Review: Art USB Dual Preamp

February 19, 2017
Modified: 02/19/17

Price’s Rating:

Consumer Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Price: $79.00

Would I Recommend This: Yes

Pros:

  • Great price
  • 2 XLR inputs
  • Plug and Play with ease
  • Battery powered

Cons:

  • No Tube (lacks warmer sound)
  • Only gain control available on preamp
  • ADDA conversion is limited to 16bit 48k

Specifications:

  • Color: Black
  • Type: USB Interfaced Preamp
  • Ports: 2 Female XLR
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 3.8 in
  • Power Source: Battery and USB
  • Phantom power: 48v onboard

Key Features

  • Portable USB interface with dual microphone preamps
  • Low-noise, fully balanced XLR and 1/4″ TRS combi inputs
  • Preamps provide up to 48dB of gain and feature independent gain controls
  • Built-in, low-noise phantom power supply
  • Signal present and clip LED indicators

Preferred Usage:

  • Home audio recording
  • Video Podcasting
art usb dual pre front view

The Art Dual Pre is as easy as pie.

Full Review: Art USB Dual Preamp

Art’s Dual Pre Project Series Preamp is an economical solution to your audio needs.

When I first opened the box, I thought the AC/DC adapter had been forgotten by the manufacturer, but as it turns out, this device runs off USB and battery power only. These power options make the Dual Pre a great addition to your portable gear collection. On-board 48v phantom power is offered to fuel up to 2 condenser microphones which will come in handy for podcasting or video applications. The 48db gain is also relatively clean up to about 40db. Though the highest 8db of gain can come with a bit of noise, so be careful with that.

art usb dual pre front view angle

Hook it up and you’re ready to start recording.

When setting up the ART Dual Pre for the first time, I was amazed with its ease of use. Connecting the provided USB cable to my HP laptop (that immediately recognized and auto-installed the Dual Pre) was a breeze. After installing and opening the included Audacity software, the ART preamp was recognized instantly within the software and operated with no hang ups.

The Art Dual Pre is literally a plug and play device (how refreshing!). Once I adjusted the gain and manipulated options in Audacity, I got a smooth clean signal from the Dual Pre. Paired with a Behringer C1 condenser microphone, the Art USB preamp provided low noise and solid signal for everyday use by the amateur and professional alike.

art usb dual pre interface

Art Dual Pre multiple views.

The Art Dual Pre is another piece of gear to travel with when projects draw you away from home base.

Portability and ease of use make the Art USB Dual Pre a great choice for field video production and on-site audio broadcasting. When using DSLR video, the USB Dual Pre is the most affordable solution to your audio needs. There are even tutorials online that show you how to mount the Art preamp on your existing video gear to make production even smoother.

Art’s USB Dual Pre is another piece of gear that I recommend to anyone on a budget. When compared with other preamps of a similar price point (+/- $50), it holds its own. One small problem is the already mentioned noise over 40 db gain. Complaints of people getting the 9v battery stuck inside the unit have surfaced around the net, but I personally have not encountered this. As gear goes, this is likely the easiest piece to setup and use that I have ever encountered. If you can plug in a USB cable, you can use the Art USB Dual Pre.

Whether you are just starting to dabble in audio production, or are a seasoned pro on a budget, the Art USB Dual Preamp is a useful tool that is unmatched in ease of use and affordability.

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