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Old 24th December 2005, 11:36 PM   #1
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Default A.R.T. tube mp studio preamp

hi, this is my first post on this forum. I have an "ART tube mp studio" preamp through which i'm running a mic in order to record acoustic guitar. though this device contains a tube, i have a question relating to a solid-state component.

my main problem with this device is the amount of noise present when recording. i'm trying to record without a compressor, and this is almost working. the only problem is the signal to noise ratio. i can't boost the signal high enough without getting noise.

i replaced the stock tube with a sovtek 12ax7wa, which helped a little bit. i ordered this tube off of an online auction site, and was supposed to get a 12ax7lps. i don't know if this would have helped my situation more or not. oh, well. time to move on...

the stock op amp is "ne5532p." i've read that replacing this component might help reduce distortion, etc. however, i'm not too worried about distortion. i just want to have a wider "window" between signal and noise. in this case, do you think that replacing the ne5532p would help noticably?

the reason i say "noticably," is because i'm not very skilled at soldering, and if i'm going to open up the can of worms that is replacing this thing, i'd like to get some noticably decrease in noise. thanks.
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Old 25th December 2005, 12:47 AM   #2
lineup is offline lineup  Sweden
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NE5532
has lower noise figures than most OP-Amps.
I dont think this is the main source of the signal/noise ratio.
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Old 25th December 2005, 12:52 AM   #3
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from what i understand the gain is provided by the tube and the op amp comes after as a buffer. in that case changing the opamp will not do much anyways.

what you need to worry about is what is before the gain stage (tube) and the gain stage itself what else is in there? maybe there is a problem in PSU? if the voltage was too low that might happen.

you might get more answersr in a tube forum
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Old 25th December 2005, 04:36 AM   #4
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Problem might be in the following order:

(1) Noisy room. Even if your ears tune it out, the noise "heard" through a microphone will be apparent.
(2) Microphone. Low output mic (ribbon or moving coil) needs higher preamplifier gain = more noise. Also, most of the cheaper condensor microphones feature a significant boost in the upper midrange response (4-8kHz), for "added" presence, which makes any Microphone pre-preamplifier noise and possibly room noise more obvious.
(3) Low budget "tube" preamps, such as the ART, tend to be noisier than the expensive stuff, mostly because they save money by not using transformers. The transformer would usually add some (voltage) gain (step-up X-former) and alleviate the following active stages. Cheap transformers, on the other hand may have extra distortions (core saturation etc.) and hype the critical midrange where you hear noise best. Also, if the tube adds extra "euphoric" distortions, then this would also have a similar effect.
(4) weak playing, or inconsistent dynamics in playing. This is obvious. A good player will try to control their own dynamics (similar to a good compressor) to get the best SNR. This is the cheapest solution to your problem.

cheers
rb
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