Art Tube MP PS User`s manual

Art Tube MP PS User`s manual
Project Series
User’s Manual
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.
Please read the 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 manual.
Do not open:
There are no user serviceable parts inside. Refer any service work to qualified technical personnel only.
Power sources:
Connect the units power supply to mains power only of the type described in this user manual or marked on
the power supply. The power source must provide a good ground connection.
Power supply:
Use the power supply with sealed mains plug appropriate for your local mains supply as provided with the
equipment. If the provided supply 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 it.
Do not defeat the grounding and polarization means of the power supply.
To reduce the risk of fire or electrical shock do not expose the unit to moisture or use in damp or wet conditions. Do not place container of liquid on unit.
Do not locate the unit close to excessive heat or direct sunlight, as this could cause a fire hazard. Locate the
unit away from any equipment, which produces heat such as: power supplies, power amplifiers and heaters.
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.
Protect the controls from 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.
Unplug power immediately if equipment is exposed to moisture, the power supply becomes damaged during a
lightning storm or if smoke odor or noise is noted. Refer servicing to qualified technical personnel only.
Install the unit in accordance with the instructions printed in the user manual.
Thank you for purchasing the ART TUBE MP Project Series preamplifier. Though it is very reliable
and easy to use, we ask that you take a moment to read the manual to get the best performance.
The Tube MP Project Series is a professional quality audio interface that lets you connect microphone, instrument, and line level signals to a mixer or other audio input. This hybrid design is the
latest in a long line of ART tube preamps. We took our legendary Tube MP series and updated every
aspect of the design, inside and out, while still maintaining a compact, reliable, and cost effective
product. From the new all-aluminum stackable chassis to the precision LED level metering circuitry,
we have improved virtually every aspect of our already successful Tube MP series.
The new ultra low noise discrete microphone preamp front end has an extremely flat and wide frequency response and handles a wide range of input signal levels with a minimum of coloration. This
gives you a very clean and neutral sound with a wide variety of signal sources. The high impedance
¼” instrument input bypasses the microphone preamp circuitry to maintain a clean signal path. We
use a high quality 12AX7A tube inside to add warmth to musical dynamics and the power supply is
external to keep AC line noise and hum back at the wall.
The input Gain control and switch helps you to maximize your input dynamic range as well as control
how hard you are driving the tube. Input impedance is switch selectable to optimize your microphones
response right on the front end. These two features are a must when trying to get the most out of a
vintage ribbon or studio grade microphone. The switch selectable high pass filter removes very low
frequency rumble and wind noise before it has a chance to overload your inputs. The Bessel filter
design is set at a low 40Hz to preserve bass tonality and time domain response and it is very effective
when tracking or interfacing to your computer based audio workstation. Phantom power is available
for the XLR input and is a clean +48 Volts DC from a low noise internal supply that is current limited
to prevent damage to your sensitive microphones.
A FET Limiter with fast attack and musical release times limits the maximum audio output level to
prevent overloading succeeding equipment while still maintaining a clear uncompressed sound. This
allows you to maximize the dynamic range of your signal before converting to digital. A Phase Invert
switch allows you to switch signal polarity right at the source. This feature is especially handy when
you are mixing the signal output with other channels in a mix. The Output control comes after the
Tube and Limiter and is used to match the output level to a wide variety of systems. Following it is a
new output section that provides high output signal drive capability to both outputs.
Key Features include:
• Extremely low noise discrete front end
• Up to 70dB of clean musical gain
• High output signal drive capability
• Fast FET Limiter to prevent overload
• Switch selectable input impedance
• Precision LED metering
• Built-in low noise phantom power supply
• Compact stackable all aluminum chassis
• XLR and ¼” inputs and outputs
• Phase Invert switch
• High Cut Filter switch
• Variable input and output controls
The female XLR Input jack is used primarily for balanced microphone input. Pin 2 is positive, pin 3 is
negative, and pin 1 is ground. +48 Volt phantom power is supplied thru pins 2 and 3. If you are using
the XLR input with a balanced line level signal or a microphone that does not require phantom power,
make sure that phantom power is turned off. The XLR Input impedance is switch selectable from the
front panel. Maximum gain from the XLR Input to the XLR Output is 70dB. This input can handle very
hot microphone signals up to +16dBu before clipping.
