IMPORTANT SAFETY INSTRUCTION – READ FIRST
This symbol, whenever it appears,
alerts you to the presence of uninsulated
dangerous voltage inside the enclosure-voltage
that may be sufficient to constitute a risk of shock.
This symbol, wherever it appears, alerts
you to important operating and maintenance
instructions in the accompanying literature.
Read manual.
Read instructions:
Retain these safety and operating instructions for future reference. Heed all warnings printed here and on the equipment.
Follow the operating instructions printed in this user guide.
Do not open:
There are no user serviceable parts inside. Refer any service work to qualified technical personnel only.
Power sources:
Connect the unit to mains power only of the type described in this user guide or marked on the rear panel. The power
source must provide a good ground connection.
Power cord:
Use the power cord with sealed mains plug appropriate for your local main supply as provided with the equipment. If the
provided plug does not fit into you outlet consult your service agent. Route the power cord so that it is not likely to be
walked on, stretched or pinched by items placed upon or against.
Grounding:
Do not defeat the grounding and polarization means of the power cord plug. Do not remove or tamper with the ground
connection on the power cord.
Ventilation:
Do not obstruct the ventilation slots or position the unit where the air required for ventilation is impeded. If the unit is to be
operated in a rack, case or other furniture ensure that it is constructed to allow adequate ventilation.
Moisture:
To reduce the risk of fire or electrical shock do not expose the unit to rain, moisture or use in damp or wet conditions. Do
not place container of liquid on it, which may spill into any openings.
Heat:
Do not locate the unit in a place close to excessive heat or direct sunlight, as this could be a fire hazard. Locate the unit
away from any equipment, which produces heat such as: power supplies, power amplifiers and heaters.
Environment:
Protect from excessive dirt, dust, heat, and vibration when operating and storing. Avoid tobacco ash, drink spillage and
smoke, especially that associated with smoke machines.
Handling:
To prevent damage to the controls and cosmetics avoid rough handling and excessive vibration. Protect the controls form
damage during transit. Use adequate padding if you need to ship the unit. To avoid injury to yourself or damage to the
equipment take care when lifting, moving or carrying the unit.
Servicing:
Switch off the equipment and unplug the power cord immediately if it is exposed to moisture, spilled liquid, objects fallen
into opening, the power cord or plug becomes damaged during a lightning storm or if smoke odor or noise is noted. Refer
servicing to qualified technical personnel only.
Installation:
Install the unit in accordance with the instruction printed in the user guide.
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The ART TPS II
Tube Preamp System
INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................................3
TPS II FEATURES: ...........................................................................................................................4
INSTALLATION....................................................................................................................................5
AC Power Hookup.....................................................................................................................5
Audio Connections ....................................................................................................................5
CONTROLS & INDICATORS ........................................................................................ 6
Input control ..............................................................................................................................6
+20db gain switch .....................................................................................................................6
Input Impedance Control...........................................................................................................6
TPS II™ Front Panel Features Diagram..........................................................................................7
Phantom power +48v switch .....................................................................................................7
Phase reverse switch .............................................................................................................7-8
V3 – Variable Valve VOICING Control................................................................................8
LED Input Meter ........................................................................................................................9
VU METER ...............................................................................................................................9
OUTPUT control .....................................................................................................................10
CONNECTIONS .................................................................................................................................11
Rear Input Jacks .....................................................................................................................12
XLR Output Jacks (Rear) ........................................................................................................12
¼” Output Jacks (Rear)...........................................................................................................12
TPS II signal Flow Diagram ..........................................................................................................13
OPERATION.......................................................................................................................................14
Neutral Settings: .....................................................................................................................14
Warm Settings with OPL: ........................................................................................................14
Neutral Settings with OPL: ......................................................................................................14
Using V3: .............................................................................................................................15
WARRANTY INFORMATION ...................................................................................... 16
SERVICE ............................................................................................................................................17
TPS II SPECIFICATIONS................................................................................................................18
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INTRODUCTION
Thank you for purchasing an ART TPS II (Tube Preamp System) - and
congratulations: You now own one of the most versatile preamplifiers
available. Offering a superb level of sound quality, the TPS II hybrid tube
and solid state circuit design, combined with a straightforward user
interface, quickly and easily gives you access to all of its features.
The original ART Tube MP put professional-caliber tube preamplification
into the hands of thousands of musicians and recordists that wanted great
tube tone in a compact and flexible package. The New ART TPS II is
designed with recording musicians in mind. It has been carefully engineered
and manufactured to provide you with years of great sound and reliable
service.
