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  1. #1

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    I have the Focusrite 2i2 going into my iMac. It has its own preamp already, so is there any point in getting a pre-preamp, and without spending thousands, would the Art Tube V3 a good choice?

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  3. #2

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    I’ve just found this thread The Art Tube MP Studio V3 where DB talks about his. Seems a good choice.

  4. #3

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    I’ve used an Art tube preamp for years - it’s a great product at a great price. When I got the first one, there was no “prosumer” DAI with a built in preamp, but that’s no longer the case. The Art is a tiny bit warmer than the preamps in my DAIs. I haven’t noticed a major audible improvement over the onboard preamp in my M-Audio DAI by running the Art into the line input for mic or guitar. The current Focusrite preamps sound good to me, but they are quite neutral - so a touch of tube coloration might be pleasing to many.

    I think most of the warmth described by others (eg in DB’s review) using the V3 Art is from the voicing control’s effect rather than from the preamp itself. So I might consider a pedal like the Jr Barnyard rather than the Art - it’d be more useful and versatile.

    These days, the only thing I use it for is as a mic preamp into the aux input on my Little Jazz when we need a mic for a gig. I have this earlier version, which obviously lacks the voicing control:
    Art Tube V3 preamp - should I get one?-bb473892-4434-4250-82d1-4d002af35c32-jpeg

  5. #4

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    I think that's the one I have myself and almost forgotten. I will try it out to warm up the tone of my Peavey SS practice amp.

  6. #5

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    I got one a while ago and have used it on most of my recent videos. I use it on the ‘neutral vocal’ setting which warms up the guitar sound a bit.

    (I record my 175 direct into the Tube preamp then feed that into a Focusrite 2i2, then from there into Reaper on my desktop PC.)

  7. #6

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    I have one stashed away, I’m always impressed by how good it sounds, must bust it out and do some recording with it

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    I’ve used an Art tube preamp for years - it’s a great product at a great price. When I got the first one, there was no “prosumer” DAI with a built in preamp, but that’s no longer the case. The Art is a tiny bit warmer than the preamps in my DAIs. I haven’t noticed a major audible improvement over the onboard preamp in my M-Audio DAI by running the Art into the line input for mic or guitar. The current Focusrite preamps sound good to me, but they are quite neutral - so a touch of tube coloration might be pleasing to many.

    I think most of the warmth described by others (eg in DB’s review) using the V3 Art is from the voicing control’s effect rather than from the preamp itself. So I might consider a pedal like the Jr Barnyard rather than the Art - it’d be more useful and versatile.

    These days, the only thing I use it for is as a mic preamp into the aux input on my Little Jazz when we need a mic for a gig. I have this earlier version, which obviously lacks the voicing control:
    Art Tube V3 preamp - should I get one?-bb473892-4434-4250-82d1-4d002af35c32-jpeg
    I have the V3. I like how it sounds with either a mic or guitar plugged in going from the Art to a Steinberg audio interface. The Art also adds a nice touch in the FX loop of my Pod Go.
    I think your model is better for tube swapping than the V3 and they all sound about the same minus the voicings on the V3.
    I did put a NOS 5751 in the V3. Triple mica black plate that was around 35-40 dollars.

    Not everything sounds good in the FX loop of my Pod Go amp/cab sim. The Art does. Low noise matters and it sounds like a good tube preamp.

    Guitar amps are far from ' neutral'. I don't know it the Arts would be of much use as a preamp for a regular guitar amp but they're a real swiss army knife of a device.

    Big thumbs up for the Art preamps especially considering the cost.

    It I was going to take a step up and not want to shell out the $ for a Kingsley Maiden, The Marty Friedman Model Beyond sounds good. It has 3-band EQ.

  9. #8

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    I was using ART DPS II, which is a higher model of ART tube preamp.
    And at the same time I was using Focusrite Scarlett. I have sold ART and I still have Scarlett, which sounds better IMO.

    You already have Scarlett, ART might be disappointing. ART played into Behringer UMC would be an improvement, though.

  10. #9

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    The point is that the Focusrite is pretty neutral, it is meant as a USB interface primarily, plugging your guitar straight into it may not have the colouration you could get from an amp.

