Alembic SF-2 as a stand-alone preamp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mad Subwoofer, Aug 18, 2002.

  1. Any folks here use their Super filter as their main preamp? I know that some do with great results. I am scoring one this week and am very excited. I am just wondering how useful it is a stand-alone and what it's tone could be likened to? Otherwise, I will just slip it into the FX loop of my Mesa M2000.
  2. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Keep in mind the way the gain works with it:

    - "direct" level maxes out at 0dB
    - "filter" level maxes out at +10dB

    And if you use the front input jack, it adds another 10dB on top.

    So, given that the tone you want may dictate the filter v. direct levels, the most gain you can count on is 10dB.

    It also doesn't have a master volume - in mono it's got an input gain, but you generally want to keep that dimed if it's coming straight from the bass (I think).

    Since it's got two channels, it can be pretty versatile. For instance you could run the bass through one channel, into the M-2000, with some minor EQ on that channel. Then, you could put the other channel in the effects loop for something more radical that could be switched in and out.
  3. Hey, great idea! I like that one. Can you tell me anything of it's "character" as a preamp only?
  4. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Not really, I've only used it in conjunction with the F-2B. I'm sure the "direct" path is very neutral though, and the filtered path can vary wildly depending on the settings. So. . .hard to say.
  5. Any reason you went with the F2-B, not the F1-X?
  6. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Yeah, I was playing Stick and wanted two channels. :)
  7. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    After I decided that my Aguilar DB750 was just too damn much amp, I put my Carvin R600 in the rack instead until I got something more portable.

    The preamp on the Carvin is messed up, so I have been using the Alembic plugged into the power amp in of the Carvin with great results driving my Aguilar GS112s.

    First--it's very clean sounding. When I use my US Curbow with Bart pickups and EMG 18 V preamp, it sounds as hifi as anything I've played through. It helps to use the EQ on the bass, too. I leave the inpt and direct gains at 10, and dial in some filtered bass for good measure. The power amp volume works nicely on the Carvin to adjust sound level.

    All of my basses sound nice through the setup (8 string active fretless, 4 string passive fretless with flats, MIA Jazz with JRetro preamp), but the Curbow 5 sounds the most sparklingly clear.

    I played two gigs with the Alembic as my only tone shaping, and it worked fine. But, I do plan to eventually get another preamp in there, and to replace the Carvin with a dedicated power amp.

    I just picked up a Mesa Walkabout for the gigs I'm playing now, so I'm not in any hurry.
  8. So...where an F2-B or F1-X can sound very rich and "tubey", an SF-2 is perhaps more "hi-fi" and "un-coloured". But is is obviosuly full enough to fit the ticket?
    Thanks guys..
  9. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Yeah - there's no tubes in the SF-2. I think it's pretty much the Alembic Series II electronics in rack-mount form.