Warm Audio Tone Beast TB12 500 Series Mic Preamp at a Glance:
- Impressively flexible op amp options let you select your sonic coloration
- Swapping out CineMag transformers offers even more character control
- Impedance and capacitor switching give you extra tonal versatility
Impressively flexible op amp options let you select your sonic coloration
The most coveted analog consoles and outboard gear are’t transparent, and the Warm Audio TB12 500 was designed to deliver that same beautifully flawed and richly vitalizing sound. In fact, Warm Audio loaded this Tone Beast preamp with two discrete op amps in separate switchable signal paths. The classic Melcor-style 1731 op amp (x731 setting) offers a more vintage sound, whereas the Dean-Jensen-type 918 op amp (x18 setting) gives you a cleaner, more modern sound. And if you’re a real tone freak, then you’ll be delighted to know that these op amps are both mounted to the TB12 via standard 6-pin sockets, so you can swap them out with any 2520-class op amps you like.
Swapping out CineMag transformers offers even more character control
What’s better than a high-end CineMag transformer? Two of them, of course! That’s why Warm Audio loaded their TB12 500 Tone Beast with both a 100% steel CineMag transformer and another one that’s 50% nickel, and you can swap them out with the flip of a switch. When you push the gain – something that’s easy to do, thanks to the independent gain and output volume controls – the TB12 500’s steel transformer distorts (colors) significantly more than the 50% nickel option, which generally offers a wider frequency spread. But even the nickel option is delightfully warm, so if you’re going for totally clean, then you may want to bypass the Tone Beast’s transformers altogether, which is also an option.
Impedance and capacitor switching give you extra tonal versatility
Warm Audio equipped the TB12 with a secret weapon: a Tone button that switches the input impedance from 600 to 150 ohms. Pushing this button changes the tone of both the mic and hi-Z inputs, letting you individually optimize for each of your microphones and giving you a measure of sonic versatility without your having to resort to EQ. Another way you can significantly alter the Tone Beast’s character is with the Clean/Vintage switch, which lets you flip back and forth between tantalum and electrolytic capacitors. Between the op amps, transformers, impedance settings, and switchable capacitors, owning a single TB12 500 Tone Beast preamp is like owning a series of 24 pres, ranging from ultra-clean to intensely colored.
Warm Audio Tone Beast TB12 500 Series Mic Preamp Features:
- An amazing preamp that adds the sound of 24 signal paths to your 500 Series rack
- Separate gain and output volume controls let you saturate your circuitry, without overloading your rig
- Selectable input impedance (600 or 150 ohms) offers a dramatic shift in character and response
- Choose between Melcor 1731 and Jensen 918 op amp styles for more or less colored tone
- Op-amps are 6-pin socketed and swappable with any standard 2520-type op amps for further customization
- Select tantalum or electrolytic capacitors with the Clean/Vintage switch for even more character variation
- Switchable CineMag 100% steel and %50 nickel output transformers offer highly colored or mildly colored sound
- Bypass the transformer section altogether for extremely clean sound
- Additional options include an 80Hz highpass filter, -20dB pad, +48V phantom power, and both instrument- and line-level inputs
- LED VU meter lets you monitor your levels
Get every preamp sound you desire with the Warm Audio Tone Beast TB12 500!