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Eden Navigator vs. Demeter VTBP-201s

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Quackhead, May 21, 2012.


  1. Quackhead

    Quackhead

    Jan 17, 2012
    Elk Grove, CA
    I am considering both of these pre-amps right now. I have played through a lot of Eden gear so I'm familiar with the "Eden" tone, but not so much with the Demeter.

    Does anyone have experience using both of these preamps? I know the Eden has alot more EQ and other features, I generally like a clean tone and I'm not a knob twiddler. I know both of these are a solid choice for a good clean tone. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. I've heard the Demeter is similar to the Fender tbp-1, if that is the case it is very tubey and vintage sounding... ie. thick clean tone

    The eden is more modern clean, kinda in a similar realm to the SWR and EBS stuff
     
  3. bassman10096

    bassman10096 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    MKE
    I've played a Nav for years, alternated with my Mesa rig. Love it. Sort of a middle of the road, "modern vintage" tone. Not familiar hands on with the Demeter, but I've heard many hold it in high regard. But apart from the "core" tone, the big differences between the two appear to be: (1) the far greater tone shaping available through the semi-para EQ on the Nav (very effective at tailoring sound to room, bass, mood, etc) vs a straighter tone set on the Demeter and (2) the very flexible gain and "tube" controls on the the Nav. I'm an inveteterate tweaker, so if that's not you, maybe no big deal. But still a pretty big diff.
     
  4. smcgov

    smcgov Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2010
    Northshore Mass
    I've had both, I played in a classic rock band, I spent about 5 hours in a GC in Dallas w another bass player shooting out about 8 Pres and we both thought Eden sounded best, I had service issues twice w mine and traded it, got the Demeter and thought it cut better w the band, both sound really fabulous so it's kind of like picking between the blonde or brunette supermodel
     
  5. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine

    I own and have gigged with both. My Navigator has more gig miles on it than any other preamp in my collection - in part because I've owned it the longest, and in part because it's a great tool on the gig (or in the studio). As you noted, the Navigator is the more flexible of the two, but the 201s has plenty of tools in its quiver as well, IME/IMHO. Tonally, the Eden is a bit more warm, full and solid. The Demeter has big, round lows (still controlled, though), an intentionally scooped midrange, and what think are the best highs in the business. There is something about the sweet, shimmery high end from a 201s that I just cannot replicate with any other preamp.

    That being said, on a gig, I find that many of the qualities I love about the 201s in a head to head preamp comparison don't really shine through in a band mix scenario. As such, based upon my own experience, the Eden is probably the better pre in a live mix. YMMV, though.

    I'll also add that another preamp that I have a lot of gig time in on, and which is somewhat a blend of the Eden and Demeter, tonally, is the Trace Elliot V-Type preamp. It's a slightly different take on an Alembic F-1X, but it has a bit of the Demeter high end shimmer, a lot of the Eden warmth/solidness, and it has a bit of an aggressive growl/punch from the low mids up to the high mids. Of course, if pristine, singing clean tones are your ideal tone goal, it may not be the best for you (I'd go with the Demeter, then).

    Hope this helps, Tom.
     
  6. spector_boogie

    spector_boogie No Limit Honky Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2012
    The Woodlands, TX
    I've had both, as well as the HBP-1 from Demeter. I'd go with that one of the 3.

    Also Tom mentioned the V-Type pre, which is also absolutely killer, just a little harder to find in great condition.
     
  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Great point about the HBP-1 (I have one of those, too). It truly is a blend between the 201s and the Navigator. It does not have the super sweet high end of the 201s, but it has more midrange presence, a more solid/full feel overall (compared to the 201s), and really does sound like a blend between the 201s and the Navigator.
     
  8. rmars

    rmars

    Jan 2, 2004
    Bettendorf, Ia

    I agree Tom. I've used a Demeter for years and have to say that there is something about the highs and dynamics of the 201 that nothing else matches. I'm not a slapper so I'm not talking about those crisp sort of highs from popping (though it can do that) but just playing finger-style up the neck it just sings.

    As far as the mids are concerned after years of using a 201 I found out that flat on the eq is actually Highs at 10 o'clock, Mids 4-5 o'clock and Lows @ 12-1 o'clock with the bass center set to 120Hz. Now than I'm not eq'ing with my eyes I'm finding I have more than enough mids. If you just set the eq all at 12 o'clock it's definitely a bit scoop but not in a overly modern or hifi way.

