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ART MPA Pro II mic pre
Old 22nd January 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
ART MPA Pro II mic pre

I just noticed that ART have just released a new version of their MPA Gold preamp :-

MPA Pro II

Applied Research & Technology: Tube Mic Preamps

I'm wondering if there has been any improvement in the audio quality from the MPA Gold?
Old 22nd January 2009
  #2
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
How do you like your MPA gold?
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I haven't been able to try it out much yet and it still has stock tubes. From the very small time I've spent with it I really like it.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks, I was looking at the MPA Pro II and am very tempted to give it a go. I don't hear much about ART, but when I do it seems as though they offer pretty good equipment for the money and those of us that don't want to spend thousands of dollars in the process.

The most pressing thing I really need is a headphone amplifier, so I'm pretty much sold on trying their HeadAmp 6 Pro 6. If I like it I will give the MPA Pro II a go.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Anyone know a retail price or so?
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm quite keen to find out if there has been any improvement in the audio quality over the MPA Gold or if it's just had a facelift with a couple of new features?
Old 16th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Word on the street is that it will retail for around $299. I sent an email to ART to get some info on the street price and the release date.

You'll probably still want to upgrade to some different tubes. I love the original MPA Gold, and in shootouts I have often chosen it over preamps costing much much more. Regardless of the price, this is a solid tube preamp. But then considering the price, it's a winner.

- Red Dog
Old 16th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I can confirm for you:

1) Ships in April
2) $299 street

I will investigate the other changes, whether the sound has changed much or if it's a new look.

War
Old 16th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead ➑️
I can confirm for you:

1) Ships in April
2) $299 street

I will investigate the other changes, whether the sound has changed much or if it's a new look.

War
Great, Nice one!
Old 27th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Hmm, the input impedance only goes to 2.4k ohms, whereas the old MPA Gold went to 3.0k ohms, or respectively "eleven" as Nigel Tufnel would say.
Old 4th March 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Here for the gear
 
The Dark Lord's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I just ordered one off sweetwater...I'll let you know how it sounds shortly...
Old 6th March 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Here for the gear
 
The Dark Lord's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I just got word from my sweetwater rep that these won't be shipping out until late april
Old 13th March 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Has anyone seen (heard) this thing ? Definately has me curious.

Steve
Old 16th March 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead ➑️
I can confirm for you:

1) Ships in April
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Lord ➑️
I just got word from my sweetwater rep that these won't be shipping out until late april
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjari ➑️
Has anyone seen (heard) this thing ? Definately has me curious.
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead ➑️
I can confirm for you:

1) Ships in April
I swear I'm not makin' this stuff up!

War
Old 18th March 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
What you don't have a chair made of asbestos Warren?

Mmm tender, flaky, white asbestos.
Old 15th April 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead ➑️
I can confirm for you:

1) Ships in April
2) $299 street

I will investigate the other changes, whether the sound has changed much or if it's a new look.

War
Hi War,

Any news on this pre yet?
I heard from an ART rep earlier that :-

"The newer version is improved... it looks nicer (I think), with a sculpted /
routed face pane. More features- a stereo mode as well as mid/side matrix
capabilities, and the input gain control has a more linear effect on the
levels. It also has led's backlighting the meter, the old version uses
incandescent bulbs that would burn out and need replacing after a while.
I don't have comparative specs line by line, but the design Engineer says it
will be quieter. At the least new/ better pots were used and they changed
the gain structure to address a complaint people had with the earlier model
in that the input gain was not all that linear and made a jump at the end of
the pot travel."

Would be great if the noise has been reduced and the gain issue is resolved!
Old 24th April 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
fyi the picture on their site of the mpa pro II shows input impedance going to 3k (or Nigel=11) still.

not that I expect it matters. for me it's the lower impedances that are rare and add special tones to dynamic/ribbon mics compared to the higher impedances which afaik are the norm on other preamps.

cheers
don
Old 14th July 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Nut
 
RDMS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I just bought one... it's nice. well built and good tones.
ART are certainly lifting their game with this one..
It's no Avalon beater but most worthy of rack space.
Old 16th July 2009
  #19
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
How are the noise levels of the MPA II, I have two of the MPA Gold and although they sound very good with Mullard 12ax7, or Tung Sol 12ax7 tubes. They both are the noisest budget preamps I have tried so far!! If the noise levels are good on the new MPA, the thing should sound world class!!
Old 6th August 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Addict
 
CharlesCola's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
is there any feedback on the new MPA PRO II yet? would be great to see if it performs as good as/better or worse than MPA Gold... cheers
Old 17th April 2011 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Just curious now that it's been a couple years since some of the people in this thread got their ART Pro MPA IIs, how do you like it? MPA II vs the MPA Gold?
Old 17th April 2011
  #22
Here for the gear
 
ShawnKrewe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
What are good tubes to replace the stock ones with?

I know there's a a lot of brands to choose but has anyone replaced them and are positive they have a way better sound then before?

