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ART’s new Solo Series outboard

Switchable valve and solid-state signal paths

ART Solo Series MPA VLA Studio analogue preamp compressor channel striip

Following their initial reveal at the NAMM Show 2024, ART have announced that two of their Solo Series outboard units, the Solo MPA preamp and Solo VLA compressor, are now shipping, with the Solo Studio channel strip set to follow later in 2024. Sticking to the company’s tradition of providing versatile, affordable hardware, the three units pack in some serious features while coming in at an impressively low cost. 

The Solo MPA is a mic preamp that also features a front-panel instrument input, and allows users to blend seamlessly between solid-state and valve signal paths. There’s 75dB of gain available, and the unit is also equipped with an adjustable impedance control that can be set to values between 600Ω – 80kΩ for the XLR input (the instrument input is fixed at >800kΩ). Further tone shaping is provided by an onboard ±12dB tilt EQ and switchable 10 – 200 Hz high-pass filter, and a set of three buttons offer a +20dB gain boost, polarity reversal and phantom power. 

The Solo VLA then offers a valve/optical compressor that has been designed to offer transparent, musical dynamic control. Users are able to switch between Opto and FET operating modes, with front-panel controls for threshold, ratio, attack, release and output level settings. There’s also a Blend knob which offers instant parallel compression, and switches to bypass the processing and configure the built-in meter to display either the output level or the amount of gain reduction being applied.

The final offering in the series, which is set to appear later in 2024, is the Solo Studio, which combines elements of the MPA and VLA into a single channel strip. Mic, line and instrument inputs are accepted, and you get the same switchable valve and solid-state signal paths and tilt EQ circuit as the MPA, along with the VLA’s optical compression circuitry. 

Pricing & Availability

The Solo MPA and Solo VLA are available now, and the Solo Studio is planned to ship in early Summer 2024. Prices are as follows:

  • Solo MPA: $299.99
  • Solo VLA: $259.99
  • Solo Studio: $299.99

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