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Preamp, tube DI or speaker sim for IEM setup

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by RichardCranium, Dec 22, 2012.


  1. RichardCranium

    RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Boynton Bch FL
    My live rig for the past couple of years has been a custom pedalboard straight to the board and using an IEM system for monitoring It's been working good so far but I want a little more "hair" to my tone and without going to a traditional amp setup. I took my IEM transmitter out of the rack and have it at my feet so I can adjust my levels without having to cross the stage in the middle of a song and I'm looking for something that can be rackmounted and preferably something with tubes or tube-sounding. I'm after that elusive warm and punchy tone and I'm thinking these are my options:

    Separate preamp. More flexibility for tone and I can put the effects in the loop.

    Nice tube DI/mic pre. A decent one not the lower end ART or Presonus ones. Not as flexible with the tone but nice signal path. Heard good things about the older Ampeg and Aguilar tube DI's.

    Speaker simulator. Seen a few guys using these but they tend to be voiced for a 4X12 guitar cabinet and I'm not sure if that's the tone I want and they're hard to come by to check one out. Hate to order one and have it not be what I'm looking for.

    Anyone have any similar experiences? I had the Sansamp BDDI for years and got rid of it because of the mid-scoop issue for the MXR and wasn't happy with that either. Budget is an issue too just can't justify dropping the $$$ on a REDDI or something similar for a cover band that plays clubs.
     
  2. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Location:
    Massena NY
    I've got a thread started where I had an fdeck hpf3, tech21 Bass VT2, custom mid control and di built into a rack. I LOVE it in my IEM's. Sounds more like a mic'd cab which is a good thing. But, to go simple, buy a used Bass VT2, disengage the speaker sim, leave controls at noon (except drive) and start from there. Im liking that more than the other preamps I've used (many) A plain old speaker sim box won't really get you what you want.
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    REDDI. Not cheap, but you only need one ;)
     
  4. ThisBass

    ThisBass

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    The meaning of every DI is galvanic insulation and in addition to provide micro signal level to FOH.

    A speaker simulator simulates speaker but not galvanic insulation and micro signal level.


    What do you looking for?
     
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  6. SteveC

    SteveC

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Forks, North Dakota
    I've gone to IEM's as well and am looking for a DI. Was thinking Radial JDI but the REDDI - while expensive - does sound amazing.
     
  7. ThisBass

    ThisBass

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    Galvanic insulation and micro signal level must not change anything.
    That means the sound remains the same if the DI is of high quality.

    Jensen transformers are not cheap but not as expensive like a lot of the so called "DI'" on the market.

    Palmer 01 DI provides a lot of "sound" for cheap money.
     
  8. RichardCranium

    RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Boynton Bch FL
    Trust me Jimmy I followed your epic journey from mics to the REDDI and if I had the cash I'd have one. I'm just in a B circuit cover band and it'd cost over a week's pay for a used one. :meh:
     
  9. RichardCranium

    RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Boynton Bch FL
    I have a Countryman DI and was considering the Radial too I just got a good deal in the Countryman first. I was curious how much the sound would be different with the JDI. The Country man is pretty clean and I'm hoping for something colored. Just that warm fat tube sound.

    Thing is I've got a budget of maybe $250-300 and REDDIs and Demeters would fit my needs but I'm hunting for a less expensive alternative. I've never heard the VT Bass in person I think I'll see if I can pick up one on the road someplace.
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sorry, missed the part about you not being able to drop on a REDDI. Well there's the VT. Better mid control than the BDDI.

    EDIT: one step ahead of me, bro ;)
     
  11. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    If the sans amp pedals are in play, don't ignore the Para DI. The sweepable mid is mightly helpful.
     
  12. Tuned

    Tuned

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    I record using my SVP-CL alone for fretted, wouldn't hesitate to use it for IEM's. I work its saturation characteristics just like I work the frets, it's a part of the instrument. I've used a Reddi box live (Reddi - EQ pedal - IPR - SWR 4x10), it has similar aspects and nicer components, but there's no arguing that the SVT preamp is rigged ideally for bass players, and the tube EQ is itself interactive, a mixer EQ after a Reddi box is not the same. The Reddi box may sound a little nicer to the listener, but the SVP-CL plays better. For IEM's I'd definitely pick the SVP-CL.

    That goes for the DI vs preamp argument as a whole, a good preamp affects how you play beneficially, a DI doesn't. As for speaker sim, I can only say I don't miss cab mics in the studio.

    This whole argument reverses for fretless, you don't want an interactive preamp meddling with the sound, keep it dead neutral. For that I use a BSS AR-116 active DI in the studio, would use the same for IEM's.
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yeah, but you're talking about a full-on preamp as opposed to a DI. The REDDI does one thing, does it incredibly well, and I'm cool with that. Having said that, throw an SVP-CL on top of it and I'll bet it rules hard!
     
  14. RichardCranium

    RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Boynton Bch FL
    I've been eyeing that SVP pre and it looks tasty. Also saw an older SWR Grand Prix and a Trace V-type that might fit the bill. Just get a 2 space rack and put it with my IEM receiver at my feet next my pedalboard and take the XLR out and keep the countryman as a backup. It's really that saturated tube sound I'm after.
     
  15. Tuned

    Tuned

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    That's kind of like strapping a Ferrari to a Lamborghini, doesn't make either faster, just more expensive. If the benefits of colored preamps/DI's were cumulative, then 5 SansAmp pedals chained together would be better than a Reddi.
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No imagination.
     
  17. Tuned

    Tuned

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Actually I tried live that once, but the Reddi was the DI to the PA, my SVP-CL fed my IPR directly. Despite being on the same power circuit it buzzed like crazy, ended up patching my bass through the Reddi to the SVP, but just out the pass-through, they weren't actually chained. The Reddi owner is a house tech friend of mine, maybe we'll try chaining them again just for sh|ts and giggles.

    I can guarantee you it'll be too fluffy for though, the SVP gives me the exact dynamic response I want. I can make it rumble, sing, and/or bitch however I want it too, and it always sits perfectly in the mix. Add another layer of tube saturation and I'll probably break strings trying to get it past where it's willing to go.
     
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    SVP-CL IS a great preamp, no doubt.
     
  19. RichardCranium

    RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Boynton Bch FL
    I'm gonna pick up a VT bass and give it a shot. Also considering swapping out the countryman for a Radial JDI i'll check in when I can.
     
  20. fivestringgecko

    fivestringgecko Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    The VT is pretty hot... Just had it back on my main board for a bit to replace my Tone Hammer that's currently back with Aguilar for some TLC... some weird grounding issue, only when I used the 1/4" and DI out at the same time.

    VT just came off again though... replaced by my new B7K. :bassist:

    5sg.
     
  21. dStar

    dStar Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    +1
     

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