PreSonus Studio Channel Tube Preamp Review
PreSonus is known for their quality audio products with reasonable prices. The Studio Channel Preamp maintains this reputation. The PreSonus Studio Channel Tube Preamp is an amazing microphone/instrument preamp that costs less than $300. This class A vacuum tube preamp provides you with a handful of different settings and parameters to bring vocal recordings to life. With a built in 3 band parametric equalizer, a built in compressor, 48v Phantom Power, a -20dB pad, a toggle-able highpass filter rolling the lows off at 80hz and a variety of other great features, you couldn’t ask for much more in a preamp. The fact that the PreSonus Studio Channel is only around $250 is incredible.
Features of the Studio Channel
- Class A Vacuum Tube Mic / Instrument Preamplifier
- VCA Compressor
- 3 Band Parametric Equalizer
- 80Hz Rolloff (High Pass Filter)
- 48v Phantom Power
- Phase Invert Switch
- Solid Build With Sturdy Metal Knobs
- Dynamic Range of 115dB
PreSonus Studio Channel Compressor Review
The compressor built into the PreSonus Studio Channel Preamp is very functional with all the controls you’d want in a compressor. You have your standard threshold, ratio, attack, release, and post gain. On top of the standard functions it also has switches for soft/hard knee, auto compression, Post/Pre EQ toggle and GR to Meter. You can also bi-pass the compressor completely with one button. I’m really impressed with how well this compresses vocals. After gain staging the mic and tuning in the compressor, vocals coming through the compressor will cut clean through your mix and still maintain the characteristics and dynamics of an uncompressed recording.
Presonus Studio Channel Parametric EQ Review
Utilizing the parametric equalizer on the Presonus Studio Channel Preamp gives you even more control over your recording. There are 3 bands, including a high and low shelf with a variable cutoff frequency that can be set. You can also set the central frequency for the “mid” band and change the width with the Q control. Steve from PreSonus also provided me with this link for our viewers to learn more about equalization:
Presonus Studio Channel Tube Preamplifier Review
Not only does the PreSonus Studio Channel have all the great features mentioned above, but the preamplifier itself is pretty amazing. Even though this is one of the cheapest preamps in my arsenal, it’s one of my main go to preamps for vocals. I haven’t used it for any instruments, but when it comes to vocals this thing is a beast. After recording vocals through the Presonus Studio Channel Preamp I don’t have to do much work getting them to fit in the mix. Typically just adding a slight reverb and maybe cutting out a little room in some instruments that might be masking some frequencies leaves the vocals sitting on top and sounding good. There is your pre-gain, the tube drive/gain as well as a post gain (after the EQ and Compressor) allowing you to really crank the amplitude of the signal up while still preventing clipping with the compressor. If you have a decent microphone and can’t get a good sound out of the Presonus Studio Channel then there’s something wrong with the recording techniques or the instrument/vocalist, not the equipment.
Presonus Studio Channel Review Summary
Overall this is another excellent product from PreSonus. I’m still a little shocked at the price of this preamp with the amount of features and the mere quality of it. The PreSonus Studio Channel Tube Preamplifier makes a great addition to any home recording studio, and I highly recommend it. For someone with little experience in recording it might take a little bit of time to get all the different features down, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m not sure how well this works with different instruments as I’ve only used it for vocals, but seeing how great of a sound I’ve been getting out of it I can imagine it’s just as good for other recording applications. If you have any additional questions about this product feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page.