Anybody using an swr interstellar overdrive?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by h2o9753, Feb 18, 2003.

  1. h2o9753


    Feb 18, 2003
    I recently decided to pick the bass up again after 6 years and I was thinking about getting a interstellar overdrive to go into a stewart word 1.2 and an acme low b4.
  2. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Steev Lawson has or had one. He does venture out of his forum but has been a bit busy. If you posted a question there he would (probably) answer it.

    Also I think Jason (Bratz) has an IOD.
  3. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I have an IOD. I love it. I haven't had any problems with it yet. Its a great preamp for the $. i was down to choosing between the IOD and the Ampeg svp-pro preamp.. Obviously i went with the IOD. It just had the tone I was looking for for my style.
  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Mr dancing frog I'll put you in the CS useless info databass TM as having an IOD
  5. The IOD puts out a maximum 0.7 volts with a typical passive bass. The World 1.2 has an input sensitivity of 1.0v, so the IOD will not quite drive the amp to full power. I use Rane crossovers and equalizers between my IOD and power amps, and this makes up for the low IOD output voltage. IMO, this is the only downside to an IOD. Everything else is great.
  6. Tapp


    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    I'm an SWR IOD owner and user. Bgavin is right about the output voltage of the IOD in DIRECT mode. The IOD is a bit more complicated than your traditional preamp. If you're a plug-n-play kinda guy that doesn't like to tweak to get tone, then the IOD may not be for you.

    The IOD has what is deemed as a "Blend" knob. This basically blends the signal of a true tube push-pull EL84 output section with that of the "traditional" SWR 12AX7 preamp. In DIRECT mode the IOD is bypassing the EL84 section and the LINE mode is full EL84 output.

    Now, in DIRECT mode the preamp generally puts out a .7VAC signal to the preamp. BUT, when you set that Blend control to say 12:00 you get a combination of the preamp/output signal and it gets somewhat over 1VAC (I think I measured like 1.7VACRMS clean sinewave).

    I use my IOD with an old SWR Stereo 800 (1V sensitivity like the Stewart) and an Eden 2-10XLT or 2. I run either an early 70's Jazz or a Peavey 5 string with modified 18V Bartolini preamp. With the Jazz I set the Blend at around 11 or 12:00 and the drive to taste and get plenty of volume. With the Peavey active preamp I set the Blend to Direct (sounds best to my ears with this bass) and get plenty of volume.

  7. heh... yeah, but DOES IT CRANK!?!?!?!?!?!?!?:bag:


    Thanks for the useful info, Tapp! I may try the IOD someday and this is good to know.
  8. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    why thank you CS... I appreciate that.. I think... :D
  9. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    you are welcome
  10. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    yeah i have one. it rocks really hard.

    i normally leave everything set at 12:00 except the drive knob is up until right before it starts distorting. it has no problem being really really freaking loud going into my Carvin DCM1000 poweramp
  11. BassPulsar


    Oct 16, 2002
    Hi all!!
    Due essencially to the name of the IOD (InterStellar Overdrive) I am in doubt if this preamp is only aimed at getting an overdrived/distorded sound, or if you can get a clean but full/warm sound. :confused:

    Thank you!
  12. By design, the IOD always has some small amount of Drive in the circuit. In practice, this is not audible at all. My IOD doesn't get any appreciable Drive until the control is 3/4 up, or more. I suspect this is a function of the bias points on the two power tubes that provide the Drive function.

    I run mine with Drive all the way down, Blend all the way to the clean side, and all tone controls at the 12:00 (flat) position. Occasionally, I will turn down the Bass, or push the Mids all the way up depending on the need.

    The IOD has two DI outputs. One is pre-EQ, the other is post-EQ. I really like this feature, as I bi-amp and use all balanced lines. The downside is the 0.7v maximum output, but I have other signal processing between the IOD and power amps that boost this weak signal. Unassisted, the IOD requires a power amp with 0.7v sensitivity to reach full amplification.
  13. Bgavin loves to talk about his IOD.....threads like this must make his day. :p
    I personally find my IOD a tad "shallow" sounding. I need to add a bit of external EQ-ing (SF-2 or DBX 120XP) to get a decent, deep tone. My F-1X by comparison is practically subterranean. BGavin uses some serious sub-action which must off set this issue some what, I am sure. It can provide you with a rich, fat clean tone if you set it just right. I had to work a bit to get mine a "full" sounding as I wanted. The Alembic gives up a huge tube tone w/o much tweaking at all, with it's single AX7 at that. Maybe my tubes are worn out or something, i dunno. It is a unique design IMO but needs a bit of outboard "help" i have found. As a stand-alone, you may find it lacking. Others experiances will differ i am sure. i am contemplating a swap for an SVP....

