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A preamp as a way to have a fixed distorted sound?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by lehm, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. lehm

    lehm

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    I play doom metal, and the peculiarity of our band is that we use the bass instead of a rhythm guitar. This means that the kind of distortion I need is not typically a bass distortion, but one much closer to the sound of a distorted guitar (a thick sound with an intelligible mid range). Here’s an example (hopefully the quality's good enough to show what I mean):
    http://youtu.be/uieUZRD2t2Q?t=35s

    I’ve got RockBass Fortress (active) and use a Boss mega distortion pedal to attain the sound I need. Basically, I’m rather satisfied with what I have, but my problem is that I depend completely on the amp and its equalizer. The HiWatt stack you can see on video is the best amp I’ve tried so far, other decent ones including Ashdown, Hartke and Ampeg, thanks to their developed equalization system. But I don’t own any of them myself, and can’t afford one anyway, unfortunately. And some amps like Warwick, for example, together with my pedal produce a sound the makes me wanna puke.

    So what I am looking for is a way to have a fixed distorted sound, regardless of the amp. As far as I can see, what I need is a preamp with a good equalizer that I could use with my Boss pedal, bypassing the head's preamp section. Am I right? And if so, could you recommend some nice preamps of this kind costing no more than 300 bucks?
    If I got a totally wrong idea about what I need, please correct me.

    Thanks!
  2. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

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    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Why don't you try splitting your bass signal into a guitar amp (with all the damaging lows subtracted from it) and your normal "clean" bass signal through your bass amp? This would allow you to cut through like a driven/distorted guitar and still have the low end.
  3. wcriley

    wcriley

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    You'll also need a power amp. A preamp + power amp will likely set you back more than $300 even if you buy used.
  4. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    +1

    Unless you get a powered cab, but that's going to be more than $300 too.
  5. lehm

    lehm

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    2Rickett Customs: a good idea, and I've tried that once. Problem is that there is not always a second guitar amp at disposal. Also, I've done that with my previous pedal, the Big Muff Pi, which had two outputs. Boss has only one. Is there anything to be done?

    2wcriley & bassgod0dmw: guess I was slightly wrong saying about putting it all directly to the speakers and not using the head at all. In case of the guitar amps, you can connect to the head without using its preamp and EQ, if you have a processor etc. Isn't it possible in the case of the bass amps as well? Provided I got a preamp.
  6. Bassmec

    Bassmec

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    The clean dirty thing is really a two amp rig job with a splitter and a pedal in line with one amp and not the other.
    You can always just use a splitter box and a pedal and input two jacks to one amp but for that killer effect this sort of beast is what you really want to build for doom. Using a Lehle splitter, the eight by ten is for clean from the Simms Ap200 and the 15" cabs with the Roost sr100 for very saucy filth:
    [​IMG]
  7. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

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    One of the cool things about using a guitar amp for your treble side sounds, is the fact that it does not need to be a huge full stack, to achieve the sound that you're looking for.

    When I needed to do this, I would use an old fender combo tube amp (concert), so it does not have to be expensive..........ebay, craigslist,etc.....



    For a bass covering for the ryth. guitarist, an 8 string (or 12) or 10 string , splitting clean and dist into 2 rigs, will yield that sound you're looking for (IMO,IME)..............
  8. CnB77

    CnB77

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    Some bass amps have an effects loop where you could bypass the preamp section and just go to the power amp. Presumably that's what you want, but there's no guarantee you'll have it.
    Maybe something like a DHA pedal you could run into any amp set clean and flat, then you'd have your EQ and drive already done on the pedal.
  9. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    Right, you can connect a head to speakers and use an external preamp as opposed to using it's internal preamp. But that's basically using it as a power amp.

    You had said you wanted to connect a preamp straight to speakers. In that case, you've got nothing to power those speakers. The preamp is simply the EQ section, not the power section. It works the same with both bass, guitars, or pretty much anything. Unless I misread what you meant.
  10. lehm

    lehm

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    Yeah, sorry, it's a mistake from my part. I didn't mean not using the head at all. Should correct that.
  11. lehm

    lehm

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    Could you tell more about it? I've never come across this company. What's special about those pedals?
  12. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    Okay, cool. So you'd just need a preamp. For under $300 you can find an Ampeg SVT-IIP. There was one in the classifieds last week for $225.
  13. lehm

    lehm

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    That's certainly a hell of a rig for some juicy sludge! just I'm not so sure it will sound okay in my case, as I often play octaves (and even 3 notes at a time: an octave + a fifth) to make it all sound more voluminous and thick, and I dunno if those harmonies sound cool when clean. I also switch quite often from distortion to clean, and what is it gonna be like? Clean sound from both amps? Again, could sound bad.
    So I agree with you and Rickett Customs it's a great solution, but perhaps not particularly in my case. Should try it anyway, but I'm still looking for other options!

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