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Warm Audio TB12 "Tone Beast" 500

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500 Series Tone Shaping Mic Pre W/ DI

Unleash The Beast!

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.

Tone Shaping Mic Preamp w/ DI - Made Affordable.

Our goal was to make a microphone preamplifier affordable for the first time, without compromising the quality and design parameters that make this type of microphone preamplifier so desirable.  ​

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.

Premium Components in every Warm Audio product.

The TB12 "Tone Beast" 500 is a high-voltage microphone preamplifier, utilzing CineMag USA Transformers. Our own reproduction of the legendary original 2520-style discrete opamp found in the classic american consoles of yesteryear. These op-amps will work in any preamplifier or other device which conforms to the 2520-style footprint and +/-16 voltage standard. 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.

Utilizes premium grade CineMag USA 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 allows for choosing between a 1731(vintage) and 918(cleaner) style .opamp.  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.  Changes the Tone of all inputs (Mic, Line and Hi-Z.).

2 Meg Ohm True HI-Z input on front panel sends instrument signal through entire circuit including both Cinemag Transformers and the discrete operational amplifier. Great for guitars, bass, keyboards and other instruments that have a 1/4″ output jack.

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, balanced TRS line, and ¼" instrument inputs.

-20db Pad.

LED VU Meter.

Compatible with standard 500 series racks.

Reviewed by Hannes Bieger on SoS

Read the full review here (external link)


Reviewed by Alan Tubbs on TapeOs

Read the full review here (external link)


Reviewed by MUSICTECH.NET  February 12, 2014

Read the full review here (external link)


"This thing is amazing... I just plug a guitar into it or run a DAW track through it and instantly I am rewarded with sweet love. Warm Audio's support is crazy personal and super fast, too."

Brett Goodkin



"This was an excellent installment to my studio. Recommended to anyone who wants an affordable way to beef up their sonic potential."

Nick Fernandez



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