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ART Tube PAC  

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The ART Tube PAC is a combination of the world's most popular tube mic/line preamp and optical tube compressor. ART engineers took the Tube MP and Tu...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Warm up any instrument or vocal mic.

The ART Tube PAC is a combination of the world's most popular tube mic/line preamp and optical tube compressor. ART engineers took the Tube MP and Tube Compressor and combined them into a single, convenient, aircraft-quality extruded aluminum chassis. This table-top design allows for easy placement in the studio or on the stage with immediate access to all the controls, features, and metering. In addition to being a tremendous vocal and instrument preamp and compressor package, this may well be the ultimate in tube direct boxes!

FEATURES
  • Combination mic/line preamp with optical tube compression
  • Table top design
  • Rugged aircraft-quality aluminum chassis

Pick up your PAC today!

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
 
4.7

(based on 20 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Pretty nice, noisy at high gain levels.

I used this on a Studio Projects B1 large diaphragm condenser and it made a HUGE difference to the sound. Really tamed the crispy top end, oodles of warmth, compressor nice and transparent....Read complete review

I used this on a Studio Projects B1 large diaphragm condenser and it made a HUGE difference to the sound. Really tamed the crispy top end, oodles of warmth, compressor nice and transparent. Definitely not a subtle difference. Will certainly be using this in my signal path from now on.I had less success with an MXL R40 ribbon mic, which was what I actually bought it for. With the gain turned up, even with nothing plugged in, and whether you use balanced or XLR inputs, this thing hums like a trooper at high gain. Mostly 60 Hz and harmonics but there is also a fat bunch of hiss in there. You might get away with it on loud guitars if you are willing to do some gating but on softer instruments or vocals it's not going to work for a ribbon mic.That said, it really does rock on a budget condenser, and having a compressor to even out your signal before it hits the A/D converter on your interface is a huge bonus.
For the price it has a lot of features. Two tubes (12AX7 & 12AT7), two levels of gain, phantom power, compressor, phase swtich, balanced and unbalanced inputs/ouputs, no wall wart.
Very, very solidly built. Points docked for audible transformer hum. Comes with cheap chinese tubes which I swapped out for better ones - very easy to do.
For the price, it can't be beat.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

mixed bag

I really liked this unit at first. usable metering, GREAT sound (prefered over the PreSonus TubePre & comp), internal PS, solid chassis. Wish it had holes on the bottom for tray...Read complete review

I really liked this unit at first. usable metering, GREAT sound (prefered over the PreSonus TubePre & comp), internal PS, solid chassis. Wish it had holes on the bottom for tray mounting.Difficult to count on if you gig in lots of different places. I run a wireless mic to this unit and then send to the board from there. In certain venues we get HUGE ground loop through this unit even with a single power point, with w/o ground lift... etc. Several times the ONLY solution has been to stick something else between the ART and the send to the board. There's a behringer EFX unit unused in my rack - if I feed the output through the behringer, the signal is clean. That should put things in perspective.Other than that, it's a great unit. But I can't trust it all by itself.Mike

Reviewed by 20 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Pretty nice, noisy at high gain levels.

By The Sportswriter

from Ontario, Canada

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

I used this on a Studio Projects B1 large diaphragm condenser and it made a HUGE difference to the sound. Really tamed the crispy top end, oodles of warmth, compressor nice and transparent. Definitely not a subtle difference. Will certainly be using this in my signal path from now on.I had less success with an MXL R40 ribbon mic, which was what I actually bought it for. With the gain turned up, even with nothing plugged in, and whether you use balanced or XLR inputs, this thing hums like a trooper at high gain. Mostly 60 Hz and harmonics but there is also a fat bunch of hiss in there. You might get away with it on loud guitars if you are willing to do some gating but on softer instruments or vocals it's not going to work for a ribbon mic.That said, it really does rock on a budget condenser, and having a compressor to even out your signal before it hits the A/D converter on your interface is a huge bonus.
For the price it has a lot of features. Two tubes (12AX7 & 12AT7), two levels of gain, phantom power, compressor, phase swtich, balanced and unbalanced inputs/ouputs, no wall wart.
Very, very solidly built. Points docked for audible transformer hum. Comes with cheap chinese tubes which I swapped out for better ones - very easy to do.
For the price, it can't be beat.

