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Basstasters Question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BassBeat33, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. BassBeat33


    Feb 12, 2005
    charleston, wv
    How accurate are the clips for preamps on the basstasters site?
  2. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I find some to be very accurate (iAMP 800, Thunderfunk, WWU, Stewart), but others don't quite sound like my equivalent preamp(s) sound (namely the Eden Navigator). Many, I just don't know well enough to tell.
  3. The F-1X sounds spot on to me.
  4. BassBeat33


    Feb 12, 2005
    charleston, wv
    thanks.... does anyone know how accurate the demeter vtbp-201s and bbe bmax-t are
  5. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have not owned or gigged with either of those, but I have tried them both on a couple of occassions, and my thoughts are that the clips are quite indicative.

    I hope to have more feedback concerning the F-1X, DB 659 and DB 680 fairly soon...
  6. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    I think they're pretty good, but I also think they could document things a bit better, and expand their range of basses. I think the basses they use are a bit too modern--in any comparo review, I think the starting point should be a P-Bass, a J-Bass, a StingRay, and a Ric. Using basses like Sadowsky's, MTD's, etc, I think can give people an impression of the sound of a particular preamp that might be a bit off from what most people are expecting.

    Again, how exactly are the clips produced? I would think that the best way to do it would be to take a DI recording and re-amp it through an appropriate piece of gear (like a Cuniberti ReAmp) to get a more accurate representation, but without better docs, it's hard to say just how close to reality those clips are...

    But hey, thank Dog somebody's attempting it....
  7. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I hadn't listened to any of the new clips on basstasters in quite awhile, so...


    At the top of my WOW list was the Sadowsky PJ4 into the solid state circuitry of the Millennia STT-1 -- very natural sounding -- incredible harmonic structure, speed, & clarity ... "WOW"! That's all I can say.
    The tube side was a close second.
    This is with a much less than stellar sound card and headphones.
    In the flesh, I can only imagine how good they would sound.

    I also liked the iAmp and the outboard Fodera, (and the Clarius sounded better than I remembered).

    Thanks again, Todd and crew for the great work!
  8. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    My 201S sounds several orders of magnitude better than the bt clips, IMO.
  9. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    In mentioning the others I also liked, I forgot a few -- I think the STT-1 melted my brain down a bit.

    For perspective, from early on the Aguilar DB359 was my favorite.
    The Sadowsky PJ4 sounds so good, it's hard to compare some of the earlier clips that were done with other basses.
    Here's how I would rate the top 6 from basstasters (just based on their clips and my tastes):
    1. MM STT-1 SS
    2. MM STT-1 Tube
    3. Epi Quest II
    4. Ag DB659
    5. EA iAmp-800
    6. Fodera (the iAmp & Fodera were a very close call)
    I'm guessing the Ag DB359 with the Sad PJ would be in the top 4 as well.

    Dang, anyone know if that DB659 had stock tubes in it?

    When shopping for my first preamp, at a MI dealers, I listened to the Dem 201S, the Alembic F1-X, and the Ag DB659. At first listening, I thought the Ag won hands down, but I didn't have the extra cash at the time. The second time I compared all three preamps again, I thought the Ag sounded a lot woolier than I remembered.
    The clips on basstasters sound more like my 1st remembrance of the DB659 -- very nice.

    For what it's worth, I didn't go estatic over the Thunderfunk, the Walkabout, or the WWoods, as I had expected to.
    They sounded good, but...
    The Read clips sounded nothing like the one I heard in the flesh, but I'm pretty sure the one I heard wasn't set flat.
  10. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Having just picked up a Mesa Walkabout, I would say the clips on Basstasters are fairly close. It certainly has the same overall character that I heard on the site.

    To keep things equal, I like that Basstasters chose to present the sound clips with the preamps at their 'flat' setting. But I usually dial in some degree of EQ depending on the room and the sound I like. That said, basstasters provide a soundclip 'with EQ', but there are so many variables once your start adding/subtracting EQ. It is anybodies guess what EQ settings versus what tone is being sought.

    I am guessing Demeter Pre's sound WAY better and richer with more tube like tone than what I heard on Basstasters. Factor in the quality of the PC speakers that the clips are being played back on. This serves as a great tool for comparison, but to ultimately choose the BEST tone? In-person demo's will most likely yield a better representation. that's just my thinking. It's worth exactly what you paid for it! :D
  11. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF

    That's kinda scary, actually. IMO it sounded better than just about anything else on the site, which is why I'm picking one up!

