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ART - Pro MPA & Pro VLA Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 19th April 2009
  #31
Gear Maniac
 
nonamesleft's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickynicknick View Post
you got a nice little collection there. I'm jealous...the VLA is surprising isn't it?

thanks...yeah it is an amazing unit for the price. i have seen it take an incredible about of compression with nearly zero audible artifacts. only my dynamics toolbox can match it in that area. I'll never sell it.
Old 19th April 2009
  #32
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soundawg's Avatar
 

TheLittleBrotherBand.com

All Vocals, piano, acoustics, kick, snare and electric guitars recorded through the MPA, with the VLA in line where needed...

Bass, remaining drums, and whatever is left went directly through RME Fireface pres.

Cheers

Soundawg

...oh yeah I forgot... the mic used for the vocals was Apex 460... all the rest were either various ATM or Sure.
Old 19th April 2009
  #33
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mamm7215's Avatar
Sounddawg, it's funny, after using the ART Pro VLA and MPA Gold for the last few years, how much of a signature on the sound they have. I listened to your bands sample (I also have the Apex460 but completely modified), and there's no doubt about the Gold and VLA sound signatures...
Old 6th October 2009
  #34
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamm7215 View Post
Sounddawg, it's funny, after using the ART Pro VLA and MPA Gold for the last few years, how much of a signature on the sound they have. I listened to your bands sample (I also have the Apex460 but completely modified), and there's no doubt about the Gold and VLA sound signatures...
mamm7215, are you saying this signature sound is good or bad? Or simply just easily heard?
Old 6th October 2009
  #35
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steelyfan's Avatar
 

The Pro Vla II owns on kick and snare for sure, in fact I think it sounds great. A lot of people hyperventilate over bass guitar through the LA-610 and DI , and I think the VLA sound better. It does add a certain energy to the signal. I think it's a great piece of gear, for the price it's exceptional.
Super cool for electric guitar too!
Old 6th October 2009
  #36
Gear Nut
 

I own an ART MPA Pro II, with the tube upgrade this is a fantastic preamp. There aren't many preamps in this price range that can compete with the ART in terms of features and bang for back. If you're not willing to fork out the extra $$$ for some good tubes then I probably wouldn't touch it.
Old 7th October 2009
  #37
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mamm7215's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by esteban_blanco View Post
mamm7215, are you saying this signature sound is good or bad? Or simply just easily heard?
I guess I'll say I "recognize" the timbre. Like I can now recognize a neve-ish pre after owning my SCA N72's for a while now. Same with mics I know. You can make good or bad recordings with most gear, depends on you. I liked the Gold and VLA when I had them. They're great pieces for the money. I like my N72's better though, as I like my Drawmer 1968ME better. The VLA was no slouch though. FWIW, my best more recent recordings have been through a Toft ATC-2 I had loaned for a while. I know some folks "pfft" at it but I'd jump at one for the right price just to have in the arsenal.
Old 27th May 2011
  #38
Gear Nut
 

I was just cruising and saw this thread. Notice a post where someone was saying that the original Pro MPA is likely better than the MPA Gold as it is half the price. It's actually quite the opposite, prices are well known to come down in time, but the reason the MPA Gold's are preferable (as well as the newer Pro MPA II) to the original Pro MPA is that they have the option to be run at high plate voltage. The original does not have that option so you are always running the tubes at a lower plate voltage (starved as it is called I believe). I even contacted art because it would have been my assumption that the tubes in the original unit would be run high as that is the way that most people agree that tubes are "meant" to be run, as it is cleaner.

Also, I noticed a lot of people really laying down some hate on the ART MPA series. I know ART certainly has some products out there that, once heard, would make you question any product put out by the company, but the MPA series is far and above any other art preamp you might have tried (often the tube MP). Not to mention, most people have only heard these preamps with their stock tubes, but as many will testify to, these amps improve quite noticeably with a swapping in of some good vintage tubes (or some say higher quality tubes of current manufacture help alot too). Mainly, a tube replacement puts these pres in another ball game.

From personal experience, the main cons I have experienced are issues with interference. You'll read a lot about people with humming issues, I get weird intermittent noises in the one I had that sounded like wind going into a microphone. It would go for about 30 sec, stop for a while, then start up. I sent it back and am awaiting another one. I had a MPA Gold a while ago that did not have this issue that I sold because I didn't like it, but then I heard other people's who had swapped the tubes and decided to rebuy. I love the sound of this unit, and i hope I can find one that will not cause me issues with interference.

