PreSonus Studio Channel Tube Microphone Preamp

More than just a mic preamp, the Studio Channel lends warm tube character to your tracks and helps shape your sound with a VCA compressor and three-band EQ.

What do you get when you combine a VCA-based compressor, a tube preamplifier, and a three-band parametric EQ? You get the PreSonus Studio Channel, a multi-functional tube-based microphone preamp/channel strip ideal for all types of mics and instruments. Designed to make any sound source pop (in the good way), the Studio Channel enhances signal paths with the desirable warmth and fatness associated with vacuum tubes.

Big Tube Warmth for Small Studios

The slim Studio Channel mic pre has everything needed to deliver high headroom and big tone. The preamplifier stage of the Studio Channel features a high-output 12AX7 vacuum tube operating on voltages twice as high as other preamps of its type, according to PreSonus. Dual control Gain and Tube Drive facilitate an extensive range of sounds spanning from crystal clear to edgy and overdriven.

Tone-Shaping VCA Compressor

Thanks to the compressor, the Studio Channel is able to impart dimension and musicality to any track. Available as a fully variable, fast and smooth VCA-based circuit, the Studio Channel's compressor sports all the essential controls needed for a wide range of compression settings, such as ratio, threshold, attack, release, and gain make up. Tame even the fastest transients and get complete dynamic control over everything from percussion to vocals to acoustic guitars.

3-Band EQ When You Need It

The mic preamp's bypassable three-band equalizer lets you shape your sound further, right on the front end. read more The PreSonus Studio Channel's fully parametric EQ section gives you 10 dB of gain/cut on highs, mids and lows. What's more, the mid band of the EQ section has variable resonance (Q) for controlling the width around the center point of the selected frequency, and high and low frequency bands are there for selecting peak/dip or shelving frequencies.

Take a closer look at the Studio Channel in this video from PreSonus:


- Professional tube microphone/instrument preamplifier
- Tube gain and tube drive for a custom sound, from transparent and clear to hard and overdriven
- Variable VCA compressor has many compression settings: threshold, ratio, attack, release, make up gain, auto, soft
- 3-Band parametric EQ keeps all the good sounds in and unwanted frequencies out
- Ideal for all types of mics, instruments, synths, and keyboards
- Analog VU meter for gain reduction and output
- EQ Pre/Post compressor switch
- 80 Hz high-pass filter
- 20 dB pad
- Phase invert
- Housed in a rugged metal chassis
- High headroom
- Low noise design
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm -
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Channels: One
Dynamic Range: >115 dB
Frequency Response: 10 Hz to 50 kHz
Internal Operating Level: 0 dBu = 0 dB

Microphone Preamp:
Gain: -6 dB to +66 dB (+/- 10dB trim on line input)
Noise Floor: -96 dBu
EIN : -126 dB
THD + Noise (0% Tube Drive): < 0.050%
THD + Noise (100% Tube Drive): < 0.10%
Microphone Input Connector: XLR
Microphone Input Impedance: 1.3 k ohms
Instrument Input Connector: 1/4" TS
Instrument Input Impedance: 1 M ohms
Line Input Connector: 1/4" TRS
Line Input Impedance: 10 k ohms
Phantom Power (switchable): +48V
Pad (switchable): 0 dB / -20 dB
Phase (switchable): 0 degrees, 180 degrees
Hi-pass filter (switchable): -3 dB at 80 Hz

Threshold (variable): -40 dBu to +2- dBu
Ratio (variable): 1-10 (1:1 to 10:1)
Attack (variable): 0.1 to 200 ms
Release (variable): 0.05 ms to 3 S
Gain Make Up: -10 dB to +10 dB
Metering: Analog VU (Gain Reduction / Output)

LF Band Controls:
- Frequency: Variable from 40 Hz to 500 kHz
- Gain: Variable between +/-10 dB
- Q: 0.7 (on 'peak' setting)
MF Band Controls:
- Frequency: Variable from 200 Hz to 3 kHz
- Gain: Variable from -10 dB to +10 dB
- Q: Variable from 0.7 to 2.5
HF Band Controls:
- Frequency: Variable from 2 kHz to 20 kHz
- Gain: Variable between +/-10 dB
- Q: 0.7 (on 'peak' setting)

Output: Fader -80 dB to +10 dB
Output Connectors: XLR Balanced and 1/4" TRS Balanced/Unbalanced
Output Impedance: 51 ohms
Metering (Output level): Analog VU (-20 dBu to +6 dBu)
Metering (Gain Reduction): Analog VU -20 dB to 0 dB
Output Headroom: +22 dBu

Power Supply:
Type: Linear
Input: 12 VAC / 1000mA
Power Requirements (Continuous): 16W
Transformer: External (country specific)

Size: 1U Rack
Dimensions: 19" x 1.75" x 5.5"
Weight: 5 lbs
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Base Item
Shipping Weight: 6.5 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 24 x 12 x 5 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2777400102

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 225-216-7887

PreSonus Studio Channel Tube Mic Preamp

The Studio Channel is a professional channel strip combining Class A tube preamplifier, VCA-based compressor and three-band parametric equalizer perfect for the professional and project studio. Great for all types of microphones, instruments, keyboards and synths, the Studio Channel has the sonic power and flexibility to achieve any tone you can dream of -- luscious in-your-face vocals, crystal clear acoustic guitars, fat solid bass guitar, dynamic acoustic piano, cracking snare, punchy bass, huge MPC tracks and more.

