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ART Digital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier

B&H # ARDMPA2 Mfr # DIGITAL MPA II
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
You Pay: $369.00
Product Highlights
  • 2-Channel
  • Instrument Input
  • Analog-to-Digital Converter
  • Phantom Power
  • Variable Impedance
  • Tube Gain Stage

The Digital MPA II from ART is a 2-channel microphone preamplifier that delivers a total of 70dB of gain, and can operate in either stereo or dual-mono mode. Based on the same circuitry as the ProMPA II, the microphone preamp is perfect for any sized studio, production facility, or live sound environment where digital output is required. The unit outputs all 3 major digital standards with Wordclock input and output also included.

The signal path of the DIGITAL MPA II consists of a discrete class-A microphone pre-amp followed by a variable low-cut filter, a tube circuit with a 20dB gain switch and then a phase switch. At this point the signal passes to both the analog output and a pair of insert jacks. The insert jacks allow processing of the signal before it is passed on to the analog to digital converter. Simply inserting a signal into this insert point provides access to the A/D converters, allowing the converter to be used independent of the preamp's analog functions.

The preamp provides variable input impedance, and the dual-tube gain stage has selectable plate voltages (high or normal). The unit has the ability to process a mid/side microphone set-up, and can also function as a dual-channel DI box using the 2 front panel instrument inputs. Two backlit VU meters display output level, while multi-colored LED arrays provide a visual reference of tube gain for each channel. The Digital MPA II is rack mountable and housed in a sturdy, 2U steel chassis.

2-channel, variable input impedance microphone preamplifier
Tube based gain stage with selectable plate voltages
Instrument input on front panel with automatic input selection
Analog to digital converter supporting ADAT Lightpipe, coaxial S/PDIF and AES/EBU digital output
Selectable sample rates up to 192kHz with optional 16-bit dithering of the 24-bit converter
Wordclock input and output, along with ADAT input, allows for working with different synchronization requirements
Dual insert points provide access to the signal for added processing just prior to the analog-to-digital converter, or for providing external access to the converter
Selectable Stereo/Dual operation of output controls
Variable low-cut filter per channel
Switchable +48V phantom power per channel
Supports Mid/Side miking technique
Large, dual, back-lit VU meters
Phase reverse per channel
Switchable for either +4dBu or -10dBV output
Number of Channels 2
Inputs 2 x XLR
2 x 1/4" TS phone Instrument (front panel)
1 x 1/4" TRS phone Insert
1 x TOSLink ADAT Lightpipe
1 x BNC Wordclock
Output 2 x XLR Line
2 x 1/4" TRS phone Line
1 x TOSLink ADAT Lightpipe
1 x RCA coaxial S/PDIF
1 x XLR AES/EBU
1 x BNC Wordclock
Phantom Power +48VDC, individually switchable
Multi Function 2-channel analog to digital converter:

44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192kHz internal sampling rates
24/16-bit switchable dithering

Gain Range 70dB
Maximum Output Level +27dBu
Frequency Response 15Hz to 48kHz, +0/-1dB @ normal plate voltage
15Hz to 120kHz, +0/-1dB @ high plate voltage
Noise EIN: -129dBu, A-weighted
Power Requirements 105~125VAC, 60Hz
Dimensions (WxDxH) 19 x 8.75 x 3.5" (483 x 222 x 89mm)
Weight 10.5 lbs (4.7kg)
Specialties Microphone impedance variable from 150Ω to 3kΩ
Supports Mid/Side microphone recording
ART Digital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier
  • AC Power Cable
  • Three (3) Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    ARTDigital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier
     
    4.8

    (based on 12 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (9)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (3)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    100%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Great sound quality (11)
    • Attractive (9)
    • Easy to mount (6)
    • Good power output (6)
    • Easy to set up (4)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Basic systems (3)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Tech savvy (4), Pro audio / DJ / mixing (3)
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No (6)

      Reviewed by 12 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-12

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      5.0

      Biscuits and Gravy !

      By Jason

      from Amherst, OH

      About Me Technically Challenged

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Attractive Design
      • Easy to Mount
      • Easy To Set Up
      • Great Metering
      • Great Sound Quality
      • Lots of features

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Home studio

        Comments about ART Digital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier:

        I just added two more channels to my DAW and this thing cooks up some great tone with all my mics. The high-Z inputs work great too. I use the S/PDIF out into a Presonus Firestudio and it works great after I changed the clock settings in the Firestudio to S/PDIF. If you don't you will get nasty clicks and pops!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        ART Tube Mic PreAmp: Digital MPA II

        By KT

        from San Jose, CA

        About Me Audiophile, Pro Audio / DJ, Technically Challenged

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Attractive Design
        • Easy to Mount
        • Easy To Set Up
        • Good Power Output
        • Great Sound Quality

        Cons

        • Heavy / Bulky

        Best Uses

        • Basic Systems
        • DJ / Mixing
        • Home

        Comments about ART Digital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier:

        I use this mic preamp for gig setup at home to preamp the SM87A and SM58 microphone before the mixer. Good XLR cables are used in the setup. So far, I have used the analog outputs portion. Not touching the digital outputs adn/or recording yet.