(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great preamp but hums that 60HZ song

By Old Rocker Dude

from WNC

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

This thing hums like crazy. Please read on .... It needs a ground lift switch in the worst kind of way. For me it didn't matter whether the phantom power was turned on at the board or not. I finally hooked it up with a mic cord that has the ground clipped and got by enough so I could try it out. It has a great sound. Excellent compressor - easy to use. I don't like how the little glass tips of the tubes stick through the side of the case. I can see them getting broken out on the road so that means I'll have to put this thing in some kind of case. However I like it and plan to keep it. It's one of the only compressors that you can run a mic directly into. I'm going to order an EBTech hum eliminator to use with it. ART needs to address the ground loop problem.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Powerful Tube Warmer

By Eric-8KuZu

from Upstate, NY

See all my reviews

This is a delightful product, but it has a definite attitude and is not for everyone. It features a mic pre-amp (and ART sure do know how to make those!) an optical compressor (a vintage-style of compression) and two very warm sounding tubes, one each on the pre and the compressor. Designed to be used as a channel strip input it absoulutely EXCELS as a bass guitar direct box. For this alone, it is well worth the price. The warm compressed bass sound is creamy & delightful. The compression does have a couple of switches (comp/limit) & (AutoSpeed/Fast) but really only the Auto & Comp combination should figure in your decision to purchase or not. The other settings work fine, but lack the musicallity of the basic setting. By the way, using the tubes isn't optional, but driving them to "warm-the-sound" levels is. I have used this with an Audio-Technica AT4040 mic, and with the tubes in the yellow & green the bright high end can be preserved wonderfully. On the other hand, it you want to go fuzzy, in the red, this thing can rock. The metering makes picking the level of fuzzyness a snap, although my guess is most owners never even realize running it with a clean sound is an option, since the meters go well into the red for the fuzzy type people. The compressor can be disabled, and if you are recording multi-track overdubs with this, you might want to leave it off on some instruments. But can you use this as a one and only input? Yes. Granted, I'd recommend having at least one other mic pre-amp (such as one on a mixer) for variety, but it is not essential. For the money, this is a great product. It isn't up to the level of a $600+ channel strip, but it can hold its own with equivalent products. And I prefer it to my Joe Meek unit. By the way, it has no built in EQ, but given the price and the quality, and the fact that recording the natural sound of the mic works better anyway, this is hardly a handicap.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

mixed bag

By mike-kV4rx

from huntsville, AL

See all my reviews

I really liked this unit at first. usable metering, GREAT sound (prefered over the PreSonus TubePre & comp), internal PS, solid chassis. Wish it had holes on the bottom for tray mounting.Difficult to count on if you gig in lots of different places. I run a wireless mic to this unit and then send to the board from there. In certain venues we get HUGE ground loop through this unit even with a single power point, with w/o ground lift... etc. Several times the ONLY solution has been to stick something else between the ART and the send to the board. There's a behringer EFX unit unused in my rack - if I feed the output through the behringer, the signal is clean. That should put things in perspective.Other than that, it's a great unit. But I can't trust it all by itself.Mike

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

easy peasy

By deth clock

from disgusta,ga

See all my reviews

tube pre,tube comp,99 bux, it's a no brainer.I've mostly used this as a vocal processor w/condenser mics.It's actually hard to get a bad sound out of it.It does have it's own coloration but it's a good one.Really pops vocals out of mix.VERY easy to use!Also ,just for fun, set it up as guitar pre, didn't sound bad but a bit noisy.Overall i highly recommend for home recordist, I've gotten many complements on my vocal sound.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Best pre for the $$$

By kirilirik.com

from Salt Lake City, UT

See all my reviews

This pre rocks. It sounds better than most in the $500-1000 range. I paid $100 for mine, and I loved it so much that I bought a second. The only thing its missing is a variable compression ratio. Its capable of either 2.3/1 fixed ratio, or it can be set to "limiter" for a brick wall volume control. Nonetheless, the subtile and smooth compression, mixed with the great warmth of the tube, makes for fabulous tones on all of my mic's. I use this on stage and in the studio, for mics and instruments. Its built tough and I expect it to last for many years. Great job ART, excellent product-unbeatable price.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great product for such a low price!

