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And There were only 6 Preamps left standing!!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MWBass, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. MWBass


    Jun 19, 2005
    Belford, NJ
    So, I finally got through all of my preamp research... Checked out a lot of different pieces and looked for what had the features that I desired...

    It ended up boiling down to 6 preamps...

    Ampeg SVP-CL
    Avalon U5
    Demeter HBP-1
    Glockenklang BAC
    Millenia TD-1
    SPL Gainstation 1

    Basically, 3 rack pres and 3 box style pres...

    After everything I have done, and everything I know about my playing, I have decided that these pre's offer me closest to what I want. And basically at 4 different price points...

    Ampeg SVP-CL - ~$300
    Avalon U5 / Demeter HBP-1 - ~$500
    SPL Gainstation - ~$1,100
    Millenia TD-1 / Glockenklang BAC - ~$1,400

    Quite a range too... All I have really thought about thus far is that at the most expensive level, I would opt for the Glock BAC over the Millenia TD-1 since it has input gain, and output level, and it is rack mountable... But besides that, I am still up in the air...

    I think I'd probably prefer a rack mountable piece to a box style piece for ease of set up and transport, but I dunno...

    Also, I once again did the old run down at Basstasters, which is always fun, and still, for the thrid time in a row, I felt that the Ampeg SVP-CL sounded best for the tone I am shooting for... but who knows...

    Just interested to hear some thoughts...

    As for set up, pre will be in front of IP310 with new DSP...

    And yes I have read the megaton IP preamp threads, these are the gamut I am going to choose from...
  2. grovest


    Feb 26, 2002

    Given the nature of the intended cab, and maybe your tastes as maybe indicated by the iAmp 800 in your profile, and preference for racking, I'd choose the Demeter.
  3. Uziel


    Sep 2, 2003
    Millennia ;)
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Just a thought, all of those pre's are extremely hi-fi, except for the SVPCL and (to an extent) the Demeter. If you like the SVPCL's tone, I would steer clear of the precision ss pre's. And the reverse is true, maybe you really like the SVPCL's tone, but it can't cop the ultra-clean sound the others can.
  5. MWBass


    Jun 19, 2005
    Belford, NJ
    I am tending to agree a bit. I really think a rack pre will work best. Build a little custom rack to put on top of the IP310 and call it a day.

    And I have owned the Demeter HBP-1 before, and it is a killer Pre...

    I am basically down between it and the AMpeg SVP-CL.

    The reason the Ampeg is in there is because of experience with it and the IP. I had down a few hours of testing on the IP with the Ampeg SVP-CL on the front, and then a session with the Millennia TD-1 on the front. Everyone knows that I am a huge millennia fan, having owned the TD-1 and the STT-1, but in my testing, I strongly prefered the tone of the Ampeg AVP-CL in front of the IP as oposed to the TD-1 in front of the IP310. I think it is some type of special lock with that particular cab... becuase I hated how the Ampeg SVP-CL sounded with the IP112/EX112 stack. But with the IP310 it was a different story.

    My problem is that I have no experience with the Demeter HBP-1 in front of the IP.

    I guess I am mostly curious if there is anyone out there that has used the SVP-CL and the HBP-1 in front of the IP310, and what I can expect...
  6. MWBass


    Jun 19, 2005
    Belford, NJ
    Very True, +1...

    I think it boils down to the fatc that maybe I am not totally a solid state freak... maybe just in the amplification stage... 95 percent of the rigs I have ever owned have had a tube state in the pre... and I have loved them...

  7. OldogNewTrick


    Dec 28, 2004
    Germany, EU
    FWIW - I have perused the basstasters sound clips for hours on end and they gave me a great base for narrowing things down.
    But the real differences show, when you plug in your bass and listen....

    Setting up an audition made things much clearer...

    Good luck finding the perfect preamp !
  8. MWBass


    Jun 19, 2005
    Belford, NJ
    I obviously entirely agree with this...

    However, I ahve noticed that I definetly have a good ear for the preamp tone that I like.

    Every time I go back to that site, i come up with the same conclusions, and have one added new one...

    ART Tube Channel
    Ampeg SVP-CL
    EA iAMP800
    Avalon U5

    The last time I went through, it was the first three i liked best, because the U5 wasn't up yet. I ended up buying the iaMP800 and absolutely loved it.

    My approach this time is to actually thicken a bit. I got the EA iAMP800 with 2 CXL-112's and it was super clear, but it didn't seem to have that beefy thumpy tone...

    before that I owned Accugroove stuff which is inherently fat sounding, which was a bit too much, even with a clean pre on the front.

    So my goal this time is to get a clearer more articulate sounding cab, and trying to thicken it up just right.

    Thats why I got the IP310... it is super articulate and loud as hell, but has a bit more thickness from note to note then the EA stuff... So the IP4310 on its own is close to what I am looking for, but if I can keep that clarity and articulation, but thicken up each note, ever so slightly, then I would be in heaven i think...

    So, as for the basstasters thing, The iAMP800 and the Avalon U5, sound a bit more on the super clean hi fi side... were as the Ampeg SVP-CL and the Art Tube Channel, are still incredibly clear and articulate sounding, but they seem to have a bit more meat behind the individual notes... I think this may be why I love the Ampeg SVP-CL/IP310 combo...