Thanks

Sent from my Droid using Gearslutz.com App
Old 18th April 2011 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
icecubeman's Avatar
 
10 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I just replaced tubes in MPA II with JJ Electronics ECC83S gold pin version. I'll post some examples soon... There was some kind of unbranded "made in china" stock tubes
Old 25th April 2011 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
So, I've kind of been in the process of doing a complete overhaul on my recording rig. I am wanting to buy an Echo Audiofire 4 to use as my interface, but the deal is, I want 6 ins, and to have that many ins with the Audiofire 4, I will have to make use of the S/PDIF in on the back.

So, I would like to get the digital MPA II, because I really don't know of any other dual preamps with S/PDIF out that I would buy because I actually like the way they sound, and not just for the fact that they have S/PDIF output. That way I can get whatever preamps I want in the future to come in on analog ins 3 and 4 and not have to worry about them having built in conversion, but I am wondering if this is really a wise idea.

Basically, I think I would use the analog outs most of the time, except for when I need to use 6 channels at once and so have channels 3 and 4 occupied with "analog out only" gear, so I have 2 concerns, being,

1. Would using the MPA II's conversion and S/PDIF output cause any undesirable changes from the way the preamp sounds when using analog output (in the analog only model)?

and also,

2. Would the digital circuit add any extra noise or other artifacts to the signal even when using the analog outs just by virtue of being in there?

I'm aware some people have had trouble getting a signal from their MPA II's S/PDIF output to make it to their DAW, but it seems most of the people making those claims reported back that they were able to solve the problem and it was usually a setup error, plus, I'll be buying from a vendor with a no-hassle 30-day money-back guarantee, so if it doesn't work out, I'll just send it back.

What do you guys think? Does anyone with the digital MPA II notice a difference in sound quality when using the preamp's digital outputs vs. using the preamp's analog outputs?
Old 25th April 2011 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanp ➑️

So, I would like to get the digital MPA II, because I really don't know of any other dual preamps with S/PDIF out that I would buy because I actually like the way they sound, and not just for the fact that they have S/PDIF output.
Have you considered or tried the Audient Mico?

MiCO Dual Microphone Preamplifier | Audient

These are clean/transparent sounding preamps that get compared to DAV, Grace and True Systems pres.
Old 25th April 2011 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
ivmike's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanp ➑️
Just curious now that it's been a couple years since some of the people in this thread got their ART Pro MPA IIs, how do you like it? MPA II vs the MPA Gold?
I have one of each unit; I like them both as they both do their job very, very well. You can't lose with either the MPA II or the MPA Gold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnKrewe ➑️
What are good tubes to replace the stock ones with?

I know there's a a lot of brands to choose but has anyone replaced them and are positive they have a way better sound then before?

Thanks

Sent from my Droid using Gearslutz.com App
I have replaced the tubes in my MPA II; I swapped out the stock tubes and replaced them with Sylvania Long Plate NOS tubes (matched) from BOWIE. I had a noticeable increase in headroom and much, much lower noise.

The MPA Gold that I own was purchased used from a fellow GS member; he had re-tubed it with NOS Mullards and it too has great headroom and low noise. If anything, the Mullards sound a bit darker than the Sylvania tubes, which is nice; it gives me two fantastic pre-amp options.

Both units are winners, in my book.
Old 25th April 2011 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk ➑️
Have you considered or tried the Audient Mico?

MiCO Dual Microphone Preamplifier | Audient

These are clean/transparent sounding preamps that get compared to DAV, Grace and True Systems pres.
It looks very nice, but it is not within my budget. I can get a B-stock digital MPA for 310, so the audient would be double the cost. Jobless college student here... Got to make the most with the savings I have from last job.

Basically, I'm looking for the stuff that is cheap and for whatever reason sounds way better than it's price. I have some sylvania tubes as well from BOWIE that he selected for low noise, I'm excited to get my MPA set up and running.
Old 28th April 2011 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Alright, I bought a B-stock Digital MPA II from a good internet site with a no-hassle 30-day return policy (I know this because I have already returned 2 items to them that didn't work out for my setup)... In case anyone cares to know.

I'm looking forward to swapping out the stock tubes for the sylvanias I have and seeing how it sounds. I had a MPA Gold years ago and was fairly happy with the sound of the stock tubes, so the sylvanias should be even better.

Something I would like to do is to swap out one of the tubes and leave the other in and do some recordings with a single mic and a Y-cable into both channels to test the differences between stock tubes and the NOS ones. I'm still waiting for a good deal on an Echo Audiofire 4 though, so I won't be able to do this until that happens...

!
Old 29th April 2011 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
StephenWiley's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i have picked up an art pro vla II myself. i love this thing. only complaint is a very, very slight muddying of the low end that effects my kick drum. would better tubes remedy this? i've been trying to find out how to PM "BOWIE" because he is supposed to be the know-it-all when it comes to this stuff but i can't figure out how

also....i have never even opened a piece of hardware. will it be hard to swap in new tubes?
Old 29th April 2011 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
icecubeman's Avatar
 
10 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
It is pretty easy to change tubes in this one and I definitely remove the nonbranded chinese tubes in it. They has lack of bottom and mids, harsh highs {in area of 2 to 4 kHz}. You can change it for some NOS or you can try new produced tubes. I think the best in current production is JJ electronics tubes in goldpin version. It brings a lot of headroom with great mid contours and brighter/cleaner highs.

Check the comparison here https://gearspace.com/board/low-end-...ml#post6592881
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