Preamp hunting: EUB, DB and BG use

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Selta, Jan 16, 2014.


  1. Selta

    Selta

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    Hello everyone!
    I thought I'd start by posting this on the "BG" side of the forums, since we get a good bit more traffic here.
    Somewhat recently, I bought an EUB and have been taking DB lessons. At present, I just run it through my SansAmp RPM -> QSC -> Ampeg 2x10 cabs. It doesn't sound bad, but it's definitely not ideal for EUB, let alone DB work.
    I'm looking at renting or outright buying a DB, with eventually a pickup or mic in place. Primarily the EUB/DB stuff will be classic pieces, but the EUB may also be used in my heavy metal opera band. In this band, we have no amps on stage (safety and space constraints), so monitoring is done through IEMs. Both could be used for pretty much anything down the line, so flexibility is key.

    I also play BG of course, in the heavy metal opera, and in some minor side projects.

    I'm looking to get a rack setup that is ideal for all three situations. Presently, I'm happy with the SansAmp for the BG playing. I intend on adding a pre for the EUB/DB playing to my rack. I've been reading here and there a little bit on recommended pre's, but very few have been rack mountable. 1U or 2U doesn't much matter, though I'd prefer to keep to 1U if possible (I have to fit a pre for an electric violin in here as well as two Line6 G90s. I'd really rather keep it as a 5U rack total if possible).

    So that's it in a nutshell. Budget is whatever, but if it can be kept in the $300 ish range, that'd be ideal. I can easily save up for more if warrented.
  2. funkateer86

    funkateer86

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    Aug 21, 2006
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    Nashville, TN
    There's quite a few options in that range, especially if you're not opposed to buying used: Ampeg SVP-Pro, SVP-CL, Ashley, BBE, etc. Maybe something like a Demeter might be up your alley? I've never played through one so take what I say with a grain of salt, but from what I understand, they're pretty clean sounding which is what I like personally with DB and they meet the 1U criteria. They are quite a bit higher than $300 new (usually about $850-ish) but I've seen nice used ones for $600. There's quite a few threads on here talking about them so maybe you could search around and see what others have had to say.. Hope you find something!
  3. Selta

    Selta

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    Having thought about this a good bit more... I think for the EUB, I'll just flip the SansAmp off from Active, so it's tone shaping goes out the window, and do most of the shaping with either the EUB, or something in between the EUB and SansAmp if I need something more.
    The fun part is bringing the violin in, but that's a whole different can of worms.

    I actually used to own an SVP-CL. I didn't care for it much for BG... now I wish I had kept it to hear how it sounds with EUB. Thank you for the input and suggestions though - I'll still look at those and see if I want to possibly get one for testing.

    For DB, I don't see needing amplification any time soon, so I'm tabling that for much later.
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind Charlie Escher Supporting Member

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    My playing situations are a lot different, but I can't hack piezo pickups with most of the tube rigs I've tried with them with much at all -- especially not a passive piezo system. So personally, I'd shoot for something that would work for both your violin and EUB, and handle BG separately.

    I do have an SVP-Pro here right now I'm refurbishing for a friend, I'll give it a whirl with my EUB and let you know how it works.
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  6. Selta

    Selta

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    Awesome! I was hoping you'd pop in here, as I recall your setup from a few GTGs ago up here in Seattle.
    The EUB is passive, the violin is active, so I think the violin will be a lot more forgiving. They don't need to go through the same pre (and in fact I expect them to be separated). Too bad you're so far away or I'd suggest lets get together.
  7. Passinwind

    Passinwind Charlie Escher Supporting Member

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    I might make it up there fairly soon for a Jazz Alley show, it's been a while. I'll PM you and we can see if anything develops.

    My latest DIY preamp would probably work really well for you, but the only commercial one that I know of that's really similar is the Basswitch, which is not in rack mount format.
  8. callofcthulhu

    callofcthulhu

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    Oct 16, 2012
    Can you post a link to your heavy metal opera band?