        Things that are great:
        -Pre-amp with no noise (if used with "+20db" button)
        Much better than the mixer preamp
        -The stock tube already sounds natural and nice adn realistic as real voice. I guess I'll use the stock tubes for a while (before upgrading the tubes later).
        -Setup is so smooth on the wireless SM87A.
        - The "+20db" button is magic! It boost up signal level with no noise at all.
        - No fan, so it is absolutely quite.
        - Great and so clear sound quality.

        Things that are not so great
        - Noise comes up if I don't use the "+20db" button and use the output level to increase level.
        - Noise is audible when turning output level pass 50% mark when "+20db" button is off

        In summary: Highly recommended mic preamp for either karaoke or live band

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        4.0

        Great preamp! Very glad I bought it!

        By Anton DeLost

        from London, ON, Canada

        About Me Practical, Pro Audio / DJ, Tech Savvy

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Attractive Design
        • Easy to Mount
        • Easy To Set Up
        • Good Power Output
        • Great Sound Quality

        Cons

        • Heavy / Bulky

        Best Uses

        • Basic Systems
        • Home
        • Larger Rooms

        Comments about ART Digital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier:

        I just bought this and havent used it much, but I have used it on acoustic guitars, stereo room mics for drums and vocals, so far. I love it on the guitars and vocals, it has great clarity and warmth, especially with the plate voltage button in, although there isn't too much difference with it in. I can't really tell what it sounds like with the room mics as they are harder to differentiate then a guitar.

        I am extremely impressed with how many things are on this preamp, especially for the price! A bunch of different gain stages makes this pre great to match any mic and get lots of gain out of any mic. First there is the mic pre, then a pot for impedance matching for any mic, then output gain, then if that's not enough you have a +20dB boost and a few extra dB on the plate voltage setting, THEN if you're using the digital outputs via ADAT or S/PDIF you have yet another gain stage - digital level. The amount of features really impressed me. Also the variable high pass filter is pretty cool, although it starts at 7.5Hz, which seems kind of unnecessary seeing as humans won't hear that... Although it would benefit whales.

        The only negative thing I could say about it is that (and maybe this was just on the one I got and my system), the ADAT was kind of weird when hooked up - there was a lot of pops. Even when synced with the clock on my 003. I then tried the S/PDIF, and it worked way better, although there was still pops here and there, but not nearly as much as ADAT. Also, I was using an RCA cable when hooked up to S/PDIF, not an actual S/PDIF cable, which perhaps couldve been the issue. I was also synced to S/PDIF when I did this. Sometimes there was a lot of noise if i didnt turn the unit and the interface and PT on in the right order. Turning off and back on a couple times would fix this. I'm pretty new to using digital I/O so this could be my fault for not knowing about this stuff. Also the light behind the VU meters went out a couple times, which was weird. 

        In closing, I really like this unit. Great for the price, and great in general. It looks really cool and impressive as well. I highly recommend it for a beginner setup or even a pro studio.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Worked right out of the box

        By Winn

        from Austin, TX

        About Me Professional Musician

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound
        • Good Warmth
        • Powerful

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Home Studio

          Comments about ART Digital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier:

          I use this in a ProTools LE 8 setup with a Rack+ interface (8 preamps), along with a Steinberg MR816X (8 preamps) connected through ADAT. This unit I connected using S/PDIF connected between the Rack+ and the ART Digital MPA II. This maxes out the number of inputs (18) the DigiDesign Rack+ interface can handle.

          I run a Cascade VinJet ribbon mic and a Rode NT1A condenser through it. Both sound great. The VinJet ribbon needs a lot of gain, and this unit provides that (it'd be nice to have a bit more, but it's fine). And it's nice to have these two mics already hooked up and ready to go all the time.

          The unit couldn't have been much simpler to set up and configure in ProTools. Just needed a single S/PDIF cable for the audio, and a BNC cable for the clock from the Rack+. Turned it on, set the levels as suggested in the manual, booted up the rest of the system, started ProTools, and was able to configure the I/O setup to use the two new S/PDIF channels. It was just real easy.

          I'm real pleased. I like ART hardware. It works well, and doesn't cost thousands.

