Today I’m going to review an amazing dual-path preamp for you, ie; Presonus DP BlueTube V2 Preamp right from my studio.
Actually, one of my friend bought this preamp but and wanted me to test it’s performance in my studio. So, I got it for a week.
I’ve thoroughly tested Presonus Bluetube Preamp and came to my verdict about it. I thought, If I review it for you, then my readers would also be benefited along with my friend.
Well, let me first explain the core features of Presonus DP Bluetube V2 Preamp.
PreSonus DP BlueTube V2 Preamp Features
- A XMAX mic preamplifier: Presonus Bluetube is equipped with High-headroom Class A XMAX mic preamplifier which provides up to 80 dB gain range for your mics.
- 12AX7 vacuum tube gain stage: The world class 12AX7 vacuum tube provides the best gain stage to this preamp. This vacuum tube powers it up to give the warmth of vintage analog consoles.
- Tube Drive tube-saturation control: Saturation control knobs are given to balance the tube drive saturation in the mic signal.
- Polarity-reverse switch: Sometimes your cables are not configured well (this problem occurs with manually configured cables) so the polarity is changed. This preamp has a one tap polarity invert switch to reverse the wrong polarity.
- Some other features are 48V phantom power, 80 Hz high-pass filter, -20 dB pad switch and Illuminated analog VU input-level meter makes it one of the best vacuum tube based preamp in the world.
Presonus DP BlueTube V2 Preamp is available on the online store around $250-$270.
In the above section, I’ve give summery of the features of Presonus BlueTube V2 Preamp. In this section, I will provide the detail analysis of those.
What are Vacuum Tube and Solid-State Preamps?
As you know, Presonus Bluetube V2 is a vacuum tube based solid state Preamp. SO, you should first know what is vacuum tube and solid state circuitry based Preamps.
Actually, Vacuum tube is a glass tube in which there is nothing but vacuum which is used to increase the amplitude or power of a signal.
Before 1960’s vacuum tube or valve amplifier were used everywhere but today replaced by solid state amplifiers.
However, in audio industry everyone is fan of the analog distorted signal that a vacuum tube amplifier produce. SO, it’s widely used as guitar amp even today.
Presonus combined both vacuum tube and solid state amplifier circuitry together to get the vacuum tube’s distortion and precision of solid state amp.
The resulting sound is clear and crunchy which we all love to listen.
XMAX mic preamplifier
The XMAX technology used in the preamp of Presonus Bluetube is amazingly high headroom, low noise, wide dynamic range, and extended frequency response.
The combination of vacuum tube and solid state circuitry makes XMAX one of the best preamp in the world.
The resultant audio you’ll get doesn’t need any post colorization effects as it’s way richer than any ordinary mic preamp used in audio interfaces.
12AX7 vacuum tube gain stage
This dual triode based vacuum tube was widely use in audio industry between 1947 to 1960. But after introducing the solid state amps, the use was limited to guitar amps.
However, listeners liked a much the analog feel it add. SO, Presonus added it to their several products including Bluetube V2. They added a gain stage knob to control the drive in Presonus Bluetube that helps us in controlling the amount of distortion in the input.
When I first joined my condenser mic with this preamp I got amazed of that cool distortion it adds in the signal. The warmth that I was seeking for was realized in the audio.
BUT, if you don’t like the analog distortion and want crystal clear voice then I won’t suggest you this gear.
Why do you need this?
Often times people ask me “how to get the analog taste in their recordings”? Actually, that’s the million dollar question in audio recording field.
Do you know why?
Read this article you’ll get the answer.
The taste of analog distortion added by vintage equipment is missing in digitally recorded music. SO, we need some good gear that can add it during recording.
Presonus DP Bluetube V2 Preamp is one of those gear. You can add analog distortion to your mic recordings by this Preamp which is equipped with a great vintage vacuum tube amp.
I prefer this Preamp to my readers who love analog taste in their recordings.
There are two alternatives to Presonus DP Bluetube V2 Preamp.
- ART Digital MPA-II 2-Channel Tube Microphone Preamp
- ART ProMPAII Two Channel Discrete Class A Microphone Preamp
As I love analog taste in my recordings I will go with Presonus DP Bluetube V2. I already have a unit in my studio and use it for capturing main vocals through my condenser microphone.
If you also like analog taste in your recordings then you should definitely go with this mic preamp. But the last choise is yours.
If you like this article then please share with other in your social media circle so that they could also get help in choosing the right recording gear.
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Gautam Roy is a recording engineer and a blogger from India. He loves music, writing and travelling. He is also an active investor and a successful entrepreneur.