    This is relevant to my interests.
  9. Selta

    Selta

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    Sure. www.HeavyMetalOpera.com
    You can see pics and whatnot there, as well as listen to/download the entire album for free.
  10. callofcthulhu

    callofcthulhu

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    Oct 16, 2012
    THIS IS ****ING AMAZING.
  11. Selta

    Selta

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    Yes, yes it is. If you're in the Seattle area in November, let me know. The album only covers the music aspect, but if you look at the pictures, you can easily see that we have so very much more than music going on.
    The armor you see in the pictures is *real*. Another group I work with (Seattle Knights) wear it for historic reenactment.
    The swords are also real, making contact, mostly using historically accurate swordsmanship (1300 through late 1500s mostly).
    Aerlialists, fire dancing, theatre performers, true, operatically trained Soprano, classically trained violinist etc. etc.
  12. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    I've been in the same boat for over ten years, using various BG and an NS EUB (after trying Clevinger, Carruthers, and a few other builders). The one thing i've found for my needs is that although I prefer a tube preamp for the BG side of things (using Alembic F-1x, F-2B, Trace elliot V-Type, or a Mesa/ Boogie Walkabout amplifier), it really doesn't work as well for the EUB. The NS seems to get a better response out of a signal path with less coloration than tubes offer. The other main issue with the tube preamps is the way they effect the attack of the EUB, not sure if it has to do with the piezo element or the heavy transients that come from the instrument. That initial attack with tube pres always seems a bit clipped, or produces a kind of "pap" for lack of a better description. With the NS I prefer a clean solid state pre for gain adjustment but little to no eq (just some low pass if anything). A di to the board always ends up working best. An API 512c was exceptional with it.
  13. Selta

    Selta

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    Awesome! Thank you so much. I'll explore that a bit too! From what I've read, for both the EUB (or DB) and electric violin, I should look SS instead of tube. That's why I think the SansAmp may be passable, especially since when it's not actually "active", it just effectively a DI.
  14. callofcthulhu

    callofcthulhu

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    My friend, now that I know that this exists, I can guarantee you that there is no way I would NOT be in the Seattle area this November to behold this glorious spectacle.

    Oh my God. So many hails.

    \m/
  15. Selta

    Selta

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    Sweet. That's our planned next big show - three weekends in November. We'll have more between now and then, but those will be the show to really make this year. I'll PM you when it's closer and we can discuss some "things".
  16. callofcthulhu

    callofcthulhu

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    Let me know if any of those smaller shows are coming through San Francisco (or if you'd like them to).

    Or if you'd like to lay claim to my immoral soul, firstborn son, offering of lifeblood etc. etc.
  17. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

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    Jan 21, 2006
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    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    If you get a DB with a piezo pickup (like a Gage Realist or a Revolution II), you will want a pre that can handle a few mega-ohm impedance, which BTW, is also what you need for a piezo pickup on a violin.

    I know might be surprised to hear this, but the RPM you have is one of the best Pre's for piezo, you just need to use the 4.75 mega-ohm input on the back.

    From the RPM user manual:

    Input Jack
    1/4" Input is 4.7MOhm. The unusually high impedance was designed with piezo pickups in mind to provide maximum output and dynamics. It is factory set at -20dB instrument level. A second input jack (Input 2) is located on the rear panel. Plugging into the front Input jack overrides and disconnects the rear panel jack.


    :cool: I use the pedal version of the RPM with my upright all the time, and have used it very successfully with violin.
  18. Selta

    Selta

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    Sweet! You know, I've never once cracked the manual on the RPM in the years I've owned it. I guess that'll show me, huh?

    The violin is active, so it's buffered before it even hits the wireless, let alone from the wireless to the pre. Maybe I'll just pick up another RPM for the violin? Then I can keep to 4U rack... two RPMs, two G90s.

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