Art MPA Gold User`s guide

Art MPA Gold User`s guide
PRO MPA II ™
ART PRO MPA II Microphone Preamplifier
USER’S GUIDE
IMPORTANT SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS – READ FIRST
This symbol, wherever 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 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:
Aside from two vacuum tubes, there are no user serviceable parts inside. Refer any service work to qualified technical
personnel only.
Power sources:
Only connect the unit to mains power of the type marked on the rear panel. The power source must provide a good
ground connection.
Power cord:
Use the power cord with the mains plug appropriate for your local mains supply as provided with the equipment. If the
provided plug does not fit into your 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 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 a 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 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.
Servicing:
Switch off the equipment and unplug the power cord immediately if it is exposed to moisture, spilled liquid, objects fallen
into opening, or 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 instructions printed in the user guide.
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IMPORTANT SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS – READ FIRST ......................................................... II
PRO MPA II OVERVIEW – FEATURES AND GENERAL INFORMATION: ............................ 1
FRONT PANEL CONNECTIONS AND CONTROLS ................................................................ 3
Input Gain control ..................................................................................................................................... 3
Input Impedance control ........................................................................................................................... 4
Low Cut Filter control................................................................................................................................ 4
Gain switch ............................................................................................................................................... 4
Phantom switch ........................................................................................................................................ 5
Phase switch............................................................................................................................................. 5
Plate Voltage switch ................................................................................................................................. 5
Mid/Side Matrix switch .............................................................................................................................. 6
Analog Output control ............................................................................................................................... 6
STEREO/Dual switch................................................................................................................................ 6
+4/-10 switch (rear panel) ......................................................................................................................... 7
Meter Trim ................................................................................................................................................ 7
Front Panel connections ......................................................................................................... 7
Instrument Inputs ...................................................................................................................................... 7
Rear Panel connections .......................................................................................................... 8
Balanced Inputs ........................................................................................................................................ 8
Balanced Outputs ..................................................................................................................................... 8
PRO MPA II OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS ............................................................................ 9
Obtaining the best noise performance with the PRO MPA II.................................................................... 9
Adjusting the Input Impedance ................................................................................................................. 9
Setting the Tube Plate Voltage ............................................................................................................... 10
Using the Mid/Side mode........................................................................................................................ 11
WARRANTY INFORMATION.................................................................................................. 12
Limited Warranty..................................................................................................................................... 12
Exclusions............................................................................................................................................... 12
SERVICE ................................................................................................................................. 13
PRO MPA II SPECIFICATIONS ............................................................................................. 14
List of Figures
Figure 1 – Block Diagram .......................................................................................................... 2
Figure 2 – Front controls ............................................................................................................ 3
Figure 3 – Rear connections ...................................................................................................... 8
Figure 4 – Mid/Side Mic alignment........................................................................................... 11
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PRO MPA II OVERVIEW – FEATURES AND GENERAL
INFORMATION:
The ART PRO MPA II microphone preamplifier features a new low noise, high performance preamplification circuitry, designed for superior audio fidelity. Building upon the quality and success of great
sounding products like the Pro MPA and MPA GOLD, ART engineers set out to develop the next
generation of professional microphone preamplifier. PRO MPA II is the culmination of years of research and development, and sets a new standard for quality and value. Professional features and
spectacular tone are what make the PRO MPA II a world-class microphone preamplifier. Its impressive feature set includes:
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Variable input impedance for flexible microphone voicing (150 Ohms to 2400 Ohms).
Selectable plate voltage
Large VU meters
Front accessible meter trim
Discrete class A input microphone preamplifier
Low noise at low gains
Low THD
Wide frequency response
Front accessible Instrument Input Jack
Very high input impedance
Mid/Side micing support
+4dBm/-10dBV output level selection
Switch selectable Stereo/Dual operation of the output controls
Automatically switches to the instrument input when you plug in
The signal path of PRO MPA II consists of a discrete class A microphone pre-amp followed by a Low
Cut Filter, a balanced differential tube circuit with a 20dB Gain switch and then the phase switch. The
Mid/Side Matrix switch sums the adjacent channel to decode left and right information following the
gain switch function and before the output level control. The Tube Warmth display monitors the signal
level before the output level control as well. The analog meter monitors the output level of the PRO
MPA II before the +4/-10 switch but after the output level control.
