Behringer Tube Ultragain MIC200 demo and reviewWritten by Helmut Watterott
The Behringer Ultragain MIC200 vacuum tube preamp is a great value standalone mic preamp that can also be used for line in and guitar or instruments. In this demo we use the Behringer c2 small diaphragm mics as mics. These are just awesome.
It is also marketed as a DI and it is this flexibility that makes it a very affordable workhorse in the studio and live situations. It also adds the warmth and saturation that is associated with a tube preamp.
The MIC200 has some great preamp mode presets but unfortunately I did not feel they were usefull. Presets are dialed in and are guitar, limiter, vocals, keyboard etc. Not one other than the Valve and Nuetral were usable to my ears. All the others added too much to the signal and did sound like a cheap effect.
I would go as far as saying that you are better off saving £10 in the UK and just buying the Behringer Ultragain MIC100. This option does not have any preamp mode presets.
The ultragain has a gain and output volume. It has a good clip indicator led display. Very useful is the 20dB pad, +48V phantom power (obvious for a mic preamp), low cut filter and a phase reverse switch.
It can take xlr, balanced and unbalanced input also via a quarter inch jack. Same goes for the output. It runs off a transformer based power supply at 9 volts but a quite high 1.3 amps.
The marketing images of the MIC200 might be a bit exagerrated as I have puched the gain and output and the tube never glowed that much :-(
The construction is fairly robust, metal casing (you would imagine they can do the same for their pedal range) and the knobs feel and react fine.
The audio example in the video is short and possibly not very audible how much warmer and better the sound is via the preamp. The real difference though is the added flexibility during the preamp stage. It is probably also and idea to only use it when you want to add some warmth to the signal, maybe some vocals or drum overheads etc.