Hey… I’m using an ART tubed preamp and SM58s… I’m having trouble getting any volume on acoustic guitar and soft vocal parts… I have my line in turned ALMOST all the way up (and I mean just BARELY below the max) Same with the preamp… Also, I have the +20 gain button pressed… Is there some kind of plugin or driver I could get to make my line in higher, or any other tricks I could use to get more volume?


Hi Jay Jay,
What ART Tube are you using?
Did you consider the XLR input use?

What sound card?

I use an ART Tube MP V3 and my soundcard is an external 24bit Soundblaster… I am using the XLR input…

This configuration should work fine.
IMOF, with +20 dB switch turned on and max line-in level at SB you should have a lot of clips even with low volume input signal at the SM-58.
The only suggestion that I have is to test of 3 elements, Mic, preamp and soundboard in separate in order to discover if do you have some hardware problem.

ART Tube Studio V-3
Input Impedance 2k ohms (XLR), 840K ohms (1/4 in.)
Maximum Gain 70dB (XLR to XLR typical)
Maximum Input Level +14dBu (XLR), +22dBu (1/4 in.)
Maximum Output Level +28dBu (XLR), +22dBu (1/4 in.)
Output Impedance 600 ohms (XLR), 300 ohms (1/4 in.)
Tube Type Hand Selected 12AX7A, provides over 70dB of Gain

Jay Jay, maybe you oughtta get one of them amps with a volume knob that goes to 11.

If there isn’t much signal going from the pream to the soundcard, the tube might be the problem. They are temperamental and they sometimes break (or wear out). Or the tube might be halfway out of its socket with a bad contact.

(At least my original ART Tube MP from mid-90’s doesn’t have any means to secure the tube into its socket.)


Ok… I took the preamp apart… The tube WAS loose (I ordeed it online so it probably was jostled a little in shipping) so I pushed it back into place… Then I replaced my LINE OUT 1/4" cable with an XLR to 1/4" cable… One of those two things seemed to work…

But now I have a new problem…
When I record, I record in 2 mono tracks. The problem is that they are out of phase… one track will be the complete opposite of the other, so they cancel eachother out… I mean, it’s quite simple to work around that, but I’m just wondering if anyone knows a way to fix this…

My guess is that the XLR to 1/4" is XLR to a tip-ring-sleeve balanced mono 1/4" and that is being treated as being stereo (which it isn’t), sending one leg of the balanced signal right and the other leg left. Incorrectly converting this to mono can kill the signal as well.

I bet phoo’s right – perfectly matches the symptoms to the description of events. (The NPR Car Guys would be impressed!) Go back to the original cable. No doubt it was the tube socket.

With my MOTU 828, I have trouble getting enough signal from my old SM57’s when recording acoustic guitar (even though it’s a very loud guitar – Martin HD28). Levels are around -20dB, IIRC. Fortunately it’s a 24 bit recording and the preamp’s self-noise is very low, so I just normalize after recording and it works fine. Yes, that means I’m only getting a 20 bit recording. It works, so I don’t worry.

On vocals, I have no trouble pegging the meters.