    I would not call this a super fat or super tube'y sounding pre. It's warm, punchy, extremely dynamic and accurate, round low end but not overly extended set a 120Hz (I have never found a use for the 60Hz setting). Compared to the Navigator or other pre's that really thicken up the tone the 201 can sound a little thin, especially thru a 410 or a cab with a really bright modern top end. I think of the tone as accurate or unprocessed. The Navigator is super versatile and sounds great, definitely cool if like messing with knobs but the Demeter is just so pure, dynamic and simple I just can't move away from it. Always wanted to try a HB-1.... I like the idea of a bit more fullness in the mids.
     
  9. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I don't slap/pop much, either, but I definitely think that the lovely highs on the 201s shine through with fingerstyle playing, as well.

    I know that Jim Demeter knew that he had a mid scoop in the original 201, and that this contributed to its tone. I also know that he intentionally made the scoop a bit deeper when he moved up to the 201s, though I don't recall the exact frequencies or amount (though I think I did know this at one point in time...).
     
  10. Quackhead

    Quackhead

    Jan 17, 2012
    Elk Grove, CA
    Tom, I have played through a lot of Eden gear and your comment about the Nav cutting through better live makes sense. I've always thought that Eden gear is among the best in live settings because it punches through and your bass sits nicely in mix. Maybe it's not the most pristine sounding in a studio setting but live it's hard to beat. One of the best rock bass tones I've ever heard was a Mesa 400+ through an Eden D410XLT. That was deadly. :bassist:

    Thanks for all the comments. This is generally what I was thinking about the two amps but hearing it from players with experience really helps. I have yet to bite on either preamp just yet. I may just think about it and see if a good deal on an HBP-1 (or another killer pre) comes up.

     
  11. rmars

    rmars

    Jan 2, 2004
    Bettendorf, Ia
    I had an original 201 and in a moment of stupidity I sold it and got an SWR Grand Prix....:crying:
    Anyway, I had the Grand Prix for at least a year before selling it and moving to the newer 201s. I didn't know about him changing the mid scoop on the S model but I can see it. It seemed to sound a little bigger in the low end initially (not saying the low end was boosted just the contrast with the deeper mid scoop). I hadn't had my original so long I thought maybe it was just my memory wasn't correct.
     
  12. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I had an original 201, an HBP-1, and a Navigator, and I certainly did not think that the Eden was in the same league as the Demeters. It sounded a little more "plasticky" and "thin" to me. However, in certain live settings, the advanced EQ options and compression on the Eden can come in handy.

    There's just something "right" sounding to me about the Demeter stuff, especially the old 1.5 rackspace 201. When I listen back to live recordings I made with it, I am baffled as to why I would have sold it.
     
  13. Quackhead

    Quackhead

    Jan 17, 2012
    Elk Grove, CA
    I am leaning towards the Demeter, partly because I have played through so much Eden gear and a change of pace is always nice. That and I hear so much great stuff about the Demeters.

    Th VTBP-201s through my Berg HT210 should slam.
     
  14. rmars

    rmars

    Jan 2, 2004
    Bettendorf, Ia
    Don't know much about the HT210 or if it shares anything in common with the HD210 but if it does the VTBP-201s will sound pretty darn great.

    Tried a HD210 a few weeks ago with my VTBP-201s and it sounded fantastic.
     
  15. Quackhead

    Quackhead

    Jan 17, 2012
    Elk Grove, CA
    I'm not sure how the HD210 and HT210 differ. Mr. Bowlus could probably enlighten us.

    What I know from the short time that I've played the HT210 is that it has an amazing tweeter, really big and fat low end for a 210, and it seems pretty well balanced through the whole frequency range. It is definitely less mid scooped than my old HT322.

     
  16. That's one of the best reasons I've read for switching to something different.
     
  17. babebambi

    babebambi

    Jan 7, 2008
    YTZ
    The HD210 sounds like a cross between a HS210 and a HT210, but closer to the HS.
     
  18. Quackhead

    Quackhead

    Jan 17, 2012
    Elk Grove, CA
    Either way I've decided to go with the Demeter.
     
  19. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Eastern North Dakota
    I've had both and if I went that route again (rack rig, never will) I'd go Demeter all the way. Just a great preamp.
     
  20. Quackhead

    Quackhead

    Jan 17, 2012
    Elk Grove, CA
    I never thought I'd go with a rack rig, but my Carvin HD1500 is super light. The whole rack will be around 20 lbs total. It's bigger than I'd like, but as long as it's light, the bulk is manageable.

     

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