The TPS II extends the range of applications by adding V3 (Variable
Valve Voicing) which will help you to quickly and easily record a variety of
instruments – including drums, keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars, and
more. We also feature OPL Output Protection Limiter to make V3 even
more powerful. The TPS II also functions as a direct box, with impedance
matching and preamplification for instrument or line-level sources.
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TPS II FEATURES:
• Dual Analog VU metering
• Dual LED input metering
• V3 (Variable Valve Voicing) with OPL (switch selectable)
• Over 75 dB of gain
• Adjustable input impedance
• Hand selected 12AX7A dual triode tube
• Balanced XLR inputs and outputs
• ¼” High impedance Instrument input plus balanced ¼” line level input
• Automatic instrument input switching
• +48V Phantom Power (switch selectable)
• Phase Reverse Switch
• Gain (+20dB) Switch
• Input Gain Control
• Output Level Control
• Fully shielded all-steel chassis
• Designed and developed in the USA
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INSTALLATION
The TPS II may be used in a wide variety of applications and
environments. In a rack-mountable, all-steel enclosure, the units are
designed for continuous professional use. Mounting location is not
critical. However, for greater reliability we recommend that you not
place the units on top of power amps or other sources of heat. The
tube circuitry needs about a minute to “warm up” from a cold power up.
AC POWER HOOKUP
The TPS II has an internal power supply designed to operate at 115
VAC @ 50 to 60 Hz. Units manufactured for use outside the United
States of America have been modified to comply with the required
electrical specifications.
AUDIO CONNECTIONS
Rear audio input connections the TPS II are balanced XLR (Pin 2 =
Hot (+), Pin 3 = Cold (-), Pin 1 = Ground) and balanced ¼” (Tip = Hot
(+), Ring = Cold (-), Sleeve = Ground).
The front panel combo jack is balanced XLR mic level input, or ¼”
unbalanced instrument level input. When the front ¼” input is used it
bypasses the mic preamplifier, allowing you to keep an active input
plugged into either of the rear input jacks. The instrument input is
ALWAYS high impedance, and is not affected by the input impedance
control.
We recommend that you switch off the +48V Phantom Power
whenever changing connections to the XLR input.
The rear output XLR connectors are balanced (Pin 2 = Hot (+),
Pin 3 = Cold (-), Pin 1 = Ground), while the output ¼”jacks
(Tip = Hot (+),Sleeve = Ground) are unbalanced.
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CONTROLS & INDICATORS
INPUT CONTROL
The Input Control sets the amount of input gain of the TPS II. Turn
the control clockwise to increase gain and counterclockwise to
decrease gain. You may control two ranges of gain with this control,
+20 to +68dB and +0 to +48dB. The maximum mic input signal is
+19dBm when the input gain is set to “0”, removing the need for a pad
switch. Selection of the gain range is made with the +20dB gain switch.
NOTE: This control, along with the +20 dB Switch, is responsible for
any saturation of the tube. To change the tube character, utilize these
2 controls.
+20DB GAIN SWITCH
Use the +20dB Gain Switch to set the gain range of the input control.
When the switch is out, the unit operates in Normal mode. Depressing
the switch adds 20dB of gain. For microphone applications, where
more gain is needed, push the switch in. For hot line level inputs, set
the switch in the out position.
INPUT IMPEDANCE CONTROL
The same microphone can sound different on various pre-amps. One
reason is that every pre-amp presents a different load to on its’ input,
some even change as gain is changed! Our third generation discrete
front end was designed to be absolutely transparent. Every nuance of
the microphone is maintained providing detail masked by inferior preamps. The Input Impedance control is one key element in providing
new versatility in voicing microphones.
NOTE: the Input impedance control only affects mic/line inputs. The ¼”
instrument input on the front panel is NOT affected by this control in
any way. The instrument input impedance is ALWAYS >1M Ohm.
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TPS II™ Front Panel Features
PHANTOM POWER +48V SWITCH
The TPS II can power any microphone needing +48 volts DC
Phantom power. Phantom power is supplied to pins 2 and 3 of the XLR
Input jack when this switch is depressed. The TPS II will slowly apply
and remove the +48volts, to prevent damage to microphones.
Be sure to turn down or mute the output of the TPS II when engaging
or disengaging Phantom power. Additionally, when disengaging, allow
30 to 45 seconds for the power to completely discharge. Most
microphones will make a sound like air leaking from a tire when
Phantom power is disconnected, but some can make some very nasty
low rumbles and whines as well.