The ¼” Input jack is for instrument or line level unbalanced signals. Its high fixed input impedance is
ideal for guitar and other passive instrument pickups. Plugging into this input bypasses the microphone preamp circuitry for a cleaner signal path. Make sure you use a mono unbalanced plug with
this connection for proper operation. Maximum gain from the ¼” Input to the XLR Output is 50dB.
When the Gain control is at minimum, this input can handle hot signals up to +17dBu.
The male XLR Output jack is active balanced with pin 2 being positive, pin 3 negative, and pin 1 is
ground. With an output impedance of less than 300 Ohms and a maximum output level of +26dBu it
can provide a hefty balanced signal for long cable runs. Normally you would use this output to go
directly into a power amplifier, recording system or a mixers line input or insert inputs. If you have to
go directly into the balanced microphone input on a mixer make sure that phantom power is off at the
mixer, the mixers input pad and level controls are at minimum, and that the output control on the
TUBE MP Project Series is set at a low enough level to prevent overdriving the mixer.
The ¼” Output jack is unbalanced and has an output impedance of 600 Ohms. It can be used to
send signals to an amplifier, processor, line input on a computer, or any unbalanced input. The output
level is 6dB less than the XLR Output and the slightly higher output impedance makes it a better
choice for driving into more sensitive inputs like on an instrument amp. Since it can still put out up to
+20dBu, the Output control should be set at lower levels when driving sensitive equipment.
Both output jacks can be used at the same time, which is handy when you want to run to a mixer and
your instrument amp in a live situation, or when connecting to a computer or recording system and
locally monitoring your source. Though the two output signals are isolated they do share a common
ground so care should be used to make sure that you don’t create a ground loop in your system.
The power connector on the rear should only be hooked up to the power supply that comes with the
unit. 10 Volts AC @ 700 milliamps is required. Make sure that you specify AC and not DC. Internal
circuitry converts this power to the higher voltages needed for the tube and phantom power sections.
The Gain Control directly adjusts the input amplifiers giving you control over the dynamic range of
your source. You get a 45dB range of control when using the XLR input and a 25dB range when
using the ¼” input. Set the control counterclockwise to minimum gain when connecting the inputs.
The Gain Switch gives you an additional 20dB of gain between the input stage and the tube to bring
up very low-level signals and allow you to drive the tube harder.
The Impedance Switch works with the balanced XLR input only. Input impedance is 4.7k Ohms in the
high position. This position should be used for most microphones and line level signals to minimize
any loading effects on the source. The low position sets the input impedance to 600 Ohms. This
position terminates the signal with known low impedance that can flatten and clean up the frequency
response of some vintage equipment including ribbon microphones, and various transformer coupled
outputs. By doing this at the input you reduce the need for added equalization and the response to
percussive audio dynamics is tightened in many cases.
The Filter Switch rolls off the response to signals lower than 40Hz. This helps to cut out low frequency rumble, wind noise, and all types of low frequency energy before it is amplified. When recording, this allows you to get more gain before clipping the preamp, recorder, or computer and in a
live situation you get more gain before clipping your amp.
