BB Pre Amp vs. Pork Loin
Looking for something to add a bit of tube warmth/sustain/grit etc.
Not full out overdrive/distortion, but something I can have as an always on at the end of my chain that sounds like a pushed vintage amp for those situations. Something that also plays well with other dirt effects before it too would be a plus.
Going to be playing a lot of classic rock in a pub covers band at some point soon and would really like something to add to my sound for this that I can just leave on.
Two pedals that really interest me for this is the Xotic Bass BB Pre and the Way Huge Pork Loin.
What would be better out of the two for this function?
Haven't played with the Xotic, but I know the Pork Loin will do what you are looking for..as will a Catalinbread SFT as it actually replaced my Pork Loin. Then, the Empress Multidrive replaced that as it does even better :)
If you want a pushed tube amp sound, the BB is more designed for that (More Marshall type sound. The Catalinbread SFT is kind of the same thing, just with an Ampeg flavor). It overdrives quickly, but if you keep the gain almost all the way off, you should be good to run as an always-on tube sound. While it has a lot of low end for an overdrive pedal, it does have a floor (100hz i think), and because it reacts like tubes it will compress the low end and have less perceptible lows than if you ran with the pedal off. If it's always on, you can compensate with your amp EQ, of course.
As for running dirt in front, the BB has its own tone stack, so it may "eat up" the sound of a lot of other stuff in front of it. It can tend to clip very quickly with other overdrives and fuzzes or else squash them. Some pairings work well, though.
I think the Pork Loin might be better for that scenario. It doesn't compress nearly as much as the BB, and it fills out the low end with low gain drive. It's great as an always on, subtle effect. It's not as tubey in sound or behavior, but that can be a good thing. It works great as a more saturated sound that doesn't compromise the low end. If I recall correctly, it doesn't get overdriven with other pedals in front as easy as a lot of preamp-style pedals like the BB.
In my opinion, what you are describing can be done well with a Darkglass VMT. It can cop all kinds of old tube amp sounds and pairs really, really well with all kinds of other pedals. And it doesn't clip like most other overdrives with other dirt in front of it.
+1 re VMT.
I used to use a Bass BB and it's an ok pedal, but the VMT just does the old tube amp thing so well.
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