Battle of the Outboard Preamps:Sadowsky, Fodera, Aguilar, Other

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by FungusHumungous, Jul 10, 2003.

  1. Sadowsky Preamp/DI pedal

    21 vote(s)
  2. Fodera ???

    3 vote(s)
  3. Aguilar DB924

    20 vote(s)
  4. Other-explain

    6 vote(s)
  1. FungusHumungous

    FungusHumungous Guest

    Jun 13, 2003
    Brookfield CT USA
    I'm seriously looking into buying an outboard preamp pedal along w/ new Bart PUs for my P/J Cort Action.
    I've heard a lot of good stuff about Sadowsky's preamp but not much about the other popular preamp makers- Fodera and Aguilar.

    In your opinions who makes a better quality, better sounding, more bang for the buck, more tonal difference w/ or w/o preamp?
    What are the Pros and Cons of each one?
    Any other preamps you would recommend around the US$200 mark that may take the prize and would be easily purchased?
    If you choose you over the others explain why and more importantly where can I get them for a reasonable price?

  2. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    For around $100, in my opinion, you just can't beat the Stewart UDP-1a. You can listen to it on the basstasters great preamp shootout page. It sounds great flat, but gives you boost/cut on treble and bass and a very useful variable notch filter which is good at removing feedback from URB or "honk" from electric bass.

  3. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I've been using a Fodera 2000 preamp
    for about 5 months now. Got it to use
    with my older Walter Woods amp, to get
    a useable electric sound. I bypass the
    Woods preamp. I'm now useing it with all
    my amps. Killer sound. As good as most
    rack mount preamps. My workingmans 10
    sounds incredible. I put it in the effects
    return to bypass the stock preamp.
    Big vote for Fodera!!
  4. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i really like the Sansamp BADDI. good features & versatility, and lots of great sounds.

    another similar sounding unit to the Sadowsky for that Marcus Miller sound is the J-Retro floor box. i especially like the mids frequency dial. i use the onboard pre for my parts Jbass, and couldnt live without it.

    speaking of the Sadowsky, Alex Aguilar helped to develop the Sadowsky preamp, so i wouldnt be surprised if they sounded similar.
  5. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    Right now the Sadowsky outboard is on and soon the Aguilar will be too... now if someone would just send us the fodera, your questions could be .... partially answered...
  6. FungusHumungous

    FungusHumungous Guest

    Jun 13, 2003
    Brookfield CT USA
    The thing is whatever I buy I'm gonna have buy blind/deaf(without hearing it) because I can't find any local dealers.

    So I'm reading up on every thing and I think I think I'd be happy with Aguilar's preamp pedal.

    I guess my sound will sound awesome either way whether I go with aguilar or fodera or sadowsky when coupled w/ new bart PUs
  7. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    i would stay away from the fodera. i just didnt find it to be tasteful. i went with the sadowsky but marks j retro was happenin too.
  8. Norre


    Jan 5, 2001
    Antwerp, Belgium
    I just ordered a Raven Labs PMB-II. Because I also play URB I prefered the Raven over the other pre-amps.
  9. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
  10. I know that it might sound weird but I use a Zoom BFX-708 as a preamp. I have also used a Line 6 Bass Pod and a Fulltone Fat Boost both of which are more than $200 each.
  11. FungusHumungous

    FungusHumungous Guest

    Jun 13, 2003
    Brookfield CT USA
    I'm going for the Aguilar.
    Basscentral is giving me a pretty good price and I've heard lots of good stuff about it so far.

  12. jacove


    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    I'll go for the SADOWSKY, it's just so simple and delivers the TONE every time....can't find anything I would replace with this unit...
  13. David Wilson

    David Wilson Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    you don't say whether you need a DI or not?

    If you do need an all in one preamp/DI, to my ears the Sansamp was the best out of the Sansamp/Sadowsky/MXR choices. The Sadowsky is slightly better at what it does (bass/treble boost), but the Sansamp has more flexibility (presence/drive/blend plus b/t cut/boost)

    If you just need a preamp, and don't care about DI, then to my ears the Aguilar DB924 was the best tonally. It's bass / treble boost only, but voiced very well. I have an OBP-1 (onboard version of DB924) in my Modulus Flea bass, and it sounds great.

    That being said, maybe my requirements are different to yours. You have a passive bass. I have all actives, and play a lot of places round NYC with their own backline. To make it easier to setup, I generally leave backline amp flat and eq using onboard and offboard so I can change basses easily without messing with settings.
  14. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Hi Joker
    I'm considering an outboard for my Lakland Joe Osborn. It has wonderful sounding Lindey Fralin pickups, but sometimes I don't have enough EQ with my Demeter 201S. I do have an option of making my Joe Jazz bass active because it has the cavity for a Bartolini setup. If I go that way than I will lose the passive tone controls if bypassed. So, I'm kinda liking the SansAmp or maybe the Sadowsky stomp boxes. I'm not really worried about DI because I have the best on the Demeter. Which would you recommend ?
  15. FungusHumungous

    FungusHumungous Guest

    Jun 13, 2003
    Brookfield CT USA
    The reason for my want of an outboard is to get around messing around with my covy Cort cavity that would not take an onboard preamp with batteries.
    I'm not looking to record any time soon, just make my cheapo bass last a bit longer....
  16. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i'd get the J-Retro, just for the sheer versatility of the mid frequency control. but it will sound very "active". very similar to the Sadowsky.

    if you want a bit of an SVT like drive, try the Sansamp.

    but if you want the most versatile EQ, then try a Raven Labs True Blue EQ. very transparent to hold onto your "passive" tone, but gives you incredible EQ control. great little box. i'm actually tempted to pick one up for my gigs, if i feel like just bringing my bass, and not my whole rig.
  17. Velkov


    Jan 17, 2001
    Lansdowne, Ontario
    My homebrew JFET preamp sounds amazing. It's still under development but it's almost there. It has a headphone amp in it too and I can mix in a stereo signal (cd player) with my bass signal. Great for practicing. Great for plugging into a power amp. Total cost of parts - $50. Total cost of labour - don't ask, it's embarassing.
  18. ColonelZulu

    ColonelZulu Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I'm in teh same boat. I'm looking for an outboard that won't detract from the LanePoors I have on the Acacia 6 I got. I haven't had a passive system for a while. I find the eq effects the volume too much.
  19. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Thanks JJ
    Since you are familar with the Demeter 201S would run the True Blue through the effects loop or bass/eq/preamp. ??
  20. What about Aphex Xciter pedals? I have read some nice reviews about it.