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Anyone Using Outboard Preamps???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by AndyMan, Dec 2, 2000.

  1. AndyMan

    AndyMan Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 17, 2000
    Columbus, Ohio

    Does anyone have any info/experiences on the outboard preamp stomp-boxs they use with their basses???

    I am planning on getting one for my '57 RI P Bass (Swamp Ash/White Blonde).

    Could we rate these:

    Sadowsky--9 volt 2 band?

    Augilar--18 volt 2 band?

    Fodera Model 2000 18 volt 3 band with mid bypass?

    I understand the Sadowsky complements the Fender sound quite well. How do the other 2 compare? Also, what would be the sound quality differnce betwen the 9 v. 18 volt versions?

    I really like the Fodera concept--how about its sound???

    Would the 9 be more "vintage" sounding and complement the traditional Fender sound better?

    Thanks for the input!!!


  2. bassics


    Nov 27, 2000
    Newark, Ohio
    I use a Boss GEB-7 with my cheap a**ed Series 10 bass.
    it is marketed as an eq pedal, but it is powered, so I think it qualifies as a preamp,I paid $100.00 brand new, and I won't play without it, I even went and bought the transformer for it, 'cause I got tired of buying batteries.
    it did an awesome job of making my bass sound like a bass,
    instead of the cheap piece of junk that it is.
    Hey, I guess you CAN polish a turd!

    it takes two fingers to make the PEACE sign,
    just like it takes two people to make love.
    when you use just one finger,
    you're j***ing off. George Carlin
  3. AndyMan,
    I use Raven Labs PMB 1 made by Steve Rabe ex. SWR.
    It has two mono instrument inputs and separate gain's, bass, mid and treble controls for each input, + a stereo input, a tuner out, effects send and return with blend pot and mute switch. Also an good XLR balanced DI out.
    Runs from two 9 volt bats. or mains adaptor. Especially good if you use more than one bass for live work as you can match and pre-set your volumes.
    Wouldn't be without mine.
    Definitely worth a look at before you decide.


    [Edited by Spike on 12-05-2000 at 11:17 AM]
  4. I use a Sadowsky. I have been using it for 18 months now, and I can not really remember what my P bass sounds like without it. I don't know the other preamps you mention.

    I never use the boosts. Why do I use it? It makes the bass clearer, warmer and less muddy.

    I recently also bought a K&K preamp from Bob Gollihur (www.gollihur.com). These are cut as well as boost, and are half the price of the Sadowsky. They are not as solidly built as the Sadowsky,which is built like a small tank, but are still very well made. I think the K&K has the edge over the Sadowsky for piezos (which is why I bought it!) owing to its versatility.

    I have a GEB7, too, which I used to use to cut mud at 50hz. I don't use it anymore. Not since I got the Sadowsky, and switched to my P bass. It's a good piece of gear, though I wouldn't class it as a preamp in the same way as the others.

    [Edited by Andy Daventry on 12-03-2000 at 03:37 PM]
  5. I use my Sadowsky with my 65 P and my K&K with my A/E fretless P. I totally agree with Andy's comments.

  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I recently bought an L.R. Baggs Gigpro Universal preamp and my Pedulla tone's now unbelievable (my Pentabuzz doesn't have the built in Bartolini preamp). It sounds warm and buttery with just the right amount of brightness and bounce. Not bad, considering I bought it for my upright. And to think, I thought I needed a more powerful amp to get that tone! Well, it can't hurt.

    Will C.:cool:
  7. phil_chew


    Mar 22, 2000
    I use a Sadowsky pre-amp only when I play my Fender P-bass (MIA). I boost the bass to about 9 0'clock and the treble to about 12 o'clock. It tightens up my lows and gives some sparkle to my highs, so it helps to cut through the mix pretty well. It also quietens down the noise from my amp especially when there are neon lights around. I don't play my P-Bass without it. Great little device. Hat's off to Roger Sadowsky.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the venerable SansAmp Bass Driver DI. It's worth a shot, too, and probably is cheaper than most of the ones you mentioned. If I were going to try something new, I'd probably give Steve Rabe's unit a try. (That didn't come out quite right, did it?)
  9. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    You may need to buy him a drink first...
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Hey lump -

    No charge for the straight line.

