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Our customers share their favorite preamps from Universal Audio, PreSonus, ART and more!

All-Star Gear: Microphone Preamps

zZounds customers' top-rated mic preamps

It's easy to see why so many musicians and engineers love their microphone preamplifiers. Whether you need tons of clean gain to make a low-output dynamic mic sing, or you're looking for a fat-sounding tube pre to add warmth and grit to your signal, the preamps on this list can help you capture great sound from the start.

Many of the happy customers on this list gave a new preamp a shot after reading good reviews online. Now they're a staple of their studios, starring on countless tracks. We want you to have the same experience, so check out these glowing reviews, and you may just find the perfect pre to put your recordings over the top.

See all the All-Star Gear Guides! »

Avalon VT737SP Class A Mic Processor

"This is the standard to which all others are compared. Beautiful, clean, clear 'glassy' tube sound, warm yet clear. The best...This preamp (plus a great mic) gives my customers and me no excuse for not recording great vocals."

"This box produces a big, detailed and warm sound that quite frankly beat the pants off much more expensive pieces...It is built like a tank, has an excellent fit, looks great and very clean build quality."

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Universal Audio LA-610 MkII Classic Tube Microphone Preamplifier

"Sound is simply amazing. Very warm and clear, but when you drive the pre or the output you can get a really aggressive saturation."
- Marcus in Bradley, IL

"This is without a doubt an amazing piece of equipment. I've used it on everything from kick drum to snare, bass guitar to guitar, and most of all vocals. Amazing warmth and tone and such a great out-board piece to have to keep your tracks clean."
- Richard in Old Orchard Beach, ME

"This unit rocks and integrates what made the LA-610 predecessor along with several enhancements. Definitely worth the investment at this price point!"
- Tony in Southfield, MI
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PreSonus Studio Channel Tube Microphone Preamp

"I just set it up for vocals according to the specification recommendations of the manufacturer and gave it a try. Unbelievable! No distortion, clear, warm, and simple."
- Corey in Lexington, KY

"I picked this lil' puppy up, plugged it in and started turning knobs......WOW!!!! The sound that came from my mic (AKG C214) was awesome and it reduced the amount of effects needed in Pro Tools."
- Oscar in Copperas Cove, TX

"Overall, these units have been a game changer for me...very inspirational for studio work."
- Paul in South Shore, MA
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ART Voice Channel Tube Microphone Preamp System

"After playing with the Voice Channel for a couple sessions, I was blown away by the killer character it added! From then on at my studio, it has simply been referred to as 'the magic box' because everything that goes in to it comes out sounding better, every time."
- Matt in Carrboro, NC

"Compression is easy and effective and let me tell you -- I have NEVER used such a good de-esser before. Not in hardware or in software."
- Anthony in Winnipeg, MB
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Black Lion Audio B173 Microphone Preamplifier

"I am very pleased with the sound of this little preamp. For the price it cannot -- I repeat -- cannot be beat."
- Frank in Miami, FL

"I have been using this preamp for just about a month now and it has surpassed my expectations."
- Riley in Enid, OK

"My BL B173 is linked to a Tascam UH-7000 (interface setting only) and sounds rich, textured and warm. The Tascam preamp alone is super-clean, but slightly thin. The B173 added to the audio chain is perfect for my resonant voice."
- Tommy in Clarksburg, MD
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Universal Audio 710 Twin-Finity Microphone Preamplifier

"The UA-710 has made a HUGE difference in sound compared to my interface's stock preamps. The sound I hear through my headphones while tracking has so much more body and clarity...it's actually inspirational."
- Nathan in Jonesboro, AR

"This is the best preamp I have purchased by far. Simple knobs with big results. The 710 will be my first choice with vocals. I am sure my acoustic will have the same results."
- Andrew in Eidson, TN

"The blend knob is extremely adept at covering the gap between the full-bodied tube sounds of my 610 and the accuracy and attack of my 110 units."
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Golden Age Project Pre-73 Jr. Microphone Preamplifier

"I bought the Golden Age Project Pre-73 Jr. to use as a mic preamp for my voice-over studio. It is exceptionally transparent! I am very pleased with the quality and power of this unit."
- Robert in Boise, ID

"Very quiet. Tons of gain. I tried it with several different mics and was blown away by how transparent it sounded. Loved the detail it brought out."
- Patrick in Smyrna, GA

"I feel that, with the Pre-73 Jr., I am finally able to deliver a killer distorted guitar signal to my DAW. I use this with a Sennheiser e906 mic to record distorted tones from within an iso-cab. This unit is definitely compatible with hard rock."
- Aaron in Calumet City, IL

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ART Tube MP Studio V3

"It's probably one of the best budget preamps; it works as a DI box, has a compressor, and the V3 voicings make mixing a hell lot easier."

"I was blown away by the warmth of this unit on vocals where I believe it really shines. Exactly what I wanted and more..."

"I love how this little box sounds. If you have a small-diaphragm condenser, good amp and good effects, this little box accurately gives you the sound of everything you use."
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Warm Audio TB12 Tone Beast Microphone Preamplifier

"Plan to spend some time getting to know this piece of equipment if you really want to get your money's worth. However, if you just plug it in and pick a random setting, you will be hard-pressed to go too far wrong, assuming that you have your levels set."
- Tom in Northfield, VT

"My favorite part is the gain and saturation section. You can crank the gain but turn the output if you really want to drive the preamp and it can give you some REALLY awesome sounds, especially with snare."
- Michael in Chandler, AZ

"I can drive it dirty, or make it very clean. It is flexible, and easy to use. I have used it on vocals (though for my voice, I like my LA-610 MkII better), but it shines on guitar and bass."
- Jeff in Webster, NY

Learn more »

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