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          ART's MPA Rocks

          By Rick Rockz

          from Berwyn, IL

          About Me Semi Pro Audio Engineer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Attractive Design
          • Great price
          • Great Sound Quality

          Cons

          • User Manual is Odd

          Best Uses

          • Recording Vocals

          Comments about ART Digital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier:

          * Using for vocal recordings
          * Like that Hi Z instrument jacks are on front
          * Inserts for compressor and/or EQ are great
          * The huge variety of digital output options at this price are unmatched
          * Very clean sound
          * It does take some experimentation to get a good output level on it, but I got it
          * User Manual could be better, but at least it has one!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great quality. Surpasses dbx 386

          By CJ

          from Los Angeles, CA

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Attractive Design
          • Easy to Mount
          • Easy To Set Up
          • Good Power Output
          • Great Sound Quality

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about ART Digital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier:

              ART once was one of the first companies that brought a sensation on guitar effect rack system with control pedal in the 90's. These days, those who never had an acquaintance with such brand history, they almost always tend to neglect to take this brand into their consideration due to it's ridiculously low prices. I am not going to talk about the bells and whistles of this gear. But unless you are considering investing $2000-3000 preamps, this is by far the best quality twin channel preamp that surpasses way beyond its class and rivals much higher class preamps. Obviously, there are minor issues with consistency in quality as almost all gears are made in China these days. But I remember ART pretty much was the last company that tried to produce durable high quality gears made in USA until recently while most other brands already began to produce plastic-everything from Taiwan and China long ago. Great quality from top to bottom.

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Great Product - You Won't Regret It

              By Enuncia

              from Elon, NC

              About Me Student in Pro Audio

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attractive Design
              • Easy Setup
              • Easy to Mount
              • Great Sound Quality
              • Professional Feel

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Live Audio
                • Studio

                Comments about ART Digital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier:

                I used an earlier version of this device extensively in the past (ART MPA Gold), and was always impressed by it. When it came time to add external pre's to my console, I purchased this unit without second thought, and man it was worth it. I've used it on bass guitar, electric guitar, vocals, and horns, and never been disappointed. The unit itself looks, feels, and sounds like a professional piece of gear, and you can replace the tubes later down the road if you want to further improve the sound.

                In short, if you looking in this price range for a good, solid pre-amp, this unit is definitely worth a look.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Excellent features for its price!

                By Crow

                from Guadalajara, Mexico

                About Me Audiophile, Pro Audio / DJ, Tech Savvy

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Good Power Output
                • Good price value
                • Great Sound Quality

                Cons

                • NONE

                Best Uses

                • Home studio Small studio

                Comments about ART Digital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier:

                This product is perfect if you want to have at least two preamp channels to improve your sound over the typical preamps included with modern interfaces. There are plenty of connectivity options including analog and digital outputs which can be used simultaneously. The original tubes as many of you should already know, can be replaced to obtain a different character of that tube sound that might work better with what you look for in a tube preamp. Overall very nice features for the money. It does have a learning curve but it seems that after a short while it is possible to become used to all its possibilities and get the best sound out of it. Really pleased with it so far and can´t wait to use it in a full album production.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Clean sound & Wonderfull design

                By Jeziel

                from Brazil

                About Me Studio engineer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Attractive Design
                • Great Sound Quality

                Cons

                • No bypass button

                Best Uses

                • Voices and Basses

                Comments about ART Digital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier:

                With my C414 Buls is a perfect combination!

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                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Very good preamp

                By Greggor

                from Metamora, IL

                About Me Tech Savvy

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Attractive Design
                • Easy Setup
                • Easy to Mount
                • Good Power Output
                • Great Sound Quality

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about ART Digital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier:

                    So far I have used this preamp on a pair of Oktava mics and was very please with the outcome. I really like the variable impedance control and how it finds the sweet spot of the microphone. Very low noise and the high plate voltage is especially nice for vocals. It made a big diference for bringing the vocals out in the mix. I plan to see what I can do with a couple of SM57 on the snare. Definitely a nice preamp for the money.

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    MPA II with JJ Tesla or Tung-Sol Tubes

                    By Gino

                    from Albuquerque

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy Setup
                    • Great Sound Quality

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about ART Digital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier:

                        Put the right tubes in this puppy and it is a good as any digital tube preamp on the market. Very wide frequency response. Great ability to match impedance. Set the plate voltage to high for over easy smoothing of vocals. ADAT was easy to setup with my Protools control surface. Don't spend too much money on tubes. JJ Tesla or Tung-Sol sound great.[...]

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                        (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Great Amp

                        By HGB

                        from Washington,DC

                        About Me Tech Savvy

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Attractive Design
                        • Crisp Sound
                        • Easy To Connect
                        • Great Sound Quality

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Basic Systems

                          Comments about ART Digital MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier:

                          I use this in an interface rack with other equipment.

                          Share this review

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