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Best Preamp for Old School Sound

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bob Rogers, Mar 30, 2005.


  1. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    Yes, I have the usual preamp question, but it's focused in a little different direction that any of the other discussions I've been able to find in a search.

    My main bass is a Fender P with a Fender "Original 62" pickup and TI flats. I play through a Bass POD either into the PA for live or direct to the board for recording. I use either the "Flip Top" or "Silverface" setting on the POD with maybe a little compression - no effects. I go for a very old school Kaye, Jamerson, Dunn sound.

    So I'm looking to upgrade from the POD. After reading various reviews on this board, I've found that I have things in the studio that work better for the sound I'm going for (Baggs ParaAcoustic DI and FMR RNP) but they are usually in use, so I'm considering the usual set of sub 1K$ preamps. My problem is that most of the comments that I've seen are focused on getting a good modern scooped sound rather than the sort of low mid thump that I'm going for. For example, the samples at basstaster are great, but it's not clear how much they tell me about the sound I'm trying to get. (Another problem is that I'm here in the Virginia hinterlands, equally distant from everywhere, so I have a limited opportunity to try a variety of things out.)

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  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
    Well, despite the fact that the F-1X has the Fender Showman design (where a "flat" setting is @ Bass on 2, Mid on 10, Treble on 2), I find that it does get a nice, full, "old school" kind of sound, but with clarity.

    I haven't played the Kern, personally, but from the clips that I have heard, it might be a good choice, too.
     
  3. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Yes, yes, yes...the F1X with the right tubes in it.
     
  4. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    +1

    Alembic pre with GT12AX7M.
     
  5. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have one of these coming to me! I have an NOS Mullard AT7, which I like a lot, too. NOS Telefunkens always sound great to me, too.
     
  6. F-1x
     
  7. jock

    jock

    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I´ll vote for the SVP-CL preamp. Sounds really great. And Im not a fan of Ampegs products in general. Ive tried the Trace V-type which is basically the same as the Alembic and for old school I prefer the SVP-CL.
     
  8. +1 for Telefunkens
     
  9. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    The unanimous reaction is really interesting. I had read comments like this before and figured that the Alembic was for someone looking for a smiley face eq. So, with the mids boosted way up and the bass and treble rolled off you can get a good solid low-mid thump with a bit of click?
     
  10. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Yes, while the EQ may be set up such that the mid control is cut only, when you leave the mids all the way up, I find it to be quite full sounding, and not lacking in mids in any way. And yes, you can certainly dial in solid low-mids with a bit of click. I find that set "flat" it already has solid low-mids, so just tweak the Bright switch or Treble knob to your liking for "click" and away you go!

    Let me also add that you can probably dial in a similar tone on many different preamps, provided that they have a versatile EQ - for instance, my Eden Navigator, Aguilar DB 659 and 680 can all do "solid low-mids with a bit of click" as well. But from your described goals, the F-1X is certainly the first preamp that comes to my mind.
     
  11. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I wonder what an RNP would sound like as the front end of a bass rig?
     
  12. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Probably just fine. Very uncolored. If you like the sound of your instrument, it should do well.
     
  13. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    yup,

    what tommy-boy said. another cool preamp to try is the Kern IP-777. like the alembic on steriods. has the option of dialing in more highs for a fender hifi like sound.

    and www.basstasters.com is your friend. :)
     
  14. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    That's a good description. A very smooth, pure sound. A bit more hi-fi than what I'd consider ideal, but I'd be using it in the studio if it wasn't used all the time for mics. If you were going to use it live, you'd probably want to add an equilizer to tweak from room to room.
     
  15. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    The Kern 777 is my favorite preamp and the one I've kept while dumping Aguilar, Demeter, etc. It can certainly get the sound you've specified and more, of course. Sort of hard to find them, however, but they do come up here and there if you look. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
     
  16. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Tele's are what I have in mine.
     
  17. The ol' Yamaha PB-1 is very capable of old school. It has the fender tone stack that is flat around 2 10 2. It also has a semi-parametric mid that makes it an extremely versitile preamp.
     
  18. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    Alembic F1-X, Trace Elliot V-Type, Ampeg SVP-CL.

    I have the V-Type, myself. *Definitely* old skool.
     
  19. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    of those i have a lot of experience wit hi would say the alembic, demeter, aguilar 659, and eden can do old school very well. sans amp too to a point.

    swr doesnt really do old school too well, but with all the preamps i mentioned, the bass and cabinets will have a good deal of impact as well.
     
  20. I've owned the T.E. V-Type and the SVP-CL. Both do old school nicely. I really liked the Ampeg. In fact, it was one of the best sounding preamps I have heard for what it is intended to be - big, fat and warm. However, I couldn't justify keeping it, because I could come real close to the sound with my Ashdown, plus get modern tones as well. You should definitely add the Ashdown RPM-1 to your list of preamps to consider.