Best Clean Preamp

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by nic_satinsun, Sep 22, 2022.

  1. nic_satinsun


    Sep 22, 2022
    I'm looking at buying a bass preamp (budget doesnt matter), and I'm wondering if there is a clear winner or superior preamp pedal for a clean tone. The DI capability isn't really what I'm looking for, mainly something that has a lot functionality when it comes to shaping tone in very specific ways. I'm in an indie pop/rock band and I rarely uses distortion, mainly chorus/reverb and other effects, so the preamps distortion abilities are not really paramount. Is there a preamp pedal that has a lot of high quality unique and malleable functionality when it comes to tonal shaping? I've obviously head great things about the noble, but also the darkglass harmonic booster and vintage ultra, the BP1, empress and the EBS microbass. Just looking for recommendations and opinions as to which preamp can best give me the capabilities of getting a warm punchy clean tone. Thanks
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    nonohmic, Nuage420, Wangus67 and 6 others like this.
  3. ahadl2500

    ahadl2500 Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2003
    Greenwood, IN
    My favorite for clean and flexible is the Southampton Ictineo (Ictineo Preamp/EQ).

    I also support the SushiBox recommendation, though I recently narrowed my SushiBox pedals down to just the Slampegg. Broughton also makes several excellent preamp pedals that you should check out before making a decision.

    Noting that the SushiBox pedals will be the most available (put an order in when monthly build slots become available). Broughtons and the Ictineo will mostly be used market buys (unless you want a Broughton SVPre which has been in and out of stock lately with more coming soon).
    DirtyDuke and bassbrad like this.
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Yep and Sushi Box ordering is open NOW so the time to order is NOW! :)
    macmanlou and ahadl2500 like this.
  5. 4Mal

    4Mal Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I would have to say the Mesa Subway DI+. With a Sushibox in the effects loop - mine is the Space Heater. Is a very hard combination to beat. I sold my Avalon U5 after getting comfy with the Mesa. I am a big fan of the Avalon but the Mesa made it redundant.
  6. WG Plum

    WG Plum Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2021
    Broughton Messenger v2 for me.
  7. Datsgor

    Datsgor Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2000
    Take a look at the Tech 21 Q strip. It's crispy clean.
  8. Chrishi87


    Aug 17, 2010
    Two Notes Le Bass.
    Or soon the Two Notes Revolt.

    The good old Tube does it for me.
    JohnRex, DirtyDuke and mdesjardins68 like this.
  9. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    i have the v1 and love it, when I first got it my guitarist asked me what that was and said stop right there, not to change a thing, makes my tone very clear and present
  10. cacio


    Apr 24, 2005
    For double bass i bought an EBS Stanley clark preamp and i found it very usable with electric bass.Very usable eq,2 ch.Everything i Always needed
    Zbysek likes this.
  11. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth Nothing to fret over. Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    The state of denial.
    If all you want is clean tone shaping, have a look at the Source Audio EQ2. Nothing will give you more power than that.
  12. _One//Man//Mutiny_

    _One//Man//Mutiny_ Gold Supporting Member

    Definitely doesn’t have a malleable tone shaping palette. But the Sadowsky pedal preamp gets my vote. I have the bigger 1 version with the DI and Mute and I’ll tell you what, it’s great! Boost only 2 band EQ with a volume knob to set unity gain. It’s a bass preamp in a pedal, but I like it so much I never turn it off and bought 2! Have it at the end of my board and as an added benefit to making every bass I play sound great, it also helps give a nice bass boost to pedals that otherwise may be lacking!
    dbmike and sawzalot like this.
  13. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Broughton Messenger…
    WG Plum and GrapeBass like this.
  14. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas El Duderino Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
  15. Sugarbear08


    Aug 31, 2022
    Trickfish Minnow warmed up with sushi box tubes works for me.
    El Rabino and gregbackstrom like this.
  16. lbbc

    lbbc Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Seaford , DE
    I had a Radial Tonebone Bass one which was great....I used for 6 years but sold it because it took up a lot of room on my pedalboard. I now use a MXR81....great clean bass preamp that doesn't color my sound!
  17. mexicanyella


    Feb 16, 2015
    Troy, MO
    950405C5-862C-4C1A-925A-9EA2E57D73FF.jpeg I have enjoyed using the Roland JC120 guitar amp emulation in BandLab (and on my guitarist’s line 6 POD, and in my Behringer guitar V-amp Pro) for bass; it’s bright and crisp and the EQ seems to be pretty flexible and intuitive and simple to tweak.

    I have been casually looking for simpler, non-modeling ways to get that sound, and while I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, I have my eye on this and may take the plunge at some point:
  18. Derek Williams

    Derek Williams Gold Supporting Member

    May 14, 2020
    Edmonton, Canada
    Some info here: FAQ – Sushi Box FX

    "Up until now all builds have been using surface-mount (SMD or SMT) components for cost and ease of assembly. Currently these are mostly placed via pick-and-place machine in the same factory that manufactures the circuit boards themselves. There are a handful of specialty components that the factory doesn’t stock that are added by hand at Sushi Box, but the rest are done by machine. Hand-wired uses more traditional through-hole components that you’re likely to see in tube amplifiers, like carbon-composition resistors and film capacitors. There’s plenty of debate on the “sound” of different component materials and it’s extremely subjective so I won’t get into that. One very audible difference, however, is the voltage at which the tubes are run. In typical SMD builds I use 250V capacitors for cost and size reasons, so I run the circuits around 240V. The capacitors I use in the handwired builds range from 400V to 630V, which allows me to run the circuits around 350V. The difference in voltage gives the handwired circuits a noticeably warmer, fuller sound."
  19. GrapeBass


    Jun 10, 2004
    Graphic Designer: Yorkville Sound
    WG Plum and Zbysek like this.
  20. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    TC Spectra