The PRO MPA II is an attractively styled processor, with a black anodized front panel and matching
knobs. The switches on the PRO MPA II are backlit and illuminate when depressed.
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Figure 1 – Block Diagram
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FRONT PANEL CONNECTIONS AND CONTROLS
Figure 2 – Front controls
Input Gain control
This control optimizes the input signal level before the tube gain is applied. Both Microphone and
Instrument input gains remain the same and are affected by this adjustment. Input gain can be adjusted from 0dB (for line level signals) to 40dB of gain.
The analog meters are used to see the effects of the input gain setting.
Additional gain is available via the Gain switch (+20dB) and the Analog Output control (+10dB) for a
maximum of 70dB total.
The combination of these controls allows the user to adjust the signal level through the tube section,
providing more or less “tube” sound as needed. To obtain more “tube’ sound, increase input gain, use
the +20dB Gain switch, “normal” plate voltage, and less Analog output gain.
Both the microphone and instrument inputs are optimized for their respective sources as far as signal
levels and noise performance. Running most of the gain on the input generally provides the best
performance of the PRO MPA II . Refer to the section titled “Obtaining the best noise performance
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with the PRO MPA II ” for more detailed instructions on setting the Input Gain control for the best
results.
Input Impedance control
This knob controls the Mic/line input amplifier impedance. This function allows variable voicing of any
microphone.
Refer to the application section titled “Adjusting the Input Impedance” for more information on making
the most of this function.
The ¼” instrument input is NOT affected by this control, and remains high (>1M Ohm) impedance.
Low Cut Filter control
The Low Cut Filter is a single tuned High Pass Filter that is frequency tunable. The input signal can
be filtered to remove “pops” or other extraneous low frequency information. This control moves the
rolloff frequency from 10 Hz (fully CCW) to 200 Hz (fully CW). Since it is single tuned, it preserves
some low frequency content so its use is less obtrusive. It is especially useful in close mic’d applications.
Gain switch
The Gain switch is used in conjunction with the input gain control to adjust signal levels through the
PRO MPA II. When depressed, the tube circuit provides 20dB more gain in the signal path. This also
has the effect of driving the tube harder and making the tube the dominant source of gain and overload character.
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Phantom switch
Phantom power on the microphone input is turned on and off with this switch. Depressing the switch
will power condenser microphones and other 48volt phantom powered devices. Phantom power is
supplied to pins 2 and 3 of the input jack.
NOTE:
1) Dynamic microphones are NOT affected by Phantom power, although it should be turned off when
using dynamic microphones or line level inputs.
2) Although the 48volt phantom power ramps up and down slowly it may still create a pop. Mute the
output of the PRO MPA II when engaging or disengaging phantom power to prevent damage to
equipment following the PRO MPA II .
Phase switch
The Phase switch can invert the phase of the audio signal path in either channel. The Phase switch
is located after the tube circuit in the signal path, so you can hear slight differences between different
phase selections in the “normal” plate voltage mode near saturation. There are a number of reasons
why adjusting the phase is needed these include, wiring errors and inversions in some audio equipment. Some microphones sound different depending on the phase chosen.
If two microphones are out of phase, they may cancel at various frequencies (depending on the
distance between them). If this happens, try changing the phase of one of the microphones and see if
there is an improvement.
Plate Voltage switch
This switch sets both the tube bias point and the plate voltage level the balanced differential tube
circuit runs at. The amount of headroom is adjusted by using the Gain switch and the input Gain
control. The PRO MPA II takes about 10-30 seconds to smoothly transition from one mode to the
other. There is a slight increase in gain in the “High” plate voltage mode.
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In the “Normal” (OUT) position, the tube distortion gradually rises until it smoothly clips. The tube is
run almost completely open-loop in this mode, providing a musical tube “crunch” when overdriven
with a natural recovery from clipping. The tube section can be more easily overdriven when the gain
switch is in. This mode brings out the harmonics in the input sources, particularly stringed instruments.