Dynamic microphones should not be affected or damaged if they are
plugged into a line where Phantom power is present. However, if the
mic doesn't need it, do not use it. Some things are best left untested!
PHASE REVERSE SWITCH
The Phase Reverse switch is provided to reverse the phase of the
signal. This switch works on Pins 2 and 3 of the XLR output jack and
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also reverses the polarity of the ¼” output jack. In the Normal position,
the signal is in-phase. In the Reverse (or “in”) position, Pins 2 and 3
are reversed and the signal is changed to 180 degrees out of phase.
In multiple microphone applications, mic placement can affect the
phase of the signals. If two microphones pick up the same signal from
different locations, the result can be a hollow or frequency “shifted”
sound. In some cases it may sound as if an instrument disappears if it
happens to be 180 degrees out of phase. Depressing the Phase switch
can remedy this. In general, if your sound is “thin” or “out of position”,
try reversing the phase to correct the problem.
V3 – VARIABLE VALVE VOICING CONTROL
The TPS II features ART’s proprietary V3 technology. V3 (which
stands for Variable Valve Voicing), provides optimized reference points
to begin the recording process for guitars, bass guitars, synths,
acoustic instruments, percussion and more.
ART engineers ran our preamplification circuit through a battery of
tests and real life studio conditions. Our goal was to create a processor
that would allow a user to have presets that were optimized for specific
recording applications. We set out to create a preamp that would be
nimble enough to handle both violins and kick drums, and nearly
everything in between.
We wanted to take the guessing out of the equation – and that is how
we developed V3. It’s simple, easy and it works really well.
For example, if you are recording an acoustic guitar, V3 has a preset
that has been optimized for that instrument. Once the preset is chosen,
the user can even fine tune the signal using the gain controls – which
shows the true power of V3 technology…it’s tweakable. V3 even
features a multi setting, which is useful for a wide variety of
applications – like overhead micing, broadcast and field recording.
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This means that it is now quicker and easier than ever to make great
recordings! Musicians want to play, not spend hours adjusting knobs.
No other microphone preamp is as user-friendly as the TPS II.
LED INPUT METER
The Input Meter displays the level before the tube gain circuit. This
peak-weighted meter allows you to get the best performance out of the
unit and prevent input clipping.
The signal level should average –6 to 0 dB on the meter, occasionally
hitting the clip light on the highest peaks. When the meter is in this
range, you are getting the lowest noise and distortion out of the preamp stage.
Adjust the Input control to keep the meter in this range. The +20dB
switch does not affect the meter, as the switch is part of the tube gain
stage.
VU METER
The VU Meter gives an analog representation of the TPS II tube
output signal level. Besides showing the average analog level, it is
sensitive to attack transients. When not using OPL, the VU Meter is
a great indicator of how hard you are running the tube. It also helps in
setting a consistent level as you change mics and instrument sources.
The VU Meter also reflects the impact of the OPL circuitry on the
signal. For example, if the signal is “in the red” on the meter, the meter
will reflect the attenuation of the signal when the OPL is activated,
and the signal is brought out of the “red”.
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OUTPUT CONTROL
The Output Control sets the output level of the TPS II. When the
control is fully counterclockwise, there is no output. Turning the control
clockwise increases the level of the output signal. When setting the
Output level control, refer to the VU Meter for an accurate level leaving
the preamp.
When setting the Output level control, refer to the VU Meter for an
accurate level leaving the preamp. The marking on the output control
determines the meter calibration to output level. If the Output control is
set to –10, then the output of the unit is –10dBu when the meter reads
0 VU. For +4 (pro) systems, set the Output control to +4 and the meter
will be calibrated to your system levels.
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CONNECTIONS
It is easy to interface the unit with a wide variety of equipment. The
front panel houses 2 dual-purpose ¼” / XLR input jacks, and the rear
houses balanced XLR and ¼” inputs as well as balanced XLR and
unbalanced ¼” outputs. Standard ¼” and XLR inputs and outputs
make patching simple.
DUAL PURPOSE INPUT JACKS (FRONT)
The front mounted, dual-purpose jacks act as both balanced XLR
jacks, and unbalanced ¼” jacks.
The XLR Input jacks are primarily intended for microphone input, and
as such, can furnish Phantom Power when needed. They can handle
up to +19 dBu signals, which is the hottest signal you would get out of
any microphone. For even hotter input signals, you should use the ¼”
input jack. The XLR Input jack’s variable input impedance is extremely
flat over a wide frequency range, which allows it to be voiced to
virtually any microphone (one of the lesser known secrets – it’s why
the unit will always sound good!).
