BLUF: This is a good travel/quiet practice pedal that can handle stage use. I don't reccomend this pedal if you're planning to rely on the OD and Fuzz channels.
I got this preamp to take with me when I travel. It fits in the case with my Steinberger without much drama. As a headphone amp it performs fantastically. It's strong enough to cleanly push my MDR-7506s to their limit (this a rare feat for most amps). It has my favorite kind of Aux system: direct passthrough. Volume is set at the source, which keeps the complication to a minimum. I find the cab sim to be very subtle, but Modern cleans the tone up a little to my ears.
Tone shaping is pretty good with wide range on the mid knob. I use it to tame some of the string noise on my UBass, which also sees travel time. The blend knob works as advertized between the bypass and wet signals. Lastly, the unit powers on when plugged in, or when a cable is plugged into the instrument input. As of right now I don't know if there's much of a parasitic drain on the battery.
The drive channels suck.
This pedal has an annoying limiting system. There's a limiter on the input, but it seems a bit low seeing as the passive pickups on my Steinberger need to pad to keep out of it. Thankfully there's an led that will help you tune your volume. However, this could be problematic if you're the kind of player that messes with your instrument's volume a lot. The second limiter is the poorly named Saturation knob. I keep this pretty low because when your signal hits the threshold there's a large drop in the whole signal. In other words, it reduces the total gain instead of cutting the signal above the threshold. Your dreams of gated fuzz are not going to come true here.
I might toy with the drive circuit at some point. The cruddy drive sounds are probably from poor choices of components.
Palmer Bass Pocket Amp
- 4/5, 4 from 2 reviews
Preamp... headphone amp... effects pedal... direct box. All in a footswitchable box that can be powered by a battery or an adapter.
Palmer Pocket Bass Amp
- 4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 3, 2017
- Build Quality:
- + Small size, powerful enough to push high impedance headphones, aux input that isn't also the effects loop, great mid control.
NikkiVibes likes this.
- - OD and fuzz are only suitable for personal practice, EQ is tied to effects loop
A Swiss Army knife preamp/DI for any bassist!
- 4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Apr 8, 2017
- Build Quality:
- + Lots of valuable features in a small, affordable package.
- - The saturation knob -- I can't hear what it's doing!
Looking for a nice, battery powered headphone amp that I could use around the house, I took a chance on the Palmer Bass Pocket Amp. It's probably overkill for my needs, but I like what I see for the most part. I wasn't familiar with Palmer before this experience but am fairly impressed so far.
Disclaimer: I didn't know where exactly to post this review -- in preamps, effects or recording devices as this puppy does it all! The Bass Pocket Amp is a preamp pedal with a 1/4" and XLR outputs in a sturdy footswitchable pedal that can be powered by a 9-volt battery or an adapter.
One thing you'll quickly observe when holding the Bass Pocket Amp in your head is how sturdy this unit is. Unfamiliar with Germany's Palmer company, I wonder if this tank-worthy construction is their calling card. Regardless, I approve! The compact unit should easily fit into the pockets of most gig bags and hardshell case.
Thanks to a multitude of switches and knobs, there are LOTS of controls on Bass Pocket Amp! Gain ("Drive"), 3-band EQ and a blend knob help you dial in your sound on the front end... but then there's the array of switches (similar to the SansAmp products) that let you choose different voice modes and cabinet simulators. The input features an optional pad and the XLR direct includes a handy ground lift. Use it as a direct box by setting all the EQs and cabinet simulators to flat or let your tonal dreams run wild by taking advantage of everything this unit has to offer, this is one hefty device with loads of capability. I found the "blend" knob to be especially valuable, allowing you to roll in just the right amount of affected signal.
The only control that's still puzzling me is one labeled as "Saturation." The manual makes it sound nice... but so far, I haven't heard much of a difference, regardless of what mode I have the unit it. If anyone has any ideas as to how this control works or where it shines, please feel free to shout out to me.
A built-in effects loop, aux in and headphone out give the user every possible solution for their bass playing needs, regardless of if they're on the stage, in the studio or on the couch.
Overall, I'm impressed with the sounds I'm getting so far. The sky's the limit... clean, rich, SVT dirt or full-on fuzz... the Bass Pocket Amp can deliver it all. With my passive mutt P-Bass in hand, I'm opting to run my Pigtronix Philosopher Bass Compressor into the Bass Pocket Amp directly instead of using the effects loop and the results are just glorious. If I could sum up the results in one word, I'd have to say "variety" as there are truckloads at your fingertips.
Having the diverse Palmer Bass Pocket Amp in your gig bag could very well help you out of a jam when you need it... just like a real Swiss Army knife!
- Pedal Type:
- Preamp and direct box
- unknown... but the street price is around $199
- Input LED, 3-band EQ, multiple modes (clean, overdrive, fuzz), multiple cabinet simulators (flat, modern, vintage) effects loop
- Other Specs:
- Aluminum construction