    As for the ART tube channel, would love to try one of those older single RU units, but the new Pro Tube Channel is just way too much...

    Once again, just wish I could back and forth the HBP-1 and the SVP-CL...

    Anyway, the point is, I don't treat basstasters tracks as gold, its just my favorites there have been favorites in the real world as well....

    I guess it sluck...
  9. MWBass


    Jun 19, 2005
    Belford, NJ
    I guess, since I know both are very artuclate and clear sounding... which has a bit more, note to note meat...

    SVP-CL or HBP-1
  10. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I would think that the SVP-CL would have a more meaty tone.

    To me, the HBP-1 sounds so good with the EQ bypassed, I would probably always run it that way and EQ from my bass.

    Also, IMO, the preamp that would come the closest to covering both the SVP-CL and HBP-1 tones would be the Kern IP-777 (if you can find one used -- not sure if they are currently in or out of production, but I know for a while they were out).
    The Kern's tonal balance control is really something: from very clean and articulate to very old-school thumpy tube.
  11. mrcircle

    mrcircle peacenik Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    Boise, ID
    Is it possible you're overthinking this? If you love the sound of the SVP-CL with the IP310, why not just go with it?
  12. asad137


    Jan 18, 2007
    Remember that the SVP-CL has been discontinued so you'll have to either find a new one sitting in some store's old stock, or find a used one.

  13. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    The Demeter or the Avalon are where I would put my money. FWIW, every second of my Avalon ownership it was in a rack. The ears are $75 and well worth the investment. Just make sure you have 2U free.

    The only reason to choose the Demeter would be if you do not already have a great sounding active bass. The demeter will give you more tonal options instead of just amplifying the tone to line level.

    Demeter or bust man, trust me.
  14. MWBass


    Jun 19, 2005
    Belford, NJ
    Well, i tend to agree in some respects...

    The biggest thing with me is clean volume. Adding grit or tubeyness when I feel like it is fine. But whatever preamp I get, I want to be able to keep the volume going while it remains clean.

    Jim BErgantino actually emailed me and said that he feels that the U5 would work best for me. He also explained that you don't need input gain and output volume control if you are running solid state... he said with solid state that gain is gain. the only way you get grit or distortion is if you drive to clipping at any point in your chain...

    I also heard that mods have been made to the U5 so that it the input gain can be modded so that when all the way counter-clockwise, the unit is off, no output, and it can also be modded so that it can role smooth from there rather then notcch, which would be cool...

    As I said, biggest thing is clean volume, I am not a huge fan of grit, grind, most tubeyness... I like it clean, and I like it loud... thats my thing...

    The reason I kept looking for input gain as well as output control, is because I can set the input gain, so that I know it won't clip, then use the output volume to let it loose... but if this is not an issue with solid state pres, and i can just raise it to the desired clean level, then that could be the trick...

    I would however like to be able to have it off. Even if it reaches concert level volumes at 9 or 10 o'clock on the gain, so, be it, as long as its clean...

    Come to think of it, the Demeter HBP-1 only has one gain stage and it stayed clean throughout when i had it... as I am sure the Millennia TD-1 does as well, at least on the fet side...

    I guess I really don't care if its one knob or not...

    So I will modify my quest...

    1.) If the tone is good and presents my bass well, then no eq will be necessary, the onboard will be fine,
    2.) Even if it is a single gain control... I want it to be able to be completely off and then add clean volume, up to insane levels, no distortion or grit...

    So what fits that criteria...
  15. MWBass


    Jun 19, 2005
    Belford, NJ
    Well, here is another option, i didn't think of...

    but what about the Universal Audio Solo 110...

    I have heard the solo 610 before, but not the biggest of all tube fanbs,

    The solo 110 reminds me of the Avalon U5... Only differences are that the U5 has a Di out as well as line out, but the Solo 110 has output volume, so it can go completely off without mods...

    Any thoughts....
  16. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Well, I'm glad to see the Demeter HBP-1 is on your list. I really like mine! :bassist:
  17. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Just get the Demeter and be done with it....................nuf said!
  18. CBBass123

    CBBass123 Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2005

    Ampeg svp-cl sounds very good too...had bad output with my QSC poweramp but sounds very good...plus the price of used ones gets up there close to the price of a new one or same cause their discontinued
  19. I think you should listen to them all, and play them all first. Buying strictly on specs will probably disappoint you.

    Also, your anticipated prices for the Ampeg pres are too low, IMO. I see SVP-Pro going over $500 on eBay whenever they show up. They are out of production, so the price will climb. This should hold true for the CL also.

    I don't see the Demeter used very often at all, so I expect the selling price to go higher than your estimate. One does get lucky, but you can't count on it.

    I didn't see the Eden Navigator in your list. I would go out of my way to audition that one, for sure.
  20. MWBass


    Jun 19, 2005
    Belford, NJ
    Yes, I completely agree...

    I have played a whole bunch of these before, just not with the IP.

    But I have decided that I would just be closeting myself if I got something without any control, like the U5, the Solo 110, the Gainstation, etc...

    So, I am basically going to get a pre made for bass solely...

    I am a little piqued about the PJB Bass Buddy... Does seem to have what I want in a super small package and it is supossedly really quiet....

    But I am basically looking at the HBP-1 or the Bass Buddy for now....

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