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Warm Audio TB12 Tonebeast Microphone Preamp  

Item #: 
1375800278009
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The Tone Beast is a great mic pre with loads of gain that can effortlessly capture an array of sources very well. With top notch CineMag transformers and multiple discrete signal paths, it's hard to b... Click To Read More About This Product

IN STOCK & READY TO SHIP

Gear returned in mint condition. If you're looking for a virtually new instrument in possibly less-than-perfect packaging, this is a great value.
  • Includes 45-Day, No-Hassle Returns
  • Includes full manufacturer's warranty
Gear returned in great condition, with only minor signs of use, such as slight scuffs or pick marks. It looks and plays like new and may be considered an equivalent to display units found in retail stores.
  • Includes 45-Day, No-Hassle Returns
  • Includes full manufacturer's warranty
Price:
$5990.00
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Ship to Store Available in: 3-7 Days (estimated) Denver, CO (5.5  mi) View More Stores For Availability


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Overview

The Tone Beast is a great mic pre with loads of gain that can effortlessly capture an array of sources very well. With top notch CineMag transformers and multiple discrete signal paths, it's hard to beat its big, bold, fully-professional sound at its price.

The Tone Beast is a mic pre that likes to be pushed and when pushed will colorize your signal ever so sweetly. The 2 opamps and 2 output transformers at the flip of their switches won't appear to be much different, but as one drives the pre into harmonic distortion, the unique character of each of these components becomes apparent. Additionally the Tone Beast is customizable and allows for other opamps to be sourced and easily swapped into the unit. I've pulled my best tones from this pre right at the saturation point (as loud as I can push the gain before clipping). The output control on the TB12 allows you to limit the signal exiting the preamp even when pushing the gain to really hot levels, giving you maximum control.

The x731 (Melcor 1731) and x18 (Dean Jensen's 918) Op Amps saturate a bit differently. The 1731 breaks up faster and has more color when pushed. The 918 is fairly linear/clean with a smidge of character and does not break-up/saturate as quickly. The 100% steel output transformer colors the signal more than the 50% nickel transformer when pushed. However, both are designed to impart character. The 50% nickel transformer will impart less character and provide greater high and low frequencies. For an ultra clean, character-lacking tone, try the x18 while bypassing the output transformers completely.

Have no fear of hurting the Beast, you can push it very hard into full-on distortions if you wish, and these can sound quite nice on electric guitar, bass or anything else that likes some nice grit.

When hand building mic pres I learned a bit about the "subtle" differences component choices can make. A little change here, and another there often times became a huge deal in a finished mix, but often times is not very noticeable at first take. The different component options in the TB12 are subtle, but when driven into saturation are noticeable and can make a big difference to the way your final mix will sound.
Home-based musicians and professional studios alike will find the Tone Beast to be an extremely powerful and fully professional piece of gear that is capable of warming and shaping signals/mixes in a way that is very pleasing to the ear.

HISTORY BEHIND THE TONE BEAST
In the 60²s and 70²s many console/preamplifier builders hid the operational amplifier (Op amp) stage of their preamps by cramming its components into a small box and then attaching the box to the circuit board. Inside these small boxes, the components were covered in glue to make them hard to disassemble/analyze. Manufacturers of that day felt the character these Op Amps imparted was unique enough to protect.

A trend grew in the industry where the little box the Op Amp components sat in became of similar size and shape between manufacturers. These boxes eventually mounted to the PCB board with the same number of pins, spaced identically, even from different manufacturers. You could remove an Op Amp from one console preamp and place it in another of a different manufacturer without much headache/difficulty.

The TB12 uses this same square shaped op amp and pin configuration as these originals but not enclosed in plastic and glue. The TB12 is designed so that users can remove the stock opamps and replace them with their own. If you are a tone FREAK like me you will love the ability to do this. Beware that Warm Audio may not be able to warranty a unit that has been opened and tinkered with. Below are some examples of 6 pin opamps that can pop right into the Tone Beast!

Features
  • Versatile tones from vintage to modern
  • Capacitor select
  • Supplies phantom power
  • Bypass transformer
Specifications
  • Discrete 312 preamp design with coupled CineMag Transformers
    71db of gain
    Transformer selection provides both Steel and 50% Nickel CineMag output transformers for rying character
    Transformer bypass switch allows for removal of the output transformer from the circuit
    Discrete Opamp selection provides both the classic 1731(vintage) and 918(cleaner) style opamps. These are socketed/swappable with your choice of 2520 6 pin footprint opamps.
    Impedance switch labeled TONE to switch between 150 and 600 ohms input impedance
    Capacitor selection between Tantalum and Electrolytic for different characters
    80hz hipass filter
    Polarity Reverse
    +48V phantom power
    Output attenuation allowing for saturation flexibility of both the opamps and transformers
    ¼" insert for the use of inline compressors, eq's etc..
    Balanced XLR mic (front and back), balanced TRS line, and ¼" instrument inputs
    Balanced XLR and TRS outputs
    -20db Pad
    LED VU Meter
    19" rackmountable
    External line-lump 24V AC power transformer for low noise
Warranty

GUITAR CENTER'S PRO COVERAGE
Pro Coverage gives you added warranty protection for your new gear. Stepping in where the manufacturer's "normal wear and tear" coverage ends, our Pro Coverage program offers you upgraded coverage if your product ever fails Read More.

Pro Coverage includes
  • Accidental damage protection (new gear only)
  • Expedited repair
  • Free shipping (for returns or repairs)
  • 100% coverage for commercial use
  • Extended return period
  • Extended price protection
  • No lemon guarantee
  • Free transfer of coverage to a new owner
  • Repair costs covered for up to three years from date of purchase
  • Repair authorization-toll-free by phone or via the web
  • Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Warm AudioTB12 Tonebeast Microphone Preamp
 
5.0

(based on 2 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 2 customers

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5.0

ToneBeast

By Paul

from undisclosed

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Comments about Warm Audio TB12 Tonebeast Microphone Preamp:

Super cool mic pre for anyone just getting into analog gear or if you don't want to spend too much. Lots of different options (admittedly hard to distinguish with an untrained ear unless you push it extreme) from hard distortion to softer saturation. Bass, acoustic guitar, vocals all sound cool through this. WAAAAYYY better than any of those 300$ preamps (ART, Presonus, etc.). I bought the MPA ii to "save money," but it wasn't even worth it. I sold it and bought this as a kind of money saver option as well (because of all the different settings you can use on it) and I'm definitely happy with it.

 
5.0

Versatile Beast - excellent for DI to amp sims

By Enrico

from Nj

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Easy To Use

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home Studio
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Warm Audio TB12 Tonebeast Microphone Preamp:

    Very versatile preamp. Works great as a DI for amp sims & lots of flavors for vocal mic recordings.

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