Old Preamp Shootout - A.M.P. SL-1 vs Yamaha PB -1

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Quadzilla, Jan 8, 2014.


  1. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Location:
    Just north of Baltimore, MD
    So I currently own a Yamaha PB-1 and I have an AMP (Amplified Music Products) SL-1 on it's way to me.

    Both have parametric EQ's, crossovers and a lot of other bells. Can't wait to have the showdown with the two.

    Any of you try both? Any opinions?
  2. finn74

    finn74

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    I own the SL-1 and its very similar to SWR products. If you like the sound of SWR you will certainly enjoy the SL-1 pre amp. I have no first hand experience with the Yamaha Pre.
  3. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca.
    I had the Yamaha Pb-1 many years ago. From what I recall it's a solid preamp with fast transients and a very very solid tone. I don't know what the High Pass is set at but I remember some extreme low frequencies that would really piston my speakers. So perhaps keep an eye on how much bass boost you use. I would highly recommend this pre-amp overall.
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Location:
    Maryland, between Bawlmer & DC
    It's been many years since, but I've owned both. The Yamaha was a nice pre, but it was clean and clear and back then I was looking for processed rock tones. I liked the AMP much better... it was also clean, but with multiple semi-parametric bands plus other EQ features I had lots of fun.

    The weird thing about the AMP is that it's 1-1/3 rack spaces, but if you have two free rack spaces then you're good to go.
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  6. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Location:
    Just north of Baltimore, MD
    Thanks Ken!!! ;)
  7. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Location:
    Just north of Baltimore, MD
    I thought I would like the AMP more, but so far, I like the Yamaha. It's just a bit more punchy and modern sounding. I've played with the EQ on each a bit. Oh, the Yam is hotter as well (higher output).

    The real test will be at a live performance, in the mix....

    [​IMG]
  8. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Location:
    Maryland, between Bawlmer & DC
    Go with whichever works better for you (well, duh ;)). Cool rig!
  9. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Location:
    Just north of Baltimore, MD
    Thanks Ken! Maybe I can get you to play it at a gig soon (since we are local).

    In putting in more time with them, I'm leaning towards the Yamaha. I really didn't see this coming.

    The Yamaha is far hotter (drives my amp better) and has more of a cutting tone. I can get a similar tone with the AMP, but it loses just a little off the top and bottom and has a little less clarity.

    If you like a slightly more vintage tone and want more versatility, the AMP is the way to go.

    If you want an amp with a HOT signal output and want more zing (modern tone), the Yam is the way to go. It also has a few more options that I like (level control on DI, effects sends and returns, grounding switches for the main amp and DI, etc).
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Location:
    Maryland, between Bawlmer & DC
    I never A/B'd these two units directly. I'm basing my preference on the fact that I preferred my solid state preamps to have fancy EQ, so of course the SL-1 hung around longer.

    I'd love to check out your rig and revisit those preamps. I definitely want to see your band regardless. Unfortunately I have a conflict with your 1/25 gig, but we can hook up sometime soon after that I hope!
  11. BFunk

    BFunk Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2001
    Location:
    Rhode Island , USA
    I recently put together a rehearsal rig using a Yamaha PB-1, a Crown XLS1500, and a Fearful 15/6/1. It is a great combination. The Yamaha has a clear punchy tone that is perfect for hearing yourself clearly in the mix. The bottom end is deep and full. It has a depth that I associate with solid state bass amps of that era. The EQ is good if you don't mind the Fender tone stack. It works fine for me. I think the key to using this tone stack is don't over think it. The parametric is good for fine tuning your tone or fixing a room eq issue. I use it to add a little low-mid. The best feature of the preamp is that it has enough output to drive any power amp out there. Even the ones with very low sensitivity, like the Crown. In bridged mono mode and the input pad at full volume on the power amp, I can't go past 9 o'clock on the Yammie without blowing everyone out of the room. I would gig with this rig without hesitation and be confident it would carry the room if needed. I see a lot of posts from newbies and those with limited budgets looking for ways to get a good sound and sufficient volume from a head for little money. I was fortunate to find this preamp for $125 and the power amp for $275. The pre usually sells for around $200 so I got good deal on one with minor cosmetic issues. The power amp was new. I think that with some careful shopping on the used market, you could put together this preamp and a used power amp for around $400. I think that is a great value in a fully giggable head.

    Likes:
    cheap
    solid
    reliable
    enough tone controls to dial in a good sound without being overwhelming
    very high output to drive any power amp
    light power amp
    built-in di of decent quality

    Dislikes:
    heavy preamp
    x-over is crap I don't need

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