Enhance your signal path

The Studio Channel noticeably outperforms preamplifiers that are built-in to most recording interfaces and affordable mixers. Add a VCA-based compressor and studio-grade equalizer to the class A tube preamp and you get not only big fat tube tonality but also complete control of your tone and sounds. Since much of the recording process is accomplished one track at a time, you need a signal path that can deliver a variety of high quality tones and sounds, which is why the Studio Channel is the perfect tool for any studio.

Class A Tube Preamplifier

The Studio Channel has everything needed to deliver big tone. The preamplifier stage of the Studio Channel is based on the award winning BlueTube preamplifier with a high output 12AX7 vacuum tube operating on voltages double than all other preamplifiers in its class delivering high headroom and big tone. Dual control Gain and Tube Drive enables a wide range of sounds from transparent and clear to edgy and overdriven.

Full Featured VCA Compressor

The compressor in the Studio Channel is a fully variable ultra-fast and smooth VCA-based circuit with all of the controls needed for a wide range of compression settings: ratio, threshold, attack, release and gain make up. The VCA-based compressor is known for musicality as well as ultra-fast attack with the ability to tame the fastest transients. From slap bass, to snare drum, to vocals, the Studio Channel's compressor stage allows you to record as hot as needed without clipping giving you total dynamic control.

Three Band Parametric EQ

The equalizer in the Studio Channel is like a Swiss Army pocket knife, with the ability to carve out unwanted frequencies as well as tailor your tone to enhance your sound. The custom-designed amplifiers in the EQ deliver sweet-sounding gain/cut for ultra-smooth highs, deep solid lows and clear midrange. The mid-band of the EQ section has variable Q for controlling the width around the center point of the selected frequency. High and low frequency bands give you the option for selecting peak/dip or shelving frequencies.


- Class A vacuum tube microphone / instrument preamplifier
- Tube gain and tube drive
- Variable VCA compressor (threshold, ratio, attack, release, make up gain, auto, soft)
- Three-band parametric EQ
- Precision analog VU meter for gain reduction and output
- EQ Pre/Post compressor switch
- 80Hz high pass filter
- 20dB pad
- Phase invert
- Rugged metal chassis
- High headroom
- Ultra-low noise design

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars. (52 ratings)
Submitted July 3, 2018 by Kyle M

"If you need a Strip, this could be it!"

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I bought this to fill out a mobile recording rig to use for vocals and I can't complain. It sounds decent, has LOTS of gain, most if not all the knobs you could expect for a single space unit, and looks good doing it!

It's difficult to say how the preamp sounds as it passes through the tube, comp, eq, master, any patches, interface, headphones/speakers. BUT...with a little tube warmth and grit, some light compression (easy on the makeup gain, 4 more stages to go), some lows, mids, highs to taste, and finally a master output, this will add some flare and character to whatever goes through it! My one knit pick is with all the gain stages in one unit that can only provide so much overall it doesn't take much to bring up the noise floor noticably on this unit. It's really not that bad but it's there. I can't remember exacltly but I think Ableton showed between -60 and -50. Disappears in a live sound situation.

So much gain in this thing, overall. Very easy to overdo it. Tube with a knob to blend it with the clean signal and on down to the full featured compresser with soft knee option, pre/post EQ, and bypass. An illuminated VU meter that can show the output level or gain reduction. Full featured EQ section with freq, level, and Q dials as well as bypass and finally a gain knob. I probably forgot something too lol. Oh yeah, THE WALL WART.

Ease of Use
For newbies, and that's read more probably most of us buying this, it's not point and shoot but it's not trigonometry either. The manual provides graphs and explanations of each section and safe settings for general applications and the rest is on you. If you know how to use similiar plugins to good effect then this won't be an issue.

Metal chassie, very shallow. Platic knobs and VU window. It feels just solid enough but you can tell where they cut costs and I'll take it for the feature set. But I can't figure out why they wouldn't put the power supply inside, it has a cheap inline inverter (or whatever) with a power switch on it for some odd reason taking extra space in an already crowded rack. Only real complaint with this thing.

This unit is the sweet spot of features and build/sound quality. There are other just above or below and to me that means it would be difficult to go wrong here. It's served me well and I can say I'm glad I didn't spend less, or more for that matter. It travels with me and has been faithful. That's worth every penny.

Manufacturer Support
I haven't needed it yet and I hope I never do. I'm very impressed with PreSonus and interested in many of their other products!

The Wow Factor
There's a lot of wow factor in your first analog channel strip for most of us. This is a great unit from a great company and turned me on to other offerings from PreSonus who I hadn't really considered before. This thing is usually paired with an MXL4000 (Mogami Edition) and the vocals have stepped way up in the recordings and mixes. Case and point.

Musical Background:
Recording, Mixing, Live Sound, Drums, Guitar

Musical Style:
Rock, Metal, Rockabilly, Blues
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11 of 11 people (100%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
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