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Demeter HBP vs VTBP

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TheTurtle, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. TheTurtle

    TheTurtle Guest

    Nov 13, 2003
    Hi! I'm going to buy a Demeter pre but I don't know wich choose between the HBP (with parametric EQ) and the VTBP.

    Do you know if there are some differences in sounds between this two model?
    I'm interested more in the HBP that I think is more versatile but I'm afraid it sounds different and less warm than the classic Demeter pre.

  2. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I haven't heard the HBP.
    I've heard people here express tonal preferences, but the main difference is in the tone controls between the two.

    I have the 201S and love it. The three tone switches and four tone knobs give a fair bit of flexibility, it just takes a bit of getting used to, to find the sounds you like.
    I have an active bass with B/M/T controls onboard, so that helps.
    I think if I used passive basses, I might prefer the HBP, otherwise I've got 'my tone' nailed down with the system I have.

    If you provide the other equipment you'll be using with the pre and the kind of sound you're after, it might be easier for us to help you figure out if we can help you with advise.
  3. TheTurtle

    TheTurtle Guest

    Nov 13, 2003
    Well thanks for the answer, I'm going to use the Demeter with a Fodera Imperial 5 and Rob Allen MB-2 5 (It's a passive bass so I think It's better the HBP fot it).

    My doubt is about the tone of the two pre-amp... if they sound very similar or they are two different products. :confused:
  4. DB5


    Jul 3, 2001
    Austin Texas
    I have the HBP-1 and find the parametric EQ helps in difficult rooms. Suggest you change the stock tube in it to warm up the sound a bit. Really helps. You need to be careful NOT to run it XLR direct out with a board that supplies phantom power. You will fry the preamp. If your not sure use a DI to FOH. I A/B them both and found the HBP-1 to be more flexable for my needs.
  5. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    the Allen being passive shouldnt matter as to your choice of preamp. both preamps, however, do have a passive/active input that'll best suit whichever bass you pickup. but, the HBP might be better suited for the allen, considering it *lacks* any EQ.

    but, if EQ is important to you, then the HBP is your best bet. the EQ on the VTBP isnt too drastic, and IMHO, rather useless.

    i've owned both for a little over a year, and all in all, they sound VERY similar with that airy, hifi, refined tube tone. but, i will say the VTBP is a bit more "purer" sounding, considering it doesnt have as much going on inside. the HBP, on the other hand, has an evvvveeer soooooooo slight hint of harshness that i can tell when recording or practicing at home.

    this was a bit more apparent, especially when i hit the HBP with the intense onboard bass of my Sadowsky's. prolly due to the extra SS stuff inside the HBP getting overloaded, whereas in the simpler VTBP, the signal has an easier time of heading straight to the tubes that brings out a nicer glow. but on the gig, i HIGHLY doubt you'd really hear it.

    btw, do a search, and you should see lots of threads on these preamps.
  6. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    I have the 201S and I love it also. I put NOS Telefunken smooth plates tubes in and it's even better, although I really don't think you have to go to that extreme. There are some really good tubes today that are very good.

    I also bought tried and sent back the HBP model. It was nice but to much screwin' around for me. I never have a problem dialing in a room a and I can dial a great tone from my passive or active. The equipment I have (Bergantino cabs, Lakland basses) help in punching out some sweet tones, plus the Jensen Transformer is the best for recording and going into a mixer. I can't remember if the H has a Jensen or not but the 201S does. I get nothing but raves about my tones and how easy it is to put into the mix, no muss no fuss. Also the warning about Phantom Power on the H was a big concern of mine but Jim Demeter himself told me that has been fixed. But do check with them first if you go with that model. Good luck!
  7. TheTurtle

    TheTurtle Guest

    Nov 13, 2003
    Thanks a lot for your help... I'm also very undecided... I live in Rome, Italy, so I can't try these preamp directly.

    I had an e-mail from Demeter who answer some of my questions and they said:

    "The 201's is indeed warmer because it is all tube. The difference is not huge as far as the human ear is concerned BUT there is a difference and we sell a lot more 201's than we do HBP-1's... probably at about a three to one ratio".

    However the HBP-1 is without the Jensen Transformer because they wanted to take the price of this preamp lower.

    So... I don't know, I'm thinking that the 201's is not versatile enough and that the HBP-1 is not warmer enough.
    I think I have to think about what I need more from this pre-amps... :p
  8. Aram


    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
    If you want to make the 201s more versatile, you could always add an external EQ unit (e.g., rackmount, pedal, etc).
  9. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Do you know what speaker cabs you'll be using?
    [...potential major impact on the overall system sound...]
  10. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I think if you carefully re-read the posts above, you'll see that the 201S is indeed fairly versatile (tonally).
    Note BigString's comment about always being able to get the right sound with his passive bass as well.

    I would not trade my 8 month old 201S for a brand new HBP-1.

    Having said all that I have, being as you're in Europe, I would also suggest you check out Glockenklang's Bass Art Classic preamp. I've heard very good things about it as well.
  11. TheTurtle

    TheTurtle Guest

    Nov 13, 2003
    I think I will use a Markbass standard 4x10 cab. It's italian gear, I like very much their cabs.


    However I think I still wait some days before taking the final decision about what Demeter get! :rolleyes:
  12. Another oppinion:

    Think hard, which features do you need (tube/ss preamp, eq type (graphic...), inputs, outputs.

    As I searched for a tube preamp, as simple as possible with quiet XLR output the first choice was Aguilar, which I tested at Musikmesse. Few months later the price of Aguilar went up for 20%. About the same time I got a deal - Demeter 210s (old one (1.5 HU)) for 750€.

    Being in dillema, because I haven't tried it, everything turned out above expectations. It has just the features I wanted to have. But it isn't for everyone. A friend said, it was too limiting (only one type of sound...). But it's great in the studio (for passive and active (fenders, alembics, warwics, musicmans...)

    I also see people selling the preamps, because they weren't for their taste (EBS, Ampeg...).
    I know it's hard, because you cannot try it. If I were you, I'd get it. There is a 98% chance, you'll love it. If not, in Italy, I'd say you can sell it easily (altough, that's not what gear-buying is for!).

    Keep groovin'


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