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ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp

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The ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp is coupled with ART's proprietary V3 (Variable Valve Voicing) functionality to deliver tremen...Click To Read More About This Product

Available 12-01-2017

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OVERVIEW

Phenomenal performance at a petite price.

The ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp is coupled with ART's proprietary V3 (Variable Valve Voicing) functionality to deliver tremendous versatility. It features variable input impedance which allows users to dial in and match any microphone type from large condensers to ribbon mics.

Like its predecessor, the DPS, the newly improved V3 feature provides optimized reference points to begin the recording process for guitars, bass guitars, synths, acoustic instruments, percussion, vocals, and more. Unique to its class, the TPS II provides level monitoring with 2 analog meters as well as 2 newly added input monitoring LED meters. High-Z instruments or balanced microphone signals are input through front and rear panel jacks.

This newly enhanced TPS II can accept +20dB peaks while maintaining over 120dB dynamic range, quiet performance, and incredibly low distortion.

ART's legendary tube stage delivers classic warm sound and adds additional tube voicing specifically tailored to vocal, guitar, bass, and acoustic instruments, making it an incredible DI box. OPL (Output Protection Limiting) controls overshoots and normalizes levels before clipping occurs.

The TPS II was conceived, designed, and manufactured to the highest standards to provide years of quiet, reliable performance. Audition one and you too will know why the TPS II is among the most cost-effective professional mic preamp system you'll find on the market today.


FEATURES
  • Variable Input Impedance
  • Newly enhanced V3 Variable Valve Voicing
  • LED input meter
  • Analog output meter
  • Enhanced ART Tube Technology
  • Automatically switches between instrument and mic preamp
  • Wide frequency response (5hz-50kHz)
  • Enhanced OPL Output Protection Limiter
  • Toroidal transformer

One click or call will enhance your recordings without seriously deflating your wallet. Order now!

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
ARTTPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp
 
3.9

(based on 27 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

83%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (5)
  • Good audio (5)
  • Versatile (4)
  • Professional functions (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (6)
  • Amateur recording (3)
  • Professional recording (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

For the price, a very versatile preamp.

Overall, with the noted tube replacement, features and sound quality for the price, I'd have to rate the unit 10.
However, there is one thing I must mention that is quite...Read complete review

Overall, with the noted tube replacement, features and sound quality for the price, I'd have to rate the unit 10.
However, there is one thing I must mention that is quite annoying:
For some reason, the ART designers chose to use an odd semi-mirror-image in the design. Where the gain and output knobs on channel one are arranged left and right, respectively, on channel two they are reversed. Likewise the gain and phase switches. The V3 dials and meters, however, are (thankfully) not reversed.
Why the ART engineers opted for this layout is beyond me, and can cause a bit of confusion initially - and even after using the unit for some time - when caught up in the process of making music. Adjusting the settings on channel two to match channel one can have some irritating surprises until you remember the controls are reversed!
Still, I can't deduct points because of a touch of inexplicable design oddness.
The ART TPS II is an incredible preamp for recording, and I highly recommend it.
The ART TPS II has all the features I was looking for on my home studio budget. While some may complain that it's not a "true tube preamp," bear in mind the TPS II is a hybrid. A tube preamp for under $140.00 is an unrealistic expectation.
Likewise, while some have complained about the V3 voicing, one must bear in mind that the settings are to be seen as starting points. Some are terrific as-is, some need a touch of tweaking, and a couple will rarely be of use. It's all a matter of taste, instrument, and style of music. That's what makes the unit so versatile.
For the features, the price makes the unit a bargain. Two channels, front 1/4" and XLR inputs, input and tube meters, gain, impedence and output dials, tube gain, phantom power and phase switches, and the V3 dial with 16 voicings for voice, guitar, bass and keyboards.
As it comes from ART, the sound quality of the TPS II is very good. But, as has been noted by other users, the quality can be greatly improved with a better tube. I tried the RUBY 12AX7AC5 HG+, recommended by Doug at dougstubes.com, and the difference was amazing. Overall, much warmer and more output; that "tube sound" I was after. I'd now rate the sound quality at 10.
For the price, the ART TPS II has an incredible array of features.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Don't Waste Your Money

