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Calling all preamp users

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JohnL, Dec 8, 2000.

  1. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    I'm going to try this one again (thank you Brianrost for your previous input). Want to see if and how many of you guys are actually using these, and which is best to spend approx $350 on (the best my budget can handle right now!) I know opinion is a highly subjective thing, but I welcome any and all input!

    I have been wanting to upgrade to a tube preamp and need some advice. I have a chance to pickup a used Alembic F1X for a reasonable amount, but wanted some advice before doing so. Bottom line: I've never heard anyone really say anything bad about this unit, but I've also never seen one around here to go try out. I wanted to look into the SWR Grand Prix (dealer never has in stock) and the Demeter (nobody has one in Atlanta, and maybe the Ampeg SVP. I've heard raves about Eden and Aguilar, but funds are limited, and these are a bit much even preowned. There doesn't seem to be many of these floating around the used market. I guess that's a good testimonial for all of them, but it's a little tough to make a decision "sight unheard"!
    I do some studio work, so I would be really interested in hearing from you guys who have used any of these in the studio. Live, I play through a Crest LA901 into a Hartke 410XL, and both basses are passive Fender J's, so if you have any feedback about any of the above preamps with the Hartke cabs, that would be appreciated as well. Thanks!
  2. You have a bunch of fine brands to choose from - that should be fun !

    I use a Peavey Max and just love it - you should also check these out.

  3. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I've owned the Alembic F1-X, Demeter VTBP-201 and Ampeg SVP-PRO. I think you'd be very happy with the Alembic F-1X. It matches up very well with Fender basses. The lows are very warm and it has generous EQ range.

    I presently own a Demeter and an Alembic F-1X. I use the Demeter most of the time and really like it for its superb clarity. The EQ range is somewhat limited, however, and I use the Alembic for some rooms.

    If you are a slapper the Demeter is a better bet because of the acentuated highs.


    [Edited by Chuck M on 12-08-2000 at 05:29 PM]
  4. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    I like the Kern. New under $700; used obviously a lot less.
    ..great sound, versatile, and very simple to use.
  5. mwbonsall

    mwbonsall Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2000
    Casa Grande, Arizona
    I agree with John, check out the Peavey Max. Sounds great and has more usable features than the others you mentioned.

  6. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

  7. I use an ADA MB-1 and I like it alot. Only problem is you can only get these used as ADA no longer exists. Also, haven't had to service it yet. But if you are looking for flexibility, a tube channel, and the ability to program as many presets as you like, this is worth checking out.
  8. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I've been playing through an F-1X for a little over 3 years now and I love it. Nothing fancy, just good solid tone for gigin' or recording.

  9. Another one like this is the Rocktron ProBass, which I've used since I can't even remember when. Rocktron has not made them in a long time, so you'll only find them used (and you'd be lucky to find one, as they were not very popular).
    But the flexibility of having 100+ different tones, preset, ready to go at the touch of a button, is truly awesome. That's why I don't think I could go with most of the preamps on the market. They'll give you at best two tones to switch between. The only way I could go that route is if I had a rack full of them with a switching system.

    I REALLY wish manufacturers would "get with it" and offer an up to date, high quality, programmable preamp with MIDI control. Guitarists have all sorts of cool gear like this. But the manufacturers are stuck on the idea that there's not a big enough market for a programmable bass preamp. That's why I'm still playing through one that's almost ten years old!

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