I do have a tendency to get wordy on here don't I...
Old 27th May 2011
  #39
Gear Head
 

I love the VLA on drum overheads. bass too...
Old 5th October 2014
  #40
Gear Head
 
crumbman's Avatar
 

Old 12th November 2014
  #41
Gear Maniac
 

Can anyone tell me what if any knobs on the ART Pro MPA and Pro VLA are detented? This is important for my workflow to easily recall settings…

Thanks in advance
Old 12th November 2014
  #42
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Drumsound's Avatar
They aren't detented.
Old 12th November 2014
  #43
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
They aren't detented.
That's what i thought thanks man
Old 12th November 2014
  #44
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonamesleft View Post
VLA II -. For recording, it gets beat out every time by my distressor, 1176, la3a, portico, dynamics toolbox, but it isn't like it is blown out of the water. When recording drums i still use it along with all the other comps i have. It is absolutely an outstanding comp for the price.
I have to agree with this. I have been borrowing one for a few weeks and shot it out on vocals and drum bus. I picked other comps over it (wa 76, distressor, Lindell, 525, 160VU). The art came in the middle of the pack, it just didn't win
Old 15th November 2014
  #45
Gear Maniac
 

Hey, so the review of the MPA II in SoundOnSound says the knobs ARE detented. Can anyone that owns an MPA II chime in. Is the gain knob stepped/detented? The output knob?
Old 15th November 2014
  #46
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KFunk View Post
Hey, so the review of the MPA II in SoundOnSound says the knobs ARE detented. Can anyone that owns an MPA II chime in. Is the gain knob stepped/detented? The output knob?
In your earlier post you didn't say "II." I can't speak for the originals, because I don't have one. But I have a Pro VLA II. Every single knob on it is detented.
Old 15th November 2014
  #47
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by famous beagle View Post
In your earlier post you didn't say "II." I can't speak for the originals, because I don't have one. But I have a Pro VLA II. Every single knob on it is detented.
Awesome man thanks! Good to hear! My bad on the oversight on specifying which unit. What about the MPA II?
Old 15th November 2014
  #48
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omnialinx's Avatar
Boy I had an Mpa for awhile and although I sold it I have to say its not a bad unit. I had definitely made some good quality tracks with it provided I changed the tubes and used a good mic.
The vla I still own and use as often as my far more respected/pricier comps.
Old 15th November 2014
  #49
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shatz's Avatar
Wonder why they haven't came out with a dual channel parametric eq to pair with the MPA and VLA. They could just take the concept from the pro channel.
Old 15th November 2014
  #50
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Old Goat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shatz View Post
Wonder why they haven't came out with a dual channel parametric eq to pair with the MPA and VLA. They could just take the concept from the pro channel.
I searched out an old ART Dual Tube EQ to round out my low-end ART rack, and had it modded a bit, but the circuit is limited and really can't be brought out of starved plate land. It sounds okay to me, but I don't do anything drastic with it. Little tweaks on the way in, not much else.

A mate to the other two would be nice!
Old 15th November 2014
  #51
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tedtan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by famous beagle View Post
In your earlier post you didn't say "II." I can't speak for the originals, because I don't have one. But I have a Pro VLA II. Every single knob on it is detented.
The Pro VLA II does have detented pots (note detented pots, not stepped switches).
Old 24th December 2014
  #52
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by groundcontrol View Post
I much prefer an 1176 when recording wurly.heh
I'd hope so. An 1176 is 10 times the price. It better sound superior to the ART.
Old 28th October 2018
  #53
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Pinboxer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by river View Post
Heh heh heh.....I have 3 of them with 50's and 60's vintage NOS tubes rolled into them. I always have other engineers ask me: "What did you use on the vocal chain"? I've recut vocals for clients done through U87 and API or Avalon front end using the ART and lesser known mics to everyone's satisfaction. You just never know sometimes....
When you source out NOS what brand and type would you select for the MPA and VLA ?
Old 29th October 2018
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinboxer View Post
When you source out NOS what brand and type would you select for the MPA and VLA ?

Can't speak to the VLA as I don't own one. For my MPA's, I have a pair of Westinghouse 12DF7's, which are amazing. They're extremely low noise and have a gain factor of 70 (12AX7 has GF of 100), which makes them very useful for dynamic vocals since they're hard to overdrive. They have a somewhat dark but detailed quality. When I bought mine, I paid $120 for the pair. They're now anywhere between $250-400 a pair due to their rarity. There are other brands of 12DF7, all excellent I'm sure. I also have a unit with a pair of Mullard 12AT7's. They have a pronounced midrange and are great for backing vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, anything that might need to stand out in a dense mix. The 3rd unit has Raytheon 12AX7's, they're smoother in the top end than the stock Russian tubes. I was really quite surprised at how much these different tubes resulted in completely different coloration of the same preamp.
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