The Warm Audio TB12 500 Tone Shaping Mic preamp delivers to the highly praised circuit of the original ToneBeast TB12 and adapts it to the convenient and popular 500-series format.
The Warm Audio TB12 500 has the same amount of gain as the rack version and features the same Cinemag Transformers as well as multiple discrete signal paths. A multitude of tones are easily accessible by controlling the gain and output knobs while playing with the different output transformers and discrete amplifiers. From ultra-clean low gain and high output level, to ultra-rich, hot and distorted, the TB12 500 is extremely flexible and sounds incredible.
As the name suggests, the TB12 500 is all about tone, and as such features two different op-amps and two output transformers each with different characters. The two chosen op-amps are x731 (Melcor 1731) and x18 (Dean Jensen’s 918) offer different saturation characteristics with the 1731 breaking up faster with more colour, while the X18 offers cleaner and linear characteristics. The Steel and Nickel op-amps are also employed to provide different character. The 100% steel op-amp is designed to offer more obvious colouration with a presence in the midrange while the 50% nickel op-amp will sound cleaner with better highs and lows.
The ToneBeast TB12 is inspired by the legendary 312 Mic preamp and it is possible to replace the included Op-amps by 2520-type of op-amps. It is also possible to swap transformers offering a world of options to the sound of your TB12 500. The final tools in the arsenal of colours offered by the TB12 500 come from the Tone button and Clean/Vintage Switches. The Tone button which changes the load on the input impedance from 600 Ohms to 150 Ohms. Switching this button lets you optimise the sound of your mic or DI without EQs. The Clean/Vintage switch changes between tantalum and electrolytic capacitors resulting in modern or “old school” sounding.
The Warm Audio TB12 500 is possibly one of the most if not THE most versatile mic preamp available in the 500 Series format.
Warm Audio Tone Beast TB12 500 Mic Preamp Overview:
• 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