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Clean tube preamp recommendation

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BunchyMutt, Jun 26, 2017.


  1. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    I've searched through threads and they're either pretty old, not specifically about tube preamps, or not specifically about clean preamps.

    I'm looking for a preamp that simply adds a harmonic depth, richness, je ne sais quoi while still retaining clarity and without imparting much of a baked-in tone. Something that takes pedals well. I'm NOT looking for tube overdrive, or anything that adds hair.

    I've tried the Tone Hammer DI, it wasn't what I was looking for. I'm wondering if I'm looking for a high voltage tube preamp. Any recommendations? I'm fine with a pedal format, though I'd prefer a 1U or 2U rackmount. Also no greater than ~$300-$350.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Find yourself an old Ampeg SVP-CL. That is exactly what it does. A Jule Amps Monique is also very nice for that sort of thing.
     
  3. Spent

    Spent

    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Demeter vtbp-201s
     
    emjazz, coolhang, Bob_Ross and 8 others like this.
  4. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    All of those ^^^ I'll toss in the Summit TD-100 , I love this little box . I think there is one currently in the classifieds as well .
     
    GentProvocateur likes this.
  5. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Good thing the Monique is mere pennies!;)
     
  6. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    Use to see alot of Ampeg SVT-IIP preamps for cheap not sure any more, SVT pre with added graphic EQ
     
    Tom Baker and northbynorth like this.
  7. Ampslut

    Ampslut

    May 15, 2017
    Alembic F1-X, best tube pre I ever used.
     
  8. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    What sonic and feeling qualities do you associate with "best"?
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    OK, it's a little more than $350 :D Missed that part first time I read it. I just glance at these things, you know? Getting too old to actually read every word :D
     
  10. Ampslut

    Ampslut

    May 15, 2017
    The F1-X (if you can find one) only uses 1 12AX7 tube but it imparts the clean tube character the best I've ever heard. I used one with a QSC 1202 through a Whappo Jr. They come up every now and then on ebay but they are not cheap. New they are crazy expensive these days like $1500.00
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  11. sheltjo6

    sheltjo6 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2012
    California
    BBE BMax-t. Get a USA made one.
    Warm Fender Tone stack sound.
     
  12. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Bergantino-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    Nothing like what you're looking for exists in that price range to my knowledge; even the Tone Hammer nearly hits that cap.

    You're going to need to look at spending at least twice that; the Jule Monique is phenomenal, as is the Noble DI, and Demeter makes great clean tube gear as well.
     
    bassbooty and monsterthompson like this.
  13. oranje

    oranje Living deliciously Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    San Diego
    Those older green face SWR Grand Prix pres are nice clean, transparent and can be had in that price range. Could be wrong but I think it has a single tube.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
    mark roberts likes this.
  14. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Bergantino-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    Even used, still double your proposed budget ;)
     
  15. Nickweissmusic

    Nickweissmusic Knows all intervals from one Fred, to Juan octave Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    I teach lessons and perform live music in and around San Diego CA. Sometimes I even make money doing it!
    Why bother with tubes? These do what you're asking for, and are darned near indestructible, mine still works perfectly. I've seen them go for cheaper than this, but if it's in a as good condition as promised you could do a lot worse for your budget. Nice, thick, clean tones, more "tubey" than many modern tube pres. Yamaha PB1 Black

    If I HAD to go tube pre and wanted to keep it clean, I'd just get one of the old Genz Benz tube pre heads. I have a Shuttlemax 12.2, and it's clear as a bell. Crisper and more scooped than the Yamaha with everything set flat. If I did a blind listening test, I bet people would think the PB-1 is the tube pre and the Genz is the solid-state. The Genz was about $400 used, it was an absolute steal, I don't see them going that low nowadays.
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    That's a real sleeper of a preamp, man! Very underrated. Wouldn't put it up against something high end like the Alembic, SVP-CL or Monique, but it does sound quite good.
     
  17. Mosfed

    Mosfed

    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    Broughton P-15

    Best preamp and DI out on the market right now by a country mile. Check out the P-15/Reddi/Monique/Nobel shootout thread.
     
    mngnt and franklindayala like this.
  18. interp

    interp

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    1++++ on both of these. They're both excellent, although the Monique doesn't fit your size or cost requirements.
     
  19. interp

    interp

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    The Ampeg PB-1 is a killer preamp. Bullet proof, great sound, one rack space. If you can find one they're going for 150-200. I've owned at least five of them over the years. I would use one for a couple of years, get the itch for something different, sell it, kick myself for selling, then buy another one.
     
    AstroSonic likes this.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 16, 2021

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