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ART USB Dual Tube Pre  

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    ART

    Tube preamp with optical limiter, S/PDIF, and USB connectivity.

    The ART USBDualTubePre is a compact, dual-channel tube preamp designed for any basic recording system. Capable of operating as a standalone unit with USB audio interface, or as an expander for any digital system with S/PDIF digital input, each channel in the USBDualTubePre delivers superior tube tone in a fully featured input strip.

    Each input of the USBDualTubePre has independent input gain control and output level, phase inversion, low frequency roll-off, true 48V phantom power, and a user-defeatable optocompressor circuit—capable of ensuring superior dynamic control of any input source.

    For monitoring, an 1/8" mini headphone jack with level and monitor mix controls allow latency-free monitoring of the inputs while recording, as well as playback monitoring of audio mix via USB bus. The monitor mix is also routed to 1/4" TRS (balanced) outputs with separate level control for control room monitor source.

    The USB interface is fully USB compliant. No special drivers are needed.

    Features
    • Two-channel tube-based Mic/Instrument preamp computer interface
    • Extremely low noise discrete front end with variable input and output controls
    • Advanced optical output compressor to simplify recording and prevent overload
    • USB connectivity to desktop and laptop computers
    • S/PDIF output for expanding inputs on digital workstations and computer interfaces
    • Latency free Monitoring Mix and Level controls
    • Balanced XLR for lo-Z applications and 1/4" hi-Z inputs for instrument DI applications
    • Separate Gain, Phase Invert, Low Cut Filter and Compressor switches on each input
    • Selectable Dual or Stereo operation of output controls
    • Switch selectable Inserts on each channel
    • Insert jacks provide a preamp direct out for each channel
    • Stereo/ Dual operation of Optical Compressor
    • Mono switch for single input monitoring
    • S/PDIF Sample Rate switch selectable between 44.1K and 48K
    • Precision LED metering of both the preamp and A/D sections
    • Built-in low noise +48 Volt phantom power supply

    Super cost-effective tube front end for your DAW. Order today!

     

    USB Dual Tube Pre Specifications:

    • Input connections: XLR/1/4" Combo jack - XLR balanced or 1/4" unbalanced
    • Input impedance: 1M ohm 1/4" input; >4k ohm XLR input; 20k ohm insert input
    • Output connection: 1/4" TRS (balanced); 1/8" TRS headphone mini-jack
    • Output impedance: 600 ohm (balanced 1/4"); 300 ohm (inserts); < 50 ohm (headphone 1/8")
    • Frequency response: 20Hz – 27kHz (+0, -1dB)
    • Maximum gain: +65dB (balanced in-out), +45dB (unbalanced input, balanced output)
    • THD: <0.01% @ 1kHz
    • CMRR: >60dB
    • Equivalent input noise: -129dBu typical (“A” weighted, shorted XLR balanced input, gain @ maximum)
    • Maximum input level: unbalanced (Inst.): +16 dBu, balanced (mic): +12dBu, Insert input: +7.5dBu
    • Max output level: +5dBu unbalanced; +11dBu balanced; +7.5dBu (insert output)
    • Phantom Power: Switch-selectable, +48Volts DC, filtered, current-limited
    • Tube Type: Hand-selected 12AX7A
    • Compressor slope: Progressively increasing slope, 10:1 max.
    • Compressor range: 28dB attenuation max.
    • Low-cut filter: -3dB @ 70Hz, 6dB/Octave
    • USB A/D-D/A: 16-bit/44.1kHz or 48kHz, USB selectable from computer, 0.4 ms A/D latency @ 44.1K Hz
    • S/PDIF A/D: 24-bit/44.1kHz or 48kHz, switch-selectable; 0.4ms A/D latency @ 44.1kHz
    • Computer interface: USB 2.0 compliant, Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista, Win 7, Apple OS9.1/OSX computers with native USB support
    • Chassis type: All-aluminum black anodized with integral rubber sides
    • Power requirements: 9VAC @ 1000mA (external)
    • Dimensions: 1-3/4"H x 5-15/16"W x 6-1/2"D (44.5mm x 150mm x 165mm)
    • Weight: 2.5 lb. (1.14 kg) with power supply and packaging
    • *Note: 0dBu = 0.775Vrms
    Customer Reviews
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    Review Snapshot®

    by PowerReviews
    ARTUSB Dual Tube Pre
     
    5.0

    (based on 7 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (7)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    100%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Compact (5)
    • Easy to use (5)
    • Versatile (5)
    • Durable (4)
    • Good audio (3)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur recording (5)
      • Home studio (4)
      • Performances (4)
      • Professional recording (3)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Experienced (4)

      Reviewed by 7 customers

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      2 channel preamp/DI with digital output!