By KB-yocnx

from Lyons Colorado

I have bought two of these I like them so much. They have really warmed up my vocals and acoustic guitar recordings. I have played around with the compression and gain and found you can get a lot of warmth and depth to the sound with these. I have used them with Audio Technicia mics. A 2020 and a 4047 with great results. One unit started to give me some troble after about 6 months of use (virtially no gain). I contacted ART on the phone, was given a RA, shipped it two weeks ago and got it back yesterday and it works great. They replaced the pots. After knowing that, I rembered that the original box the unit came in had some damage and had deep depressions on the inside where the pots would touch so the unit was probably marginally damaged in shipping and took some time to fully fail. Bottom line folks is that these things work great, sound great and are a steal! My experience with ART support has been steller. If they both stop working after the warrenty has lapsed, I would buy two more. You can't go wrong.Hope this helps!

 
5.0

Great for the money

By Joseph-Sp-wa

from Modesto Ca

See all my reviews

I'm really impressed with the smooth rich sound that's delivered through this preamp compressor. It's a great value.

 
5.0

Tube Pac is alive and well! heh

By GotiFacade

from Dallas

I really like it. I was skeptical. read reviews. Thanks everyone for steering me straight. Was looking for a desktop preamp to give tube warmth to my newly aquired Shure SM7B (also thumbs up). Wanted something with decent built in compression. I already own the ART Pro Channel so I felt comfortable with their quality. bought this, liked the sound but immediately wanted to address the tube situation. popped it open to see what their "hand selected" tubes were. the left one closest to the back of the unit was a cheap chinese made 12ax7b. the right one, closest to the front of the unit, was a russian made 12AT7EH by Electro Harmonix, and oddly enough that one, though hot when fired up, did not have a hint of light to it. I emailed support on it. Took 6 days to get a generic reply, so not overly impressed if i had to contact ART. They said it's fine, it's not supposed to light up like a power tube. I said dur but it's supposed to light up like a preamp tube? no reply, heh. Anyway I went ahead and bought a few tesla jj's to replace them with. bob at eurotubes recommended a pair of ECC83S 12XA7's and I got the premium ones with gold pins. Verdict? I know many say replacing the tubes were magical but it sounded exactly the same to me oddly enough in various settings (pushing gain, soft/hard vocals, changing compression levels, etc). i a/b'd vocals through my korg d3200, made recordings of both and sent it to my audiophile friends. no one could tell the difference; your mileage may vary. i leave the left panel off because that's where the tubes are and it helps keep them cool (only do that if you're truly in a controlled environment because one slip and you've got a busted tube). for desktop compression lately before getting the pac i would actually use a Keeley Compressor since it sounded so nice. this sounds just as nice only with XLR jacks (though not stereo) where compression is concerned, and as far as pushing a weak dynamic mic like the sm7b? excellent. great tube warmth at a very affordable price. It's about the size of a car stereo which I love. Made very well on the outside however the tube sockets on the inside, be careful. When pushing tubes into them you can bend them back with no effort at all so I had to bend a piece of metal to pull toward me while pushing the tubes in (just fyi). love the name too! Genius.

 
5.0

A very solid bargain

By Mr Wizard

from Tampa Bay

The ART Tube PAC is worth every dime. I've been working with Tube gear for over 35 years and though it's not a Bellari, it is a very pleasant sounding piece of gear and very well built for the price.Whatever you do, change the Chinese tubes for NOS RCA's, Telefunken or at least New JJ's. That small change alone transforms the Tube PAC into a very smooth, Mic front end. The tubes are run at the bottom of the knee curve, generating healthy Second harmonics, that with the softness of the optocouplers make a great lead-in to digital processing. Also, properly adjusted, the peak compression is very effective against the digital nasties farther down the processing chain.

 
5.0

must have for live accoustic

By Picker friend

from SF

See all my reviews

Let me just say that if you play accoustic live or with with a live accoustic 'band' -you need to get this. The problem with a lot of accoustic pick-ups is that they are in need of more power to boost the signal and to be heard. Without them, getting the equals right, especially in a band with other vocals and instruments, is always a chore and often times the slighest thing will feed back horrendously becasue the only way to be heard is to crank yourself up at the board. Instead of pleasing those in the club, you'll be doing your best impression of the old memorex commercial by breaking glasses with the high pitch feed back.That said, this unit cures this malady and also adds a real rich tone to the instrument that really preserves the "accoustic" integrity of the sound, and doesn't distort it to sound like the many 'hybrid-electrics' out there.The on/off switch and the solid contruction make this a nice, reliable unit. I've also used this as a preamp w/phantom power for recording with a condensor mic and have been pleased with the results.

