- 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
- ¼" insert for the use of inline compressors, eq's etc..
- Balanced XLR mic (front and back), balanced TRS line, and ¼" instrument inputs
- Balanced XLR and TRS outputs
- -20db Pad
- LED VU Meter
- 19" rackmountable
- External line-lump 24V AC power transformer for low noise
TB12 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!
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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 - No Hassle Returns - 30 Day Trial Period
At Music Store Live, we are proud to offer free shipping on just about everything we sell. We’ve also got one of the best return policies in the business giving you a full 30 day trial period that starts when you receive your order for all new* items. 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 provide you with return authorization information to send it back for an exchange, a refund, or in-store credit. But no matter what, we’ve got your back and we are here to help make sure you end up with the right gear for you. You’ll never be stuck with something you aren’t happy with.
Return Policy Details
What if there’s something defective with the item I purchased or it arrived with shipping damage?
We’ve got some of the best guitar techs around to test out every instrument before it leaves our shop and give everything a full setup. We’re confident your order will arrive ready to rock right out of the box. Our awesome warehouse staff put time and care into packaging your order up to make sure it all arrives to you safely. But let’s be honest, once in a blue moon stuff happens that’s out of anyone’s control. If you received an item which you believe is faulty, shows signs of shipping damage, or in any way doesn’t meet your expectations based on the description in the listing, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Gear Experts. No matter what happens, we want to make it right! (note: If you believe there to be shipping damage, please do not discard the packaging that your order came in and please make sure to contact us within 24 hours of receiving your delivery)
What if I’m not liking it or it’s just not working out for me?
Is something you purchased from us just not doing it for you? We understand and we absolutely want you to be thrilled with any gear that you buy from Music Store Live. If you're not happy with your order, you can return it to us within 30 days of delivery*. You are welcome to return it for a refund, an exchange, or in-store credit.
- Please allow 2-4 business days from the receiving date for returns to be processed.
- If your purchase qualified for free shipping, we may withhold our outbound shipping costs from any refunds processed as part of the return.
- Contact MSL at email@example.com or call (866) 256-5725 to begin the return process. Anything sent back to us must have an RMA number and we may refuse returns that did not receive prior authorization.
- Return the item(s) in its original packaging and in a way that will help ensure its safe arrival back to us.
- Just as we’re responsible for getting your order to you safely, you are responsible for returning the item(s) to Music Store Live in its original condition. Please take care with packaging it back up and preparing it for the return shipping journey. We recommend you add insurance to higher value items when sending them back.
- 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 but is not to exceed 15% under typical circumstances.
- * B-Stock, C-Stock, E-Stock, Open Box, and Used items are subject to a 7-day trial period.
Is there anything that you guys won’t take back or that does not apply to your return policy?
We definitely want to work with you and be as flexible as we can to earn your business and to make sure you’re happy with everything you purchase from us. Unfortunately, there are some things that we simply cannot take back once it’s sold. That includes:
- Custom orders or instruments with modifications (pickup installs, straplock installs, tuner installs, etc)
- Software or authorization keys
- Guitar amp tubes or cabinet speakers
- Pickups that have been installed
- Strings that have been installed
- Drum heads and cymbals that show signs of use
- Personal items (earphones, harmonicas, instrument mouthpieces, etc.)
- Turntable cartridges
- Control vinyl
When sending back a return, please make sure that the return merchandise authorization number (RMA) provided by one of our Gear Experts is clearly written on the label of your return. To help avoid any restocking fees, please don’t write anything on the packaging. Please return all of the original packaging and its contents. We must receive the item/order back in a condition that allows us to resell it in the same condition it was originally in when we sent it out.
Your return label should look something like this:
Music Store Live
Attn: RMA XXXXX
300 W. 28th St, ste 102
National City, CA 91950
(Note: Purchases made through third party marketplaces such as eBay, Reverb, or Amazon have their own policies and criteria for returns. Please ask if you have any questions regarding that process.)
Shipping Policy Details
In most cases we ship new orders out within 1 business day of receiving payment. Here are some things to note:
- 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.
- Your order must ship to the billing address associated with your credit card, PayPal, or other method of payment. If you need to use a shipping address that differs from your billing address, feel free to contact a Music Store Live Gear Expert and we can help you out.
- 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. If you’d like it held at a local FedEx facility, for example, please provide us with the full address of that facility before your order is shipped. This works out better than trying to re-route it once it’s in transit.
- We do not insure packages valued under $3,000. If you would like to add insurance for delivery please request it when requesting your order. Whether you choose to or not, we will still assume all of the responsibility in getting your item to you safely.
- Orders shipped within California will be subject to 7.25% state sales tax.