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#1412894 - 08/24/15 06:21 PM Art Pre USB line
TreeDragon7 Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 12/03/11
Posts: 355
I have some tube pre Art brand units and like them a lot.


I notice that they keep coming out with new ones that have usb to computer capability.

what is the specs that make this so and are they good.

we always talk about ad/da and opto amps etc with VS stuff.

where is the analog to digital conversion in these things and what is the quality produced recorded on a pc laptop with reaper or so ?

these ' interfaces ' are very low priced.

I hope its all good and true . . .


Ryan

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#1412981 - 08/24/15 09:09 PM Re: Art Pre USB line [Re: TreeDragon7]
uptildawn Offline
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 8163
Loc: Iowa
Visiting their website, I only see two current USB pres being offered: the TubeMP and DualPre, plus I find just one legacy USB pre, the USBDualTubePre..... This is just devices I see with the USB designation and maybe isn't all of them, but I don't see a big surge in ART USB pres on their website...

Those are great questions, though. I wish I'd kept up enough with my studies of electronics and gear to have good answers for you - mine would be semi-educated guesses, so I won't try too much here...

I can't say how good they are from personal experience, but their usb pres appear to be limited to two-channel, or single channel - although they mention in their manuals the possibility of connecting more than one device to get more inputs. They also appear to rely completely on third-party device drivers - Windows default drivers and ASIO4ALL, etc. This tells me that they haven't put efforts into creating their own and do not include their own software mixer interface.

Again, I don't know the technical details of what makes a great a/d and d/a converter, but they sure don't go out of their way to talk up the quality of theirs. Sure, a lot of times companies brag up their specs to puff themselves up, but when a company doesn't say anything about a part of their device that means so much to the quality, I have to wonder why they don't at least mention them. Compare the lack of details here to that of companies that are known for their top end gear and you might understand why I question this aspect a little bit...... that's not to say they aren't good, or even great, but I don't see them going out of their way to tell us about them.

In general, the same things that make any stand alone preamp great sounding (analog or digital) will be the things that make a usb pre sound good. One great factor I have been made aware of in the computer world that separates good from bad or great in the preamp world is in the quality and reliability of their " device driver files". These files provide an interface between the hardware and software programs that connect to them.

Since this is a critical part of the equation, it stands to reason that those hardware devices that have specially designed software drivers can potentially be the best attuned with a program. Of course there must be more to it than that, because even some of the most well-known preamp producers have been known to have problematic drivers... whether it's drivers that get randomly dropped through conflicts with Windows, or whatever it is, sometimes a preamp goes down in flames simply because of faulty or badly written device drivers (at least that's how I understand it).

One thing I found curious tonight in reading up on ART's current preamp line is in the feature list of one of their highlighted preamps - It read something to the effect that it has "low noise when used at lower gain settings" (that may not be an exact quote, but it seems hardly a bragging point to me.....).

In the end it all comes down to application and how it works for the user. If it sounds good - then it is good, sort of thinking.
I won't knock 'em unless I've had enough experience to justify giving an opinion. I've liked many ART products in the past, going back to nearly the beginnings of my career as a musician.



Whew! I do get long-winded sometimes, don't I? Sorry for the ranting...


Edited by uptildawn (08/24/15 09:10 PM)
_________________________
uptildawn

2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets!
Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Fred Hersch Trio
These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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#1416229 - 09/06/15 03:37 PM Re: Art Pre USB line [Re: uptildawn]
TreeDragon7 Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 12/03/11
Posts: 355
I found out the art ones mostly have 16 bit output. what a let down
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