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Alembic F-1X vs Eden WP100 Navigator?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jwendt99, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. jwendt99


    Oct 20, 2004
    Northern CA
    Ok, I'm narrowing down on my preamp quest (at least I want to think so). I've got a Crest CA-9 with Avatar B210NEO and SB112 cabs (wow, does this move a lot of air!), and a couple Shecter basses and a Cort B2A with Bartolinis in it (for fun). I want complex tone, deep bass, tight/fast/punchy, finger and slap. I've got a BMax-T that I'm trying out, but am very interested in the F-1X and WP100. I did the basstasters tour. I did hear from a WP100 owner that the basstasters WP100 samples didn't sound like his WP100 rig.
    So, I'd sure appreciate inputs on the sonic (and other) differences between F-1X and WP100.

  2. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    You made an excellent choice withthe CA-9. As far as the F-1X versus Eden amp, you're really comparing apples and oranges. Or maybe apples with redder bigger sweeter tasting and juicier apples.

    First off, I've never tried the WP100 so take this for what it's worth.

    The Alembic stuff uses top-notch premium quality American electronic componentry and hardware, and it shows in the sound, big warm mucho string detail gooey tube yummyness, whereas the Eden uses the same imported garbage that all the other guys like SWR, Ampeg, etc. use. The only way to find something you like is to do a real time A/B test, then you will be sure that you're getting what you really desire.
  3. Tophe07


    Feb 26, 2005
    I have the WP100 and can't recommend it enough. It has a beautiful and full tone and the parameters are very powerful. You can't go wrong with it IMO.
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I'm the bloke who said that the clips on basstasters don't quite sound like my own Navigator, though most of the other clips of preamps I am familiar with seem pretty in-line with my first-hand experiences.

    But, while I did get to audition an F-1X at the time that I bought my Navigator back in '99 (it was down to those two or a Demeter 201s), I do have a used F-1X on its way to me as we "speak", and I can hopefully provide additional feedback shortly!

  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Both are great pre's, but perhaps you should also consider your needs. The Alembic is very simple and elegant. The Nav is pretty complex, has more effects loop and blend options, and an aux input (I used my aux in for my electric upright).
  6. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Man I'm all over this one. The Navigator is the better choice IMHO. Hands down. ( hands up, feet in the air, etc. )
    Its more flexible, has the compressor built in, tons of patching capability, great punchy Eden tone. The Eq section I think is still on of the best and most flexible around. So easy to get a great tone in a snap.

    (I'm sure the IA800 guys would argue, and they probably have good reason)

    The Alembic is very scooped sounding, again in my opinion. I've talked with other bassist (much better than me, including the guy who used to co-own and run the LA Bass Exchange in Los Angeles before its demise) and we all agreed about that piece of gear. To get a fairly flat sounding, you have to: Turn the mids all the way up, the bass at 12:00, and the treble to taste (12:00 ish) even then its scooped! But I loved its crispey tone characteristics and the neat-o crossover section. (The best I've ever seen in a pre-amp except the famous Yamaha PB-1)

    I get a similar cleaner than snot sound out of my Demeter HPB-1 which is much more balanced sounding than the Alembic to my tastes if you gotta have that tubey vibe in a one rack space tone weapon. Good luck.
  7. SharkB8


    May 29, 2002
    +1, I chose the Navigator as well (was picking b/t the 201s, the Fx-1, the 659 and a few others). Hasn't let me down. Great both live and in the studio. I've been very happy with my choice.
  8. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    any views on the Ampeg SVP-PRO up against the WT-400 and the FX-1? @$489.00 it looks like a good buy?!?
  9. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I really like my nav, and it works well for both upright and electric...something I looked long and hard for. I've never used the alembic. My nav also does not sound too much like the basstasters (but props to them for a great resource).
  10. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    I'm thinking about the preamp route for my new rig. As far as the SVP-Pro goes, my tenant has been gigging with one for a number of years. He plays funk/blues for a living. He loves it, and it has served him well on the road. It sounds basically like the SVT3Pro head from a tonal standpoint. It is certainly a nice value at that price.
  11. The Eden leaves nothing to desire. Mines about 2 yrs old and has never faulted. As I have found from other users here changing the tube is a day one event. It has made a significant improvement.