      By mick shrimpton

      from Newton Upper Falls, MA

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Compact
      • Durable
      • Easy To Use
      • Unique
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio
        • Io Expansion
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about ART USB Dual Tube Pre:

        I had been searching high and low for a moderately priced 2 channel preamp with digital output. I wanted to expand the I/O capability of my interface, which has a SPDIF input, and I was having a very difficult time finding a device that would satisfy what I thought was a very simple requirement. Until I discovered this device, the only moderately priced choices were the ART DPS II and the DBX 386 (both of which retail for more than 250 greenbacks. This device does EXACTLY what I need, and Musicians Friend and Guitar Center are blowing them out for only 99 buckaroos. That's a steal. Plus, it can be used as a 2 channel USB interface (although I won't be using it for that purpose). So far, so good - it immediately started sending 24 bit audio into my interface using the SPDIF output. Preamps sound clean enough, especially for the price. It even has an built-in optical compressor. The only downside i that it only supports sampling rates of 44.1 and 48khz, but for my purposes that's fine.

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        Preamp AND USB Interface? Alright!

        By Dewd

        from USA

        About Me Professional Musician

        Pros

        • Clear Sound
        • Compact
        • Durable
        • Easy To Use
        • Lightweight
        • Versatile

        Cons

          Best Uses

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

          Comments about ART USB Dual Tube Pre:

          I bought this because it was both preamp and interface. I had been using the Art MP single-channel preamp (the model with the VU meter), abour which I have nothing but good things to say, along with a Lexicon USB interface (likewise, a good unit). When I came across the dual USB pre/interface, however, I realized that it superseded the two boxes I was using. Not only would replacing them with this unit diminish the amount of gear cluttering my desk, reduce the signal-chain considerably, and simplify the level-setting process, but I would also be able to record two channels (or stereo) of condenser mics with phantom power.

          The dual USB pre/face is compact, sized slightly larger than the Art MP, and is built solidly, and has rubber leg-ridges along the sideas on bottom in order to reduce heat build-up and to keep the unit from slipping. Although the controls are tightly-situated, they're quite accessible and solidly-mounted. That the headphone jack so confidently accepts the plug is enough to tell one that this until is built to be used and to last.

          One should note that this unit delivers 16-bit audio unless the S/PFD circuit is used - whereby 24-bit/48K audio is possible. Another recommendation is to read the instruction manual thoroughly before using the unit, especially if one is unfamiliar with tbe preamps and using phantom power with condenser microphones )top prevent damage to the mic). Also note that the 1/4"-jack inputs are in the center of the XLR inputs.

          Great little unit - buy it. Aldo, Musician's Friend wasted no time in sending this out to me, even though I'd opted for "free shipping."

          Comment on this review

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          A Good Value

          By GuntherT

          from Santa Maria, CA

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Easy To Use
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Hobby Recording
            • Live
            • Performances

            Comments about ART USB Dual Tube Pre:

            I bought this item a while ago when the price was higher. Now that the price has dropped, I feel this product has gone from a deal to a steal. It is unlikely to disappoint you if your expectations are realistic given the relatively low price.

            This product packs a lot of features. I use it for both recording and live applications. I record with Linux software, and it works flawlessly. It is listed as supported hardware for AVLinux, which is the distribution I use (and donate), but it will work with virtually any software given its class compliant USB audio codec. The manual states it is "USB2", but this is misleading. It can be used in a USB 2.0 port, but it operates at USB 1.1 speeds. Regardless, I can set the Frame/Period setting to 128/2 with no XRUNS or noticeable latency, which is what matters. USB 2.0 isn't necessary when there are only two channels, and the universal compatibility is more important than being able to drop the frame setting from 128 to 64, in my opinion.

            Before owning this, I ran RCA cables to and from a Behringer mixer directly into my computer's sound card jacks. The ART's USB connection is much quieter, and the sound is warmer compared to the mixer. The USB connection only allows 16-bit recording, but there is a SPDIF output jack capable of 24-bit audio. FYI, the SPDIF output is intended for use with another audio interface. It did not work with the SPDIF jacks on my motherboard, which are geared towards 5.1 capture and playback. I am a hobbyist, so recording at 16-bit is a trade off I am willing to make for a unit that is as quiet, compact, easy to operate and feature-rich as this one.

            The ART USB Dual Tube Pre also works well in a live environment. The rear insert jacks double as direct line outs, which I connect into a two-channel powered PA system. Plugging my vocal mic and guitar into the ART before the PA definitely improves the sound of each and adds an additional, more accessible layer of control. The monitor output jacks will also function as line outs while adding any sound returning from a connected computer, which allows for the playback of backing tracks and frees up the insert jacks for effects. The gain, low cut, phase and compressor switches on each channel add to this unit's versatility.

