SAMAMP Bass Preamp. Power tube sound included!

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by stingray56funk, Nov 25, 2008.


  1. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Oh baby! I live in Birmingham, AL and there is a guy here named Sam Timberlake who builds some boutique guitar amps called SAMAMP. Well...he decided a few years ago, to my knowledge, to build a prototype bass preamp. I have the most recent version of his experimentation with bass preamps. It is incredible...absolutely incredible! Easily beats out any other preamp I've had. It can sound like a Trace Elliot V-Type preamp...can sound like a B15N preamp...can sound like a pushed grindy SVT...and sound like a nice Avalon u5 pre but with more warmth.

    I purchased the preamp from Highland's Music in Bham and apparently Sam builds them and sells them one at a time. He is easy to work with and is willing to change details if you ask. I'm asking to have a handle put on the top of the preamp along with an XLR output added to the unit.

    Here are the specs that I know:

    -6SL7 preamp tube (sovtek stock)
    -12ax7 preamp tube (JJ stock)
    -12au7 power tube (I know...) in a push/pull setup (NOS RCA USA stock)
    -EQ is passive designed after a Fender Showman/Alembic/Trace Elliot V-Type
    -Gain knob controls tube gain. It is very musical and has a huge effect on the tone.
    -Coupling knob has dented settings and controls the amount of output tube drive that is added to the signal. Pure awesome!
    -Range knob has dented settings and has built in EQ presets. They are subtle but luckily all very usable.
    -Beautifully handbuilt!

    SAMAMP website is: www.samamp.com. He does not list the bass preamp on there but if you want to talk to him then I'm sure he'd build you what you want. I could not be happier with this amp tone wise. I'll be the happiest I can be when I have an XLR out added to the unit so I don't have to use my direct box with it.

    Pics to lust after:
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    This pic is for size reference. I like the way it looks on top of the stack!
  2. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Location:
    Oregon
    Grrrr... makes a rack setup look like a fliptop. Jefenator like...
  3. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Location:
    Oregon
    For awhile I thought the title read "SANSamp" and I was like: really??
  4. skiscem

    skiscem Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    deerfield beach florida
    that looks so nice.. how much?
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  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    PDX, OR
    Disclosures:
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I want one! About how much does it cost?
  7. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Not too bad for a handwired boutique style preamp. $595.00 plus tax. Another guy on the board, funkometer, has one of Sam's previous protoype editions. They have changed a little bit but I'm pretty sure this is SAMAMP's last prototype version.
  8. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Bongomania...glad you found the thread! Contact Sam at either his telephone number or email address on his website: www.samamp.com. Tell him Jordan Stevenson sent you!
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    PDX, OR
    Disclosures:
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Cool, I will contact him. I just blew a bunch of money that I didn't really have to spend :ninja: on a REDDI, but the Samamp looks like a more well-rounded toolbox of tone. :bassist:
  10. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Location:
    Gig Harbor, Washington
    Is there a possibility you could make it rackmountable? (I like the ability to put everything in a rack)

    Looks pretty cool though and sounds like it can do what I want it to do.

    How long is the build time?
  11. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I bet that Sam at SAMAMP could make you a rackmountable version. His first couple of designs were typical 1 rackspace models but they didn't come with rackears. I bet he can make it rackmountable.

    I don't know what his build time would be. He primarily builds guitar amps and has a pretty steady business supplying mom n' pop boutique shops his amps but I bet he could build another bass pre pretty quick. I know he'll appreciate the business...and for us crazies about tone here on Talkbass the price of $595 isn't too terrible. This pre sounds so good I have no use for my fulltone bass-drive to get any overdrive sound. Just click the coupling knob or adjust the gain a bit and I've got a sweet and thick tube overdrive.
  12. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Drop that REDDI on ebay and grab one of these SAMAMP pre's from Sam! I can easily get a tone like a REDDI from this pre as well as a tone like a Demeter or Aguilar tube DI. You won't be sorry.
  13. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Location:
    Gig Harbor, Washington
    I was thinking of going to a Pre/Power setup, I may have found it.

    I will have to wait till next year though, subscribed.
  14. tom once dead

    tom once dead

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Location:
    Brisbane QLD Australia
    anyone else think it looks like a computer?

    maybe a rack mount one would look better
  15. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Location:
    Gig Harbor, Washington
    It reminds my of those THD heads and a Orange Tiny Terror
  16. adam precision

    adam precision

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    I have a a preamp with a power tube (which gets buffered back to line/instrument level). When i drive the power tube it sounds artificial, im assuming this because of the solid state poweramp. What does your baby sound like with the power tube saturated?
  17. lousybassist

    lousybassist

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Location:
    Malmö, Sweden
    I like the looks of those, and would like to see a head version too. Are such devices available?
  18. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta

    The power tube sound is very thick and seems punchy. When I turn the coupling knob clockwise it just gets a little more compressed but the drive starts kicking in. It almost seems like the drive available from the gain knob is then stacked with the drive available from the coupling knob and it is pure tone heaven! This is a great preamp to cover what my Ampeg SVT would do while my SVT is in the shop. After the SVT gets out of the shop I might reserve it for home use when I wanna blow the walls down. This preamp sounds so good. I do like also how versatile it is because it doesn't just do the power tube overdrive sound...it does clean and full very well. Think of the sound of a nice studio preamp like a Universal Audio or Millenia plus an LA-2A in the signal. Pure bliss.
  19. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta
    He has not made a head version to my knowledge. Funkometer and myself were talking and he said that Sam made a 15" combo version for a local Birmingham bassist.

    Sam will do whatever you want. He is a genius and has a patent out on his VAC design in his guitar amps. Graduated from Auburn in engineering and has been doing amps and amp repair since.
  20. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta
    My first thought was the THD head as well! I'm getting a nice leather handle added to the top so it will be easier to pick up. Also...I'm probably buying a pelican case to carry it around and keep it safe. I like the design of the pre as I don't really like having rackgear personally and I like the ability to just pick up the unit and go to the studio or go to church (both places I typically go direct only). :bassist:
  21. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    Cambria, CA (Central Coast)
    Looks very nice (and it's the sound that counts, of course.)

    But it appears the gray cover is about 1/3 taller than it has to be. Was that just because he had the chassis available?

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