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DEMETER VTBP-201s-vs-Jule Monique

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cromag31, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. cromag31

    cromag31 Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    orange county New York
    can anyone give me any info on comparing these 2 preamps? i have the demeter but im interested in the monique.... any info would be greatly appreciated...
  2. dmrogers

    dmrogers Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Eastman, GA
    Hi Cromag,
    I don't know anything about the Demeter, however I do have a Jule Monique rack model.

    Here is the 5th thread on the Jule pre. Before I jumped on the Monique, I read through all of the threads. There is a ton of great info in those threads. I'm sure someone has experience with the Demeter.

    I know you asked for a comparison of the two, which I can't do, however I would like to offer my experience of the Monique. I have had mine for 10 months. It has been, and continues to be a great rig. I love the simplicity of the Monique. But don't think because it is simple that is doesn't have a nice variety of tones. The EQ is very usable. The Sensitivity adjustment is a wonderful adjustment. i allows you to go from dead smooth to a nice aggressive drive, but it still sounds very natural.
    The build quality is top notch. Jule does a great job. The hand-wired circuitry is first-rate!

    I have paired the Monique with a Crest ProLITE 2.0 in a six space SKB rack. It is my main gigging rig now. It's a keeper!
  3. cromag31

    cromag31 Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    orange county New York
    thanks dm!!!
  4. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Like dmrogers, I haven't used the Demeter but I've been gigging Monique for a few years (and couple hundred gigs) now. I'm really picky about my gear, and have owned a lot of different stuff. Throughout the years I've identified a few "special" pieces of gear. They may be really good at doing one thing, or really flexible, or just have some "magic." The metric is whether or not I keep it. I was skeptical about Monique. Why do I need a tube preamp? For the studio I've got other options, and live it is more complicated than a good micro head. What initially drew me in, to be honest, was the dove cage model. I loved the look of it - very cool aesthetic. I still hesitated but eventually I decided to try it. I figured that they were becoming a bit of a TB "hit" so if I didn't like it, I could easily flip it. Well, mine never has gotten anywhere close to the classifieds...

    There are a couple of reasons for this. One is the look - I still dig it and invariably it is a conversation starter at gigs. More important is the sound, and along with that, the *feel* of the preamp. It doesn't have surgical eq, lots of controls, etc. But it is damn near impossible to get a bad sound out of it. And it has more flexibility than you'd think, mostly due to the sensitivity control and the ability of the circuit to react to your playing. It really is another instrument rather than just a set of knobs to twist.

    Finally, Jule Potter is a guy that cares deeply about his craft, and just as deeply about the craft of the people who buy his amps. That is a rare trait these days, and when I find those type of people I like to support them as best I can. Duke LeJeune is another example of that category of builder.

    Note: the above isn't to say anything negative about James Demeter. He's a good guy too and makes great gear (I have one of the first Minnie power amps that he made in collaboration with Jule). It is just that Monique is a sublime instrument that I always miss if I don't take it out on a gig.
    dome and dmrogers like this.
  5. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010
    There are quite a few direct comparisons between the Demeter and the Jule here on this thread about the new powered Demeter: http://www.talkbass.com/threads/demeter-vtbp-m-800d-namm.1049089/

    I have a Demeter (old one, not an S) that I love.

    The general consensus is that the Jule is darker and more vintage sounding and the Demeter has more glass, better highs and does the modern sound better.

    The other big criticism of the Demeter is the lack of range on the EQ. If you already like the sound of your bass, this is a good thing. If you use a lot of eq, it might be a problem for you.

    Again, I have one of the old black box VTBP-201 that I sent back to Demeter to have them install an internal power amp, and I think it is the greatest thing since sliced bread, which I eat and use for making sandwiches almost daily.
  6. cromag31

    cromag31 Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    orange county New York
    thanks people, for all the input!!
  7. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    I've spent time comparing the VTBP 800 integrated with the Monique. It's a VERY tough call. On problem gigs where you have trouble cutting through the Demeter will win. It also vastly depends on the speaker you're using. On My Flex cabs I preferred the Monique. They have a tighter bass and more mid cut. A beautiful balance with the Monique. With my 46's--the Demeter. These are flatter with a warmer low end.You can't really compare the two pre's in the real world without looking at the entire signal chain.---geez mods---I'm not hawking my cabs, just trying to help get an idea across---I don't have anyone else's cabs onhand!

    I find that the eq on the Demeter is quite useful on the VTBP 800. I was expecting it to not be but was pleasantly surprised.
    jjmf likes this.
  8. dmrogers

    dmrogers Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Eastman, GA
    I would add, Nostatic nailed it in his post with the second paragraph. The Monique is a very musical pre. You can really feel it. The simplistic design is a lot of fun. I have yet to get a tone that I didn't like. It is, as Nostatic said, almost like another instrument instead of a piece of electronics. My other heads are a couple of Thunderfunks. I have been a fan of Thunderfunks for a long time, and continue to be. They aren't going anywhere! The build quality is first rate! Plus, the Thunderfunks are real workhorses. If you can't get a good solid tone and volume out of them, you might as well give up. That being said, hooking up to the Monique is just fun. Very organic and musical. Totally different animals!

    Mike is also correct with the fact that you have to consider to total package. I have gigs where I really feel like I need to run my fdeck HPF in order to achieve what I am looking for. Plus, Mike and Nostatic have cabs that I feel are much more defined that what I am playing through at the moment. I think when I get a couple of cabs with a little more mid forward design, I will really be able to appreciate the Monique Pre.

    I hope this info helps.

    Oh, one other thing, Jule is such a pleasure to work with. The service I received from him throughout the purchase process couldn't have been better. He takes his time, really listens to his customers, and knows his stuff. Top notch guy!
    franklindayala likes this.

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