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Clean tube preamp recommendation

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


  1. hennessybass

    hennessybass

    Oct 11, 2008
    Bayou City
    Never heard of Sarno before, but looks very cool. Sounds like you need an Alembic! They do come up in your price range. I've seen the Fender TBP-1 also in your range. There was an Alembic F-1x sold for $425 about 5 months ago on here.

    Brad Sarno gives some great info in that thread, especially about how his tone stack (the fender tone stack) works. The fender tone stack is not really loved around these parts, but I think it's much misunderstood. Brad puts it really well... "Sure it doesn't offer the surgical quasi-parametric corrective type EQ that many modern circuits offer, but for some people, the minimalism of the simple passive tonestack covers plenty of ground. The tonal benefits of that minimalism can be significant, especially when mated with a cabinet that doesn't really need "corrective" EQ." My experience exactly.
     
  2. jazzbass_5

    jazzbass_5

    Sep 1, 2007
    NY, Medina
    I do own and recommend the Sansamp RBI, it has a great sound. I hate to say It rivals my SVP-CL and my SVP-PRO. Yes, you can easily get a clean sound out of it.
     
    GentProvocateur likes this.
  3. ^ This. The SVP-CL is the front end of an Ampeg SVT-II, I think? Does really well for clean sounds. You CAN do clean sounds with the SVP-Pro as well, but it can be...finnicky.
     
  4. mark roberts

    mark roberts Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    I have to support the gist of this post regarding a high-altitude view of EQ management. There are players that are very precise about EQ adjustments and have an intrinsic talent for translating personal qualitative tone expectations into quantitative settings for various performance venue acoustics. I envy those that can size up a venue and apply appropriate EQ to achieve their tone wants. That said, I find that for all the control I have electronically and through speaker reproduction, my EQ is set nearly flat (depending on the bass I use, even then it is a minor tweak). However, live performance sometimes demands adjustments for personal monitoring beyond that. THAT sometime can be a challenge as acoustic properties change with population density. Fortunately, my solo ERB gigs have my full-range system as the primary sound source and it's EQ can be tailored to the venue. Sorry to hijack the original intent of the OP, however, keeping EQ management in-mind when shopping for a tube preamp (said mic preamp) should be important. That said, good preamps in the bass can go a long way to EQ management, but compression may be necessary.
     
    GentProvocateur likes this.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    The SVP-CL is actually the front of an SVT but it does excel at clean sounds for sure. I think the other Ampeg pres are more prone to distortion, but not the CL.
     
  6. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Does the SVP-CL have a baked-in tone?
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Yes it does. With knobs at noon, it is dead flat. But it's a tubey and alive dead flat. A lot of people don't realize that the preamps in SVT's are flat with knobs at noon because the output from the power section definitely isn't. But Nick from Dunwich Amps put up some graphs of an SVT preamp by itself, and it's flat.
     
    emjazz, kringle77 and GentProvocateur like this.
  8. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Thanks! :thumbsup:
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  9. hennessybass

    hennessybass

    Oct 11, 2008
    Bayou City
    Looks like there is a SVT-IIP that is the same front end as the SVT II pro. It has the eq sliders in addition to the SVT CL front end. I've never actually seen that pre or heard anyone talk about it before, but looks pretty cool.

    Looks like the SVP-CL has an added 5 selector low frequency knob that he SVT doesn't - instead of the ultra low switch. On the Pre, the ultra high switch adds way more boost than it does on the SVT (16db vs 9db at 8Khz). The pre, also has a "bright" switch that the SVT doesn't. Overall, looks like the SVP has quite a bit of additional tone shaping features vs the SVT. Maybe geared more for "modern" players who like that super scooped tone?

    I've been kind of interested in snagging an SVP preamp that I could switch out in my rack... because sometimes you need a change:D
     
  10. nomeX

    nomeX

    Nov 26, 2011
    H-Town
    Thanks for the shopping list, Disses.

    I have a Max bass preamp, but have better luck finding the TBP with it's power section (TB-600). I've been bitten by the rack bug, so I'll be on the lookout for some of these.
     
  11. TrentB

    TrentB Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    Orange County, Ca
    How does the SVT power section affect the eq? Just curious because I'd like to know what flat is on mine.
     
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I'm sure there was some thought of that. But the basic circuit is that of the SVT, according to Jerrold Tiers, who used to be Ampeg's chief engineer back then. Some slight tweaks and a couple bells and whistles, but basically the same. Sounds like it to me, anyway.
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    It adds a hump at 100hz and gradually tapers off the rest of the frequencies when knobs are at noon. I've found a very-close-to-flat setting by ear...bass 11:00, treble 2:00, mids 3:00 @ 800 hz. Might not be dead flat but it's close.
     
    TrentB likes this.
  14. BadB

    BadB

    May 25, 2005
    USA
    I'll vouch for the SVPCL. Clean, clean, clean. I also own a Sansamp RBI. It also has good clean tone and very flexible routing.
     
    BasturdBlaster likes this.
  15. also looking for clean, harmonic and punchy tube sound. and not interested in distortion and overdrive.

    i play zon BG4 and aria pro 2 integra. my amps are peavey mini max 500 with schroeder 2x12 cab and fender rumble v3 40 watt.

    in my local search i have found these...

    yamaha pb1 (not tube)
    peavey max bass
    labsystems VP true tube (tube?)
    guyatone flip BCX
    ampeg SVP pro (old version)
    Tl audio 2 5051 EQ tube Compressor preamp
    electroharmonix tube EQ
    EBS valve drive

    all of these each around 500$ or under
     
  16. mark roberts

    mark roberts Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    I have tried the Presonus Tube Studio Channel and it has remarkable clean, punchy tone. Plus, lots of control. They are quite affordable.
     
    BasturdBlaster likes this.
  17. Jack

    Jack

    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    Me too. I had a Studio Channel into a Plx 1602 as my rig for a long time and loved it.
     
  18. they are everywhere selling pretty cheap. might look into that with an EBS valve drive
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  19. 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.

     
    May 12, 2021

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