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Another Preamp Thread - Darkglass or SansAmp

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mapleglo, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    So I just joined a new band that plays a lot of country and softer rock. No need for my big pedal board, but I do miss my MXR bass preamp. I make a lot of my own basses and only install a volume control - no tone, no preamp. And my commercial basses are pretty much all Rickenbacker. I'm primarily using my 5 string Ric, and a couple of 5 string basses I made.

    So I'm thinking of putting together a bare bones pedal board with just a tuner and preamp. I have a Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-300 for the tuner. But I need to get some kind of preamp. I like the MXR, but I thought to try something new and different (better?). The Darkglass line seems to get a lot of love here on TB (Alpha Omega?), and the SansAmp (Tech 21 V2?) also gets good reviews. I don't need any overdrive or dirt. Probably don't need a DI but it won't hurt to have one. I have a bunch of Ampeg amps which will be used for practice and gigging, the specific amp/cab combo will be determined by the venue. Small PA for vocals only.

    So what's the best preamp for country?
  2. baSfo


    Aug 13, 2017
    For Country I'd go for the VT.
    Darkglass seems to me more suited for modern/heavy rock IMHO.
    But I've never tried an AO, I don't know how versatile it could be.
    mapleglo likes this.
  3. bass08053


    May 8, 2008
    New Jersey
    The Darkglass vmt (vintage) can be set for all classic and modern tones. I run it all the time with the gain pretty low and other settings for a slight tube-like sound. You can also crank it for nice distortion if it is ever needed. Very versatile pedal. I have the vmt deluxe.
    anavar, hintz, Fuzzbass and 4 others like this.
  4. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    The vmt - is that the vintage micro tube deluxe?


    Sorry, not a huge pedal person and all these model numbers can be a little confusing.
    hintz and bass08053 like this.
  5. bass08053


    May 8, 2008
    New Jersey

    That’s the one! The ultra model isn’t really necessary. I think you can engage overdrive separately. But with the above model you’ve posted, ive happily done rock, hard rock, country, pop and beyond.
    Fuzzbass and mapleglo like this.
  6. baSfo


    Aug 13, 2017
    I totally forgot the Darkglass VMT.
    You should try it.
    mapleglo and bass08053 like this.
  7. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Nunovsky, equill and Grahams Groove like this.
  8. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove Can we please just groove for a while? Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    pudgychef likes this.
  9. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Nope, just came across it on Amazon while looking at all the preamps available.
  10. If you don't need the dirt, save some money and get the excellent VT.
    PeterH, Guest of Honor and mapleglo like this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    I have the original Sansamp Bass DI and the MXR Bass Pre. Comparing to the MXR, Sansamp has it's own tone baked in which IMO is a good thing if you go direct into the PA. Whether you like the tone or not is completely subjective. You can get the v1 cheap used. Good luck!
    cableguy and mapleglo like this.
  12. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Is that this one?

  13. Spectre1966

    Spectre1966 Striving For Mediocrity Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    Wallingford, CT
    +1 for VT Bass DI
    PeterH and Guest of Honor like this.
  14. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    OK, since it's more than $100 less expensive than the Darkglass, I think I'll order the VT.

    Thanks for all your help!
  15. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    That’s the Deluxe - there’s a smaller, cheaper Vintage Microtubes. I’m like you, I don’t want a lot of dirt for most stuff, just some nice warm tubeyness and a little breakup when I dig in. The VMT and the Tech 21 VT Bass DI are the two pedals I’m currently lusting after. However, on a budget the Joyo American Sound works really great (find it on Amazon).
    pudgychef likes this.
  16. Squint

    Squint Supporting Member

    Feb 22, 2017
    Louisville, KY
    Since you are not looking for od/dirt, make sure you check out the Tech 21 Q Strip. It does wonders for dialing in clean tone.
  17. mattattack187

    mattattack187 Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Ellsworth, ME
    If you liked your old MXR Preamp, I would stick to that. Darkglass & Tech 21 products are a completely different baby with their own respective tones.
    Bassist30 and mapleglo like this.
  18. cableguy

    cableguy Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    You can generally find an old BDDI for around $100 used. I've had mine since the 90's. Can go from grindy ampeg to just a good fat tube amp sound. Darkglass makes great products as well, but most people seem to use them in hard rock/metal bands. Doesn't mean they can"t do other tones, that just seems to be their wheelhouse
    CNYlowEND likes this.
  19. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Fuzzbass and Manny Bernardez like this.
  20. brett adams

    brett adams Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    i've owned the mxr preamp, tech 21 vt, and tech 21 rpm and in my experience, the best for cleans was the mxr. even better than the mxr is johnk's fet f2b, an alembic/showman clone.

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