Presonus Bluetube

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by teleking36, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. teleking36

    teleking36 Member

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    Anyone using one of these? I just picked on up on the 'bay, and it came with a few XLR cables thrown in and free shipping. I'm pretty impressed so far. I've been doing basic stuff just to get used to my Tascam DP-01 and the Bluetube, trying out different levels, etc. I recorded some Black Crowes riffs with a close mic'd SM57 and one of my good friends thought I was playing the actual studio track!

    I also have a quick question about powering condenser mics. I picked up the Marshall MXL 990/991 set, and I was wondering...Can I split the signal on one channel and power two mics? or will the 48v only power one mic at a time? I'd like to essentially run the 990/991 together with the SM57.
     
  2. homebrewer99

    homebrewer99 Member

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    teleking-

    I liked the bluetube so much that I got two of em. I have them hooked up to my Digi002R protools rig. They are great for adding "color" and warming up mic signals. Great way to record bass guitar direct without any POD or sansamp stuff. Kinda limited for vocal use, but a great starter tube preamp.

    You can run a condenser mic and a dynamic (sm57) at the same time while using the 48v phantom power. This will not hurt the dynamic mic. If you want to combine the 990/991 signals with the sm57, you will need to power the 990 and 991 with the bluetube phantom power and send those signals to the Tascam. Next plug the sm57 into the Tascam using an xlr to 1/4 adapter. Try to match the gain of each mic at first. Combine these tracks in the mix and you will have some interesting sonic options. Hope that helps.

    -homebrewer
     
  3. tac5

    tac5 Member

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    I have two of the Blue Tube DPs and I love them. One I use with my keyboard/MIDI controller, (after my sound module), and I find a lot I can do with it. The other is a general purpose, "let's see what this sounds like" tool, and I have not been disappointed. I've read a lot of trashing of the Blue Tubes preamps on some forums, but I have a feeling most of the "trash talkers" have never tried one.
     
  4. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    I have one and I have to say they suck. OK, they can add dirt but that's not normally a good quality for a preamp in my book. A lot of crap gear can add dirt. Once you try a Neve or API type preamp or even mid priced gear like the RNP, DAV or safesound S-1, you'll wonder how you ever managed with the blue tube. Sure, keep it around for synths, v-drums, etc. but you'll never realize how good the sm57 is if that's the only pre you own.
     
  5. tac5

    tac5 Member

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    I don't recommend the Presonus Blue Tube DP for use with microphones. I have better preamps for that application. I use an Avalon U5 for acoustic guitar work. But used in the right place, the Presonus gear is fine. There's always something better. The very reason one person hates a piece of gear is the reason another loves it. I also changed out the tubes in my presonus and it made a difference.
     
  6. homebrewer99

    homebrewer99 Member

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    Well, with this simple Tascam setup I still think the Bluetube is a good buy. I got mine for $99 each so they arent a big investment if you dont like it. An Avalon or Neve is a whole different ballgame, both in quality and price. If/when teleking moves up from the Tascam setup or wants to expand, I would definitely suggest higher end pres like the mid range Presonus and Focusrite stuff.

    note: I have found that good pres are more important than expensive mics. A fancy BLUE or Neumann mic is only as good as the weakest link in the chain. Splurge on pres when you can.

    -homebrewer
     
  7. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I paid $99 for mine as well. I didn't mean to sound harsh before. Presonus caters to the budget minded hobbyist and beginner and in that regard, their gear serves the purpose well. They have excellent customer service as well. The downside is when the recording bug bites, and it usually does, you'll outgrow that pre almost immediately.

    I think you'll find marginal improvements at best by upgrading the tube. One reason being the mic amplifier stage is all transistor. The tube is saddled to the output driver section. So using the "drive" at moderate settings, you might hear a difference. Also, I believe the tube operates at a low voltage which we all know is not the ideal way to implement a tube stage. You could upgrade the transistors and that might be where you'll get the biggest improvement. I can't remember if they're surface mounted like the rest of the pcb though. When it's all said and done, it's still just a $99 preamp, hardly worth the upgrade effort.
     
  8. killerburst

    killerburst killerburstguitars.com Silver Supporting Member

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  9. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, more like "and then one." I'm aware of the DeMaria designed pre but unfortunately haven't have a chance to try it yet. I've heard that it's very solidly built though. Clearly Presonus was tired of their customers upgrading beyond their product line. It's about time they offer higher caliber gear too. Of course, once you break the $1k barrier, there's plenty of preamps to drool over.:drool
     
  10. Carlier

    Carlier Member

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    I've heard stories that a large number of these break down and need to be shipped back.
     

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