  14. MadSub,

    Maybe I'm deaf, but I can't really hear any difference between my current IOD and my previous F1-X, with both set to Flat. The IOD drive function is much nicer than a pedal, but I find I never use it. I sold all my pedals because I never used them either.

    The F1-X is a rugged, simple design. I offed mine primarily because the tone circuits are Cut-Only, and I have need to Boost occasionally.

    As my playing matures, I find all I really need is a straight-wire, HiFi preamp that adds no coloration or noise. Very soon I will be switching between the Alesis NanoBass synth + Hammond XK keyboard, and my regular electric basses, so I need my rig to perform well across the full frequency spectrum. I was thinking about the Demeter VTBP-201S, but I remember somebody saying the balanced output is Pre-EQ, which makes it useless for my needs.

    I think you will find an SVP to be much more noisy than the IOD or F1-X. Hiss seems to be an issue. The SVP has the definite Ampeg tone coloration you will either like or dislike.
  15. I want a preamp for traditional, rock style playing so the Ampeg colouration is kinda what i was hoping for(!) I just haven't had much luck with my IOD. :meh: How would I know if the tubes were worn? I mean, that would give me a less than spectactular tone if it were so? Maybe a set o' new bottles would cure my woes..what do you think? My IOD sounds no where as rich and deep as my F-1X; big diff.
  16. i love u. just kidding that was pretty funny
  17. Chuck Moses is a good contact for tube questions. He really knows his stuff, specifically about the right tubes for SWR, and what sounds good/bad.

    I heard back from Demeter... they say the DI on the VTBP-201S is mic level output (-20dB) and not suitable for my purposes of driving a balanced bi-amp rig. The HBP model produces a standard line level balanced output.
  18. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I'm currently using an IOD (with Tesla tubes) with Stewart 2.1, 3X10 Epi, and jazz basses. I wanted a rig that would give me the clear, clean tone I was used to from my SWR Redhead, but could also reproduce a thick, phat, distorted tube tone that you often hear from live performances in the late '60s. I wanted something that could cover Zeppelin to Motown that was reliable, had modern features, and didn't weigh a TON. :(

    So far, I've been extremely happy with the results. My amp/pre-amp combo weighs only a fraction of an Ampeg, with headroom for DAYS. As for the tone of the amp, there is a vast array of colors available. You can run the amp in 100% clean, modern, solidstate mode, 100% tube mode, or (what I do) mix the two via a blend knob. This way, I get a little sag and midrange punch from the tubes, but retain clarity and bottom end from the solid state portion of the amp.

    Further, the range of distortion is extremely wide as well. I usually set my level around 11:00. There isn't a lot of noticeable full-out raunch and grind, but the top end is effected just enough for the pleasing effects of the tubes to contribute to the overall sweetness and phatness of my tone. If I really dig in, the preamp is responsive enough to give me that "pushed tube amp" tone of the late '60s, where it sounds like things are just starting to approach the limits of an old tube amp. By the same token, you can crank the drive knob and make it sound like a helicopter is landing in your practice space! :eek:

    If you want a tube amp, getting an IOD and a separate power amp is the ONLY way to have SO much flixability. However, if you're after an ultra-modern, slap-master one-trick-pony that does one thing better than all others, you migh be better with a Kern, Demeter, or Alembic.
  19. leftybassdog

    leftybassdog Senior Supporting Member

    I have one and love the sound range, I had a switch go out on it but it get bounced around alot,:bassist:
  20. ummm...My experiance is a bit different than yours. For me, the preamps you've just listed sport a rather "vintage", "rootsy" kind of vibe; far from what i'd call modern.
    I find the EQ on the IOD a bit of a challenge to get use-able tones out of, but that could just be me. I found by tweaking that "aural enhancer" I was able to get closer to where I wanted. The IOD is something I've had to work with to get the sounds I want; my F-1X however sounded great right from the get-go. Just my experiance....