    I'd say the major 3 reasons I'd buy the WP again is sound, flexibility and reliability. The build quaility shows a lot of pride in workmanship.
  12. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    I prefer the alembic. once you know hbow tio use the eq it's not as mid scooped as you think. deep switch off, bass on 3 mids on 10 and treble at about 7 provides a lot of upper mids. as the tone controls are interactive, boosting the treble to 7 with the bass at 3 is NOT the same as boosting the treble to 7 with the bass at 6.

    i did a lot of comparison between the 2 as i owned an alembic and an eden 400. overall i strongly preferred the alembic for both recording and live work. however, the eden is no slouch and has a very versitile eq if you need it.
  13. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    The Alembic has a very organic tone to it that the Eden won't match.
    It is more tonally versatile than a lot of people give it credit for.
    With the cabs you have, I'm guessing the F1-X would beat out the Eden (for my taste anyway).

    Make sure you give the BMax-T a good workout w/careful tweaking (a little goes a long way). I believe it should get a lot of the F1-X vibe and be a bit more versatile.
  14. the f-1x treble and bass are boost, mid is cut. Flat setting is about 3 for treble and bass, 8 for mid. This preamp is not the best if you are looking to dial in tons of different sounds - if you want a lot of bells and whistles, get the navigator. they both sound great, but they really are at the opposite ends of the spectrum as far as features.
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    For fast/tight and slap I'd take the Navigator over the Alembic. In real life if I were going back to separates I'd take my Yamaha PB-1 over either of them, in a heartbeat. Sounds excellent, built like a tank, loads of USEFUL features and dirt cheap on the used market ($150 is on the high side for one). Once you feel what one of these can do with a good amp and speakers...

  16. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i still have to get one of those yamahas. lots of cats really dig them. Back to the subject, let me say the eden is still one of my all time favorites. however, IME, after using both of them for a good while, i actually found the Alembic to be tighter in the low end and "faster" overall. To be a real alembic nut, the superfilter should be paired with the f1x (IMHO). man, i miss that setup.......... :bawl:
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    A buddy of mine, Preach, has had several navigators and F-1X preamps over the years. He really likes the Marcus slap tone and he was always reasonably happy with either of these but there was always something missing.

    Finally took me up on checking out a PB-1. He's in heaven.
    BTW he's driving either an Aggie GS-112 pair or acoax Bag End 410. The percussiveness of the BE with the Yamaha is nuts.

    Again, the Eden and Alembic are cool. IMO the PB-1 is the next level. Power and simplicity.

    And very inexpensive too. Where else can you get a killer pre for the price of 4 or 5 sets of moderately priced strings?;)

    IME for slap, tubes aren't the answer.
  18. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Its all in the design really but I know what you mean. The tube pre I use is the best preamp for slapping Ive ever used but Ive played through other tube designs that are not. But typically solid state designs have quicker transient responses. I guess what Im trying to say is that if its a well executed design then it doesnt matter if there are tubes in it or not.
  19. jwendt99


    Oct 20, 2004
    Northern CA
    Interesting. I just happen to have a PB-1 that I got for $100 on eBay last month as a "temporary" preamp until I figured out the tube-pre decision. I guess I'll have to go and spend some time with it, as well.

    I just got my B210NEO and SB112 cabs yesterday. The first thing I'm going to do is go in and mod the crossover to smooth out the tweeter. Then I can start working with the preamps.
  20. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    The Brown Truck just delivered my F-1X!!! :):hyper:

    My initial impression after unpacking it is that this is one heavy preamp! Traditionally, that is a sign of quality construction, though with the recent trend towards lighter gear, public opinion may be changing with reagrd to this. ;)