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Behringer: MIC2200 Ultragain Pro

Behringer Ultragain Pro Mic2200

2.9 2.9 out of 5, based on 5 Reviews

Vacuum Tube Microphone/Line Preamplifier


14th January 2012

Behringer Ultragain Pro Mic2200 by Sim

  • Sound Quality 1 out of 5
  • Ease of use 1 out of 5
  • Features 1 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 1 out of 5
  • Overall: 1
Behringer: MIC2200 Ultragain Pro

So possibly one of the worst stereo tube preamps around. Typical behringer. It even has leds behind the tube to make it look like it's glowing hot.

I bought this when I was young and stupid (still am) someone convinced me behringer was pretty good and that only tubes sound good. I've since learnt a lot more about gear. Anyhow I bought one used about a month after they became available in shops just shows you how bad they are.

It's noisy, it's distorts something nasty, it's like someones thrown a blanket over your signal. It's pretty easy to find bad reviews of this pre. I'm not going to go through the features as it's that bad it's not worth talking about. I think the only thing good on it was the gold plated connectors. The knob's feel like they're not attached, it's has a horrible unsensitive metering. There's a nob on it called gain but they should just call it noise.

So if you reading this review thinking, I have no money to buy a cheap pre amp, save your money and buy something like a m-audio dmp3 which is a huge jump up in quality and sound and only £20-£30 more than the bellringer.

  • 1
30th May 2012

Behringer Ultragain Pro Mic2200 by TheOtherRob

  • Sound Quality 2 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 2 out of 5
  • Overall: 3
Behringer: MIC2200 Ultragain Pro

Yes, it is cheap. But too expensive for just a doorstop.
That is what some would say.

This unit may well be a lesson in what NOT to buy for the home studio enthusiast. Some have called the 'Gain' knob a 'noise level' knob. And so, this is true. Noise is as welcome to any serious recording as much as passing gas in a crowded elevator is welcome. However, they can be modded with better op amps and electrolytic caps. Then it would be formidable. Reminds of the guy who jacked up his radiator cap and drove a newer car underneath it. Since ultimately - sound integrity and quality are essential; it lost the race at this point.

Only as easy to use as you are experienced enough to understand what it is. Oh yeah; it is easy to use for those who know the functions. They are all clearly laid out and intuitive if you know what one is doing with them. It uses an internal power supply - rather than a disgusting wall wart (don't ya just hate them things?). It looks like it should be an important piece; but looks can be deceiving too. And so it is that.

Having a parametric is a fine feature for those who give that sound a bump or a notch. So is a tuneable freq low cut switch. Phase, mic/line, and phantom power are all front panel switchable. The LED db display seems to work OK too. All very fine features. The tube display is kinda ghank ("a dank funk that makes one gag") - though. Thought that was tacky - to say the least. Or was that enough? A tube emulated mic pre that the user cannot even change out, as that cheap Chinese tube is soldered into place. Not that it would ever need to be serviced - unless someone decided to frisbee this unit - but that could happen too.

I M O - if they would have spent a little bit more for some quality op amps and caps, lost the cheap tube and its cutesy/fruitsy window, they may actually have a winner for an entry-level, inexpensive preamp. Or even go as far as putting in a real power supply that could - dare I say it - drive a real and replaceable tube-of-choice. So long as keeps all of the usable features - that could even be interesting.

ALL Behringer gear would improve immensely if they just use better op amps and caps in all of their gear. What are they afraid of; success? Are you listening Behringer? Me thinks so . . .

If you are a beginner and need a preamp and you want to save money; a preamp is NOT where one should do that. Especially for a home studio enthusiast needing their first important lesson. You really need bank-fer-the-buck here; and you will not find it with this unit. Is it useful at all - one might ask? Yes; but not for any serious recording. Anything else but that. Not that ALL Behringer gear is bad; one needs to pick and choose their 'Bill of Fair' carefully. Just don't chose this preamp for your home studio if you want and need great results.

4th July 2012

Behringer Ultragain Pro Mic2200 by nytro

  • Sound Quality 2 out of 5
  • Ease of use 2 out of 5
  • Features 2 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 2 out of 5
  • Overall: 2
Behringer: MIC2200 Ultragain Pro

good boy thanks for that , nearly bought one there !

I like some behringer gear but its so hot and cold!

like I had a uca 202 soundcard that had a whining sound through it , or I had a

Behringer SX 2442FX mixer , that when you pulled the volume all the way down

you could still hear music playing .. its those things which piss me off ! , one flip

side I had the bcf 2000 midi controller with motorised faders which was very

good,

love the prices and the look .... but....... cumon ... we love you guys get it

together!!!!

your new x32 looks fantastic .... lets hope this is a new beginning!

26th November 2017

Behringer Ultragain Pro Mic2200 by Sowndgod

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Behringer: MIC2200 Ultragain Pro

