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presonus bluetube DP? Single-Channel Preamps
Old 28th August 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
presonus bluetube DP?

any thoughts on this preamp? I'm mostly looking for something to add a bit of character and warmth to some vocals or to use on my virus B to make it less digital sounding. I kinda want something that is a decent all around pre, it doesnt have to be ultra quiet, but I dont want it to sound cheap.

that other thing I was looking at was ART Gold mic Pre..

any thoughts?

D
Old 28th August 2007
  #2
Gear Addict
 
frankie c's Avatar
 

get the art

I own BOTH....

get the ART and put Telefunken tubes in it...you won't B disapointed..
Old 28th August 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Rednose's Avatar
Don't buy it!
Old 28th August 2007
  #4
Gear Maniac
uh.. thanks... which one!?!?!

I'm kinda leaning towards the ART one... how long have you had it? reliability? Can you really push it to get a grungy sound out of it if you want? what kinda of things do you run through it? just vox? guitar or Bass DI?
Old 28th August 2007
  #5
Gear Nut
 

i dont think the presonus would be my first choice if my aim was for vox but i think at the 200 paid for it not a bad deal

ive done some elec and acoustic guitars with it with good results

never ran any digital stuff through it

i also changed the tube for a JJ Eurotubes i think i hear it to be a little more clear note a littlebit

for all around i prefer the ones in my Onyx
i also just got two VTB-1s so that shows you my current budget
havent hardly used them but i thinkim going to like them
Old 28th August 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 
8th_note's Avatar
 

I have the old style BlueTube and an ART MPA Gold. These two pres are very different in character.

BlueTube: This pre is dark and noisy but it works quite well for some things. I really like this pre on distorted electric guitar, particularly if the guitar has a brittle character. You can crank the tube drive on this pre and get some significant distortion which sounds good on some sources. If you have the ability to change the input sensitivity on your sound card (+4 or -10) you can really play with the gain staging of this pre and get some different sounds out of it. At the higher input sensitivity this pre is still a little dark but the noise isn't bad if you don't have to crank it too far. I use mine on electric guitar and drums mostly (especially kick). It's not a very good vocal pre unless you're trying to offset a bright sounding microphone or go for a gritty distorted effect.

You almost have to think of this pre as an effects box. It is not a good all-around preamp but you can pick these up for under $80 on ebay and for that price it's a great little tool to have in the studio. If you want "color" then this pre's got it. But because it's so different sounding (and noisy) it's not good on all applications. It sucks on acoustic, for example, unless you're trying to get a special effect.

ART MPA Gold: This is an outstanding pre, especially if you upgrade the tubes. It doesn't distort like the BlueTube but it's quiet, detailed, and 3-dimensional. I put NOS Mullard 12AT7 tubes in mine and it sounds gorgeous. Not a lot of color but that makes it very versatile. I highly recommend this pre for anyone who is looking for a good sounding mid-grade preamp. This preamp is especially nice on vocals and acoustic.

I did a budget preamp comparison on the TapeOp board and the sound files are still available. I recorded acoustic guitar on the BlueTube, ART Pro Channel (essentially same pre as the MPA Gold), and several other budget pres. Here's the link if you want to check it out: Budget Preamp Comparison
Old 28th August 2007
  #7
Gear Maniac
thanks man!

yeah the ART really sounds much more alive then the rest of them.. The Bluetuibe sounded pretty thin in comparison.

muchos burrito!

D
Old 29th August 2007
  #8
Gear Nut
 

i dont know what kind of budget your on but
decent mic decent pre $220 on the ebay NIB
i wish i had the money but i just dropped 1500 last week so...