I am a pro musician and studio engineer/producer. Because of fiscal constraints I bought this rig thinking that I could save some dough and have a decent preamp. Quality was just run of...Read complete review

I am a pro musician and studio engineer/producer. Because of fiscal constraints I bought this rig thinking that I could save some dough and have a decent preamp. Quality was just run of the mill at first. I did like the presets for various instruments. But the sound was nothing special. Like one of the previous reviewers, after a year the back lights for the LED meters went out followed by one of the channels ceasing to work. I would not recommend this, even in the name of saving a few bucks. I would have had to upgrade eventually anyway, so why not just bite the bullet and get what you want up front. I guess the old adage is true: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!"

Reviewed by 27 customers

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(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Don't set your expectations too high

By hueseph

from Vancouver, BC, Canada

About Me Experienced

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Priceperformance Is Good
  • Versatile

Cons

  • It's Not A Neve

Best Uses

  • Amateur Recording
  • Home Studio

Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

As much as this is a BUDGET preamp, it's not that bad. It's not all IC as some claim. The solid state preamp is discreet. The ICs are likely for the V3 voicing and the Output Limiter. No biggie. It's 200 bone! What did you expect? Generally speaking a good quality preamp can't be had for less than 600 clams. Much less a tube preamp. This is a starved plate design yes but that's not necessarily bad. The tube does get better than 12 volts DC. I'm told somewhere near 60VDC. That's not bad. You can feel the heat from the plate.

If you're on a budget and want to add some flavour, this is fine. Make sure you set your gain properly. Keep the output low and input high. As far as reliability, I've had mine for a few years now without issue. If you mail order, blame the fedex guy for throwing it around.

Don't expect miracles. It's a BUDGET preamp.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

For the price, a very versatile preamp.

By Douglas Crouse

from Roanoke, VA

Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

Overall, with the noted tube replacement, features and sound quality for the price, I'd have to rate the unit 10.
However, there is one thing I must mention that is quite annoying:
For some reason, the ART designers chose to use an odd semi-mirror-image in the design. Where the gain and output knobs on channel one are arranged left and right, respectively, on channel two they are reversed. Likewise the gain and phase switches. The V3 dials and meters, however, are (thankfully) not reversed.
Why the ART engineers opted for this layout is beyond me, and can cause a bit of confusion initially - and even after using the unit for some time - when caught up in the process of making music. Adjusting the settings on channel two to match channel one can have some irritating surprises until you remember the controls are reversed!
Still, I can't deduct points because of a touch of inexplicable design oddness.
The ART TPS II is an incredible preamp for recording, and I highly recommend it.
The ART TPS II has all the features I was looking for on my home studio budget. While some may complain that it's not a "true tube preamp," bear in mind the TPS II is a hybrid. A tube preamp for under $140.00 is an unrealistic expectation.
Likewise, while some have complained about the V3 voicing, one must bear in mind that the settings are to be seen as starting points. Some are terrific as-is, some need a touch of tweaking, and a couple will rarely be of use. It's all a matter of taste, instrument, and style of music. That's what makes the unit so versatile.
For the features, the price makes the unit a bargain. Two channels, front 1/4" and XLR inputs, input and tube meters, gain, impedence and output dials, tube gain, phantom power and phase switches, and the V3 dial with 16 voicings for voice, guitar, bass and keyboards.
As it comes from ART, the sound quality of the TPS II is very good. But, as has been noted by other users, the quality can be greatly improved with a better tube. I tried the RUBY 12AX7AC5 HG+, recommended by Doug at dougstubes.com, and the difference was amazing. Overall, much warmer and more output; that "tube sound" I was after. I'd now rate the sound quality at 10.
For the price, the ART TPS II has an incredible array of features.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Decent Pre amp

By Glassman

from Dallas, texas

See all my reviews

Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

If you have some electronics experience, this unit would work for you. However, don't expect miracles, it does what it claims and its OK. Its quiet and gets good gain, with some warmth. But to improve the sound out of the pre amp, you should change out the tube, to a USA or Russian made tube. The chinese tube that comes with it is average sounding, at best. Get a GT, Sylvannia or GE tube and the sound is night and day. I use it in live sound and studio on vocals, Bass and acoustic guitar.

(3 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

TPS II Disapointment.......

