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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by shadowmac, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. I am considering swapping out my Sansamp PSA 1.1 for the Demeter HBP-1. Have any TB'ers used the Demeter, and if so what are your opinions? Any other suggestions for upper end preamps? The preamp I go with must be rack mount.
  2. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
  4. Cool. Thank you gents. As much as I like reading reviews, I'd rather do the Q and A thing with some knowledgable people right here. I am leaning towards it!
  5. I've tracked down a lot of info comparing this to other preamps, since I posted this thread. Has any one used this as their main preamp? Pros / cons?
  6. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    I own one. It is top notch in design and manufacturing. The wiring inside is neat and clean. I did have to send it in for repairs before, and James Demeter was great to deal with. It has most features you probably need, and none that you don't. The two band parametric is nice, but often run without it.

    I was considering getting a preamp with all the bells and whistles, but hearing The H series' predecessor made me decide to give this one a whirl. Kern, Aguilar and Ashdown were all in the running, but I decided to go the "transparent sound" route.

    Whether that's your cup of tea is another matter. The Demeter is VERY clean, and a little high-endy. It has some warmth, but no grit. Sometimes I miss that. But I bought it and a QSC PLX 3002 power amp with the idea of driving some Acme cabs. I never got around to buying those yet.

    I can't think of another preamp's sound to compare this one to. Suffice it to say it's the opposite of the Eden Navigator, for example.
  7. Thanks Bob C for the insights. I guess that I do like having some grit at my disposal, and the Sansamp PSA 1.1 definitely gives me that. There is just the matter of the direct out that I don't dig. There appears to be a cabinet simulator on it which I do not require...
  8. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN

    My regular rig is a Hartke 3500 head. It's like 15 years old, and I still use it a lot. I made the big move to rack seperates with the Demeter and QSC, but never quite got that sound all together.

    Part of my master plan was to mix and match components over the months and years until I found the perfect combination. You can only learn so much by trying stuff out in the store. But everyday life and lack of funds have prevented me from realising that dream.

    To elaborate on the Demeter's sound a bit more, it is quite punchy and has quick response. But it isn't really "ballsy".

    I haven't played the Sansamp, but I suspect the Demeter sounds completely different. As for the direct out, you can use it without the cabinet simulator, no? Or use a direct box. But then I guess your "grit" wouldn't come through the PA.
  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    anyone buying this preamp should be buying it for the one rack, basscentric para eq section. i did, and i couldnt be happier.

    if you have no need for the para, and just want the most hifi tube sound ever, the vtbp-201s should be more than enough.
  10. The way the set of the Direct out AND the speaker out is with a simulator which can't be turned off. Further, the Direct is not an XLR but a 1/4", which I find odd. I like the balls that the Sans gives me, and it's ease of use and adjustability makes me think that I might not be happy with anything else...I did do a lot of research before I got it, but its those little things like simulators on the outs that you just don't ask about before you get one...why would ya? Likely, I'll stick with the Sans, but if I could find a Demeter on a deal, I'd buy it, knowing that I may sell it only a week or two later. This is the last component to MY perfect rig...I found "my" sound, I'm just getting greedy, wondering if there might be an even better "my" sound out there.
  11. The para EQ definitely weighed in on my consideration of going with the Demeter.
  12. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA

    Well, I've got the Dem HBP-1 > QSC 3102 > Acme B-4 and it smokes....you need to quit dragging your feet and complete the ensemble!

    I wouldn't run the Dem without the para EQ engaged. Compensates nicely for venue acoustics, overly-agressive pre's / pups, and so forth. I do a sweep each gig and usually end up rolling off the occasional annoying bumps in the 80-160 hz and 2-3 khz ranges.

    BTW, what does an Eden Navigator sound like?

  13. My experience with Eden is in my practice rig; an Eden Traveller 2-10 combo atop a Bergantino HT-115. The tones I get are outstanding, clear, bright and yet warm. If there is a weak spot it is in the mids, particularly the mid-lows.
    I've heard good things about the navigator, but I think I heard someone say that it is just about the opposite of the HBP-1.
  14. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Can I be the dissenter? I can see what a surprise it can be over pres with lesser quality components or pres that have a real thick sound approach. The Dem can sound so clear. Then for me I began to notice that it was as an earlier poster said not ballsy. No thrust. Also the louder I cranked it it became less organic and more plasticy sounding. The Para added so much more of that that I would call it synthetic. I tried various tubes and it just got noisy turned up. James Demeter told me to adjust a pot inside that would allow me turn it up further with less noise but it just adjusted the volume down so it had more range on the volume knob with no real overall change.

    Now! Big Caveat! This was with my basses not yours.:) My touch not yours.:) My strings, my mother in law.:eek:

    If you have cabs that have their own sound, bordering on richness, than you might not notice any of this.

    If you lean toward the thick I'd look elsewhere unless your cabs are giving it.
  15. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN

    It's nice to hear that endorsment. I know the Acmes would give me all the lows and warmth I could ever want. I'm kind of off of that "no coloring" kick though.

    Maybe the Navigator isn't the right name, but Eden's preamp is "organic" sounding. Kind of like Ampeg tube amps, but maybe rounder. I guess the same way their cabinets are voiced. I don't know - I played some Eden stuff in stores, and it sounds "okay". But for all the tone controls, I couldn't get an exciting sound.
  16. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    All the advice is good. The one thing that you should definitely do is make sure it is that the unit has the Jensen transformer DI. The standard DI is not safe when using phantom power. Mine blew up during a gig and had to send it back for repair. Like joker said, if you want the eq it is definitely the unit to get.

    I didn't need the tone sculpting and sold mine and repurchased a VTP-201 (the original).
  17. Thanks Chadds and Pickebass for the words of wisdom. I use Epifani and Bergantino cabs, so they are not in question. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike my current sound, it is rich and ballsy and the PSA 1.1 allows me to set parameters easily to get pretty much what I like to hear...I'm just exploring.
    Is there a rack preamp that offers the cleans of the Demeter, the balls and punch of the Sansamp and has an awesome DI? Let's say, up to $1200 for a price range.
  18. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Good question. My Demeter and RBI are 180 deg. in terms of the tonal characteristics you specified. You could use always use a "cleaner" rack-mounted unit and pre-load it with a SansAmp BDDI or the like. If you go used, you're probably looking at $600-700.

  19. Don't forget the Alembic preamps. I think they were at the top of the list of a Bass Player magazine preamp shootout along with the Demeter.

    I use the F2-B but it doesn't have a transformer DI or crossover like the FX-1. Both are tubes though. ...based on the Fender Showman/Twin Reverb.

  20. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    I'm sorry to say the Kern. Maybe he'll start making them again as rumored if we keep saying this.:hyper: A used Kern would be in your price range if you find one. It's part of the reason the Dem went. The comparison was painful. Especially when I dialed out some mids and bass from the Kern the highs that are present just are organic never shrill. You know if you can find a Glock BAC you might be surprised how warm it is. See Hellborg/Glock thread.:) The Alembics are primitive feeling and sounding compared to the Dem. Some of us have had quiet ones others noisy ones. When you try get the specs on making it flat as a place to start. Someone here knows.

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