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Clean tube preamp recommendation

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

  1. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Any of the SansAmp products, be it rackmount or pedal format, will do clean without sounding thin or lifeless and well within your budget.

  2. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Good tube preamp and <$350 aren't going to happen.
  3. disssa


    May 6, 2009
  4. Sunset Shalom

    Sunset Shalom

    May 9, 2016
    I just got an art DMPA gold which is a tube mic pre. It is two channel and can run at 100 or 300 plate voltage. Still need to test it on bass and some other things but I am digging it so far. Was only 150 used for the old model though the new one is only 220$ or so on eBay.

    Might not be what you are looking for but I read on a few sites people claiming it's one of the best sub 500$ tube preamps and it's the only cheaper one I have seen that doesnt just run on a low voltage.

    It can definitely be very clean or very gritty depending on how you dial the gain. But it has tons of clean headroom at 300v or you can go to 100v and use the 20db boost for earlier breakup.

    It has instrument inputs as well as balanced mic inputs so it should work solid on bass and guitar or mics. And with two channels you can use it for stereo rigs or for two different purposes at once.
    bobcruz and Khronic like this.
  5. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Curious to see where this goes.
  6. Noylin


    May 28, 2014
    At that budget you're looking at a pedal. Broughton audio makes the best tube pedals in my estimation - the super stack is excellent

    Go up to 400-500 and you can get into some of the really good rack pres mentioned here, like the alembic, if you find them used
  7. JJR58

    JJR58 Dirty Bird

    Dec 2, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY.
    I've got an SVP-CL, I got it for the purpose of which you speak, not a fan of dirt or distortion.
    The Ampeg excels at clean, great tones in it.
    I run it through the front end of a GK700rbii.
    Without the Ampeg, the GK sounds pretty lifeless to be honest.
    GentProvocateur likes this.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    EBS Valvedrive
    RaggaDruida and HEADbass like this.
  9. Another vote for the BBE BMAX-T
  10. jazzbass_5


    Sep 1, 2007
    NY, Medina
    Absolutely! Love my SVP-CL.
  11. mark roberts

    mark roberts Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    I have and use two green-face SWR Grand Prix pre's. Love 'em. Single tube. I currently run GT ECC83/12AX7 in them, which I am told that the circuit was designed for. However, I have run JJ ECC803S gold pins (have a new pair staged for install) with excellent, creamy results. When you can find one for sale, they generally are in your target spend zone. These others...
    GT Studio Tube Bass Preamp*...pre-Grand Prix preamp designed by Steve Rabe based on the front end of the SWR Studio 220...excellent!
    Yamaha PB-1*...not tube, but great tone!
    Trace Elliot V-Type
    Ampeg SVP Classic*-classic tone. Watch/listen for cold solder, or development of cracked solder joints through even high-care handling.
    BBE B-Max T...reviews on this one are pretty awesome
    Eden Navigator...tone forever

    ...sold as used should be in your target spend. *=I have owned at one time or another. I also have used mic pre's and channel strips.
    Khronic and GentProvocateur like this.
  12. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Nashville, TN

    Any tube mic pre's you'd recommend in the same price range?
  13. McFarlin


    Oct 27, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Out of your range, I know, but cut the craft beer, coffee or wool socks habit for a month and you'll make up the difference. This is the best deal I have seen on an HBP-1 with the Jensen upgrade. And it is exactly what you describe.
    For Sale - DEMETER HBP-1 with Jensen Transformer

    I have only used the VTBP-201s and the newer M-800D, but they take pedals good as anything else I have used long-term (Walkabout, ABM500). I would assume the same goes for the HBP-1, but with it you get more e.q. flexibility.
  14. superiorpine

    superiorpine Superiorpine Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2007
    Milwaukee WI
    Lots of choices, depending on what you mean by clean. A micro heads snag a larger share of the market, rack mounted preamps can be had for less.

    Although dated, this site gives some interesting contrast samples: basstasters.com || welcome
    GentProvocateur likes this.
  15. Your request is the perfect description of an Oxymoron.

    If you want clean, you don't want tube.
    Cleanliness is not what tubes are meant to do.

    Good luck either way.
    kcolyar and mvolfoni like this.
  16. zorf


    Dec 27, 2007
    i was just going to suggest looking at mic pres.
    You can hang out in the recording forums and ask.
    Used, you might find something that will fit your requirements.
    Quite a rabbit hole, so stay on task.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
    BasturdBlaster likes this.
  17. hennessybass


    Oct 11, 2008
    Bayou City
    I have a Fender TBP-1 Pre-amp. Running it in a rack with an older Carvin amp. Great sounding rig. I mostly use a TH500 amp, but there is no comparison between the two. The Fender slays the TH any day. The fender has a lot of features, but I pretty much just use the "vintage" channel and keep things really simple.

    If you listen on good speakers, this is a pretty good way to get an idea about what a pre might sound like, especially vs a different pre. basstasters.com || welcome

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  18. hennessybass


    Oct 11, 2008
    Bayou City
    100% disagree with you. The rig I just posted above has MASSIVE clean headroom. Tubes do not automatically = dirt. There's a little bit more to it than that.
    Iristone, mussa, Bigbri and 6 others like this.
  19. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
  20. BasturdBlaster


    Feb 19, 2012
    Crandon WI
    I love my old ART tube channel #259 as a "clean" tone generator...... QSCGX5.JPG
    bobcruz and Khronic like this.
  21. Primary

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    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.

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