            I would list some additional drawbacks, but there really aren't any in my opinion. It works exactly as advertised. ART posts the manual in PDF form on their website, which is well-written and detailed, so I knew what I was getting ahead of time. Again, consider the feature set against the price. Don't expect your jaw to drop to the floor in amazement when you plug this in and strum your guitar. It takes a bit of time for the tube to warm up and break in. It takes a bit of fiddling with it and trying different configurations before you get a feel for how it fits into your equipment lineup. My recording software has EQ control, as does my guitar pickup and PA system, so I do not miss it on this unit, but I imagine no EQ anywhere in the signal chain would be limiting.

            I have owned this product for six months and have no regrets purchasing it. For a hobbyist, it satisfies a number of needs quite well. If you are looking for a good quality audio interface to improve your sound on tape or on stage, I don't think you can go wrong with the ART USB Dual Tube Pre at the current price.

            Comment on this review

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Awesome product!

            By Banmier

            from Asheville

            About Me Experienced

            Ask me a question

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Clear Sound
            • Compact
            • Durable
            • Easy To Use
            • Full Of Awesome
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Amateur Recording
              • Events
              • Home Studio
              • Laptop Producer
              • Mobile DJ
              • Performances

              Comments about ART USB Dual Tube Pre:

              I'm using this unit with blue spark mics and the resulting sound is stunning. I would click the "recommend this to a friend" twice if I could. I really enjoy the ART products. -Like most of their other equipment the Dual Tube Pre has a really stout metal housing and the pots are really sturdy and smooth in their operation. The tube pre's are greatly appreciated. A buddy of mine described the sound with the tube pre's as being akin to the enjoyment of stepping on the pedal of a vintage muscle car. The USB interface works flawlessly –Currently I'm using this box with ASIO low latency drivers and I have had zero problems with its performance. With the addition of computer outs this box is great for musicians who are on the go with their laptop.

              Comment on this review

              (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great Interface!

              By Lucas

              from Marshall, AR

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Clear Sound
              • Compact
              • Durable
              • Easy To Use
              • Lightweight
              • Versatile

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Home Studio
                • Performances
                • Professional Recording

                Comments about ART USB Dual Tube Pre:

                ART should really make a rack-mountable, 8 mic/line version! I LOVE this product. I have used it for everything from vocals, percussion, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums, and live field recording-and they all sound wonderful. Even a cheap MXL 990 microphone is really enhanced by the preamps. Switchable gain, lcf, phase invert, and opto comp are major pluses. Did I mention that it can also function as a di? Presonus's audiobox has NOTHING on this. For the same price, this will give you professional results. Buy it.

                Comment on this review

                (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great little utility recording box!

                By Brian Skipworth

                from Undisclosed

                Comments about ART USB Dual Tube Pre:

                This box is exactly what I needed to expand a little practice space recording rig. We have a pair of MXL pencil condensers on a stereo bar over the drums and they run to the Dual Pre then into the S/PDIF input on an old M-Audio Firewire interface. The drums come through clear and my drummer is happy he can hear every nuance of his fills.

                This is a very solid, smartly conceived and executed product. Well done ART. Well done.
                A surprising number of features packed into this teeny little box. It's amazing the puzzle assembled by the circuit board and frontpanel designers. It helps to have small fingers when pressing the small, tightly-spaced buttons, but that's a direct result of the feature set.
                Feels sturdy, especially for Chinese factory-made product.
                Astoundingly cheap for the huge list of features and respectable sound quality.

                Comment on this review

                (12 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Better Than A Swiss Army Knife

                By Rick H

                from Kenosha WI

                Comments about ART USB Dual Tube Pre:

                ART has done it again. This amazing company always seems to know what my needs are. I'm sure many others must have the same requirements. This handy device does just about all necessary front end audio tasks in a very compact portable unit. It's stereo or two track mono with digital and analog outputs as well as having a USB interface. The only notable LACK is a digital input and there's no EQ. Those aren?t as essential and EQ can be done in post production. I wish these Dual USB Tube Pre's were around years ago. If you have any audio device that must be fed into any type of input, this is the unit to do the job. It has tube circuitry, phasing, low cut filters, switchable monitoring and a limiter. WOW, what more could you ask. To begin to answer that question you need to understand that this is a Swiss Army Knife type tool and isn't intended to be in the same league as high end components. Having said that, it sounds great and is very quiet. When you're on the go or have limited rack space, this will be way more than adequate. The interface USB is only 16bit but that is still absolute CD quality. Again, this is a problem solver and by far out-weighs any minor technical performance limitations.I also come across some compatibility issues which my be from something I didn't execute properly when setting up. The S/PDIF output didn't get recognized by three of the four interfaces I have. It does work quite well with my Tascam US 800 which is the one I need to use with it anyway. I just want you to be aware that I'm being candid here. Also, the first time I connected with my Vista desk top computer, My DAW only responded to a signal on one channel. If these are red flags for you, you need to investigate more fully. I usually suspect human error (my own), before I pass judgment. After all is considered, I highly recommend the ART USB Dual tube preamp.

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