    I find using the Tube amp in front of it, and using its voicing settings, is a convenient way of adding some colouration to the direct guitar sound for recording, without messing about with amplifier line outs etc.

  11. #10

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    I think that what I’ll do, Graham. But why Reaper instead of ProTools that comes with the Focusrite?

  12. #11

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    Focusrites seem to have a little more juice than other AI's in that price range. The bit of tube glow the Arts add might not be a big deal for some.
    I think it can enhance cheaper digital devices because of the low noise.

  13. #12

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    When looking among small, inexpensive tube preamps I would suggest Presonus TubePRE rather than ART.
    Both they are starved plate units, use the same bulb, but TubePRE is less noisy.

  14. #13

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    But without the voicings option, which for someone absolutely fearful of technology might make the experience more bearable!

  15. #14

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    Drive knob does the same in TubePRE as Voicing in the ART.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    I think that what I’ll do, Graham. But why Reaper instead of ProTools that comes with the Focusrite?
    I already had Reaper. Can’t be bothered to learn how to do everything in a different program!

  17. #16

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    Too late, guys, the Art it is! Ordered. From what I've heard from recordings by grahambop and DutchBopper, it's exactly what I'm looking for.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by msankowski
    Drive knob does the same in TubePRE as Voicing in the ART.
    Does it? Looks like an overdrive control according to their website.

    As far as I know the ART voicing settings are not really overdrives, they mainly change the sound colouration. I tried them all out initially and there was no overdrive effect from them, as I recall.

  19. #18

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    Good! Decision made and executed gives peace. At least for some time.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Too late, guys, the Art it is! Ordered. From what I've heard from recordings by grahambop and DutchBopper, it's exactly what I'm looking for.
    Cool. Don’t worry about the voicing control, it just has a load of different settings which change the tone/colouration a bit. When I got mine I tried all of them and just picked the one I liked the best. There are a couple of ‘guitar’ settings but as I said before, I preferred one of the ‘vocal’ settings.

  21. #20

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    If we talking about recording..I use simply my small tube combo balanced out directly to the Focusrite 2/2.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Does it? Looks like an overdrive control according to their website.

    As far as I know the ART voicing settings are not really overdrives, they mainly change the sound colouration. I tried them all out initially and there was no overdrive effect from them, as I recall.
    This is marketing language. Overdrive, colouration, distortion is all about adding harmonics. In a tube preamp it is done by regulating grid voltage (driving the bulb).

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by msankowski
    This is marketing language. Overdrive, colouration, distortion is all about adding harmonics. In a tube preamp it is done by regulating grid voltage (driving the bulb).
    From what I’ve read, it sounds as if there maybe some EQ involved in the ART settings as well? Either way, the settings are very easy to use.

  24. #23

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    Okay, it has arrived with a power lead but no patch lead to connect to the Scarlett, which is understandable but not expected.

    So, please recommend a very short patch lead. Keep in mind I know nothing at all about this stuff, so a direct UK link would be appreciated.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Okay, it has arrived with a power lead but no patch lead to connect to the Scarlett, which is understandable but not expected.

    So, please recommend a very short patch lead. Keep in mind I know nothing at all about this stuff, so a direct UK link would be appreciated.
    Both devices have balanced inputs and outputs. All you need is a male to female XLR cable to connect the preamp output to the 2i2 input. Amazon Basics has 3’ cables available for $13USD per pair from their US site. But any decent local or online musical instrument vendor should have microphone cables. A single standard 6’ cable should cost you about 10 pounds.

    You can also just use a guitar cable to connect the unbalanced preamp out to the 2i2 in. Audiophiles believe that the unbalanced I/O degrades sound quality, but I’ve not found this to be audible when recording guitar unless there’s electrical noise to which balanced lines are less susceptible (or you use a really thin, cheap, poorly shielded cable). If you find that a simple guitar cable works fine, you can buy patch cables with 1/4” male connectors on both ends from Amazon et al in lengths from a few inches up.

    We look forward to seeing and hearing how you do, Rob.

  26. #25

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    I just connect it with a very short standard guitar cable. Sounds fine to me.