The ¼” Input jacks are for instrument and line level inputs. They have
high input impedance to minimize any loading effects on instrument
pickups. They can also handle up to +22 dBu signals for line level
signals.
When a device is plugged into the front ¼” input jack, rear inputs are
ignored. This allows you to keep the rear inputs connected and
override them when you plug into the front panel instrument input. The
Instrument input is NOT affected by the input Impedance control, it is
always a high-Z input.
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REAR INPUT JACKS
The rear XLR and ¼” input jacks are directly wired together. The ¼”
jack being wired TRS balanced (Tip = HOT, Ring = COLD, Sleeve =
GROUND). The rear panel ¼” jack is intended for low level line inputs. The
input impedance of these jacks varies with the Input Impedance control from 150
to 3000 Ohms.
Use the front panel ¼” input for instruments and unbalanced line level
signals.
If the front ¼” input is in use, the TPS II will use the instrument input
and ignore the rear panel inputs.
XLR OUTPUT JACKS (REAR)
The XLR Output jacks of the TPS II are active balanced. You may
use them in an unbalanced configuration without harm to the output
circuitry. The XLR outputs can provide a hefty signal level (+28dBu) at
a low impedance, so make sure that you do not overdrive equipment
with sensitive inputs. When using the DPS II™ on the front end of a
mixer, go into the mixer’s line in or insert inputs and not necessarily
into the mixer’s microphone input, unless the mixer can pad that input’s
level.
¼” OUTPUT JACKS (REAR)
The ¼” Output jacks are unbalanced and should be used for sending
signals to amps, processors, or other unbalanced configurations.
Both balanced and unbalanced output connections may be used
simultaneously. This is particularly useful when using the TPS II as a
direct box for instruments or line level signals. Make sure that both
pieces of equipment connected to the preamp’s outputs are connected
to the same earth ground, beforehand, to avoid electrical shock.
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If you experience a grounding hum when using both output connectors
(one to a console, one to an instrument amp) simultaneously, a ground
loop may be the problem. To remedy this problem, disconnect the
ground wire (pin 1) from the XLR cable plugged into the preamp’s
output. This interrupts the ground path, and therefore breaks the loop.
TPS II™ signal Flow Diagram
The above diagram outlines the signal flow of the TPS II™. It provides
for a handy optical reference for what is occurring to the signal, and the
various features of the TPS II™, and their location and interaction with
the signal.
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OPERATION
The TPS II is one of the most versatile preamplification systems
available. Through use of the V3 technology, numerous instruments
can be processed by the TPS II system. Simply mic the instrument (if
acoustic), amp, or plug the instrument directly in to take full advantage
of V3 technology.
V3 SETTINGS AND THEIR APPLICATIONS WHEN PROCESSING:
When observing the V3 dial from a clockwise perspective, the
following settings are:
NEUTRAL SETTINGS:
These are useful for uncolored, natural reproduction of sound.
6:00 - Neutral Flat
6:45 – Neutral Vocal (Microphone)
7:30 – Neutral Guitar Amplifier
8:15 – Neutral Bass Guitar
WARM SETTINGS:
These are useful when warming a signal is desired.
9:00 – Warm Electronic Keyboard
9:45 – Warm Electric Guitar
10:30 – Warm Vocal Microphone
11:15 – Warm Valve
WARM SETTINGS WITH OPL:
These are useful with high sound pressure levels, close proximity
micing, and spiky transients, as well as warming the signal.
12:00 – Warm OPL Multiple Applications
12:45 – Warm OPL Vocal
1:30 – Warm OPL Acoustic Guitar
2:15 – Warm OPL Piano
NEUTRAL SETTINGS WITH OPL:
These are useful with high spl’s, close micing and spiky transients, as
well as maintaining clarity.
3:00 – Neutral OPL Bass Guitar
3:45 – Neutral OPL Acoustic Guitar
4:30 – Neutral OPL Percussion
5:15 – Neutral OPL Limit
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USING V3:
The V3 presets have been voiced with the intent of being a starting
point for the recording process.
The key to good recordings is to consider all the variables you will
encounter during the process.
For example…which microphone are you using? Are you recording a
particularly bright guitar into a very trebly guitar amplifier? Are the
strings on your acoustic made of metal or nylon? Is the room live or
flat?
We mention this because V3 is intended as a reference, not a hardand-fast absolute. For your particular applications, a bass guitar may
sound better through a non-bass preset.
If you need to, give it a twist…you’ll find the setting for the tone you are
searching for!
