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ART vs. PRESONUS Debate...Please Help!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by thepooch, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. thepooch

    thepooch Guest

    We're in the process of upgrading our studio, in I'm in a debate with my producer about which pre-amp to go with. We're looking for the best upgrade to get a better sound in vocals. Our style of music we've been recording has been Rap, R&B, and worship. We're upgrading our mic to a Shure KSM27. Right now we're using the pre-amp built-in our Behringer mixer. I suggested, because of all it's features, that we get the
    "ART DPS II Stereo Tube Preamp with Digital Out"
    (Dead Link Removed)
    (Dead Link Removed)

    Of course the Presonus is $150 cheaper than the ART, but I just think we wouldn't have to go through the upgrading process again any time soon if we go with the ART. And plus I heard that particular Presonus model has a britle sound, and the tube that comes with it is not quality.

    What would you do? As for a budget, I would say that $250 would be the max. If you need more info please feel free to ask. I didn't want to post too much info that you wouldn't want to read all of it.
  2. poprocks

    poprocks Guest

    In this price range, it's really a toss up. Keep in mind that the ART has two channels so look at cost per channel, not total cost. Both of these items are going to get you from point A to point B, but I sincerely doubt one's going to do it much better than the other. Get the one with the best cost/features ratio you can afford.
  3. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    poprocks nailed it. These pres aren't really upgrades; they are just something you can use if you don't have anything else.
  4. thepooch

    thepooch Guest

    But wouldn't we get a more warmer sound than the pre from the Behringer Mixer? I heard their pres are crap, and I figured any out board pre would be an audible difference. But the ART pre boast about a V3 with presets to give a warm sound. It sounded good when I read it, but my producer and I are both at a novice level with this equipment.
  5. ShellTones

    ShellTones Guest

    My advice is to save a little longer, then sell the Behringer and take the extra $200 - $250 in cash and look for something in the $400 - $500 range. Spending another $180 now on this stuff would be a waste of $ IMO.
  6. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    The ART Pro MPA is a much better unit than the DPII, buy one used on ebay for $250 and spend another $80 to put some really good tubes in it.
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

  8. sproll

    sproll Active Member

    Holy crap that's funny....... :D

    FWIW, We used the Presonus TubePre for awhile and we thought it sounded marginally better than our mackie pres in the 1604 vlz pro board we have... although in stock form it was a toss up.

    We changed the 12ax7 tube from the cheapie one that came in it to an Electro-Harmonix 12ax7 and there was a difference. More so than just with the regular tube that came with it. Please note that its not a night and day difference, but with the modification done it did smoothen out the response on our SP C1 mic and added a bit more low end. Wouldn't work like a Brick though!

  9. thepooch

    thepooch Guest

    So you're saying it'll be the best choice to go with the Presonus and swap the tube with an Electro-Harmonix 12ax7
    I know you said it wouldn't be a night and day difference, but we should hear some difference between the Behringer Mixer's buit-in pres and THIS addition to the set up?

    Another question: I've heard the same advice dealing with this particular pre amp, but the person went through explaining several different tubes giving you several different sounds you may be looking for. Can ya'll give some tips on tubes to get for a different sound you would look for or is it just a waste of time?
  10. sproll

    sproll Active Member

    If you are on the strictest budget and you can't wait to buy anything more expensive, sure. You will likely end up replacing it with something that's actually good. :)

    I went to a website called http://www.thetubestore.com and looked up the different tubes. They are an amazing place, super fast delivery and they know what they are talking about. Plus, they are in Canada. The EH 12ax7 should be the best tube to put in it, for the price. They are pretty cheap, but sound very good.

    When you use this, completely bypass your Behringer mixer... don't plug it into the chain at all. Mic to preamp to soundcard/interface. Try it out, I'll bet that you will notice a difference in sound, especially from the Behringer.

  11. thepooch

    thepooch Guest

    Not to disregard your link, but I was just curious. These tubes, in the link below, also come in gold pins. Is there a difference? The one with gold pins is $7 more, what's the deal?


    And thanks for the replies!!! This is a real big help!!!
  12. sproll

    sproll Active Member

    Sorry man, I don't know enough about tubes to say what the difference is, or if it's worth the extra 7$.
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    It's too bad that you can't stretch your budget another $150 or so .... for around $350 you could get a Groove Tubes, "The Brick", which I assure you will be a pre that you will want to keep.
  14. thepooch

    thepooch Guest

    I heard ya'll talking about "The Brick". We're getting by with what we have now so we may be able to wait and save. You can listen if you choose, by clicking the link below. Someone is singing on the beginning of the track titled "Why Should Not Us". Maybe you can hear something we can't.

    Let me know what you think, or if you can even tell? I know your style of music may not be rap, but just bare with it for a minute to listen.
  15. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Check out a 12DF7 for a replacement tube also. Lower gain (harder to clip) than a 12AX7 and much warmer sounding. I have two channels with these for lead vocals, two with the AX7's for b/u vox and instruments.
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I took a listen ... good stuff. I think it sounds just fine.
  17. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    No doubt. I don't hear anything that makes me think "hmm, sounds like he could use a better preamp on this." I think if it is just samples and vocals, don't even worry about getting a different preamp until you can get something that is truly an upgrade. What is it they say; If it ain't fixed, don't break it? It sounds like you probably only really need one good channel of preamplification, so I wouldn't bother with that ART thing.
  18. sproll

    sproll Active Member

    Yeah, if you're getting by... just wait til you can afford the brick. :)
  19. Kswiss

    Kswiss Guest

    If you do for some reason upgrade, i'd say definetely get the TubePre. Its not the largest jump in quality, but it is actually a jump, which i don't think can be said about any other units at the price.... Even stock it should get you a warmer signal, and the tube actually has an effect on the tone, compared to other similarly priced pre's that the tube doesn't really effect tone at all...... i'd say hold out for the Brick though.....thats my next pre purchase.... i got the TubePre a little while ago, and i really only use it for snare drums cuz when you add in the drive it gives you a nice presence that i like for snare drums....
  20. Antho

    Antho Guest

    Hey your music sound good!

    Good beats, and the vocals are well fine...well recorded. Done by an engineer on your team? Thru a Behry preamp?
    nice work...

    for all the talk of 'needing' this and that...i think it's incredidibly important to be specific about what you want to do with it...and also that a lot can be done with a little!

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