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Demeter........VTBP-201s or HBP-1?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by ebozzz, May 1, 2003.

  1. ebozzz

    ebozzz

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    I'm pretty sure that I'm going to get a Demeter preamp but I'm not sure which one. I've tried the 201s and liked it a lot but won't be able to touch the HBP-1. Can anyone who has tried bothshare their thoughts? Thanks!
  2. Gard

    Gard

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    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Both are very similar in tone (not exact, but damn close), I went with the HBP-1 for the exceptionally useful and flexible fully parametric EQ section. Cost me a tube, but no real change to my ear in tone. They both are great sounding pre's, it's just a matter of whether or not you want pushbutton simplicity (VTBP-201s has preset buttons for the frequency on the bass control: 60hz or 120hz; and presence frequency: 2K or 4K), or if you want the ability to really fine tune your lows and mids with the HBP-1's parametric.

    I will say that the fully parametric EQ has allowed me to "nuke" bad frequencies in funky rooms, something that you can't do with the VTBP.


    ...and oh yeah, I know a good place to buy one!

    ;)




    :D
  3. Reefer

    Reefer Guest

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    The Demeter is good, but have you tried the Alembic F1-X? Much better sounding preamp.
  4. ebozzz

    ebozzz

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    Thanks Gard! I think that it's going to be about two months max before I decide. I've got the number to the place that you made reference to and I know of a pretty cool salesman that works there even if he is a Saints fan. ;)
  5. ebozzz

    ebozzz

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    Andy,

    Is that you? :) No, I haven't tried the Alembic but if you're who I think you are you're aware that there are not a lot of places to try stuff hands on in our area. What I liked about the 201s is the fact that it seems to be a very neutral and accurate sounding preamp. If you've got a good sounding axe, that's what you'll hear. Now if it sounds bad, I'm not sure if it will be too forgiving. Why do you feel that the Alembic is better?
  6. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

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    E,
    I've had a 201s for almost a year now and find it to be my favorite. I recently tried the H Demeter for a couple of days and found it to be mostly like Gard said. I was checking it out strictly to see if would be a better pre for me because of the parametric. I'm not the sharpest knife in the draw, but I had a hard time making the parametric do anything that really jumped out at me. The 201s is definatley a better sounding pre to me. They were very close and I bet it would be hard to tell in live situation, but I'm very sure now that I'm a plug and play man. I'm sure most player would find the HBP useful, but I don't record much and didn't have the patience to learn the p-eq. I certainly didn't need two choice Demeter preamps since I'm down sizing gear inventory. I just wanted to make sure that I had the best Demeter for my use. They are both nice, but the 201s is my choice hands down. If I ever really feel the need to eq I'll probably get a seperate unit. Good luck.
  7. Reefer

    Reefer Guest

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    No

    I've owned both of them and preferred the Alembic, as did Bass Player Magazine in their preamp shootout. Better tone, better EQ, more focused.
  8. ebozzz

    ebozzz

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    Sorry.

    I don't know. That 201s sounded very focused to me but borrowing a phrase from Big String, I'm not the sharpest knife in the draw either. ;) Also, if I'm not mistaken that same Bass Player preamp shootout gave terrible marks to the Peavey MAX preamp. I own a MAX and while it's no Demeter, it's a pretty nice preamp.
  9. boogiebass

    boogiebass

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    I agree with Big String. I also own the 201 and chose it over the HBP-1 because it sounded better...to me...for what I wanted. I run mine with a Stewart World 2.1.

    The guy who likes the Alembic is welcome to his opinion but a Demeter 201 blows away an Alembic F1-X in terms of clarity and upper register snap. The Alembic is very fat but if I want that particular color, I prefer the Kern 777 (which I also own).

    Really, I imagine you won't be too unhappy with either Demeter but the 201 just had that extra "something" that I didn't hear in the HBP. It goes without saying but YMMV, etc.
  10. ebozzz

    ebozzz

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    Again, I haven't tried the Alembic but the clarity and upper register snap of the 201s is what I liked. On another note, I know a person who got rid of his Alembic to go with a Peavey MAX. He felt that it offered him more versatility than the F1-X.
  11. Gard

    Gard

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    Ok for a Saints fan, hm? :meh: There goes your extra TBer discount! :p





    ;)

    On the Alembic F1X vs. Demeter et al: The F1X is great, no doubt, but it is a bit more "old school" fat & warm, while the Demeter is a more of a "modern warm" with great clarity.

