more than I would like to, but it's a $120 pre on a quiet ribbon mic.

    On male vocals I found the tube blend to be a pleasant feature, but I'd be fine without it.

    I lost the power adapter and contacted Studio Projects but they never got back to me. I'm not a fan of their customer service... after 2 e-mails and a phone call I never got a hold of them. After a little bit of searching I found an adapter elsewhere that matched perfectly for $20.

    The half-rackspace form factor is nice too. I doubt you will find a better value on a budget preamp than with this. I plan on buying another one soon!

  • Kevin
    from US December 24, 2010

    Great for the price.

    I've used this pre for a while now, and I know it inside out. If you own preamps in general you know what that means because it takes a while to really discover what a pre is capable of. That being said, if you need something to warm up your sound or add character, and you don't have money to blow, GET THIS PREAMP. Hell even if you do have much more money to blow, get this preamp. Sounds FANTASTIC on bass. You can get huuuge tones out of this thing with bass. Sounds great on acoustic guitar too. The thing I love the most about this pre tho...wait for it.......it's an incredible D.I. too! I mean I run everything through here from bass to keyboards to electric guitar and they all sound great. Even greater is that you can warm up those d.i. signals with the tube blend, which does distort after a certain point, but I'll be honest I kind of like the distortion (doesn't mean you will). As for concerns, this pre can get a little muddy if it isn't used right, and also isn't the most versatile pre on the market. What do you expect with that price though? I do hear replacing the tube in this device is easy and makes it sound much better. So let's simplify: warm, huge bass, great price.

  • Seventh King
    from South of Chicago May 1, 2008Music Background:
    Musician, Engineer

    Worth Your Time and Money

    I can't say enough about the air and smooth touch this gives to vocals. I've had this pre for about 4 months now, and I couldn't be happier. I compared recent tracks done with the SP to other midrange priced pres (e.g. 600.00 or less), and can say that the SP holds it's own.

  • Alex
    from Omaha Nebraska December 19, 2007Music Background:
    Musician and recording hobbyist

    Great Buy

    This pre Paired with the Studio Projects C1 is a great team. I have gotten amazing Acoustic guitar tone and Amazing Vocal tone out of them. I also have the Presonus Blue Tube pre but sense i got this its just sitting there. I plan to mod the tubes and once i do im sure i will be using this for a long time.

    Studio Projects mic's are the closest your going to get to pro sound in the price range. The same goes for this pre.

  • Dave G
    from PHX, AZ USA August 25, 2009Music Background:

    not bad!

    For the money this is a great little pre. Yes, it's not a real tube pre, it's a starved-plate...so don't expect much more than wool from the tube section.
    It's the SS section that is good. I have a UA LA-610 and Focusrite ISA428 and the VTB-1 still gets good use as a kickdrum pre. Forward and tight sound; if more girth is needed I'll chain it to a Sherman filterbank and/or pump it through a tube amp.
    I haven't heard a better pre under $500 for recording acoustic guitar, either. Nice clarity and air, if not particularly powerful - but this makes it PERFECT for layering and not so much for solo instruments - sounds wonderful on a Martin 12 string!

  • Wild Bill
    from May 16, 2008

    Cinderella Tube Pre

    If you have the "Tube" adjustment set past 12 o'clock, your tracks will sound brittle with too much color. Does well with Bass, but is best with vocal tracks. This is not an UA product. This pre-will work until you can afford something better
    (e.g. RNP, or UA solo 610).

  • Customer
    from Arizona September 3, 2012Music Background:
    Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer, Pro Musician

    Its Okay

    This Mic Preamp works good. Not my favorite. Had to take it in because it started to malfunction after 3 months. I really dislike that this preamp does not have an on and off button and the XLR input and output dont click in so it feels like the mic cables are gonna fall right out although they dont.

  • Ian North
    from miami beach January 2, 2010Music Background:
    Pro Musician, former owner of I.N.S. Recording , N.Y.C.

    Very Clean, Nice Sound

    The tube just distorts the sound of vocals. But with the tube off, this is a very clean smooth sounding preamp. You'll have to spend more than a grand to get a cleaner better sounding preamp.

  • Martin Rowell
    from Albuquerque, NM August 20, 2011Music Background:
    Guitarist, recordist. producerist

    Studio Projects VTB1

    I was looking for a tube preamp to sweeten up our vocals. The VTB1 has a tube, but it's a starved plate tube...not enough voltage to do much.

    Having said that, I A/B'd against another preamp and with no preamp. The VTB1 was just slightly better. Not what I had hoped for, but better than what I had.

  • Customer
    from Chicago, IL USA October 11, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Good entry mic pre

    I bought this just because I needed an extra pre for a project. Figured the tube thing would be just a throw away feature, but it was actually nice to add to DI instruments. That being said it's not the best pre available. But it was slightly better than one I paid about a $100 more for. It would be a good entry level pre, but for $350 more you could probably get a less muddy pre.

  • Roland Ciuoderis
    from Los angeles November 2, 2009Music Background:


    Stopped working after using it for only a few times. Built like a tank with a bad engine.

  • Julian
    from Miami November 1, 2004

    Great piece of gear

    Basically, right now, I have no money. I didn't want to use a mixer cause I'm only programming tracks and recording one vocal at a time right now. I just wanted a good mic, a sound card, some kind of router for monitoring, and a decent sounding preamp. I knew I wasn't going to get the best thing out there. Well, I was literally blown away when I heard this preamp in conjunction with my Studio Projects C1. It's sounds great and was way above the sound that I expected. Decent headroom, clean sound and a touch of flattery especially with a little bit of the tube drive on, but not a whole lot( you have to mess with the input and output signal on the VTB-1 along with the tube drive to get the sound you want). I've worked with a Voxbox since we have one at my school, I've heard the ISA series preamps from Focusrite and a few Neve's, which are all some of my favorite's. I must say, this preamp fair's quite well against them and for $130, you absolutely cannot go wrong. Just add a little processing from Waves along with Cubase SX(which I love), and you've got sweetness for days. Soooo...If you're tired of that schrill, sterile Mackie sound or that overly warm, almost dead sound of Allen & Heath then get this preamp with a C1(made by the same company- that's exactly my combination). I kid you not, you will be knocking on TLM103/Focusrite ISA territory, which is never bad!

Questions about the Studio Projects VTB1?

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