What do I mean by that ?
So Many companies put out a Great Looking product , IE : Mic Preamps , Recorders , Audio gear ,…ok .. let start with an example
ART MPA 2 …. a Rack mount Mic preamp . I got one in a somewhat off handed traded situation, ( I traded some studio time for the Preamp ) Almost New looking , No scratches at all . But when 2 days later I was able to check it ……
Channel 1 Dead , nothing …… Channel 2 worked but …..
So I open it up , thinking it might be the Tube , Since Channel 2 was working I thought Swap the Tubes , …..did that , Channel 1 , still dead . Channel 2 still working ,…..so it isnt the tubes .
While I had it open I decided to just make notes of what was inside ,
Hmmm a couple of OPA series chips on the front end ( Burr Brown territory ) BUT , the rest of the stage …… VERY Cheap Capacitors , Resistors and IC Chips throughout .
The Toroidal Power Transformer was nothing to boast about either .
So on the outside : You have nice feeling Knobs with Subtle Clicks to the Movement , Great feel to them , ……The Solid Metal Casing double layers in some Areas , Anodised Black coatings and Big Pretty Meters that are well lit ….. Switches and Buttons to give you the ILLUSION of ability and Quality ……… IE: It Feels good and Looks good therefore must BE GOOD…….. There are a lot of people that are exactly like this .
Does it mean it is Good …..absolutely not .
Halfway Produced ,….. You have a Great looking , good feeling ( Very important that one) Product with Crappy components inside . In Which , USING SLIGHTLY BETTER COMPONENTS would not add that much to the cost of production and result in a Much higher quality product .
Halfway done …..
In an offhanded way , I am glad that it came my way , just so I could look at it .
I love how the Knobs feel ,…… that is exactly what the company is depending on , You liking how it feels to give you confidence in buying it .
As an Audio professional , Do NOT buy the ART MPA 2 , in fact search the internet about how many people are getting them Modified , the VLA as well , ….WHY ?
If the product was complete to begin with, the user would be happy enough in just using it, that they would NOT have to think about Modding it . ( Allow that thought to sit there a moment will you )
Cost of the product , Cost of time and frustration of not getting really what your after , then the cost of sending it off , and More time waiting , for it to be made “better” ……which is exactly what the company should have done in the first place and maybe charged a few extra bucks for it …….
Good sound is worth the investment ,…. it doesn’t let you down when you turn on the power switch and turn up the gain .. It is there and works , it will work until it dies .( that item is probably worth repairing as well)
A product made to just take your money , Will look good and Feel good at the initial meeting , but in usage will not satisfy , or actually give the results desired .
I am now trying to decide if I want to just sell the unit as is with full disclosure that it isnt working right , or Take it apart and fix it ( which I can do if I really want to ) or conversely Take it apart use only the Good Parts that are in it , and Build something else ……..
Because I really do like how the Knobs feel …… click click click click click click click …..
Dont buy it . Spend a little extra and get a DBX 386 or something and you will actually have better sound . Spend a little more and get an RNP 8380 from FMR Audio and you will be happy . Think Stages , Get a Mic pre that is a Mic pre , then the second stage Compressor /Limiter ,EQ and you have a really good sound .