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Aguilar, Deter, or Eden preamp????

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by keoliphant, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. keoliphant


    Mar 11, 2002
    Portland, OR
    I need your help! I'm planning on transitioning from a Mesa 400+ to a solid state power amp with a seperate tube preamp. I'm keeping the 400+ because it's a tremendous amp, just not the right tone for the sort of music I'm playing these days; acoustic guitars w/ light percussion.

    I'll probably pick up a Stewart or QSC PLX1602 power amp but my dilemma is which preamp? My current choices are:

    Aguilar DB680
    Demeter HBP-1 or VTBP-201S
    Eden Navigator

    I'm looking for a tight, warm bass tone (not farty) that will fit nicely in a mix but will also be tonaly adjustable. I don't mind all the knobs & sliders! The more options the better! I'm playing a Lakland with a Eden 4x10XLT. Will the Navigator fit best?

    Has anyone played all four preamps and if so, what did they like? Also, what kind of music do you play them through. Also, if there's something you don't particularly like about a preamp, let me know.

  2. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    the Eden does a great warm, woolly tubey sound. the Aguilar DB680 is great for that fat hifi kinda tubey sound. the Demeter is the furthest removed of these three. very refined, very hifi, airy, almost woody sounding compared to the others.
  3. Actually jokerjkny nailed it. Personally I love the fat tube-hifi lows and glassy highs of the DB-680. It's the perfect compliment for a PLX.

    Check out BassTasters for a chance to hear each preamp.
  4. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I've played through all of them. My favorite is the Aguilar DB-680 (which I currently own). For the music you're describing, my recommendation would be to pick a preamp with a parametric EQ that will allow you to really dial in your tone. The Aguilar, Eden and Demter all have a parametric EQ, but the Aguilar DB-680 is the only one with full parametric equalization utilizing three controls (frequency, level, and bandwidth). The others use a 2-knob parametric that does not include the bandwidth control.

    The Aguilar is a very versatile preamp, and it has a killer sound. ALL of the controls are run through vacuum tube circuits.
  5. keoliphant


    Mar 11, 2002
    Portland, OR
    How about the Demeter VTBP pre (non-parametric) with a Rane PE17 parametric equalizer? This parametric provides 5 seperate bands of eq. The two would be cheaper than the Aguilar DB680. Tone?

    Joker, you described the Demeter tone as woody and a woolly tone from the Eden? I haven't heard a ton of different setups, so I'm not able to process these descriptions as a sound. Do any of you have examples of bassists playing or recording through a Navigator, Demeter, or Aggie to help me understand these descriptors?

    It's tough making these big purchases without actually being able to hear the setup and make adjustments on my own! Thanks for the help!
  6. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
  7. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    you've got a PM...
    :cool: :D
  8. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    my vote goes for BBE Bmax-T bass preamp @ Riks Music for $430 new. Tis what I have

  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    just listen to the samples, and i'm sure you'll get a feel of what i'm talking about. FYI, when i say "woody", its alot stiffer feeling, and throatier sounding, whereas the other preamps are juicier and softer sounding.

    btw, if you're doing acoustic kinds of gigs, is a PLX necessarily? why not a nice Eden WT550??? sounds warm and woolly, has a similar EQ control to the Navigator, only weighs a few pounds, and is no bigger than a bread box. for a fatter, kinda hifi sound, try a Mesa Walkabout 300. same small box, and lightweight 15 lbs. box.
  10. Er....nope.

    The Demeter HBP-1 has a fully parametric 2-band EQ, bandwidth control and all.

    All three are excellent, and joker's description is very accurate.
  11. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO

    The Demeter and Eden preamps do not have bandwith controls in their parametric EQ. The two knobs they use are frequency select and level (or boost/cut).

    The Aguilar DB-680 parametric system has three controls: frequency select and level, plus the bandwidth control which determines if you want to affect a narrow or wide range of the selected frequency.

  12. inazone


    Apr 20, 2003
    The demeter HBP1 (not the VTBP-201s) does have all three controls for the parametric eq but the eden dosent. BTW, I chose the eden pre and like it alot. There is alot of good tones in there.
  13. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I stand corrected on the Demeter. I could not see that they use a stacked-knob arrangement. It looks like only 2 knobs. Thanks.

  14. DB5


    Jul 3, 2001
    Austin Texas
    I’ve had my Demeter HBP-1 & PLX 1602 with the Eden410 setup for about three months now, I’m very pleased with the tonal qualities and flexibility of this preamp. Plus it’s only one rack space. All three of these preamps are excellent choices.
  15. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I agree with all except the Demeter's being almost woody sounding.

    I do know that I replaced the original tubes in my Dem with some NOS GE and it sounds more musical and smooth.
    The speaker cab used can also impact the sound big time. Haven't heard a Dem pre with the XLT, but with my Berg HT322, it's a match made in heaven. Clean, clear, punchy, & smooth.

    Having said all that, do check out the DB680 and the suggestion regarding using a Dem 201S with the Rane PE17 sounds like a good one also.
  16. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    yea, tubes make a HUGE diff. and the Demeter is prolly the easier of the three preamps to swap out the tube. the Electro Harmonix tubes are pretty harsh and stiff sounding. the NOS GE does give the pre a nicer depth and sweeter feel.

    lo-freq brings up a great point. what speakers are you using, Ken? cause, speakers can make even MORE of a difference.

    e.g. the Dem sounds incredible with Bergie cabs. a truly heavenly match! and the Dem 3x10 while very dark, smooth and smokey, is a perfect match to the airy, detailed sound of the Dem line of preamps.

    and same with the Eden gear. while on their own, to my ears, the Nav has always been too warm and woolly, and the XLT cabs too aggressive and raspy, together they're a terrific tonal match, that comes together in a rich, chewy, fat tone.

    i'm all about the ying/yang. ;)
  17. tyjacks


    Dec 23, 2002
    Memphis, TN.
    Anybody here have any info on a comparison between the Glockenklang Bass Art Classic and the Eden Navigator pre-amps?
  18. keoliphant


    Mar 11, 2002
    Portland, OR
    I checked out BassTasters and have to say, the DB-680 (with the MTD) was my favorite. A close second was the Demeter. I didn't care for the tone of the Navigator as recorded on BassTasters, however, I've heard that you can get quite a few tones by messing with the knobs.

    Jokerjkny, I know a PLX may be overkill but at least I'll be ready for the stadium tour!

    Well, I think I'll be going for the DB680. How much can I expect to pay new?

    Thanks for everything!

  19. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    np, Keo,

    just thought you'd like to have something even more portable and small.

    and yea, the DB680 does rock. they're a pretty shiny penny, but you can find one used for alot less.

    FYI, try PM'ing a TB member, Daytona. he's a good bud of mine, and i just bought his PLX1602. i'm sure, he'll hook you up with his DB680 that he's selling.
  20. keoliphant


    Mar 11, 2002
    Portland, OR

    Used sounds very good! Can you send me his email. I tried through the member list and it didn't allow an email...his preferences do not allow the email.


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