PreSonus TubePre Single Channel Microphone Preamp with VU Meter

No longer available at zZounds
Add real tube warmth to any input channel! Run any mic or instrument through the TubePre on the way into your digital audio workstation.

The TUBEPre is a single channel preamp based on a 12AX7 vacuum tube circuit that provides a stable, transformer-free signal path. The unit can be used as the first stage of a live or studio system, as a mic preamp or direct box. The dual-servo gain stage design employs no capacitors providing ultra-low noise performance and wide dynamic control that allows the TUBEPre to boost the desirable signal without increasing unwanted background noise. The TUBEPre offers an astonishing frequency range of 10Hz to 80kHz with a noise floor of 94dBu and a signal-to-noise ratio of greater than 90dB. This means the TUBEPre can provide both a high-quality, crystal clear sound as well as a colored saturation tube effect. Other features on the TUBEPre include 48v phantom power for condenser microphones, phase reverse, 20dB Pad and 80Hz rumble filter.


- Award-Winning Tube-Preamp
- Tube Drive/Gain
- Back-Lit VU Meter
- Great as a Direct Box

XLR Impedance: 1.3k Ohms
High Z Impedance: 1 Meg Ohm

Panel Controls:
Tube Drive: 0dB to +20dB
Gain: 3dB to +48dB
Phase Reversal
-20 dB Pad
+48V Phantom Power
80Hz Rumble Filter

Meters: Blue Backlit VU

Power Supply:
Type: Linear
Input: 16VAC/1000mA

XLR Balanced: 51 Ohms Impedance
1/4 in. TRS Unbalanced: 51 Ohms Impedance

THD+Noise (Unweighted):
0.05% at 0dB Tube Drive
10% at 30dB Tube Drive

Noise Floor: -98dB

Signal To Noise: >95dB

Power Supply Rejection: >98dB

Amplifier Type: Dual-Servo

Weight: 5 lbs.

Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 x 1.75

Mounting: Universal Rack Tray Insert

Chassis: Steel

Panel: Brushed Aluminum

Sides: Cast Aluminum

Power: 16 Watts

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

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars. (41 ratings)
Submitted January 8, 2007 by a customer from

"The TUBEPre proves the KISS theory: Simpler is definitely better."

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
Overall, for what it does, I'm completely satisfied. Personally, I don't want a lot of gizmos in a unit like this. That just adds more complexity, and as far my experience with music equipment is concerned, complexity oftentimes translates to quality problems. This unit does one thing: It boosts and warms up your input signal, and it does this job incredibly well for low priced as it is.

I was a little dubious about it at first, considering the price, minimal feature, and honestly bought it as a low-cost experiment to see how it would work. I can honestly say that I couldn't be happier! As a pre-amp for a dynamic mic, this little unit works amazingly well. Vocals sound warm and natural and you get that "right in front of you" punch that brings vocals to the front of a mix. As a guitar pre-amp, I love it! It really warms up and richens the sound of my Strat (I have vintage Tex-Mex pickups which can get a bit twangy at times), and with my ES-335, it helps balance out the sound without removing the low-end crunch that I like. In either case, turning up the drive produces a very nice, smooth distortion that doesn't turn into a wash if doing quick chord changes.

There's not much to this unit, but there's not supposed to be, and that's the beauty of it. I do have to say that the meter is practically useless when used with a guitar in small-venue, low volume applications. Even at low gain settings, the read more TUBEPre really packs a punch, so I don't really rely on the meter for monitoring signal levels in these situations - so I set up my sound simply by listening to get the levels on the unit and my amp dialed in. As far as other features are concerned, thank goodness for the pad and 80kHz filter! My home studio is in my garage and I've got a noisy computer, a freezer and the water heater there. The filter works very well in filtering background noise, and the pad really allows me to use my volume knobs on my guitars!

Ease of Use
Four buttons, two knobs... How much easier can it get? I'm amazed that some people have had problems with noise. I must be lucky, but it's possible that they've set up their levels weird. Going on a recommendation that I read, set up your Gain first with tube drive dialed all the way down. Then introduce more voltage to the tube to achieve whatever warmness (or drive/overdrive) you want. Especially if you're going into an amp, there's a balance you have to achieve between the pre and the amp. It's not something you're going to solve right away. You have to a do a bit of tweaking, no matter what product you get.

Absolutely no problems with quality. The unit is well-made and the blue, brushed aluminum body looks really slick. Some people have mentioned getting a bad tube out of the box, but I haven't had a problem yet. I guess I'm one of the fortunate.

This is a great value. For under $100 you can't find anything better.

Manufacturer Support
Haven't had to use them yet...

The Wow Factor
As I mentioned above, this unit looks slick. It's got sort of a retro control face, and a beautiful blue brushed aluminum body. It's also very sturdy. I'm going to buy a couple more so I can dedicate them to particular applications. I'm also going to try using different tubes than the stock ones as some have suggested to see what kinds of sounds I can produce.

Musical Background:
Active Musician, Home Recording Hobbyist

Musical Style:
All sorts from Classical to Rock
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