The 2200 is getting a bit of a bad reputation...
It is not the quietest tube pre out there, but it is usable...first off...its output meters are based on +4db output...so you don't need to run her up to the red to get good output volumes...
Secondly..as with any and every pre-amp I personally have encountered, the behringer also has a usable range of gain before it starts gettin noisey and harsh...
For microphones stay to the left of 12 o'clock pos.
I like to run one side of this for my pre-multi Fx guitar pedal...it allows me a tunable low cut filter..
which is great with some pedals that have a linear input response ..unlike a real amplifier...
Next it gives me a single fully adjustable parametric eq band.which is great for pretending I have the worlds best morphing guitar pick-ups for getting that perfect feel and tonal response to the strings...
Then if I feel the need to push the limits of my digital pedals input , to get more gain for the chuncky crunch channel sounds I like , I also have a master output gain to do so with...
If your real savvy...you might even solder up a guitar 1/4" to a XLR output cord...that will give you controll of just how much pre-amp (tube) gain gets injected into your signal...it really does make a difference...and don't beleive people who say the 1/4" in doesn't run thru the tube section..it does..it just doesn't give you controll of the gain level..
The tube is also "not" soldered into these units...
I just recently swapped out the tube for a nice old vintage one..its not easy...but not impossible either..
If you do this just be careful..take your time..look closely how it all slides apart...its delicate...
I've heard good things about a 12au7 swap..
Good low noise..full frequency ..less drivey tube..
And as for a mic pre-amp it is useable..live more than in a studio enviroment..but if your in a studio,
you should have a decent noise reduction anyway..
In my opinion...all this unit is missing..is a noise gate...but for an average of $99.00...I won't complain...
Sowndgod out...

8th May 2019

Behringer Ultragain Pro Mic2200 by pkward88

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Behringer: MIC2200 Ultragain Pro

I pick products that are great values for the money, and this is no exception.

The MIC2200 is both a direct box and a mic pre, and electronically those two function a little differently. The tube is engaged when using XLR inputs. It’s a tube that has stereo capability, and it does add some color.

Most interestingly, even with bright Chinese-built mics, it consistently provides a thickness and warmth that you might find naturally on mics costing hundreds or a thousand or so more. I tested it with several of my brighter mics (NT1-A, NT-2A, NT2, Studio Projects B1, Behringer B2 Pro) because part of my intention for getting this mic is to take down some of the noise and sharpness in the 4K - 8K band that some of these mics exhibit. The capsules in some of these mics are famous for being excellent, with electronics that differ from expensive mics that explains both their "transparency" and their upper harshness. Frankly, we've all gotten used to a thick, warm sound from very expensive mics, and it's something we seek. Indeed, with the Sitler mod on one of my Oktava 319s, the net effect was an airy but WARM sound that I'd use for any vocal (or tenor or alto sax, or on an upright bass) ... precisely because its response profile is similar to some Neumann mics.

Back to the story ... the use of the stereo tube on this unit is a kind of starved plate design that adds harmonics and can soften high end frequencies in a mic. This effect is present but not obnoxious -- it's subtle enough, in fact, to allow me to mix the right balance of circuit and tube for the particular mic I'm using.

Is this going to sound just like a high-end tube? No. But I get several benefits: I can dial in a sound on a mic that fits the performer and track something that's plenty clean and warm, even if it's not EXACTLY like a $20K+ setup and do some additional ITB processing so the ultimate mix sounds excellent; I can get a sound on tracking that the singer will like; I can use the unit as an OPTION in my studio that has twenty three additional mic pre-amps, with three different color profiles. It's a tool, in an array of tools.

The key to get this to perform is to get your gain-staging right. With good gain-staging, I find that the unit's noise is negligible -- many mics self-noise exceeds what’s being contributed by the MIC2200 and the audio interface (if you have a good audio interface). And, as was mentioned in another review, if you’re mixing in a studio, you’ll have the ability to drop in a plug-in to take out that mic self-noise (and, if you’re gain-staging wrong, the unit’s noise). I do this all the time with accusonus' noise reducer. It's gorgeous. (Yes, I could route through a hardware expander I've got, but the value of hybrid is especially cool when you're quieting down multiple tracks with a plug-in like accusonus').

I’ve not used it as a DI yet, and I may not need to since my audio interface has proven capable by itself in all direct applications.

Compared to the uncolored sound you tend to get from entry-level audio interfaces, this unit does deliver a bit of color on XLR (mic) applications, and can improve the apparent quality of mics. Coupled with its ability to improve gainstaging - especially with interfaces that otherwise require too much gain to get a good signal - you can get good low-noise performance.

Looking at other reviews, I see some people seem to have an axe to grind with the company and also don't know how to separate Behringer's past from good, factual common sense. The parametric EQ is actually useful and thoughtful, for example, for both live as well as for studio use. Feedback happens. Harsh mics happen. Low rumble happens.

So, despite other reviews, I would recommend this for project studios, and for occasional use in pro applications when you need a bit of color and extra options in gain-staging.

I’ve had mine for four months, and have had zero problems. I can’t assess long-term build quality yet.

23rd August 2019

Behringer Ultragain Pro Mic2200 by pkward88

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Behringer: MIC2200 Ultragain Pro

This is an update to my previous review.

1. Noise on mic-pre: Generally not an issue. Gain-staging is critical. I keep the gain around 12 o'clock. Warmer setting is to the right of this. Output I keep at 12 o'clock, too. Your positions would vary, but this seems to be a setup that allows for enough subtle changes from these positions to yield "just enough" character. (The issue with starved plate designs is not necessarily the type or quality of color for many normal applications, but the narrow gain range.)

2. Still have not used it as a direct.

3. Parametric EQ is actually really useful. If your room or mic emphasizes or depletes energy from what you're recording, you can get nice, musical results from this.

4. Layout: Useful, easy to understand.

5. Results so far: Pretty heavy use, although I'm also increasingly using Aphex and ART pre's nowadays. Great results, no technical issues.

6. Why I like it in my setup: I have an audio interface that by itself sometimes does not provide quite enough gain into my DAW for my taste/situations. This pre gives me a little color, some good option on input, and overall more headroom so I can lay down pretty darn impeccable tracks. I'm doing spoken word and jazz/blues vocalists, with a fair amount of space/exposure on the tracks. Zero issues.

There may be better options, but for $99 street, and less used, this has a home in any live and project studio rack.

 
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