- Discrete 312 preamp design with coupled CineMag Transformers
- 71db of gain
- Transformer selection provides both Steel and 50% Nickel CineMag output transformers for varying character
- Transformer bypass switch allows for removal of the output transformer from the circuit
- Discrete Opamp selection provides both the classic 1731(vintage) and 918(cleaner) style opamps. These are socketed/swappable with your choice of 2520 6 pin footprint opamps.
- Impedance switch labeled TONE to switch between 150 and 600 ohms input impedance
- Capacitor selection between Tantalum and Electrolytic for different characters
- 80hz hipass filter
- Polarity Reverse
- +48V phantom power
- Output attenuation allowing for saturation flexibility of both the opamps and transformers
- Balanced XLR mic, balanced TRS line, and ¼" instrument inputs
- -20db Pad
- LED VU Meter
- Designed for use in standard 500 series power racks
TB12 500 Series - Tone Shaping Microphone Preamp
The Tone Beast is a great mic pre with loads of gain that can effortlessly capture an array of sources very well. With top notch CineMag transformers and multiple discrete signal paths, it's hard to beat its big, bold, fully-professional sound at its price.
The Tone Beast is a mic pre that likes to be pushed and when pushed will colorize your signal ever so sweetly. The 2 opamps and 2 output transformers at the flip of their switches won't appear to be much different, but as one drives the pre into harmonic distortion, the unique character of each of these components becomes apparent. Additionally the Tone Beast is customizable and allows for other opamps to be sourced and easily swapped into the unit. I've pulled my best tones from this pre right at the saturation point (as loud as I can push the gain before clipping). The output control on the TB12 allows you to limit the signal exiting the preamp even when pushing the gain to really hot levels, giving you maximum control.
The x731 (Melcor 1731) and x18 (Dean Jensen's 918) Op Amps saturate a bit differently. The 1731 breaks up faster and has more color when pushed. The 918 is fairly linear/clean with a smidge of character and does not break-up/saturate as quickly. The 100% steel output transformer colors the signal more than the 50% nickel transformer when pushed. However, both are designed to impart character. The 50% nickel transformer will impart less character and provide greater high and low frequencies. For an ultra clean, character-lacking tone, try the x18 while bypassing the output transformers completely.
Have no fear of hurting the Beast, you can push it very hard into full-on distortions if you wish, and these can sound quite nice on electric guitar, bass or anything else that likes some nice grit.
When hand building mic pres I learned a bit about the "subtle" differences component choices can make. A little change here, and another there often times became a huge deal in a finished mix, but often times is not very noticeable at first take. The different component options in the TB12 are subtle, but when driven into saturation are noticeable and can make a big difference to the way your final mix will sound.
Home-based musicians and professional studios alike will find the Tone Beast to be an extremely powerful and fully professional piece of gear that is capable of warming and shaping signals/mixes in a way that is very pleasing to the ear.
History behind the Tone Beast
In the 60′s and 70′s many console/preamplifier builders hid the operational amplifier (Op amp) stage of their preamps by cramming its components into a small box and then attaching the box to the circuit board. Inside these small boxes, the components were covered in glue to make them hard to disassemble/analyze. Manufacturers of that day felt the character these Op Amps imparted was unique enough to protect.
A trend grew in the industry where the little box the Op Amp components sat in became of similar size and shape between manufacturers. These boxes eventually mounted to the PCB board with the same number of pins, spaced identically, even from different manufacturers. You could remove an Op Amp from one console preamp and place it in another of a different manufacturer without much headache/difficulty.
The TB12 uses this same square shaped op amp and pin configuration as these originals but not enclosed in plastic and glue. The TB12 is designed so that users can remove the stock opamps and replace them with their own. If you are a tone FREAK like me you will love the ability to do this. Beware that Warm Audio may not be able to warranty a unit that has been opened and tinkered with. Below are some examples of 6 pin opamps that can pop right into the Tone Beast!
Our team of musicians fuses the spirit of the local guitar shop with the convenience of the web by creating a reliable and worry-free buying experience.
At Music Store Live, our goal is to revolutionize the way gear is bought online. It’s not just about videos and know how; it’s about the person on the other end of the line. Whether you are in Tokyo or Toledo, we invite you to experience the reality of a living online music store and help us shape the best buying experience possible. As you'll see in the video below, we're musicians just like you. We strive to offer the best gear, the best online experience, and the best personalized service in the industry. We invite you to get to know our team, and we would love the opportunity to get to know you too!
Free Shipping - Free Return Shipping - 30 Day Returns
At MusicStoreLive.com we are proud to offer free return shipping and a 30-day return policy in the 48 contiguous states on all new* items over $30. It's all part of our mission to bring the guitar shop to your living room. This policy allows you to get your gear hassle-free and try it with your own rig to be sure that it truly fits with your playing style and sound. If it doesn't work the way you had hoped we'll send you a prepaid return label and work up an exchange or issue you a refund once we get the item back in the same condition it was purchased. It's that simple.
- Your order must ship to the billing address associated with your credit card, PayPal, or other method of payment (unless an alternate shipping address has been approved by an MSL Gear Specialist).
- If you want the shipment to be held at a shipping company hub it is your responsibility to make those arrangements directly with the shipping company.
- An indirect signature will be required upon delivery for all transactions over $250. If you would like to require a signature on a transaction of less than $250, please request it when you place your order.
- We do not insure packages valued under $3,000. If you would like to add insurance for delivery or return please request it when requesting your order or initiating your return.
- All returns are subject to a Tech Check upon arrival. Any instrument that is returned with damage, wear and tear (including pick marks), missing or replaced parts, missing protective or packing materials are not eligible for a full refund.
- *Used / Open Box/ Vintage / Clearance items carry our same return policy, except with a 3 day return window.
- Orders shipped within California will be subject to 7.25% state sales tax.
In most cases we ship same day if your order is placed by 12 p.m. EST Monday thru Friday!
Return Policy Details
Is your instrument just not doing it for you? We understand and we absolutely want you to be thrilled with any gear that you buy from MusicStoreLive.com. If you're not happy with your order, you can return it to us at no charge within 30 days of delivery.
- Customers outside the continental USA must pay their own return shipping and are responsible for all applicable taxes and fees.
- The return policy does not apply to custom orders or modifications (pickup installs, etc)
- Contact MSL at email@example.com or (866) 256-5725 to begin the return process. You can request a refund, store credit, or exchange.
- We'll provide you a return label via email.
- Ship the item back to us in its original packaging using the provided return label.
- Customer is responsible for returning the item to Music Store Live in its original condition.
- A refund or exchange will be issued within 3 business days from our receipt of the returned item.
- All returns will go through a technical inspection and are subject to a restocking fee if the item is not returned in its original condition. Restocking fee to be determined by MSL.
Layaways & Financing
- Deposit a non-refundable minimum of 10% down of the purchase price on anything in stock
- Contact MSL at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) 256-5725 to place your initial deposit.
- Pay it off at your convenience within 30 days.
- $100 layaway fee for each additional month over the initial 30 days (on most items).