Submitted July 3, 2018 by Kyle M
"If you need one get one, this is it."
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I bought this to fill out a mobile recording rack and have enough outputs for a typical band and having tested it out on the go it's the first of many ART products I'll be buying. For those of you looking for a mixer pre-wireless personal monitors, look no farther!
It's not Hi-Fi, it by no means sucks but I won't brag on the sound. It's full, raw and in your ears. What you put in is what you get out and recording on the go doesn't always yield the best results but whatever I can capture through mics, placement, and interface with the mercy of the room, this amp will faithfully reproduce it and I can't ask for more.
Everything you need, nothing you don't. My favorite type of gear! Master Stereo in, and an individual AUX for each channel/player with an output on the front and back. Perfect. Stereo, Mono L/R, Dual Mono. Awesome. 2 stages of gain with bass/treble knobs, Master/AUX blending knob with level meters all around. Righteous. Lots of lights to make it look official when I'm workin, sold and sold! No but really the mono selections on the individual channels light up red(L) and blue(R) and I'd be lying if I said I don't like lighting the whole thing up when I'm working.
Ease of Use
I want to say it's point and shoot but with modern interfaces and digital internal routing (I use the Scarlett 18i20+Octopre) It's not quite as simple as plug and play, even with analog mixing, plan your routing to use this unit as intended. I use the 8 outputs of the 18i20 and have a snapshot of the direct out routing in the software. Once you have the routing for your needs it's as simple as hit the power, turn the master up and let individual adjust their channels to taste. Each knob is labeled plainly and levels let you know you're in business.
Metal construction, knobs are solid with little if any play. I haven't noticed any. All the plugs are 5/10. Not loose, not tight, just right. With gain staging there's no need to crank this thing, so I haven't encountered distortion even for practice in a very small space with a full band. Acoustic drums and all. I'd say this thing is right on the money.
You can always get a Behringer, but where's the street cred? You don't need anything fancy, right? It's a headphone amp. But it would be nice to have personal monitoring without a routing nightmare of extensions and clip on amps with no control. That's not asking a lot! You shouldn't have to spend a lot. 90% of us will love this headphone amp. For a stage box, practice room, home studio, it fits the bill and it's all I'll ever use until I go digital. 10/10 would buy again.
I hope I never need it. I'm very pleased with ART products and they haven't let me down yet.
The Wow Factor
Wow, ART makes great stuff at a great price! Already have a shopping list of their stuff for future upgrades because of their featureset philosophy and great prices. This thing made me a believer of in-ear monitoring as well as my bandmates. Plus it looks great in the rack!
Recording, Mixing, Live Sound, Drums, Guitar
Rock, Metal, Rockabilly, Blues
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