1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Bass Preamp Pedal Dilemma

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Tendollarcat, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Hey guys,

    I've played about 20 consecutive gigs without the use of my own rig in recent months. I'm an effect pedal fanatic so it's been a matter of bringing my bass and board and continually adjusting to the rig provided. Some rigs don't handle fuzz, some are too muddy for delay etc etc. In the end I decided the smart move would be to add a preamp DI type pedal at the end of my signal chain and use it as a sort of master adjustment point. I bought a DHA VT1EQ and unfortunately, it seems to compress the output of my dirt pedals a lot. I've messed with it a bunch but its doing what it is designed to do - provide a coloured flavor to my tone by itself.

    I'm thinking I need to go more transparent. While in my heart of hearts I want a Verellen Meatsmoke pedal, I'm thinking my solution is to get something that allows me to adjust to a rig and room and yet leave my pedal sounds kind of uncoloured (or at the least - leave my pedals to not need heaps of tweaking). Has anyone got any suggestions? I'm wondering if an EQ like a Barber would be an option (leaving it on all of the time) or an EBS Microbass or a 3leaf enabler. I'm not a Sansamp fan. I'd appreciate advice from anyone who drags their boards through different backline.
  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I'm going to get a Meatsmoke myself I've posted this on a few threads tonight but I'm a preamp fiend so I will post it here as well. I have and love the following:

    1. Sadowsky Outboard Preamp - This thing is incredible has a beautiful warm tone makes all of my basses sound great has a D/I and tuner out just love this pedal.
    2. Aguilar Tone Hammer - this pedal has that grungy goodness I love this dog has bite! It also has a D/I.
    3. Tronographic Rusty Box - this is one of my always on pedals everything you run thru it sounds good it's what I call a great foundation pedal for you to build your sound on.
    4. F Bass Big F Boost - this is a boost only preamp I really love it's an 18v pedal that has plenty of warm overhead goodness not a common pedal but well worth it.
    5. Fodera Preamp - what can I say it brings Mike Pope magic to a pedal it's another 18v tone monster.
    6. Tube Works Blue Tube Enhancer - this is a vintage pedal you can find on eBay this pedal is the warmest pedal I've ever heard I put a vintage Amperex Bugle Boy tube in it and it does everything from warm enhancement to almost tube breakup just love it.
    7. Fuzzrocious BDPG - I can't really explain this pedal what it does to my tone is just magic and I think everyone who has one will agree it is another pedal that is always on I mean always it's the first pedal I turn on and it is a great buffer.
  3. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    You could consider getting an actual preamp pedal that will plug straight into the power amp input (or FX return) of the backline rig and bypass the tone controls of the amp completely. This of course won't make up for different cabinet limitations, but will give you a much more consistent base. Maybe this is already what you were considering...

    I use my Tronographic Rusty Box for this purpose, though its tone is anything but neutral compared to many options. The Tone Hammer and Darkglass B7K are other nice dirty options, and there are a handful of cleaner ones out there too that can drive a power amp (not all "preamp" pedals have enough juice to push a power amp by themselves).
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Both the Fodera or Big F boost could
  5. If the keyword is "transparent", then all I can think of is either Hartke Bass Attack or Eden WTDI
  6. Thanks guys. This is all really helpful.

    Transparent isn't really all that important to me in isolation. its more about a pre that doesn't mess too much with the pedals before it in the chain. I'm a dirt pedal player primarily and played with a rusty box for a couple of years. I'm really looking for a preamp that plays very well with other dirt pedals and doesn't squish the tone of my other effects. Character is cool. I own the BDPG at the moment and wonder if I should be giving it another run at the end of the chain. It's limitation for me wasn't tonal (because its awesome sounding) it was more the fact that it needed to be reset to accommodate crappy amps along with all of my other pedals. Tweaking 6-8 pedals each set is driving me a bit crazy. For that reason, I think using a preamp bypassing the amp wherever possible may be the best option. It also means I can reconsider the Verellen - and just call that my tone :)
  7. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    The Meatsmoke may be the way to go then
  8. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    Question: Why are you unable to use your own amp?
  9. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    Basswitch IQ DI by RMI all the way!!!!
    It has been made for situations like yours: extremely transparent sounding and VERY versatile in sound and wiring!
    It is the heart, brain and soul of my sound, both for amp applications and inear-only situations!
  10. It's a combination of some venues making their own backline mandatory, flying into tours out of town with bigger bands and generally sharing backline with multiple bands on shows. When I get the chance, I use my rig. It's been crazy how infrequent this has been.
  11. I'd recommend something with the headroom of an 18v (i.e. F bass, Fodera, Aguilar or Eden). You want plenty of headroom for your pedals to rush in with all of the dirt you use, but also have a wide open "out" so that your signal isn't compressed at the end of your chain by something that can't handle lots of hot signal. I personally would vote for the Eden WTDI because of the footprint and amount of EQ controls. But all of the pedals above should provide you with their own flavors in 18v fashion.
  12. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    There is a Trace Elliot EQ for sale in the GFS. It has sparkling clear audio quality and very useful Eq centers. I'm the previous owner and can voich for it's general greatness. They are harder to find than hen's teeth. I used it to restore the body lost by my effects chain back int the days when I used one. It just worked phenomenally well.

    I actually sold it once, then bought it back. Sold it to Bruce a while back when I realized that given the ensembles I work with, effects aren't in the plan...

    This thing is basically the eq and shape section from their rack Eq line in a stomp format.

    18v input. I used a Dunlop Brick or VDL power supply. Headroom is off the charts for a pedal.
  13. I was going to suggest an EQ also. Either a graphic like the MXR 10 band or perhaps a parametric like the Empress EQ. That SHOULD allow you to work around most cab faults, IMO.
  14. Awesome info guys. Thanks very much!

    I think headroom is key to this. I'm going to investigate high headroom preamps and EQs and see where that takes me.
  15. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    The Joe Meek gbQ runs in excess of 18v, has sweepable EQ, etc. The mxr m108 runs at 18v. The barber linden EQ runs internall at 18v.
  16. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    Has the 3Leaf Enabler been mentioned, yet?

  17. Yep! I mentioned it :)

    Leaning towards getting a simple EQ like a Barber Linden at the moment. I can see several ways that I would use it and the price point is great.
  18. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Never heard of this one have to check it out I'm a preamp fiend
  19. bassjam

    bassjam Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2004
    Lakland Basses,Genz Benz
    That is a cool looking pedal.I need to check that one out also.
  20. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I like that deep switch