1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

"Clean" bass preamp pedal?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by blujosh, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. blujosh


    Dec 8, 2009
    San Fran
    i've found my overdriven/fuzzy direct tone in my Sansamp VT Bass DI pedal (set up pretty close to the "fuzzed out" setting in the manual, but with character and drive at 2 o clock, and "bite" off).
    Now i'm looking for a small bass preamp pedal that does a good clean tone, preferably with a speaker sim or hi-end roll-off built in (this will also be for direct/IEM use). i'll be using a Boss LS-2 pedal to toggle between the two preamp pedals.
    looking for a warm clear tone that isn't clanky.
    any suggestions/feedback?

    these are the ones that have caught my eye while browsing online:
    Ampeg Classic Analog Bass Preamp
    MXR M81 Bass Preamp
    AMT F1 (i know it's a Fender "twin" guitar preamp, but could this work? the channel switching loop would eliminate the need for the Boss LS-2)
  2. Southampton Pedals Ictineo clean preamp based on the Mesa Boogie Strategy Bass and Bass 400 front ends plenty of clean gain and many tonal options. This is a favorite tool for the studio and playing live through the PA, iems or backline.

    John K Custom FET-F2B clean preamp pedal based on he Alembic Tube preamp that was based on the Fender Showman front end.

    While neither of these have speaker sims they honestly do not need one for most applications and they both definitely bring the tube magic and make every bass and effects chain sound better.
  3. I have the MXR M81 and have found it to be very clean. It's a great little pre-amp.
    Unemploid, Zbysek, Bassmunnky and 3 others like this.
  4. Stellvia


    Jul 18, 2015
    Perth, Aus
    Got a Shift Line Olympic MkIII recently. Proper tube preamp that can be clean through to pushed tube, has an IR cab sim (2x15 & 8x10) on the XLR and headphone out. Sounds great! I think it’s based on a Fenderish preamp design. Quite compact, about the same size as an MXR M80.

    OLYMPIC MkIII Tube bass preamplifier with IR-based cabinet simulation
    scubaduba, adamaarts and Nunovsky like this.
  5. jpTron


    Apr 19, 2010
    Art Tube MP. It's cheap and clean. I've used it as the only piece of gear between my bass and the board on a few occasions when I wanted warm clean tone. It doesn't have an eq though, but it's not a big deal for me because A) I have an eq pedal if I need it, and B) I like the tone of my bass without any eq enough that it was fine not to need one.
    patrickj likes this.
  6. Arlaman

    Arlaman Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    +1 on the JohnK Fet-F2b. Picked up one recently and used it at rehearsal for the first time last night. I did get great sound and my band mates really noted an improvement. I use a Catalinbread RAH in front of it for a little bit of dirt.
  7. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    MXR M81 is pretty darn small. Not sure if it's small enough but the DSM Omnicabsim is sweet, too. Both have DI outs and a lot of tone shaping abilities.
    mattattack187 and crapusername like this.
  8. blujosh


    Dec 8, 2009
    San Fran
    that Fet-F2b looks great, but a bit more than i'm looking to spend.
    MXR M81 might be the ticket due to size and price. does anyone that's used it feel that it can be used direct w/o a cab sim?
    has anyone used the Ampeg Classic Analog Bass Preamp Pedal?
    how about the Boss BB-1X Bass Driver?
    if so, do the Ampeg or Boss sound fine w/o a cab sim?
    was also wondering if anyone has gone direct with just one of the bass cab sims on the DigiTech CabDryVR Speaker Cabinet IR Pedal (without a preamp or eq in front of it)?
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  9. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    I have an ampeg scr-di. with the overdrive switched off, it's basically an ampeg classic. the only thing to watch for on that is that i find my scr-di pretty easy to push into breakup. You gotta watch how much you put in front of it. the classic may be the same. I like the ampeg sound and it really delivers that. I've put it in the fx loop of an amp to ampeg-ify it. Works good for that.

    I've had the MXR M81 twice and it's really a great pedal. It's bulletproof, less overdrive-sensitive than the scr-di, adds nothing to your tone, apart from the eq shaping you do with it. I had a bass that had a short in it, that caused it to buzz thru the effects chain. The M81 was about the only preamp pedeal I could use with it. Something about the circuitry made it minimize the chain buzz. After all that praise, it's just not for me tho. I have a sansamp para-di on my church pedalboard, and really like that. So, the M81 is great and might work well for you. It's definitely small and very reliable.
  10. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    Tech 21 Q/Strip
  11. blujosh


    Dec 8, 2009
    San Fran
    those have piqued my interest, but looking for a smaller footprint pedal this time around.
  12. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I recently bought a Q/Strip and I'm loving it. I've only used it on one gig so far (jazz duo with my shortscale fretless) and it made a subtle but significant improvement in my sound. I used it straight into the board on that gig, but it also sounds great with my Quilter BB800 at home. I can't wait for a loud gig so I can crank up the BB800 and Q/Strip.

    I haven't been playing much upright due to tendonitis issues, but I think the Q/Strip will be a good match.

    Edit: Didn't think about the footprint. Never mind....
  13. PullThePlug


    Jan 8, 2014
    MXR M81 - I sold mine because it did no color for my tone. Insanely transparent.

    Plus, it's an MXR sized pedal with tons of features, charged by a 9v DC, and an XLR out. You're going to have a hard time finding something like that, with it's small form and simple power draw.

    Good luck!
  14. One Control Sonic Silver Peg
    k.graz likes this.
  15. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    If you can live w/o the speaker sim, it's hard to beat the Xotic RC for a clean pre in a pedal. Very transparent, really just makes your bass sound like your bass, only much punchier and meatier, with more EQ control.
  16. brett adams

    brett adams Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    ditto on the fet-f2b. i got a used one of these on reverb about a month ago. it's great. the mxr m81 is also alright.

  17. blujosh


    Dec 8, 2009
    San Fran
    hmm. i hadn't considered the RC, but that could work. just noticed they have a Bass RC booster. has anyone used that one?
  18. GroovyBaby

    GroovyBaby G&L Fanboy

    Oct 19, 2007
    Huntingdon, PA
    A dew of the recommendations don't have speaker emulation to my knowledge (mxr) but the Q strip can be shaped that way. I'm leaning Q myself but don't have one yet.
  19. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Between the Ampeg Classic and SCR-DI, the SCR-DI is more of what you're looking for, since it has speaker sim where the Classic doesn't.
    Unemploid and basscapes like this.
  20. blujosh


    Dec 8, 2009
    San Fran
    the SCR-DI is bigger than what i'm looking for. looking for something MXR sized or smaller.

Share This Page