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Sebatron vmp-4000e

Sebatron vmp-4000e

4.75 4.75 out of 5, based on 3 Reviews

Four channel tube/valve pre-amp

15th November 2015

Sebatron vmp-4000e by Ronnie Dixon

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Sebatron vmp-4000e

The Sebatron vmp-4000E is a four channel tube/valve microphone pre-amp that has direct injection inputs to accommodate keyboards , electric guitars or bass. There is some Eq switching on each channel as well as a pad or gain switch control to adjust gain/drive.
What I love about this Sebatron pre-amp is its ability to warm things up and add a pleasant texture that makes the individual tracks somehow appear more defined in a full mix. I've used it for just about everything and I have always been impressed with the results. From solo violin to loud guitars and drum kits. Even ribbon mics worked well when used with the Sebatron 4000E.
When used to record a drum kit (one channel for kick , one for snare and two channels for overhead) the results were amazing. The drums appeared to be bigger in dynamics giving them more punch and depth. For the overhead channels we switched the EQ on to air and the sound was phenomenal. I have honestly never heard cymbals that full and crisp.It makes me smile just thinking about some of the sweet sounds I have recorded recently with this four channel gem. I was also impressed with the results I got when I used the direct input to record the Bass tracks. The Fender P bass had a sound that was tight yet never boomy or muddy. I found the deep switch unnecessary for almost all sounds and from my recollection of at least the recent sessions it hasn't been used at all.
The only concern I have is with the manual. It lacks a comprehensive flow in describing the design and uses. Personally I would like a bit more descriptive material on how to get the best out of my Sebatron VMP-4000E. A proper diagram with labels for the inter-connecting cables and devices such as microphones , instruments , sound-card etc. would be useful as well as some advice on the maintenance of tube equipment (how long to warm up etc.).
Aside from that I have no hesitation in recommending this finely built and designed pre-amp from Sebatron.

Last edited by Ronnie Dixon; 16th November 2015 at 06:40 AM..

  • 1
30th March 2016

Sebatron vmp-4000e by southshadow

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Sebatron vmp-4000e

This box is absolutely killer.

Worth wayyy over its price tag, and I was a skeptic when it arrived based on my poor experience with other 'affordable' pres..

I have a few 610s and the Robbie, for tube comparisons.

This thing has its own flavor; definitely my new fav for overheads, snare, and electric guitar DI. I have a feeling I'll love it on acoustic guitar..

610 edges out for all things bass.. but hey, it's a 610.

Vocals depends on the vocalist so no comment there; it's all about the flavor you want and I can certainly see this flavor coming in handy in certain situations.

This preamp, more than my 610, "softens" transients, particularly in the upper mid segment of the spectrum.

15th June 2017

Sebatron vmp-4000e by 6dyslexicelephnt

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Sebatron vmp-4000e

I had been having trouble getting my drums to sound the way I wanted. Being very sensitive to the overhead sound, I wanted something that would warm up and smooth out the whole drum sound. From my research, it seemed like some people like tube drum preamps and some like solid state like Neve, Daking or API. From my research, it seemed like I was a tube preamp on drums kinda guy. Someone recommended a Manley Force 4 channel preamp and that sounded interesting but at $1750 used it was a bit of a stretch. I'm a home recorder and don't need impressive rack gear - I just want sounds that make me happy.
The preamp gave me everything I wanted and then some. I wanted a smooth splashy cymbal sound and this gave it with every mic I used. If the gain is low, you can get a clean, smooth warm sound. If you crank it up a bit, there's some natural compression that happens which can give you a sound that seems pre-mixed since it the transients are tamed a bit. If you crank it up a lot, it distorts in a pleasant, satisfying way. The fact that it can go from a beautiful clean sound to a wonderful distortion is practical, in that it won't as easily clip other things down the line. Considering that it's a 4 channel tube preamp I bought used for $1000 that can give a range of color already makes it seem like an incredible value but that's just the beginning. This has extremely useful EQ switches. One is "Bright - Flat - Air" and one is "Flat - Deep - Lo Cut." So I had done an overhead mic shootout with SDCs and LDCs and eventually settled on a tube LDC as the best. In the mean time I had gotten 421 tom mics and a D112 floor tom mic. With a good overhead mic, you only really need just a hair of these tom mics - $1000 of cost in the tom mics alone. I tried the deep switch, combined with my low cut switch on the mixer, and suddenly I didn't need the tom mics anymore! I waited it out while I did more shootouts and ultimately got a 2 mic setup that didn't require rack tom mics. (Ultimately I found a different OH mic that didn't need the deep switch, which is a little more natural overall.) That means the deep switch was worth $750, in terms of the rack tom mics I didn't need. The ability to adjust drum mics to make them bigger or brighter is so useful. Using these switches, I was able to make SDC overheads bigger sounding, and dark LDCs brighter sounding, and ultimately it meant that I could have a lot more usable drum sound by compensating for different mics weaknesses. I was also able to adjust the distance of the mic based on how much room sound I wanted, instead of having to put the mic in a certain position because the proximity effect balanced the tone.
Already I'm in love with this thing and I haven't even gotten around to other sources. It sounds fantastic on acoustic instruments with high end detail that rolls off just where you want it. It also sounds wonderful on bass. Again, the EQ switches came in super handy. You probably know that an electric bass typically will "boom" all of a sudden when the player goes down to the low E string. This is a real problem for mixing because most instrument stay in a tighter frequency zone. You can plug the bass in the D.I. and get an even tone with mostly the bridge pickup which has less of the boomy quality. Then you can add the "deep" switch and get a full all around sound without as much of the sudden boominess.
I wouldn't call this dark but it has an even, smooth, warm sound with some very high frequency rolloff. It could work for 90 percent of what you are recording. For a lead vocal or something that really needs to cut through, I would use something brighter like a Great River, Neve or API. For how cheap this is and how great it sounds on most things, I would highly recommend it. I only give it a 4 for ease of use because you have to take care that all the switches on each channel are in the right place and the pad/output knob for gain is a little different.

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