The Phantom Power Switch applies +48 Volt phantom power to the XLR input jack for powering your
microphone, if needed. It is slow at turning on and off and is current limited to protect sensitive microphones and reduce pops. Ideally, when connecting a microphone that requires phantom power, you
should first turn down gain, next connect the microphone, next switch on the phantom power, and
finally bring gain back up to the desired level. This minimizes pops in your system and stress on the
The Limit Switch engages a fast attack FET limiter at the tube stage. This helps to prevent clipping or
overload of any equipment following the preamp. When engaged it limits the maximum signal on the
meter to 0dB and maximum output at the XLR output to +6dBu if the Output control is up full. When
recording this lets you get the hottest signal before clipping into your computer or recorder. It can limit
peaks of over 20dB but should normally be used to protect on overshoots and musical peaks for best
The Phase Switch allows you to invert or reverse the phase of the output signal. In the normal position, output signals are in phase with the input signal on all jacks. When engaged, both the XLR and
¼” outputs have their signals changed to 180 degrees out of phase. This function comes in handy to
prevent a hollow sound, due to phase cancellations, when using multiple microphones on a single
source or when using a combination of direct and microphone pickups on the same source. In a Live
Sound application you may be able to get more gain before feedback by reversing the phase of the
vocal microphone.
The Output Control adjusts overall level just after the tube and metering and before the output amplifiers. This allows you to scale the output to the system you are driving. Typically you would set this
about mid way for going into a line level input. When directly plugging into an instrument amp or the
microphone inputs on another piece of equipment you may find that a 9 o’clock position gives you
plenty of output.
The LED metering circuitry covers a wide 30dB range and has a fast attack to help indicate any
clipping. It is located in the signal chain just after the tube. The Output control comes after the meter
so that you can use the meter to set the overall input gain for best dynamic range then trim the output
signal level to the system you are driving. The red “Clip” LED comes on just before clipping and
should light on extreme musical peaks only. The yellow “0dB” LED is set to 15dB below the “Clip”
LED. If the “0dB” LED is on half the time then you have about 15dB of headroom on the average.
The green “-7” and “-15” LEDs indicate how far below the nominal “0dB” LED your signal is. They
have a long release time. These LEDs should be on much of the time during performance and if not it
indicates that your signal or input gain is too low for best results.
The FET limiter has its output level set to be at the “0dB” LED point so if the limiter is engaged and
the “0dB” LED is on then you are in limiting. This helps in setting output level for your system. To do
this you would start with the limiter off, apply a signal and increase the gain until the red “Clip” LED
comes on occasionally, then engage the limiter. At this point the signal at the tubes output will be in
limiting most of the time. You can then adjust the Output control so you are just below clipping at your
A/D, computer, recorder, or amplifiers input. Now you can back off on the Gain control. At this point,
as long as the Output control is at the current position, you can use the “0dB” LED to indicate that you
are at full signal level for your equipment that follows.
Note: All front panel push switches are lit when in the active position to aid in setup and operation.
A brief note from customer service:
Once in a while a customer will call and say: I think my ART preamp is "noisy". What's wrong?
If you experience unwanted "noise" in your system when you use a stand-alone preamp, please
consider what your signal is and where you're sending it. Some people send the signal from their
preamp to a mic input (they figure, "well, I'm using a mic!") on the board or recorder. This is in fact
incorrect and could be the problem. ART preamps are actually intended to output a nice fat LINE
LEVEL signal. If you send that line level signal to a recorder or mixer's Mic input, that circuit will
usually add more gain to the signal. Gain on top of gain will indeed result in noise. Please treat the
output signal as line level and you'll be pleasantly surprised at your new clean and warm sound.
The same rule applies for guitar and bass players that use ART preamps as their front end. Send the
signal from your preamp to a low gain input on your amp, or even a "loop return" jack which allows
you to bypass the amp's solid state preamp altogether.
Microphone Pre Amplifier:
The Tube MP PS is a high quality microphone preamplifier suitable for all dynamic,
condenser, and ribbon microphones. Most conventional mixers utilize budget minded microphone preamps and while very functional, they do not sound all that great. The Tube MP PS
serves as a quality upgrade that will give you more flexibility and a more robust tone than the
standard preamps.