 
4.0

solid

By OL' SCHOOL

from U.S.A.

See all my reviews

This was my first mic pre. It feels super solid. it doesn't have a wall wart. I have used it with an sm57, a nady scm 900 and a mxl v93m. Along with an equalizer the '57 sounded great with vocals. It sounded fine with the other mics too. Now, I wish the unit had continuously variable compression ratio but when I bought it I didn't know what that was anyway. It seems to sound kind of dark (I usually drive the tube hard). The gain reduction and tube drive meters are stacked and the lights kinda blend together making it hard to read sometimes. I wish it was rack-mountable. I would say this is a wonderful first mic pre. for the price it's a steal. It should warm up any cold mic.

 
5.0

Bang for your Buck

By Radianation

from Louisville, KY

I recorded the vocals for my entire album using this preamp and an AT4050 microphone. It was superior to the preamps built in to my Aardvark Q10 audio card. For the price it's a great unit.

 
5.0

ART Tube Pac Preamplifier-Wow!

By David Ybarra/The Modern Bakery Music

from San Diego, Ca

I have been using my ART tube Pac for several years now and have been more than impressed, The easy to use features (Lit LED Bar Graph, One Knob Compression and Phantom Power)and transparent signal make this a stellar tool in the studio. I have turned many of my Producer Mates onto The Tube Pac...Give this a go!

 
5.0

warm, fat, punchy, everything I want.

By Alex Morgan

from Memphis

Its everything I want and more.
I run a custom strat through a mesa lonestar and I didn't think my tone could be more satisfying. Until I plugged up the Art Tube Pac, messed with the knobs and got a tone that I just can't believe. I recommend this to anyone. Both gain and clean sound heavenly.

 
5.0

Review

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

i bought mine in 2001 it's now 2008 and this thing sounds just like the first time i used it. i use it in diff combos with a mixer, vox tone lab, various mics and a presonus firebox. EVERYTHING i have squeezed through this thing benifits from it! electric and acoustic drums, vocals, guit, bass, keys, horns wether you're micing or recording direct you need this thing. it will let you push your lead sounds to the front and keep your backround stuff in check. no matter what style you play, if you want a nice balanced mix on your recordings you have to have good tweakable compression and this thing delivers.when i first got the pac i recorded my entire band with nothing more than a sm57 and a sm58 run into this pac and then straight to an "old" korg d8 and when i hear those recordings now i am still very impressed with how good the music comes through.

 
5.0

Great Product

By Rick Keough

from Phila Pa

See all my reviews

This product is amazing, you get such a nice warm tone out of it. I use it as a DI box for my bass going through a PA system and also hooked up to my amp through the effects loop and both ways the sound is great! I also had a guitar hooked up to it through the PA and you have to hear the sound it produces for yourself, no word can describe the tone. I suggest for the sweetest sound try to get the second LED in the tube drive lit when playing and get enough compression so that the second gain reduction LED becomes lit once in awhile.

 
5.0

Solid Quality, Great Value

By Eric D.

from Kansas City

See all my reviews

I'm not a real techie, but for what it's worth the Tube PAC really delivers the sound I want for an extremely good price. I do some solo, multimedia type gigs. I an AT 4050 mic for voice and guitar, plus I plug my Taylor 710 CE L-9 directly to the amp(Roland KC 500). I am very pleased with the smooth, natural sound I get using the pre-amp and compression. This is a great tool especially if you're on a budget.

 
5.0

Ground Loop

By Bob

from DFW

I own several ART tube preamps and on some, I get the ground loop described by Mike. FYI, I found the problem is caused by having phantom power on the mixer conflicts with the phantom power on the ART preamp. Turn it off on the mixer and no problems. Thanks, Bob

 
5.0

Great Preamp !!!

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

This preamp sounds great with my Taylor acoustic guitar. This is a great preamp to use with the Taylor Expression system that has XLR output from the guitar. Very simple to operate and very low noise make this a great buy...

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