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Basstasters preamp sounds...hmmm

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Masher88, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    So I was checking out that Basstasters web site...the one with all the sound clips of the preamps and such. Maybe I'm missing something...or too much rock and roll has blown my ears out, but the sonic difference between some of the High End, $300+ dollar (Read, Aguilar, etc..) and some of the cheaper ones (BBE, SWR) is very a small one. On some of the clips I actually liked the cheaper one better. Is this just the way the clips are made...or the basses used...or the playing style? What is it that justifies that some of the pre's are way more expensive than the others if the sounds are so close to the same? :confused:
  2. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Well that's the thing. Some people like the sound of those $$$$'s preamps. Others though, don't.

    It's all up to the eye (Or ear?) of the beholder.
  3. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    There's probably as many different sonic tastes as there are people.

    Having said that, don't forget that these clips are not all recorded at the same volume level and usually the louder clip will sound more impressive, especially in the low end.

    Also, most of the BT clips were recorded with everything set as flat as possible and some preamps sound totally different with little EQ changes (Alembic & Demeter would be classic examples of this).
  4. no ones making you buy a Read, you can get a sansamp pre if you want and im sure it will sound good to you if thats what you like. but the craftsmenship and quality of materials that goes into a high end preamp is far greater than something like yoru describing

    then again theres a lot of variation in quality of high end preamps. i heard a story of a guy taking his Read Purity and his friends Alembix F-1X into a good tech to examine the component quality and such of each. i dont remember the details but i remember the Alemmbic owner walking away with his tial between his legs

    i know that member is on here somwhere to maybe he'll be by here
  5. To my ears and knowledge, all the stuff on BT are good stuff. It's just a matter of taste which pre you like/need. The only thing I think sound drastically different from the others is the SansAmp. I'm not getting one.
  6. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I always thought that the BBE's sounded pretty bad on that site and I really like most of the high end ones. It has to do with peoples different tastes in sound. Some people like the way the BBE's sound a lot compaired to a DB 659 or an Avalon U5.
  7. could be, i know the F1X is a great pre and was on the list with a few others when i was looking to get a pre (Read, Alembic, Kern, Aguilar etc. i ended up with Read) and to be honest with you i was sort of :eyebrow: 'd by the story when i 1st heard it but maybe ill try to find the thread it was in... or maybe ill get lazy and forget, it'll probably end up with the latter lol

    i think for me in the high end pre's debate, im a fan of a handmade, handwired, point to point, type of pre, and while i know nothing of the construction meathods of Alembic and Aguilar, i do know they are PCB, and while i also know that a lot of times it doesnt make a difference and id prefer not to hijack the thread anymore and open up that can of worms, i have a better state of mind with p2p /end hijack

    Masher, i wish i could say i thought that the SWR and BBE stuff sounded as good as my Read, mostly because i paid $900 used for mine(you dont wanna know how much it is new :eek: ) and i woudl have been glad to save $600 or so. if the BBE sounds good to you, go for it.

    myself, i dont care how good the BBE sounds, they advertise there preamp as "the best preamp ever made" and i could never buy a product tha uses such advertising.
  8. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I'm not looking at buying a new preamp....I have a GT pre that I got on the EBay for 50 bucks....and it kicks ass! I was just awed by the "apparent" lack of distinction between the different pres on that site. Dare I even go so far as to say...alot of them kinda sounded the same to me. I suppose it's mostly due to the recording and compression files. It's kinda a shame that this is how alot of us are able to hear all this different equipment. We have a Guitar Center and a Sam Ash here, but they don't carry anything higher end than SWR and Ampeg...wait I think I saw a used Eden amp there once! ;) I just wish some of thses real high end things were more available to more of us...so we can actually hear what makes them so dang expensive!
  9. I don't know what you guys are talking about? Despite that some of the recordings may be slightly louder than others and some preamps sound better with a little eq - I personally can clearly hear the differences between the different brands. The thing is: those differences might sound small in mp3 format at low volume, but crank any one of those preamps through a flat response power amp and those small nuances/tonal variations become much more apparent.

    That said, I still wouldn't base a buying decision on those clips though...
  10. I seem to recall a certain bassist who advertised himself as the worlds greatest bassplayer... and probally was. It's possible. Seriously, if I were to chose my gear based my perception of companies ads I really don't know what I would play. Maybe only MoogerFoogers.