By SteveSteve

from Kalamazoo, MI

See all my reviews

Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

First off, this is NOT a tube pre-amp. If you open it up, the first thing you'll notice is two solid-state op-amps mounted to heat-sinks. It has ONE 12AX7A, and it's used AFTER the amplification to give "enhance the harmonics and give it warmth". That quoted line was straight from an engineer at ART. I opened it up as soon as I got it to install my favorite JJ tubes, and was a little dissapointed to say the least...As a pre-amp, it's fine. It's bottom of the line, run of the mill equipment. It doesn't provide tube-warmth and harmonics, so don't expect that. I wanted to save 1-rack space, so I went with this instead of the MPAII. Bad idea! False advertisement from ART saying that this unit uses "a hand-selected pair of 12AX7A's" will make me stay away from future ART purchases. But I'm only one guy. Decide for yourself.

(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Review

By Dell Yawetag-zIu-E

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

The crazy "tube" sound has brainwashed too many folks. The ART TPS II is just another example great marketing for an OK product. Too many "colored" presets that actually destroy the sound. You're much better off with a clean preamp (with lost of gain) and a good EQ and limiter to achieve the sound you're after.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

These are always dependable for me

By Morninggloryseed

from Colorado

Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

I do like the old duel tube MP that they don't make anymore (these didn't have the 'variable voicing' or any limiter) but these are also wonderful.As noted by others, some of the units have glitches....on one of mine the lights for the VU meters went out. But that's the only problem I've ever had.The sound is brilliant (once you replace the cheap ones they use with something a little nicer), and you can use it for anything. I can honestly say they are the best (lower end) pre-amps for microphones of any sort. I use it live on stage in my bass rig to warm up the sound...and they are great DI boxes for keys, bass, or guitar. I even use it for multitrack-to-stereo mixdowns, to warm up dry digital mixes.

(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Great as a DI, OK as a mic preamp

By Rob Richards

from 90210

See all my reviews

Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

Versatile DI box. Cant compete with Art Pro Channel as a mic preamp alone which makes me think its a little overpriced. Love the front inputs. I use it as a DI for bass and keys, sounds way above average in that application.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Tube PreAmp, even after 5 Years!!!

By Thomas & Janet

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

I've had mine since early 2006, and it's never missed a beat!!! Never!!! Adjust your Gain and Output controls just right, and you have good S/N Ratio and an array of different tones at your disposal!
If you are not in a totally quiet room, and the gain is turned way up, there will be some "hiss". However, keep your voice, instrument within decent close proximity of your Mic and it will hardly be noticeable. You just have to try it to see for yourself.
If, like me, you love to turn knobs, experiment with sounds & change Tubes then this is something you should have in your Project Studio! You can adjust almost every parameter of your sound! Is that Bass sounding just a tad dull going into your recorder? Well then try setting the Variable Voice control to maybe an Acoustic Guitar setting and see what happens!!
Wether you are running full Mixes through it, or using it as a PreAmp to record, it has all the tools a Home Recordist needs. Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Drums, anything!

(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Don't Waste Your Money

By MWGouger2008

from San Jose, CA

See all my reviews

Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

I am a pro musician and studio engineer/producer. Because of fiscal constraints I bought this rig thinking that I could save some dough and have a decent preamp. Quality was just run of the mill at first. I did like the presets for various instruments. But the sound was nothing special. Like one of the previous reviewers, after a year the back lights for the LED meters went out followed by one of the channels ceasing to work. I would not recommend this, even in the name of saving a few bucks. I would have had to upgrade eventually anyway, so why not just bite the bullet and get what you want up front. I guess the old adage is true: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!"

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good Unit

By Ash

from NC, USA

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Easy To Use
  • Fast Set-up
  • Simple

Cons

  • Only One Tube

Best Uses

  • Di Box
  • Home Studio
  • Professional Recording

Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

Fast set-up, easy to understand the parameters and the gist of what ART was going for. Nice jumping off point for all kinds of applications, both for recording and live sound. Variable impedance is a plus!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great preamp!

By Steve-O

from Canada

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Easy To Use
  • Professional Functions
  • Quality Design
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

    This is a fantasic preamp especially given its price point. I own several different brands and models of preamps but this one is by far my favorite. I would recommend this unit to anyone looking for a decently priced duel channel unit!