The tube circuit runs extremely clean in the “High” (IN) position of the plate voltage switch. As signal
levels rise distortion remains very low until within 6dB of clipping, where the overload characteristics
smoothly limit the signal swing. There is increased bandwidth (>100KHz), and headroom in this mode
as well.
Mid/Side Matrix switch
The Mid/Side Matrix switch is used to decode Left/Right information when using two mics aligned for
stereo recording.
You can use either two figure-eight pattern mics or one omni-directional and one Figure-eight mic.
Refer to the APPLICATIONS section titled “Using the Mid/Side mode” for more info on how to apply
this function with your mics.
Analog Output control
The output signal level at the rear output jacks is adjusted by this control. It can provide from +10dB
of gain (fully clockwise) to completely muted. You can see the effects of this adjustment reflected in
the analog meters.
STEREO/Dual switch
The STEREO/Dual switch selects the operation of the output control knobs. Stereo mode gains and
operation are marked with reversed out text.
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In Stereo mode, CH1 output adjusts the output gain of both channels and CH2 output control acts as
a power summed Balance control. There is a slight drop in output level in stereo mode when the
Balance knob is centered vs. at one extreme or another.
When the switch is in the “Dual” position the output controls act on only their respective channels.
+4/-10 switch (rear panel)
The +4/-10 switch is used to set the output level of the PRO MPA II for the appropriate system levels.
This feature allows you to match 0 VU on the meters of the PRO MPA II and your mixer or other
equipment.
When depressed, 0 VU on the output meter corresponds to +4dBu on the outputs. In –10 mode, the
output level measures –10dBV.
Meter Trim
The Meter Trim is used to adjust the Meter’s “0” point when. This may change if the unit is NOT
mounted with the front panel perpendicular to the floor.
Using a small flat-blade screwdriver you can mechanically fine-tune the meter indicator position if, for
example, it does not rest at the leftmost position when the unit is OFF.
Adjustments for feedback readings, when the unit is in use, are internal and are not user serviceable.
Front Panel connections
Instrument Inputs
The ¼” jacks on the front panel serve as an instrument input. The input impedance is always >1M
Ohm and the gain can be adjusted by the Input gain control. The maximum input signal level is
+17dBu (5V RMS) @ minimum input gain.
When you plug into this jack it DISABLES the balanced input on the rear of the unit. This feature
allows you to keep the rear input patched in, and use the instrument input to switch to a different
source. The instrument input allows the PRO MPA II to serve as a great DI device as well.
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Rear Panel connections
Figure 3 – Rear connections
Balanced Inputs
The PRO MPA II ’s XLR connectors follow the AES standard of Pin 1 = Ground, Pin 2 = Hot (+), Pin 3
= Cold (-). The Balanced inputs have an input impedance that is variable from 150 to 3K Ohms via
the front panel control. The Maximum input level is +19dBu balanced and +17dBu unbalanced.
Balanced Outputs
The PRO MPA II ‘s flexible active balanced outputs are available on both ¼” and cannon connectors.
They offer low impedance for driving long cable runs and are intelligent enough to maintain the same
output level weather it is balanced or unbalanced.
The PRO MPA II ’s XLR connectors follow the AES standard of Pin 1= Ground, Pin 2= Hot (+), Pin 3=
Cold (-). The balanced ¼” phone jacks are typical Tip = Hot (+), Ring = Cold (-), Sleeve = Ground
Maximum output level is +27 balanced and +20 unbalanced.
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PRO MPA II OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS
Obtaining the best noise performance with the PRO MPA II
Start by turning down the Input Gain knob and centering the Analog Output knob. Use the analog
meter to view the operating level by depressing the switch under the center of the analog meter. The
meter will now indicate how much tube headroom there is. Set the +20dB switch to the out position.
Increase the Input Level knob until the meter reads above –10dB.
If you have turned the input knob fully clockwise and the indicated level is still below –10dB on the
meter, center the input knob and depress the Gain switch. Increase the Input Gain until there is
sufficient level.
This procedure optimizes the gain elements to provide the widest dynamic range possible.
Adjusting the Input Impedance
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 pre-amps. The Input Impedance control is one key
element in providing new versatility in voicing microphones.
