Analog Compressor; Preamp; or modern multi-fx for a Fender Fretless Jazz

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by pedrorolo, Feb 8, 2021.

  1. pedrorolo


    Oct 4, 2010

    Twenty years ago I was playing noisy music with a Squier precision; A Zoom 506 and a Laney Combo.

    Time passed, no more band for decades; taste changed and stopped enjoying noisy music; the Zoom 506 fried; bought a MIM Fretless Fender Jazz and most often play using an UM-2 Behringer audio interface as a headphone amp. Usually play jazz/blues tunes along Jamey Aebersold play-alongs....

    Sometimes I put the Laney in between the bass and the audio Interface; mostly because of its built-in compressor. The parametric EQ is also fun; but not so necessary - as VVT Knobs already provide plenty of tone shaping options. With this config; The sound often comes dirty and distorted from the Laney amp; and I am thus wanting to replace it by something less dirty.

    I feel like adding something proper in between the audio interface and the bass; though I don't yet know what to go for:

    My experience with the Zoom 506 was traumatic, and the clean sound through the audio interface was a blissful thing to experience when I first got it. I do not want to change that too much and I am considering the following options:
    • A modern-multi effects unit; like for instance the B1 FOUR - maybe technology has improved. I believe that sooner or later digital effect units will totally take over; but my experience with the Zoom makes me very reluctant about this option.
    • Just a Behringer Limitter/Enhancer - This is the minimalist approach. The less things in the chain; the less the noise and the dirt; right?
    • An Eden Preamp - These come with compression; EQ; aux-in and headphones out; what would allow me even to get rid of the audio interface - Though; my bass sounds good by itself; and I have heard that these are appropriate to make a sh*tty-sounding basses sound good and good-sounding-basses sound sh*tty - is this really true?
    • Additionally to the Behringer limitter/enhancer; the Behringer BDI21 also sounds tempting for much the same reasons as the eden preamp does and also for is friendly price - though its a fretless bass; and the BDIs mid scoop won't probably fit it very well.
    Much of my doubt comes from the fact that I don't get how useful is it to have something that makes things sound like an amp in between the bass and the phones... Does it really make a difference? Is it really useful?

    Regarding the way I like to sound; well; it depends on the backing-track... though I tend to crave for an uprightish tone by currently using tapewounds and favouring the neck pick-up. For some tracks; though; I sometimes favour the bridge-pickup; which I believe that is much more useful with compression than without. I rarely play with both pick-ups full on; as it is harder to intonate with that fat; mid-less tone.

    Ah I forgot to mention! I also have a cheap boss looper pedal which I don't use much; but I'd like to be able to use it nonetheless.

    Thanks in advance for any comments.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
  2. pedrorolo


    Oct 4, 2010
    I've just bought a Behringer ADI21 preamp and so far I a satisfied. I was positively surprised with the fact that its valve amp emulation circuit already provides some inherent compression! I was also surprised that it is easily overdriven; though this is manageable by lowering the (passive) instrument output with the volume knob and raising the pedal output level.
  3. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I play mostly fretless in this pandemic reality. When we get back to live, fretted and fretless. I am also a relatively new convert to the HX Stomp. For me it's a game changer. Yes it has effects, yes models and sims galore... This thing is so easy to use and so easy do do some really trick stuff that just isn't posssible in most other devices.

    For fretless i'm particular, the IR hosting ability is way cool. I have Upright Bass IR's pf the 1920's German URB from 3Sigma. On fretless it's got an amazing character. On my ABG it is "I'm going to freak you out" cool. It is borderline ridiculous. The IR pack was ten bucks...

    Ever want a smidge of dirt on the lows but maybe crisp clear with modulation on the mids and highs ? Or maybe slamming GK like clean lows with a little grind plus Jaco like eq on thr highs ? No sweat. Built in variable crossover and you can have any of the effects on either side on the cross over. Took me about 5 minutes to do those two... and the list goes on. Yeah, these things are not cheap. $450 to $500 in the GFS regularly. To do 1/8th of what is in the box though you'd need a pedal board of thousands and one the size of a small car...
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