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great sound, poor QC

    By Jharvre-5iNM1

    from Kansas City, MO

    Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

    So far I have had two of these fail in exactly the same way. On both of them, the left channel connection has come loose, so that anytime you jostle the thing or generate any vibration it generates a huge amount of noise. Literally, without anything plugged into the inputs or outputs. The first one did it from the factory; I returned it and exchanged it for another, which did the exact same thing after about 3 weeks of light use.I may just have had astonishingly bad luck, but I'm probably going to open this one and see if it's something as simple as a loose solder connection. If so, I won't bother to return the second one. On the other hand, the unit produces an incredibly warm tone with my MXL 990. The VVV technology is very nice, giving you a lot of presets to play around with. It really does fatten up the signal, giving it more of that depth and warmth, especially after adding compression behind it. The ability to vary the gain and output separately enabled you to hit the 'sweet spot' where you're overdriving the tube but not your output. I use the MXL-990 combat for miking my guitar amp, for vocals, and to warm up the highs from the Korg Triton. Note -- if you run something with a lot of sharp bass (like a rhythm track) through it, it warms it up but seems to lose some of the kick drum punch. In short, I would recommend this unit if you have a lot of experience with repairing electronics, but if you don't... be careful.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Gets the job done

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

    I've used the TPS-2 extensively for 6 months with no problems. I used it for bass (direct), Acoustic Guitar, Drums, Vocals, and Hand Percussion. It's very easy to use, and sounds totally decent.

    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Don't Buy

    By Zak-Xz_0c

    from Austin, TX

    See all my reviews

    Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

    I am the producer and "Sound Guy" for our high school broadcast program. I bought this pre amp for our voice over room and it sounded great for a couple months then from there it was all down hill. The back lights on the vu meeters went out, then the phantom power on the left channel went out so I moved over to the second channel and within minutes the channel completely stopped working.I would not suggest you buy this pre amp, it is not worth the trouble it brings.

    (1 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Not what I expected

    By spindlebox

    from Kansas City, MO

    See all my reviews

    Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

    I got this to be able to use the 1/4" and XLR outputs on both channels, concurrently. The first one I got one of the channels was bunk.If you use both outputs concurrently, you get a nasty feedback loop. I was told by ART, I could get their DTI Hum Eliminator to take care of this problem. I did that; it didn't work, I sent back BOTH.It didn't do what I expeceted. What's the point of having all of those outputs if you can't use them all at the same time?

     
    5.0

    Great Pre

    By Just me

    from New England, USA

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Clear Sound
    • Easy To Use
    • Powerful
    • Professional Functions
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Events
      • Home Studio
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

      I own a more expensive tube pre and this thing really holds up. It's quite and so far works very well. Might not have all the options of some of the more expensive tube pres but it sure seems very responsive and easy to use. It's nice and warm with plenty of gain. For the past week I've had a Les Paul going through it to a Fender ss and wow, it gives a very nice tone!

       
      5.0

      Just Me, New England, USA

      By Just me

      from New England, USA

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

      I just got this today, so haven't had much time to play with it, but so far it seems good. Contrary to other reviewers, mine is very quite and seems to respond well. Simple to use.

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      I would not buy this product again

      By Luchoelpoeta

      from Cesar, Colombia

      About Me Professional Musician

      Pros

      • Easy To Use

      Cons

      • Noisy

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio

      Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

      A very strange noise came up from this product. It was similar to potatoes frying.

       
      5.0

      Great tube sound and multiple presets

      By Stace

      from DFW

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Clear Sound
      • Easy To Use
      • Powerful
      • Professional Functions
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Home Studio

        Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

        My prior tube preamp blew up on me. When I got this and plugged everything in I should have turned all my mic preamps on my mixer down. I think my ears are still hurting.
        After I figured things out I was really pleased with the overall sound and versatility.

        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Bells and whistles

        By Mark White

        from White, GA

        Comments about ART TPS II 2-Channel Variable Impedance Tube Preamp:

        Lots of Bells and whistles to sell this baby but it only brought me about 10% or at most 20% closer to where I wanted my warm mid range volume to be with my audix scx25 mic.

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