STUDIO PROJECTS VTB1 & Audio Technica AT3035 GREATDEAL - (eBay item 290153404603 end time Sep-01-07 09:09:41 PDT)
Old 29th August 2007
  #9
Gear Addict
 
ThunderShepherd's Avatar
 

i had a bluetube and i thought it was trash, even with an upgraded tube. so i sold it and bought a Studio Projects VTB1. much better cheap preamp.
Old 29th August 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Both the Art and the Presonus are fairly cheap sounding. Not bad but not full and big like more expensive tube pre's. Of the two I feel the Art is a much better deal. For one it looks great in a rack, it's not very noisey at all which is also great and the variable impedence really makes it a winner. I didn't own either pre for long but if I had to keep one of them it definately would've been the Art. For a few hundred dollars more you can get a Solo 610, then you'll really start getting that tube sound you're looking for.
Old 29th August 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Rednose's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alchey View Post
uh.. thanks... which one!?!?!

I'm kinda leaning towards the ART one... how long have you had it? reliability? Can you really push it to get a grungy sound out of it if you want? what kinda of things do you run through it? just vox? guitar or Bass DI?
Don't buy the Blue Tube.
I only use it for bottom snare because it has a phase reverse.
I've heard you can put new tubes in it but its not worth the hassle.
I am not impressed with any of the prosumer prosoniq stuff.
Go with the Art, heard good things about it.
Old 20th October 2007
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Wink

I have 2 presonus bluetubes, the older version. They aren't honestly that bad to me.. i dont know why everyone hates them. And that's even with the stock tube in it. I've done many projects with them, and have had awesome results.

MySpace.com - Chris Miller (3 NEW SONGS!!!!!!) - DOTHAN - Blues / Christian / Pop - www.myspace.com/chrismilleral

everything on that was recorded with bluetube pre's. for the exception of the toms and overheads. the overheads i went straight into my digi 001 pre's, and toms through a presonus firepod. They're great little pre's, i cant wait to see what they do when i give them new tubes! but as long as you dont drive the stock tube that much its alright. like literally like 10 o clock. it still gives a little warmth, but it works great for the snare or kick. With vocals it always works wonders, as long as you have the plug ins and eq'uing available in your mixing. It's also a lot on what mics you use. That's a huge part of it, and mic placement. So i wouldn't go by what a lot of these people say.. you can make crappy things sound decent with a little knowledge. I found that using the pre for screaming is Awesome. Its perfect for that. but here's another example.

MySpace.com - The Black Noise Party Boys - Birmingham, Mobile, Atlanta, US - Hardcore / Metal / Southern Rock - www.myspace.com/blacknoisepartyboys

Hope this helps!
Old 21st March 2008
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Presonus bluetube

I am posting another review after a little while of using the bluetube... it starts to cheap out a lot. The pots become incredibly scratchy.. even though thats an easy fix with dust remover. The tubes start overdriving.. even with barely input from the tubes. You turn it a little bit.. its distorted. I've even tried replacing the tube with a 12at7. Which are supposed to have more clean headroom rather than breaking up early.. like the original 12ax7.

So, my experience with it has really changed over time. I'm really debating on selling them and buying some kind of solid state pre. Just because it's cheaper.. and real tube pre's are fairly expensive.. mainly because i just don't want to spend a lot. Overall, bluetubes cheap out. Even my friends did the same thing over time. So, i suggest staying away from them.
Old 21st March 2008
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Most of what I've heard is don't buy the blue tube DP. One, actually two popped up on craiglist a few weeks back. And stayed there quite a while. Something rediculous like 2x DP's for $100 and it stayed available for many days/weeks. Save your money and get a DMP3 or Art MPA Gold, or even a VTB-1. So many fairly cheap and better options out there. Just my opinion.
Old 21st March 2008
  #15
Gear Head
 

[The tubes start overdriving.. even with barely input from the tubes. You turn it a little bit.. its distorted.]

This was my experience, too, at least with my unit. The tube drive is pretty much unusable for microphone use, just adds distortion. Maybe for DI use, ok, but not for microphones. I tried to use it add some warmth to a vocal track, and it just added fuzz.

But I've used it in a pinch, just turned the tube drive off. The solid state pre's are really quite usable, just not great. And I actually got a decent project recorded with them once, using them on acoustic guitar.