The TPS II is also ideal for use as a DI box. Plug the instrument into
either input and use the XLR or ¼” (or both) outputs to connect to your
recorder, board or PA system.
Because of it’s low noise and excellent tonal qualities, the TPS II is
ideal for running mixes through before recording to DAT, cassette, or
even into your computer or DAW. Used as a mastering device, the
preamps are capable of adding warmth and gentle tube compression
to the signal. Variable Input and Output level controls make the
preamps ideal for level matching material in postproduction situations.
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WARRANTY INFORMATION
Limited Warranty
Applied Research and Technology will provide warranty and service for this
unit in accordance with the following warrants:
Applied Research and Technology, (A R T) warrants to the original
purchaser that this product and the components thereof will be free from
defects in workmanship and materials for a period of three years from the
date of purchase. Applied Research and Technology will, without charge,
repair or replace, at its option, defective product or component parts upon
prepaid delivery to the factory service department or authorized service
center, accompanied by proof of purchase date in the form of a valid sales
receipt.
Exclusions:
This warranty does not apply in the event of misuse or abuse of the product
or as a result of unauthorized alterations or repairs. This warranty is void if
the serial number is altered, defaced, or removed.
A R T reserves the right to make changes in design or make additions to or
improvements upon this product without any obligation to install the same
on products previously manufactured.
A R T shall not be liable for any consequential damages, including without
limitation damages resulting from loss of use. Some states do not allow
limitations of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or
exclusion may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific rights and
you may have other rights, which vary, from state to state.
For units purchased outside the United States, an authorized distributor of
Applied Research and Technology will provide service.
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SERVICE
The following information is provided in the unlikely event that your unit requires
service.
1) Be sure that the unit is the cause of the problem. Check to make sure the unit
has the proper power supplied, all cables are connected correctly, and the cables
themselves are in working condition.
2) If you find the unit to be at fault, write down a complete description of the
problem, including how and when the problem occurs. Please write down a
description of your complete setup before calling Customer Service.
3) Contact our Customer Service Department at (585) 436-2720 for your Return
Authorization number or questions regarding technical assistance or repairs.
Customer Service hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Eastern Time, Monday through
Friday.
4) Pack the unit in its original carton or a reasonable substitute. The packing box
is not recommended as a shipping carton. Put the packaged unit in another box
for shipping. Print the RA number clearly on the outside of the shipping box. Print
your return shipping address on the outside of the box.
5) Include with your unit: a return shipping address (we cannot ship to a P.O.
Box), a copy of your purchase receipt, a daytime phone number, and a
description of the problem.
6) Ship your unit (keep your manual!) to:
APPLIED RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY
215 TREMONT STREET
ROCHESTER, NEW YORK 14608
RA# ____________________
Fill in the following information for your reference:
Date of purchase
___________________
Purchased from
___________________
SERIAL NUMBER
___________________
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TPS II SPECIFICATIONS
Dimensions
Weight
Input Connections
Output Connections
Input Impedance XLR, ¼”
Output Impedance XLR, ¼”
Maximum Input Level, XLR
Maximum Input Level, ¼”
Maximum Output Level, XLR
Maximum Output Level, ¼”
CMRR
Frequency Response
Dynamic Range
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)
Maximum Gain
XLR to XLR
¼” to ¼”
XLR to ¼”
¼” to XLR
Equivalent Input Noise (EIN)
XLR to XLR
¼” to ¼”
Tube Type
Power Requirements
1.75”H x 19”W x 6.5”D
5.5 lbs.
Front: XLR (balanced)/ ¼” TS (unbalanced)
Rear: Switchable XLR(bal.), ¼” TRS
XLR (balanced), ¼”TS
150-3K ohms variable, 1M ohm
300 ohms, 150ohms
+19dBu
+22dBu
+28dBu
+22dBu
>75dB (typical @ 1kHz)
5Hz to 50kHz, +/-.1dB
>100dB
<0.01% (clean), <0.1%(warm)
80dB
68dB
74dB
74dB
-129dBu (A weighted)
-105dBu (A weighted)
12AX7A, Dual Triode, Hand Selected
USA – 110-125V AC / 50hz/16W - Export
units configured for country of destination.
ART maintains a policy of constant product improvement. ART reserves the right to
make changes in design or make additions to or improvements upon this product
without any obligation to install same on products previously manufactured. Therefore,
specifications are subject to change without notice.
Applied Research & Technology
215 Tremont Street
Rochester, NY 14608 USA
(585) 436-2720
(585) 436-3942 (FAX)
www.artproaudio.com
© 2003 Applied Research & Technology
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