The Warm Audio Tone Beast TB12-500 is one of the highest quality microphone preamplifiers on the
market in its price range. It uses quality USA made components found in preamplifiers with much higher
price tags. In addition to its unparalleled quality and price, the Tone Beast has unique tone-shaping features
that give users flexibility usually only found by acquiring an assortment of different preamps.
Home-based musicians and professional studios alike will find the Tone Beast to be an extremely powerful,
versatile and fully professional piece of gear that is capable of warming and shaping both input signals and
mixes in a way that is very pleasing to the ear.
Microphone level input (XLR)
This input is designed for dynamic,
condenser and ribbon microphones.
Other instruments or devices that put
out a low level microphone signal can
also be plugged into this input. The
input impedance can be set to either
600 or 150 ohms..
Hi-Z Instrument input
The front panel 1⁄4” input sends
the instrument’s signal through
the entire preamp circuit including
the input transformer, discrete op
amp (operational amplifier) and
output transformer.
The thorough layout of the Hi-Z’s
signal path ensures that instruments
are subject to the same robust
pre-amplification as microphones.
You can connect a variety of
instruments via the Hi-Z input on
the front panel of the Tone Beast
including: acoustic and electric
guitars, bass guitar, keyboards,
synths, drum machines, etc...
Line Input
This TRS input is padded -25db’s and
is designed for line level instruments
or sources that put out line level
signals such as keyboards, electric
instruments or audio
interface outputs.
Hi-Z switch
This feature engages the front panel ºî input and turns off
the XLR input.
Discrete Op Amp Switch
This switch allows you to choose between 2 completely
different discrete analog operational amplifiers. One of
the op amps is built to the schematic of the classic 1731
style op amp, and the other to the schematic of the 918.
The 1731 has a more noticeable ìvintage tone,î the 918 is
more linear/transparent.
Line Input Switch
This feature engages the TRS line input on the back of the
Tone Beast and disconnects the xlr microphone inputs.
+48V Switch
The 48 volts feature provides power for condenser mics
and any other devices requiring continuous phantom
power through the XLR input. This power is supplied
at a constant level to prevent any degradation of
audio quality.
-20db Pad Switch
Engaging this feature applies -20db to the incoming
signal. This is a very useful feature for reducing the
level coming into the Tone Beast and thus preventing
the signal from clipping or distorting. This may occur
due to high output level from a microphone or other
device. Padding the input serves to provide increased
ìheadroomî for the operator while lessening the
likelihood of signal overload.
Polarity Switch
This feature inverts the polarity of the signal. Use the
polarity switch when recording with more than one
open microphone to combat phase cancellation
between microphones.
Hi-Pass Filter
Removes unwanted low frequencies from your source
signal below 80hz.
Gain Knob
The gain control is variable and adjusts the Tone Beast’s
gain from +29db to +65db or from +35db to +71db
when the “Tone” switch is engaged. The “Pad” feature
lowers the minimum and maximum ranges by -20db
when engaged.
Output Control Knob
This knob controls the signal exiting the Tone Beast. It
ensures that the amplified signal doesn’t exit the Tone
Beast too loud and overload the inputs on the user’s
interface. It also gives the user greater ability to drive
the gain of the preamp harder resulting in greater
colorization and tone shaping within the various settings.
Power Switch
The power switch is used to power the unit on and off.
To extend the life of the electronics please turn the Tone
Beast off when not in use.
Both op amps are socketed and use the classic 2520 6 pin
footprint. This allows users to remove the op amps easily
(without soldering), and replace them with their own op
amp(s) of choice.
Tone Switch
When engaged the input impedance of the Tone Beast
is 150 ohms. When dis-engaged the input impedance of
the Tone Beast is 600 ohms. The 150 ohm (switched-in)
setting increases the gain of the Tone Beast by +6db
changing the maximum gain from +65 to +71db. This
feature will make a noticeable tone change to most
microphones and instruments. The Microphone, Line and
Hi-Z inputs are all altered by this feature.
The 600 ohms impedance setting is recommended for
condenser and dynamic microphones, and 150 ohms is
recommended for ribbons. This switch is labeled “Tone”
for a reason though, we strongly suggest you experiment
with both settings on all sources to find the best possible
tone for your mixes.
Capacitor Switch
This switch changes 2 capacitors in the circuit from
tantalum to electrolytic. The “vintage” setting is for
tantalum capacitors, the “clean” setting is for electrolytic.
Of all the tone features provided in the Tone Beast this
option is the most subtle but still noticeable to many ears
depending on the source being treated.
Output Transformer Bypass Switch
This feature removes both the nickel and steel core
transformers from the circuit. Use this option when
seeking for less character or a more transparent signal
The signal will experience a loss of -8db when this switch
is engaged.
Output Transformer Selector Switch
This feature allows the user to switch between 2 CineMag
output transformers of different tone/make. The steel
core transformer sounds more “vintage” with a fairly
“mid-forward” tone. The 50% nickel core transformer has
a “cleaner” tone than the steel and was custom designed
by CineMag specifically for the Tone Beast. The nickel
version uses a unique laminating method that gives the
signal a more linear response than the steel option but
still treats the signal slightly, and gives it a smoothness
that’s hard not to fall in love with.
The information contained in this manual is written to help you get quickly started using your TB12.
Because of the endless combinations of DAWs and Microphones, we encourage you to read through this manual then
experiment with your unit until you find the settings you like.
Log on to www.warmaudio.com to register your unit within 14 days
of your purchase date to secure your 1 year warranty.
All Content Copyright 2013 Warm Audio – All Rights Reserved
Round Rock, Texas USA
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