choice of the preamp... a good bargain ??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dimi_did, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. dimi_did


    Feb 17, 2005
    Montreal, Canada
    Hello friendly bass players!
    I need your council of experts.
    I want to buy a preampli that I intend to use with a poweramp QSC RMX 1450 and my enclosure Ampeg SVT-210HE of which I think soon of adding an enclosure Ampeg SVT-15E to be able to benefit from the biamplification.
    In this moment I hesitate between two possiblities:
    one proposes new Ampeg SVP-PRO to 420 $ and also Demeter to me VTBP-201s which was used as a demo unit in a store of bass for 550 $.
    For Ampeg the salesman said to me that it could always have to me it at this price whereas Demeter is likely to leave quickly.
    Which from these two preamp is a better business to be seized? Is the quality of the sound of Demeter really better than the quality of Ampeg? Do you think that the preamp Demeter will sound well with my Ampeg enclosures?
    I want to use it to play especially of the funk and the reggae.
    Thank you in advance for your answers.
  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Demeter is quite hi-fi, and it's a nice pre.
    The SVP-Pro is not a clean-sounding thing, it gets fuzzy/overdriven very easily, and has some noise with some tubes. That's why I got rid of mine.
    I'd snatch that Dem ASAP!

    Bonne chance!
  3. dimi_did


    Feb 17, 2005
    Montreal, Canada
    Thank you.

    And you prefer the sound of SVP-CL to the sound of Demeter? Or not ?
    Do you think that 550 $ for a demo unit of Demeter VTBP-201s is a good price?
  4. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Don't know whether $550 is a good price in France, but it's within the realms of reasonability here. The Ampeg and Demeter are two completely different animals. The Demeter is warm and tubey but VERY hi-fi. The Ampeg is not; it's rock and roll/R&B type tone. If you like the Ampeg tone go for it. While it is a great pre amp, the Demeter was not for me so I sold mine. Which suits you will be up to you. There's not that much difference in the price. Get what you like.
  5. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Older Demeter 201's are selling in the 350 to 400 range for the most part. Nice sounding pre's but ... not really dub oriented. They don't really have the kind of low necessary - uness you're also running a separate eq in the effects loop.

    Now - I have to admit this is IMO. I've been playing with an older (pre the semi-parametric 2 band they now offer) 201 for a month or so while I've been in the Preamp hunt. My impression is that each band of the eq offers fairly narrow gain / cut on each band. So - I've tried running a parametric in the effects loop and had good results. Very clear and open sounding pre.

    I have also gotten some nice sounds by running very extreme (by my standards) tone control settings. Bass full up, mid is about 8 o'clock, treble maybe noon or less, brite off, presence down. Assuming a Fender style tone stack, that would be approximate flat, with the treble rolled off. Decent sound with a passive Reverend PJ. Not full on DUB but not that bad either.

    Overall I think I like the Demeter as an overall good pre and it's probably adjusting my thinking from all the controls at 12 o'clock being flat to something else. I popped an email to Demeter's tech support to ask them what settings to use for flat and also about a potential mod I'm thinking of (broader affext by the tone controls - could you guess ?) I'll be interested to hear their response.

    I've also played with and been very unipressed with a couple of Ampeg pre's recently. I am on the other hand knoced out with what I'm getting off the pre-amp / line out of an old V4B that I just had recapped. It just ooozes thickness nand would make a heck of a good dub sound. But awkward as hell to use for anything other than tracking. It would make the worlds heaviest pre for sure ...

    So on you particular hunt. If you consider the Ampeg - you need to give it a good workout - through a power amp into a cab and also direct into a channel of a recorder to be sure. The Demeter is going to be a great sounding pre but might need a little help to go DUB. Of course your 2x10 isn't a DUB friendly bin ether. Maybe an 18 rather than a 15 ? when you add the cabinet ?

    One thing for sure, there are a number of objective ways that you can evaluate various preamps, but the only one that really counts is spending some time with them and using your ears. It is the subjective test that really counts ...
  6. icks


    Jul 12, 2001
    Charleroi, Belgium
    you know my two cents about it ;)

    If you'd recongnized me !
  7. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Dimi - I just noticed that you are in France. Man, with the Euro being as strong as it is, you can snag a used Demeter/Alembic/ Ashdown over here for what is basically half price. Yep - you have to screw about with shipping and customs but if you you're talking 400 to 500 US which is something like 223 to 275 EU.

    Long as you are EU based - 1. The Demeter is going to be just a little more exotic in EU. I think that is a plus. They are beautifully cnostructed by the way. I would also have to consider an Ashdown RPM-1 - they ought to be more available in the EU I would think. Again - you would have to audition but I thought that was pretty nice sounding pre and the sub-octave thing and flexible EQ might be helpful.

    Last thing - If you audition a few pre's and find one that you're hot after. I'm pretty sure that someone over here would assist in acquiring and shipping. Check the Gear for Sale here and at as used pre's turn up for sale pretty often.

    Good luck in the hunt.

    By the way - I snagged a great funk compilation cd from France while I was in Australia (of all the places to find a French cd, eh ?) it is named Stero Ultra. I think the tracks are from French TV of the 70's and it is fantastic! It's been in rotation in my car since I got back! Great stuff! Very funky and an emphasis on good bass playing
  8. dimi_did


    Feb 17, 2005
    Montreal, Canada
    Thank you very much the guy's for all these very useful and interesting answers. Indeed I think that Demeter is more exotic for Europe moreover it is the good moment to buy. Thank you very much also for the super link of the site of the second-hand equipment.
    I went on the page and I like the sound of Demeter.
    I thus think indeed that I will take it because it is a good bargain and then if I do not like that I could always resell it and buy a SVP-CL to me for example... It is a good idea?
  9. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Yeah, that sounds like a good plan. I would think the Demeter would be reasonably easy to sell if you don't like it.