I'm sure there are better ways to spend your money.
Old 21st March 2008
  #16
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
I had a VTB1 which got replaced with the DMP3 and have to say the DMP3 really is an excellent little preamp. The VTB1 was already a good preamp but the DMP3 is even quieter and sounds great!
I also picked up a Tampa for £96 and this is another excellent preamp. It's different to the DMP3 (has a slightly thicker sound) and has more options for changing the sound! The Tampa is really hard to beat in this bracket!!
Old 21st March 2008
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
I have BlueTube and VTB-1.

Stopped using the Presonus unit when I picked up a higher end strip for main applications.

Still use VTB-1 for stereo apps with my strip. VTB-1 is definitely quieter.
Old 21st March 2008
  #18
Gear Head
 
TopCatz's Avatar
 

Any tips for changing the tube in the Bluetube DP? In the manual it simply says unscrew the top from the chassis, but it seems impossible to get the black plate off without mangling the innards. It appears to be hooked onto the PCB, but it looks like once detached, it will be a devil to reassemble.

I never use the tube drive as it is, but thought it would be interesting to try it with something different.
Old 27th August 2008
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
adamlloyd's Avatar
 

In case anyone will still see this thread...

I'm getting the picture that the "tube" part of the Bluetube is pretty useless, but I'm curious about the solid state function (with the tube circuit completely inactivated).

I'm looking for something with 2 channels that will allow me to turn 2 TS instrument signals into balanced signals while allowing me to monitor the gain of each. I wouldn't really be using any of the "boosting" pre-amp function of the Bluetube, but using the unit more as DI for keyboards and drum machines. Could anyone who's had experience with higher quality solid state units compare just this part of the Bluetube's performance for me?

I just spend a serious chunk on new conversion and a "real" tube amp so I'm looking for a cheap workaround, but I really don't want to screw up the signal chain by incorporated a sub-par solid state circuit. Any other recommendations would be awesome too, thanks!
Old 13th November 2008
  #20
Gear Addict
 
bino_5150's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamlloyd83 View Post
In case anyone will still see this thread...

I'm getting the picture that the "tube" part of the Bluetube is pretty useless, but I'm curious about the solid state function (with the tube circuit completely inactivated).

I'm looking for something with 2 channels that will allow me to turn 2 TS instrument signals into balanced signals while allowing me to monitor the gain of each. I wouldn't really be using any of the "boosting" pre-amp function of the Bluetube, but using the unit more as DI for keyboards and drum machines. Could anyone who's had experience with higher quality solid state units compare just this part of the Bluetube's performance for me?

I just spend a serious chunk on new conversion and a "real" tube amp so I'm looking for a cheap workaround, but I really don't want to screw up the signal chain by incorporated a sub-par solid state circuit. Any other recommendations would be awesome too, thanks!
With the tube off, it is a great pre. I think the fact that it has the cheap starved tube in it takes away from the fact that is a wonderful solid state pre.

IMO, they should just ditch the tube. Maybe even make a 4 channel version. Then everyone would be on here praising it.

Notice how everyone that complained about it was using the tube?

I have the solid state DP between my AKG C414B XLII and my dbx 160, and I am very pleased with its performance.
Old 14th November 2008
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by alchey View Post
any thoughts on this preamp? I'm mostly looking for something to add a bit of character and warmth to some vocals or to use on my virus B to make it less digital sounding. I kinda want something that is a decent all around pre, it doesnt have to be ultra quiet, but I dont want it to sound cheap.

that other thing I was looking at was ART Gold mic Pre..

any thoughts?

D
Dont get the presonus blue. I bought it and took it back. Its not good. Rule of thumb, - when going cheaper, solid state is often better than tubes.

One person posted about the ART MPA with switching tubes out. That is a good option. I have a friend that has done this and his work sounds great. But the presonus was not a well built and weak sounding pre.
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