Originally Posted by Primakurtz
My latest love: An SWR Interstellar Overdrive preamp into most any power amp. Best high-gain bass tone I have heard.
They do make pretty good high gain preamps. I used one like that for a while, but made the mistake of plugging the speaker out into an early Eden 1X10 at home. It came out of the rack after that, transformed from an effect/pre into a low wattage practice/recording amp. Never did use it in the main rack again, just sounded too good. No controls to speak of, just great tone.
It did seem to me that it sounded better with the speaker load in normal, high gain preamp use. The sound from the speaker was inaudible with the IOD in its place in the big rig, but the IOD itself sounded better under load IMO.