    Both are great, it's a personal preference thing.

    :D
  12. boogiebass

    boogiebass

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    Excellent characterization. I agree.
  13. jerry

    jerry Definitely not trending Gold Supporting Member

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    If Bassplayer prefered the Alembic*, why do they use the Demeter in their reference rig:confused:
    Well anyway my two pennies.....if you like the way your bass sounds, and want a simple strait-foward pre....the 201 is great!



    * Believe me....I'm not putting down Alembic, if I see one at the right price, I'd probaby buy one. I used to love my Showmans when I was young:bassist:
  14. Reefer

    Reefer Guest

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    Studio- Demeter

    Live- Alembic F-1X
  15. ebozzz

    ebozzz

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    :eek: Sorry! LOL!

    That was my impression of it also from the brief amount of time that I have had with it and I think that you can get a decent vintage tone out of it depending on the bass you happen to playing.
  16. Jonathan Starr

    Jonathan Starr

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    I've had an old 1.5 space 201 for about 2 years at my ranch with a World 1.2, and I've always felt it sounded great and big and warm.

    I have had a HBP-1 for about a year in my main rack, and it's good but more modern sounding and less soft & warm. It's great for punchy crisp tone with a Sadowsky or MTD or other modern bass.

    I recently started craving more deep warmth and a bit of tubey overdrive, but I can't carry a tube head around any more. I ordered a used F2-B, and it sounded really fine, but it wouldn't drive my PLX 2402 unless I cascaded the channels. That way it did sound really nice, but the settings became critical and a bit too much drive would make the big bottom go away. I didn't want to have to get the PLX modified.

    I sent the F2-B back and ordered a new Ashdown RPM-1. I'll be selling the HPB-1 if the RPM-1 is as fine as I've heard they are.

    Aloha,

    Jonathan
  17. ebozzz

    ebozzz

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    I've tried the RPM1 preamp and it's very nice Jonathan. It does have more of a default vintage tone (color) than the 201 but you can make it sound more modern-like if you EQ it properly. In fact, the RPM1 and one of the Demeters are at the top of my preamp wish list at the moment. I wish I could figure out a way to get them both.
  18. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

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    no offense,

    but it aint too cool grabbing the name of another company and using it as a calling card for your opinions.

    i'm not saying you're gonna be irresponsible, but it might make for some REALLY sticking situations for Andy and the Acme name.

    sure, you might be trying to be witty, as in the generic "Acme" company from those classic Wild E. Coyote / Roadrunner cartoons, but there is a real company called "Acme" with a real gentleman who sells bass products. please, tread with caution, cause he is dearly loved.

    sorry for the rant, but Andy is a cool dooder.

    anywho...

    the Alembic to me isnt really better, just different. both pre's sound great. but, hey, you're entitled to your own opinion, as am I.

    i kinda prefer the Demeter for live, cause i experienced a bit of a midrange dip with the Alembic, which made it somewhat problematic for me during that one particular gig.

    did some snooping here on TB, and ala Bgavin's research, cranking the mid knob to 10 did even out the sound. but i gotta admit, the Alembic does sound great to tape for those fatter than fat tones. tho, i do prefer my Kern for that vintage bassman like feel with a nice dallop of sweet hifi detail.

    but if we're talkin' live, very few pre's beat the Demeter's HBP-1 for sheer tonally tasty versatily! the fact that you can shape your low end with that trademark Demeter sweetness makes it more than a mere swiss army knife. its practically the "MacGyver" of bass pre's. :bassist:
  19. cephas45

    cephas45 Supporting Member

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    i own an f2b, 201s, and the avalon u5. to my ears, the f2b is great for blues, motown, classic rock, and traditional country, or really anything where you want a solid, fat foundation. you can also get some newer rock tones out of it once you get used to the controls. i've tried the kern, but i like the alembic better because its totally old school to my ears. the 201s is better for anything that calls for tight lows, quick mids, and soft but detailed highs. obviously, the bass i use will affect this some.

    for example, i like to use the demeter with the roscoes because they sound sweet through it. on the other hand, the f2b really tames the aggressive nature of my mike lull jazz and gives it lots of warmth with a rich, complex midrange.
  20. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

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    seriously!

    why is that? my LG3000 sounded sooo good with my VTBP, that i ordered a LG3005!

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