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Rating and Reviews: WA TB12 Tone Beast

With Warm Audio's version of the classic Melcor 1731 and Jensen 918 op-amps, and 71 dB of gain on tap, this Beast lends character to any source you plug in.

User Ratings
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Another great product from Warm Audio!" submitted November 27, 2015

By Jeff R in Webster, NY
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Musical Background: I have been playing guitar, bass and keys for over 40 years. I used to play professionally, but only write and record now.
Music Style: Blues trained, but my iTunes account goes from Robert Johnson to Dream Theater, Maroon 5 to Pantera, Spyro Gyra to Steve Vai. NO
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Overall: Is it an API? No. Is it close? Yes, and I have heard API 312 pre-amps that don't sound like other API pre-amps. I have had this for awhile now, and I find it excellent. The price-point makes it easier to do stereo pairs, if desired. 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 MK II better), but it shines on guitar and bass. I love the sounds I get be it with my EVH 5150, my Boogie, or my Randall. It is also great with my WA76 and Sans Amp RBI if I want a fat bass sound for grimy, modern blues. All in all, great product. Don't be scared by the price, it is far from cheap from a sound or quality standpoint. I only contacted them via email to ask a question, and they responded in less than 15 minutes. I give it four-stars for WOW factor only because I hate orange, but that's my problem.
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"Warm Audio Tone Beast TB12 Preamp review by Michael Snoody" submitted January 15, 2017

By Michael Snoody in chandler, AZ
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Musical Background: I am a multi instrumentalist that plays drums, guitar, piano and sing. I also produce, engineer and mix all sorts of music!
Music Style: Anything and everything
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Overall: I bought this because I had a chance to play with one at a friends studio and I was blown away not only by how good it sounded but also the amount of features it has. For 600 dollars you get a really nice preamp and DI that has 2 separate transformers you can switch between ( Steel and Nickel ) and also 2 discrete amplifiers you can choose from( x731 and x18). Both sound great but you can tell a difference between the 2 as well. 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. I have quite a few quality preamps and while I will say I would still use some of my other pre's before the tone beast in certain situations if you are in the market for a quality preamp that is versatile, this is for you.
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"Warm, Detailed and Reasonably Priced" submitted June 3, 2017

By Tod M in Northfield , VT
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
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Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Pro Producer, Engineer, Singer/Songwriter and mult-instrumentalist
Music Style: Rock, Blues, Alternative, CCM, Americana
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Sound: Clean, mildly warm (not muddy) and detailed. Feature: The level of control and variations are amazing for this price point, hell for many units twice as much. Ease of Use: Now here's he rub. Plan to spend some time getting to know this piece of equipment if you really want to get your moneys 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. The Tone Beast makes that part pretty easy and a reasonably forgiving Quality: Built like a brick house, and whisper quiet. Value: Yeah, I would say that based on other mid-priced units, this thing shines about most, if not all, in terms of bang for the buck. Manufacturer Support: Haven't had to deal with them The Wow Factor: It's not sexy but here's the thing. If you want a pre-DI at this price, with these features, you are going to sacrifice fancy VUs and pretty chassis for solid workmanship and get it done sound. You can't have them both. Overall: I will give you my background up front so you can decide how useful this review is. I have worked in project studios for decades but never been in a top-flight facility. As a result, I have never had access to a high end mic pre, so I am comparing what I have used, which on the low to mid end of things is pretty extensive. From the built-in Makie mixer and built-in PreSonus mixer pres, to several different -$500 units like this one. So far. I am very very happy with this unit.
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