    Should be here next week. Although, I'll be w/out a power amp for a few weeks, so that kinda sucks, so I'll just plug it into my PC and play it through ACID for a lil bit and see what we can do. ;)
  12. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    I agree that the ones I've played through had a pretty accurate representation. The quality of your computer speakers obviously are a consideration.
    I must admit that their choice of mostly boutique basses isn't the best for everyone to use as a reference for a preamp. How many people get the chance to play Nordstrands? I think that a P, J, MusicMan, Ric, Hofner or other hollowbody, and something modern but more accessible to people (Spectors, Warwicks).
  13. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    FWIW, the DB 659 that I picked up from boogiebass had two Sovtek 12AX7's inside, and prior to my receiving it, a number of TBers privately expressed to me their thoughts on the 659, and most indicated that they felt it was overly wooly sounding. With the Sovteks, I think I can see where some people might hear that, though I still liked it a lot (and found it to be only midly wooly, but in a pleasing manner to boot). Shortly thereafter, though, I swapped out the Sovteks for a pair of NOS Telefunken smooth plates, and the improvement was dramatic! What I heard with the Tele's was very reminiscent of the Sadowsky=>DB659 clips on Basstasters, and maybe even a bit better.

    Also, I think I mentioned before that my Navigator sounds much better in my rig than what I am hearing on the clips (though the iAMP, WWU, and Thunderfunk are all right about where I'd expect them to sound). If the Dem 201s is even better than those clips, then I, too, may have to run out and get one!

  14. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    hard to say.............

    1st off, hat's off to the guys for puttign it together! for all of its limitations, i think it really helps out, especially in the "1st look(listen)" department.

    anyhow, you are listening to a lossy technology, and thru computer speakers to boot. also, many of the preamps used have passive eq sections, voicing switches, eq presets, etc, which can make a huge difference in tone (e.g., flipping the "deep" switch on an alembic F1-X)

    and yeah, to me some clips have been right on, and some have been "huh?"

    all that said, i still think it's a fantastic site. i wouldnt make a final decision on a peice just based on basstasters, but it really gives a nice look at a lot of stuff.
  15. Thunderfunk


    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL
    FWIW, I feel the Basstasters clips are a very accurate representation of the Thunderfunk amp, and I'm very happy with them.
  16. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine

    Yes, I am totally impressed with what they have done, and I find basstasters.com to be incredibly helpful, though not the "final word."

    Thanks again, guys!
  17. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I think a 2nd hand 659 is now at the top of my GAS list (of what's remotely affordable for me) -- best of all worlds would be to have the STT-1, 659, & a 1.5 rack space Dem (all optimally tubed of course).
    I prefer the Ag's eq sections to the Dem's and Alembic's as well -- plus the Master volume control.

    Thanks for the input.
  18. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    One of the key things that makes a lot of the clips useful, is just comparing one preamp's clip to another's (unless the same bass is used, the comparison won't tell you much at all; also the levels should be matched -- which it seems to me they've done better with more recent clips than with the older ones, but still a little variation from what I could tell).

    I saved the clips to my harddrive and used decent headphones, but yeah, the basic format gives some loss of quality and then there's the quality of the PC's soundcard.
    But, when you're talking about just comparisons between clips, they should be on a fairly level playing field.
    I listen to a given clip several times to get the basic tonal character and audible nuances that are there.
    Then the same thing with a different clip.
    And then play the two clips back to back how ever many times it takes to get the different flavors of the two (adjusting levels if needed).

    I'd really like to compare the Quest II to an MM TD-1 -- they aren't too far apart in the cost dept. I'm guessing not too far apart tonally either.
  19. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    While I agree with lo-freq that the 201s I had and used for a year sounded much better then on basstasters, I didnt feel that it had "tube like" tone at all. Its very crisp and clean sounding to my ears. You can get any fuzz out of it at all.
  20. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    It is a clean, fast tube tone. Mine has more low end (even set flat) than what I heard on the clips.
    I can dial in a lot of punchiness and, when I want, just a bit of OD (but definitely, no fuzz), but not much (maybe some of that OD is just with the cabs I've used with it -- Berg HT322 & Schroeder 410).