    On a more thread related note, I would say that I think it takes a very long time to appreciate the full capabillities/sound of gear, so mp3s can only be pointers not answers. Maybe I'm slow, but to get to know the full specter of a sound I got to hear it a lot of times in a lot of settings.
  11. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    My biggest complaint with Basstasters (I really like the site, and it helped me confirm that I love the tone of Ashdown compared to others) is the choice of basses they used. There are so many high end basses that alot of people don't get a chance to ever play. I think having a P-Bass, Jazz, Ric, Stingray, Spector, Warwick, etc. would have been more useful in comparing tones for alot of people. Just my 2 cents, but kudos for a helpful site anyway.
  12. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I just want to throw out some kudos to Todd and Josh for putting basstasters out there for all of us to debate. It is not the end all tool for selecting preamps (your own hands, gear, and ears should be used for that), but dang if it isn't really useful and a great place to start! All in all, I think they did an excellent job! Of course, they have contributed to my never ending GAS in a big way, but I know that I am mostly to blame in that department... :p
  13. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    A big +1!

    Whether someone thinks this or that should be different or quibbles about preferences, the fact is that the site took a tremendous amount of work. And does anyone think these guys did it so they could sit and listen to these samples themselves? :confused: They did this to try to help bass players, in fact. There's really no other rationale. They deserve thanks, IMO, not criticism.
  14. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Absolutely! For those of us who don't have access to listening to a lot of different equipment, basstasters has been a major blessing.

    Thanks again Todd and Josh (esp. to Todd for carrying on the work now by himself)!

    And please pardon my minor quibbles. ;)
  15. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I think that a lot of what is heard from the BT site can be dependant on what you're listening to it on. Good computer speakers? Cheap ones? A laptop?

    I'd also agree with an earlier poster who mentioned that he would want to experiment with EQ settings. Not knocking the site, mind you, but I personally didn't get much out of it and that might have something to do with the fact that I play only Fenders or their clones and I'm into a vintage tone.

    Having said all THAT, I think that the time and effort that has gone into Basstasters is great.
  16. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I agree that it's fun to listen to the samples and I appreciate thier work on the site. I also agree with the fella who said it might have a little more relavance if they used a P-bass, a Jazz bass, and a Stingray for the sounds. I still stick with my statement that alot of the different preamps kinda sound the same....maybe it's the lack of EQ on the clips, I dunno.
  17. you make a good point but i have never based my decisions on any advertising other than that one, and i dont intend to. I also think its kind of odd that they woudl have a tube and solid state version of the same preamp and i am [i/]speculating[i/] that the tube version cant be much more than the solid state pre with a tube thrown in the mix just to say its there.(its a bit more complicated than that but you get the point) i cant comment on how it sounds, as i never have played one, and probably wont get the chanse to

    back on subject, in my case, basstasters is an extremely influential part of my gear decisions. in my area i dont ever get a chanse to play anythign higher end than mesa, and any of the mesa dealers carrying a 400+ would be insanity, so i dont have much to rely on when i buy gear but reviews and sound clips. in that case i end up buying used gear to try it out and selling it again if i dont like it, its risky but its all that can be done in some situations.

    but i do think there is a large difference in sound from clip to clip when played at the same volume, but i think the point can be made that the low end pre's on the site dont sound flat out bad though they may not be your thing, they just sound different

    to be honest i didnt think the rokaxe sounded half bad till it started slapping :spit: :D
  18. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Advertising aside, BBE set out to build the best preamp they could at the two respective price points (of the BMax & BMax-T) and I believe that they did a pretty good job.

    BTW, it's my understanding that the BMax-T was designed from the ground up to be a tube preamp.

    If you use the search function here on TB, you can usually come up with a consensus on a lot of equipment as to it's quality, user-friendliness, and to some extent even it inherent sound.
    That together with basstasters gives a person who doesn't have access to equipment at least some clue of whether a certain piece of equipment might suit him (or her).
    Nothing works like using your own ears (much preferably on a gig) to make that determination, but when that's not an option, these two are probably the best alternative.
  19. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    What I really wish they had was not just clips of the preamps clean, but overdriven as well (for the one's that are meant to be overdriven like say uhh, the SWR Interstellar Overdrive :p ) I really wanna hear what the grind from the EL84s sounds like, but when I go to the site, all there are are the clean sounds! And frankly, it sounds like every other SWR amp. :spit: Cmon BT, some overdrive clips, if you don't mind!

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