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Discussion in 'Recording' started by SeniorFedup, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. SeniorFedup

    SeniorFedup Guest

    Greetings . Unfortunatly i remember seeing a presonus tube pre thread but i guess it was deleted( i searched it) So this will be the official thread for it.

    Back to the topic. I am saving up for a higher end tube pre. But for now i am maybe planning to get one of these for my tascam 388. I remember hearing that they were pretty darn good. ,y question is are they darn good as in good for what you pay for . or better than expected i might just plan to keep this period.
    Thanks for you help guys.
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I have seen too many negative posts about the TubePre to doubt their quality, no matter how cheap they are. Tube gear in that price range is not reliable, and tend to be noisey and dirty-sounding. Save for one product...THE BRICK!!!! Groove Tubes' Aspen Pittman knows what he's doing with "gassed glass", and the posts here say it all. Stick to a proven winner. Cheap tubes suck..Groove Tubes rock!
    BTW, I should've qualified my critique of PreSonus. I have owned several pieces of their gear, and in their early days, they made a very solid product.I've had a VXP with a Jensen input tranny, a Blue Max (pre-RNC), an Acousti-Q, an ACP88, an ACP22, and a MP20 (also with Jensens). Still have everything but the VXP and the Acousti-Q. They no longer have the build quality that they were known for (IMHO).
  3. I own the Tube Pre. I needed something cheap to provide phantom power to my condensers before I bought all of my recording gear. I was just using it as Mic > TubePre > Tascam US-428. I thought the TubePre was really noisy. I don't even use it anymore.
  4. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Yep, my experience with all those Presonus half rack jobbies is that they hissssss like angry little snakes.


    Save a little more and get a Sebatron. You won't be sorry!
  5. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    I'd find it hard to believe that you couldn't get by for the time-being with the TubePre if you rolled a nice quiet NOS GE 12AU7 tube in there and slapped a quality mic with low self-noise specs like an AT 20, 30 or 40 series.

    IMHO 12AX7's (especially the soviet and chinese variety) are way to noisey and "hot" for cheap pre's.

    NOS american 12AU7's (GE, RCA, Sylvania, etc.) are super quiet and are typically used with cheaper, noisey mic's. That may be why so many guys claim "hiss" probs with them.
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Is that really feasible? My stepson bought a TubePre while he worked at the local Guitar Center. He was told by the stores' repair tech that the tube in it was not socketed but SOLDERED into place!
    I had heard rumours that this was the case for some PreSonus and ART products, but...
    Designs using tubes in budget gear using wall warts are almost always "starving" the voltage to the tube to yield a non-linear harmonic distortion that isn't all that "warm" or "sweet". More like harsh and grating. Good tube gear that is musically pleasant-sounding is not inexpensive. Think long and hard before you pop a dime on the "cheap stuff"...
  7. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    That's disappointing to hear. I've never owned any presonus gear so I'm not familiar with the guts but I thought the only time you'd see a tube soldered to the PCB would be if the tube were a pentode. It doesn't make any sense to me to solder a 12AX7 to the PCB. Weird.

    You're right in that most of the cheap hybrid designs use a starved plate design but I would have to disagree that the sound can't be sweet or warm.

    I rolled 2 NOS Philips 12AT7's into my ART Pro VLA the other day and was completely blown away at how exciting the sound was. The stock tubes never sounded bad even though they were EH Soviet AT7's. But the difference between them and the Philips At7's was vast. It took on a whole new character that is soooooo 3-Dimensional you might never guess this was a $300 unit. The gain is very nice and the signal is full of harmonics. The dimension was the sweet surprise though. Almost made my Martin sound like a different guitar.

    The ElectroHarmonix 12AY7 Tube Mic Pre is a great example of how thick and focused a cheap pre can sound also. The stock tubes with that unit are decent but the character changes considerably when I roll in an old RCA AY7 and a GE AU7 (both from 1963).

    The same goes for Behringer tube pre's as well.

    The starved plate designs are hissy I agree and they are too wide open to be able to lend much to your field of depth that could be considered thick or creamy or dimensional or focused, etc.

    But by reducing the gain with a lower gain tube like an AT7 or AU7 or AY7 you can reduce that effect dramatically. Then the quality of a NOS tube comes into the picture lending more focus to the signal so it doesn't crowd the canvass so much.

    I encourage anyone that has a tube pre they paid less than $500 for to upgrade their tubes and increase they're tracking success exponentially.

    You can pretty much say goodbye to needing EQ after tracking with good tubes in your cheap pre and make room for other instruments in your arrangements automagically.

    Then when you've saved enough to pop the coin for a Hamptone or a Sebatron or a TrueSystems, etc., you've already got a good appreciation for quality tubes, working more with depth of field and sonic dimension and you've been able to focus more on mic placement rather than EQ frustrations to make your arrangements really work.
  8. SeniorFedup

    SeniorFedup Guest

    Hey guys great responces i cant thank you guys enough. any recomendations for a cheap pre amp (tube) so that i can pop in one of NOS american 12AU7's ??
  9. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member


    Silvertone (RCA)
    JJ/Tesla (new but nice)




    JAN Philips (my fave)


    Tesla/JJ (you can get these new and they're very smooth)
    Ei (Yugoslavia. New but nice. Like Mullards)

    There are far more exotic tubes out there but they're a little steep to be rolling into a cheap pre.

    Hopefully other's may have some suggestions for you also. But you can't lose with any of these and they're pretty cheap on ebay or other places online like the tubestore.com or tubedepot.com, etc.
  10. SeniorFedup

    SeniorFedup Guest

    thanks what i was referring to was a low priced pre. since i hear the presonus has the tube soldered in .
  11. hogie

    hogie Guest

    i traded 2 speakers that were gathering dust for 2 behringer mic100's. i figured i'd try them out and sell them if i don't like them.

    i find them a bit gritty but i liked what it did to my bass at a jam session last night.

    i just opened one up and took the tube out. it's a 12AX7-A with the Behringer logo and the words "Premium Selected" inscribed on it. No glowing LED's though. :)

    I'm going to buy some tubes, compare them to the stock ones, and let you know what the results are.

    what do you think of these? the seller is in my area so i would be able to pick them up in person.

  12. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    That's a really nice group there Hogie. I'm jealous about the VOX tube. I don't know who actually manufactured those. You should really like the sound of the RCA and Magnavox tubes for sure. Let us know how you like them.

    My guess would be the grittiness you get is from the Behri 12AX7A which I think is a Chinese tube. They used to ship with Sovtek 12AX7A's and they're a little gritty also.

    I love Nova Scotia. I was in Newfoundland once and had a really great time. Better than great actually. Fond memories of "Newfoundland Screetch" ;0P It's beautiful there.
  13. hogie

    hogie Guest

    Yeah I love living here in Halifax. Good music scene and small town feel but has everything I need. I'm from an even smaller place (Charlottetown, PEI).

    So I borrowed an RCA tube from a friend, put it in the MIC100 and it made no difference to the sound as far as I could tell. I tried it with bass, an AT4050 and an SM57. Then I took the tube right out and it still made no difference! Ah well. I didn't pay for them after all. They still might come in handy for interfacing though (inst to mic, mic to inst, inst/mic to line).
  14. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    I've heard PEI is really really nice.

    That's disappointing you couldn't hear a difference in signal quality with an RCA tube in. I would wonder at that point if the MIC100 actually employs the tube at all. Seriously.

    It's not that way with the Behri T1953 but that's a whole different design alltogether.

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