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Sebatron AXIS 200VU Two Channel Tube Preamp  From Sebatron

Sebatron's stunning two-channel tube mic preamp and D.I. with wide scale VU metering, impecable detail, and a musical and open tone.



Retail:  $2,000.00

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What We Think

Since we test gear daily in the Sound Pure studio, it’s rare that we are ever “wowed” by a new piece of gear, particularly by a mic pre - there are just so many of them that are “oh so similar” and that are being released at a blinding pace. But the Sebatron Axis has done just that - it has wowed us.  

For two channels, in its price class, we would expect a fair amount of tube saturation/grunge (since it’s easy and inexpensive to “design” that in). Creating a tube preamp that does clean, clear, and open is incredibly difficult. The pinnacle of tube-driven audio design came to us sometime in the '60s, based around high-voltage, high-headroom, linear-sounding amplifiers, while maintaining the euphonic integrity of the music. 

Most preamps in this price class don't have the goal in mind of “unparalleled clarity” (and the rare ones that do are usually 2-3 times more money).  The majority of amplifiers go for the “guts” – they are based around trying to sound “wooly,” as folks have been led to believe tube based units should sound (through marketing hype).

The Sebatron Axis is one of the very few preamps we have ever encountered that can provide a truly professional level of detail, clarity, and transparency suitable for the most serious acoustic and classical recording challenges, AND ALSO that can be cranked to deliver professional-caliber high-voltage tube saturation for that classic tube warmth and roundness, without a loss of low end focus. The AXIS is not a power-starved, muddy, modern-day budget tube preamp. It’s a cost effective, professional-level tool that will complement any style or form of music extremely well.    

Use it on classical and acoustics….   OR… use it on electric guitars.  Its tonal variability makes the AXIS the most sonically flexible preamp we have ever encountered by accomplishing both clean and saturated colors (and everything between), all at world-class sonic capability. At the AXIS price point, it is one of the finest investments you can make in your studio.

In situations where we’ve boosted the gain of the AXIS to a more colored setting, the AXIS delivers a really warm, mellow, and even deliciously rich bottom-end, while preserving all the musicality and detail from the harmonics and overtones of whatever instrument (or voice) you’ve put in front of it.    

At a low gain setting, the AXIS takes on a very different tonal behavior- you get absolute cleanliness, detail, and transparency.  You hear every little detail of what the mics are hearing, translated with perfection.

We’ve even had situations where the Axis literally “fixed” situations that otherwise would not have worked.  When we first created one particular combination of mics, preamp, guitar, player, and room with the Sebatron set to low gain (its most revealing setting), things were bright, tinny, and unforgiving… however, when we increased the gain, we achieved a huge sonic improvement: glued-together, warm, and smooth.  In just about every other preamp, we would have had to switch the mics (or at the very least the preamp). In most home studios, that’s not always possible, making the sonic flexibility of this particular piece a real benefit.

It’s not only sonically flexible, it’s also musically flexible.  Use it on just about any acoustic or electric instrument.  We’ve had it working equally well taming drum overheads, recording transparent and detailed piano and classical ensembles, or recording serious distorted electric guitars as we have with acoustic instruments.    Its versatility makes it the perfect choice for someone that needs two to four channels that can cover all of their foreseeable studio needs, and can do so at a no-compromise professional level.

Most preamps that make the claim of tube greatness, sonic transparency, or even tonal variation fall on their face at either the clean or colored setting, and often fall short at both tasks.  The Sebatron, however, performs at a level superior to most preamps dedicated to a single tonal task, be it clean or colored, and excels on both ends of the coloration spectrum and everything between.   Since we are now using this preamp on just about every single serious pro session that finds its way through the Sound Pure Studios, we’d love to talk to you more about it. 

Check out our ever-growing collection of videos and clips featuring this truly magical preamp from Sebatron.

Sebatron Valve Mic Preamp and DI - The Axis 200VU -- Part II

Sebatron's new preamp, the Axis 200VU, is a remarkable microphone preamplifier that has a wide range of abilities. The Axis 200 VU is very versatile and renders clear and clean tones as well as saturated, tube warmth. Due to its high performance, this preamp is ideal for both professional engineers and home recording engineers. For more information on Sebatron's Axis preamp check out our website, SoundPure.com and watch more demonstrations and videos. Questions? Contact our engineer experts at SoundPure 919.682.5552.

Manufacturer's Description from Sebatron

The AXIS 200VU high performance Valve Microphone Preamplifier has been designed to give the Professional and Home recording Engineer a High Quality Valve Microphone and Direct Input Preamplifier at a reasonable cost. Great care has been taken in circuit layout and design to create not only an accurate and transparent sonic tool but one that can also overdrive with symmetry and subtly dynamically control or ‘compress’ the input signal in a manner which is musical and close to the operation of the human ear.

As is common knowledge, Valves are distinctly different to Transistors and Intregrated Circuits in the sense that they have a unique operating region that does not terminate in an abrupt brick wall as Solid State Technology does. It is in this region that the valve expresses most of its harmonic qualities. Operating in a clean or transparent manner is also possible when the gain of the valve is dialed right back and degrees of negative feedback are introduced to increase linearity and bandwidth.

The AXIS200VU presents you with not only a practical and neutral audio amplifying device but one that can provide an enhancement of the audio signal only achieved through equipment costing many thousands of dollars more. Standing on the shoulders of the VMP series, the AXIS preamp provides yet another sonic pallet for the engineer or producer who endeavors to turn the recording process into an art form. There are no chips in the audio path; this means, above all else, that the unit is very difficult to damage with an incorrect interface. Chips, or integrated circuits, are often a weak point in consumer-level hybrid valve designs because they fail easily when overloaded. This is not the case with the AXIS preamp. It is a true Valve design, and is therefore free of such failings and is ruggedly dependable.

·         Fully balanced Transformer coupled XLR microphone input

·         High Impedance unbalanced ‘ Direct Input ‘ for Guitar , Bass , Keyboards or line level signals etc.

·         Fully balanced and unbalanced XLR and phono inputs and outputs

·         A variable ‘ pad/gain ‘ control that changes the color of the signal as well as acting as a pad or

gain control increasing overall sonic flexibility

·         Quality 12AT7/ecc81 Valve running on a High Voltage rail providing stellar musical signal

amplification and enhancement

·         A gentle 40Hz to 400Hz variable High Pass Filter for removal of unwanted lower frequencies

without signal anomalies

·         180 degree mic input phase reversal switch

·         +48VDC Phantom power for condenser microphones

·         Output level control for transparent control of the final output signal

·         Wide swing and internally calibrated accurate VU metering

·         Wide Bandwidth and Low Noise quality Class A circuitry

·         Quality switches , potentiometers and components used throughout



About Manufacturer

Unique high-quality organic valve and class-A solid state studio equipment. No integrated circuits. Made in Australia.


Maximum Gain (mic input): +68 db

Maximum Gain (direct input): +62 db

Maximum Input (mic input): +6 dbu

Maximum Input (direct input): +12 dbu

Maximum Output: +30 dbm

Frequency Response: 20hz to 90khz +/- 2db

Power: Externally switchable 110/120/220/240 VAC for global usage.

Build: Chassis is 1.2mm mild steel powder coated 'Textured Black'.
           Front Panel is 2.5mm mild steel powder coated 'Transformer Grey'.
           Single sided printed circuit boards. 

Topology: Topology is all discrete and Class A Valve and Solid State signal path running on +300V and +60V rails respectively.

Circuitry: Class A Discrete and low noise. Dual Triode 12AT7/ecc81 and High Voltage Silicon Transistors.