ART PRO MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier

ART PRO MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier

ART PRO MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier

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Product Highlights

  • 2-Channel
  • Instrument Input
  • Phantom Power
  • Variable Impedance
  • Tube Gain Stage
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ART PRO MPA II overview

  • 1Description

The Pro 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. Perfect for any sized studio, production facility, or live sound environment, the preamp provides variable input impedance, and a dual-tube gain stage with 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 Pro 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
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
UPC: 840402018360
In the Box
ART PRO MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier
  • AC Power Cable
  • Three (3) Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    ART PRO MPA II specs

    Number of Channels 2
    Inputs 2 x XLR
    2 x 1/4" TS phone Instrument (front panel)
    Output 2 x XLR
    2 x 1/4" TRS phone
    Phantom Power +48VDC, individually switchable
    Multi Function No
    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
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 13.4 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 21.8 x 11.0 x 5.3"

    ART PRO MPA II reviews

    PRO MPA II - Microphone Preamplifier is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 15.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from MPA II - Fantastic Preamp I used this as a preamp for my turntable to add tube warmth to my system,- amazing tube sound enhancement - this preamp can be used at line level or Mic level input with variable input impedance and gain. Extremely versatile ... I am swapping out the stock 12ax7's for large plate Sovtek tubes eventually - but I don't hear any distortion or tube harmonics as delivered by the manufacturer with the stock tubes. Extremely low noise level. No real complaints here ... It does require a bit of patients to get the right gain and impedance for the input signal - trial and error worked for me. Worth every penny ... Great unit - I highly recommend it. RJP , New York
    Date published: 2010-01-25
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing for the Money Although I have a tube mic and several software tube emulations in my project studio, I thought a real tube preamp might be a great addition. And having variable input impedance like the Pro MPA II provides would be very beneficial with my dynamic and ribbon mics. I record small sessions, usually one or two musicians on acoustic instruments (and some electric guitars/bass) so both the mic level inputs and the instrument inputs will be employed at various times. I started out making some technical tests - first noise measurements. Using a 150 Ohm XLR terminator on the mic inputs and with all gains at max, I found the EIN lower than the -129 dBu spec, very quiet. And the two channels matched within a couple tenths of a dB. At any gain I tested the output noise level never exceeded -80 dBu. Next I measured gain and gain matching between channels using a line input. Even intermediate settings of gain on the detented dials tracked within 0.5 dB. Very impressive performance. I analyzed the distortion characteristics using both the low and high plate voltages, and a spectrum analyzer, as well as listening to the 'fattening' of the test signals. Again, the two channels performed closely at the same drive and gain settings. And the overdrive effect was very controllable, slowly increasing with level at low plate voltage, and popping up suddenly at maximum drive with the high plate voltage. In fact, the high plate voltage mode can provide very clean sound if you desire it -- just keep the tube drive level at least 8 dB below the 'red' zone of the Tube Warmth meter. Very versatile preamp.I also ran tests with a ribbon mic and a condenser mic., and found I could significantly change the tone of the ribbon by changing input impedance, and could easily push the tube drive level with either mic hard enough to get a good 'tube' sound. Overall, I am very impressed with what Applied Research and Technology has delivered with the Pro MPA II.
    Date published: 2014-06-26
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good as advertised I work for the communications office in Victoria, Texas. We use the PRO MPAII for the radio programs we produce for four radio stations in town and for a lot of voice over projects for both radio and audio projects for our City-owned television channel. The unit is a very high quality mic preamp that has better audio quality than the mixer preamp we were using. The set up is easy and the preamp has lots of gain. It does take a bit of learning to get just the right amount of gain, impedance setting and output for each mic. We use both Rode NT1as and Equitek 100S mics with this preamp - both sound great through it. We set the impedance on the actual microphone to start with and experiment from there. We use the high tube plate button on, 48 volts on (for our mics) and the plate voltage on high. We use a fair amount of the tubes to soften the mics.
    Date published: 2013-07-01
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from STATE OF THE ART I purchased this in a recording package I built to be a rack mount portable recording studio system. I added this to a DBZ 266XS Compressor/Gate and a SS-CDR200 recording unit. The true test came when recording a local symphony when I heard the sound produced and recorded by these units working together. Smooth, clear, unmolested sounds were the mark of the day. The orchestra members and the director were very impressed. ..and it was easy to set up for this impressive recording!
    Date published: 2013-11-07
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from More great ART gear I use this with a pair of condenser mics--one on vocals, one on accoustic guitar. There is a nice warmth and plenty of punch at the output, which I send to a dbx 265 compressor. Most of the controls are pretty intuitive and the large VU meters with associated peak level LEDs give you an easily readable reference--along with a great retro look. I have not been able to determine exactly what the impedence matching control does. I understand the purpose of impedence matching, but cannot discern any difference in the sound no matter where I set it. Maybe I need more practice, or better ears. I would definitely recommend this anyone looking for a good low cost mic pre with some really advanced features and great looks.
    Date published: 2014-06-25
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Forget the price, these sound good I have 4 ART Stereo preamps in my home studio, and 2 of this specific model. I have a previous model, and the digital version, also. To my ears, they sound great, giving me a pleasing, warm, tube-ish sound. The adjustable plate voltage gives you a lot of flexibility, and can make even SM57 mics sound pretty darn good. With a good condensor mic, they are wonderful. They have enough gain to use with Cascade Fathead ribbon mics. Sound-on-Sound recently did a test of eight different pre-amps, some very expensive ones, and this one did very well in blind tests.
    Date published: 2012-10-17
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Performance, value and creative control! This was that unique piece of gear which didn't have a lot of features I didn't want, and is really high quality on the main feature I DID want: great sound with just the right amount of creative control. Based on the quality of sound, I can't believe this unit doesn't cost $1,000 or more. My only disappointment was a fuzzy sound out of the box with the cheap tubes that came with it. I swapped those out with some Tung-Sols, and the sound was rich, clear, open and detailed, and with the quality that I call REAL (rather than warm) and not clinical. Also has plenty of gain, more than enough for most mics, and enough for ribbons, with the impedance matching which is also very useful. I look forward to trying the M/S feature. This unit is priced so attractively that I could see myself adding another unit for two more great-sounding channels.One possible frustration for some is that there are three gain stages (plus a level switch on the back), and each has its own purpose and limitation in how you use it. There could be a bit of a learning curve for some, but it is absolutely worth your time to learn what you can do with this! The ability to be creative in shaping the sound at this stage is very rewarding.Also, unlike some other tube hybrid designs, the ART PRO MPA II allows you to operate it in starved plate mode OR high plate voltage mode. And in each mode, you can drive the tubes hard or easy, and decide how you want to shape your sound with this control. For me, this is exciting and attractive. I hear how did you get that great sound? It's this preamp!I use this product primarily to record live acoustic music. I think most people look at this as something which sits in a studio, but it does really well in a rack case on location.
    Date published: 2012-05-10
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Pre Amp I just bought this pre-amp about 2 months ago and so far have had no issues at all. One of the selling points for me was the variable impedance, it offers amazing flexibility! The ability to to control both how much tube sound you want, as well being able to exactly match the mic and then play around it a bit is incredible. I have heard of people switch out the tubes for better one, and I guess depending on your application may be necessary but all in all it gets a great sound out of the box and especially for the price!
    Date published: 2011-04-14
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