Simply plug the microphone into the XLR input, determine the impedance of the mic
you selected. Apply phantom power if using a condenser. Then dial up the gain and you are
ready to go. Refer to the 4 segment LED on the front for input for a visual measure of input
gain, then route the output to a mixer, workstation, or computer interface via the XLR or 1/4”
output. The overall output can be adjusted on the face of the unit; you may also choose to use
the limit function to protect from any spikes in audio. Once you begin to pass audio through
the system, you will have the ability to further dial in the tone a little closer by using the phase
invert switch and low filter. These features can be very useful on drums and other areas
where multiple microphones are being used.
Phantom Power Supply:
Many mixers, workstations, and computer interface boxes will not supply +48 Volt
phantom power on all the microphone inputs. This is a critical feature if you plan to use a condenser microphone. The Tube MP PS is a perfect solution to this problem, letting you connect
any microphone to the existing mixer. Operation is identical to what is covered above.
Instrument DI:
The Tube MP PS will work well as a very functional Tube DI for Bass, Acoustic Guitar
and virtually any other instrument with a 1/4” or XLR output. Many people prefer the sound of a
tube for responsiveness and warmth instead of the standard DI’s and preamps. You will also
enjoy more flexibility and control over a standard DI.
Operation is simple, insert the output of the instrument into the input of the Tube MP
PS. Make sure the volume on the bass or guitar is up all the way. If you are using any effects,
make sure that the overall output is not greatly increased when the effect is on. Adjust the input gain knob and refer to the 4 segment LED on the front for input for a visual measure of
input gain. Then route the output to a mixer, workstation or computer interface via the XLR or
1/4” output. The overall output and limiter can be adjusted on the face of the unit. Both outputs may be used at the same time so the 1/4” can be routed to an amplifier and the XLR to a
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 one year 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.
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.
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 power, all cables are
connected correctly, and the cables themselves are in working condition.
2) If you find the unit to be at fault, make sure you can give a complete description of the problem, including
how and when it occurs as well as your setup before calling Customer Service.
3) Contact our Customer Service department at (716) 297-2920 for your Return Authorization number or
questions regarding technical assistance or repairs. Customer Service hours are 9:30 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 only your unit (keep your manual!) to:
Yorkville Sound
4625 Witmer Industrial Estates
Niagara Falls, New York 14305
RA# ____________________
Frequency Response:
10Hz –40kHz (+0, -1dB)
Dynamic Range:
>100dB (20Hz to 20kHz)
<0.05% (typical)
>60dB (typical)
Equivalent Input Noise:
-130dB (XLR to XLR ‘A’ weighted)
Maximum Input Level:
+16dBu (XLR)
+17dBu (1/4”)
Maximum Output Level:
+26dBu (XLR)
+20dBu (1/4”)
Input Connections:
¼” unbalanced (1meg Ohm),
XLR balanced
Output Connection:
¼” unbalanced (600 Ohm),
XLR balanced (<300 Ohm)
Maximum Gain:
70dB (XLR to XLR)
50dB (1/4” to XLR)
Input Gain Switch:
XLR Input Impedance:
4.7k Ohms / 600 Ohms, Switch selectable
High Pass Filter:
-3dB @ 40Hz, Switch selectable
Output Phase:
Normal / Invert, Switch selectable
Output Limiter Type:
Fast FET limiter, >20dB range, (+6dBu XLR, 0dBu ¼”)
Phantom Power:
+48V DC, Filtered, Current limited
Signal Metering:
Precise LED array, Fast attack, Musical release
30dB range,
-15dB, -7dB, 0dB, Clip(+15dB)
Tube Type:
12AX7A hand selected
Chassis Type:
All Aluminum black anodized with integral rubber sides
Power Requirements:
10Volts AC @ 700ma (typical)
1.75”H x 5.9”W x 6.5”D (44.5mm x 150mm x 165mm)
2.5 lbs. (1.14 kg)
Note: 0dBu = 0.775Vrms
ART maintains a policy of constant product improvement.
Therefore, specifications are subject to change without notice.
(585) 436-2720 – Voice
(585) 436-3942 – Fax
E-mail: [email protected]
Tube MP Project Series 180-5004-100
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