    - Munj
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have a Sadowsky pre-amp and find it very good for passive Fender basses - just makes them sound better all round - and like you hear on classic recordings. But it doesn't do anything for active basses. I got mine cheaply second-hand and as they are built so strongly and there is nothing to go wrong - no moving parts - this seems like a good option.
  12. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    I'll use my K&K Power Pack with my fretless Fender sometimes -- they recently came out with one with a 3 band boost/cut EQ (Pure Preamp, wide midrange band) and I may take one of those out for a test drive some night. Disclaimer: I sell 'em. http://www.gollihur.com/kkbass/preamps.html

    I also enjoy my Bass SansAmp for some instances; it gives a nice voice and thickens the sound somewhat, though I don't always like the fact that it lends ITS OWN sound to every bass you plug into it.
  13. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I have to agree with Munjibunga, the SansAmp Bass Driver DI is a great piece of equipment. I got mine about two weeks ago and it's unbelievable. I would've never guessed that my Epiphone Thunderbird could sound like it does now (and I only have a Peavey TKO combo).

    I think you should give the SansAmp Bass Driver a try, I bet you'll like it. I got mine for $180 brand new.

    Always remember to try all the products you can before deciding what to buy.

    Good Luck...
  14. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000

    Does the Raven PMB-1 help a pasive basses tone? Does your bass sound any more full or tighter as a result of using the PMB-1?
  15. I have the Sans Amp Bass Driver DI, and the Boss GEB-7. I used to only use the boss with a "smile" setting, and then realized it wasnt much to my likings, so i adventuly went looking for somthing else. found the Sans Amp, fell in love, had it set with the "SVT" Preset, but backed down the "presence" knob some, and liked that for awhile. adventuly realized it had a ton of low's, which was nice, but i didnt really need it, so i stoped using it. also, i couldnt get a nice tone out of it using a pick (for punk music). So... now i got two pre-amp's in my closet. I guess i was just a passive bass direct into amp kind of guy the whole time. wish i realized that before i forked out over $400 on effects, and pre-amps. *sigh* oh well, maybe i should sell them or somthing. dont know.

    p.s. i'm not giving up on the pre-amps quite yet, so any recomendations on them (either one) for Jazz, Blues, and Punk (with Pick). I have a Fender jazz, and Peavey basic 112 amp.
  16. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Two weeks ago, some guys I knew of but never met called me at the last minute to fill-in for their bassist. I normally wouldn't play without my Demeter, but I couldn't get to it, and they sounded desperate. The guy who called said I wouldn't need an amp (I thought they had one waiting for me). When I got to the club they had no amp for me. They ran me through the PA with a SansAmp bass driver and I thought it sounded pretty damn good.
    I also gigged without an amp one other time. Same set-up as above except I used an ART Tube MP in place of the SansAmp.
  17. IMO yes. It really helps my Jazz, which seems to cut through the mix now. By adding mid’s I can hear what I’m playing now in a loud live situation, also the output can now be pre-set to the same level as my Stingray. (Much easier for a quick changeover)
    Also I find it much better when using my P basses. It seems to give a more powerful punchy sound without being deafening.

    Originally I was going to buy the Sadowsky, but the reason I bought the Raven instead was because of the mid controls, plus the duel inputs, separate gain and EQ controls.
    The Sadowsky is a fine pre-amp though. I heard that there is a new Sadowsky model coming out soon also with mid control.
    Before I got the PMB-1 I rarely used my Fenders for live work, now they're back in the front line.

  18. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    Would I be correct in assuming that having a devise which is active or powered with a gain or volume pot between the passive pickups and the amplifier head (preamp) will improve the signal from the pickups?

    What about the length of cord between the pickups and the devise (outboard preamp), short as possible or doesn't matter?

    Would the Sadowsky have a large tonal difference than say the Raven?
  19. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    Improve?? Usually, if it's a good device, but it depends on the subjective definition of "improve".

    Shorter the better. I use a 1 foot cable between my p-bass and the K&K Power Pack, which I clip on to the bass strap.

  20. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    Re. Bob Gollihur: Sorry. I didn't mean to be so vage in using the word improve. After hearing people here say that after using an outboard devise the low notes where clearer with more weight and the highs being having more sparkel sounds like an improvement. Bob, thanks for your reply. I'm in the market for an outboard preamp and I'm trying to get a handle on the different tonal characteristics of some of the preamps mentioned in this thred.

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