NOTE: the Input impedance control only affects the cannon connector 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.
Dynamic microphones are affected as much as phantom powered units.
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We provide a continuously variable impedance control to allow you to fine-tune the voicing, finding
the perfect interaction between microphone and pre-amp.
Start by setting the centering the Input Impedance knob. This provides a 600-Ohm load.
Lower impedance loads will reject more noise picked up by cabling, and dampen microphone resonance.
Higher impedance settings provide a more “open” sound. Lower impedances tend to focus the sound
more.
Setting the Tube Plate Voltage
The PRO MPA II allows the user select between one of two vastly different tube bias and power
supply levels. The transition between either setting is smooth and quiet and the gain variation is
minimal.
NOTE: It takes 15-30 seconds for the tube circuit to fully transition between either mode. During this
time, the unit passes a signal and the only noticeable change is a slight increase in level in the
“HIGH” setting.
The “Normal” setting produces a smooth transition from very clean low levels up to a “round” saturated clipping on peaks. This setting is reminiscent of old tube gear, and used to get the most tubelike sound out of the unit. Common uses include tracking with instruments.
The “High” setting of the plate voltage switch has increased bandwidth and headroom, very low
distortion and runs extremely clean until it reaches a point of saturated clipping. The clipping is well
controlled and still sounds natural. This setting is incredible on vocals.
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Using the Mid/Side mode
The PRO MPA II is designed for stereo operation using the Mid/Side switch and two microphones.
One of the mics needs to have a figure-8 pickup pattern.
Start by aligning two mics 90 degrees apart. Connect the mic facing front (with an omni-directional or
cardiod pickup pattern) to CH1. Face the front of the figure-8 pickup mic to the left side and connect it
to the CH2 input. Depress the Mid/Side Matrix switch and center both of the Output Gain controls.
Adjust the Input gain controls to such that both meters show the same level with a sound source at
least two feet in front of the forward mic.
The CH1 output is now the “Left” channel and the CH2 output is now the “Right” channel. Adjust the
Output gain controls as needed for your system level.
Figure 4 – Mid/Side Mic alignment
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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 power, all
cables are connected correctly, and the cables themselves are in working condition. You
may want to consult with your dealer for assistance in troubleshooting or testing your particular configuration.
2) If you believe the ART unit is at fault, go to www.artproaudio.com. You may contact Customer Service for more assistance, or directly request a Return Authorization for service in
the “resources” area of the website.
3) If you are returning the unit for service, pack the unit in its original carton or a reasonable
substitute. The original packaging may not be suitable as a shipping carton, so consider putting the packaged unit in another box for shipping. Print the RA number clearly on the outside of the shipping box.
4) Include, with your unit, a note with the RA number and your contact information including a
daytime phone number, preferably attached to the top of the unit.
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PRO MPA II SPECIFICATIONS
Frequency Response ............................ 15Hz to 48 kHz (+0, -1dB) @ normal plate voltage
15Hz to 120 kHz (+0, -1dB) @ high plate voltage
Dynamic range:..................................... >110dB (“A” weighted)
CMRR: .................................................. >90dB
THD: ..................................................... <0.005% (typical)
Equivalent Input Noise: ......................... -129dBu (XLR, “A” weighted)
Maximum Input Level: ........................... +19dBu (cannon)
Maximum Instrument Input:................... +17dBu
Input Impedance ................................... 150-3000 Ohms adjustable (XLR)
>800K Ohms (Instrument)
Maximum Output Level ......................... +27dBu (XLR)
Output Impedance: ............................... < 47 Ohms (XLR)
Maximum Gain...................................... 70dB
Meter Calibration................................... 0 VU = +4dBu output (+4dB mode)
0 VU = -10dBV output (-10dB mode)
High Pass Filter..................................... single pole, 10-200 Hz adjustable
Power Requirements: ........................... USA – 105 to 125 VAC / 60 Hz Export units configured for
country of destination.
Dimensions: .......................................... 3.50” H x 19.0” W x 8.75” D
Weight:.................................................. 10.5 Lb.
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NOTES:
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www.artproaudio.com
E-mail: [email protected]
PRO MPA II – Microphone Preamplifier
214-5004-201h
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