Fat, vintage sounding preamp help.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jock, May 8, 2001.

  1. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I found a ss poweramp from EBS on 800W at a good price. Can you recommend a preamp that will make it sound like its an all tube amp with my old Precisionbass. I know that´s impossible but wich one will come closest to a warm tubeamp?
    My ideas so far is the Trace Elliot V-type, Alembic and Ashdown. I don´t like the SVP-pro. The Aguilars are supposed to be great but to much $$$. I´ve heard great things about Kern.
    Any comments are welcomed.

  2. jvtwin

    jvtwin What it needs is a little more cowbell

    Jan 26, 2001
    LA Calif.
    From what I've tried, I like Aguilar or Ashdown. I'd say the Aggie preamp is a little warmer sounding - IMHO of course. :D

    Look around on ebay, you may get lucky on a good used unit and save a few bones
  3. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    How about Demeter? I love mine. Great for funk.
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The Alembic preamps use the exact same circuits as the old Fender Dual Showman, so when you say "vintage tube amp sound" that's where I would start.
  5. jbass27


    May 4, 2001
    St. Louis, MO
    Eden Navigator! Its a very nice preamp. And it comes with a footswitch to do all kinds of stuff.
  6. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I currently own the Demeter. It's a great-sounding amp, and I love it, but it's not what comes to mind when I think of "warm tube sound". I think the Alembic is similar, though I've not played them side by side.

    I've also owned the Eden, which is also very good sounding, and to my ears a bit more compressed and "fuzzy" than the Demeter. That's a little closer to what I think of as "warm tube sound", and the footswitch is handy, but there are a lot of knobs and lights! ;-)

    The Ashdown is supposed to be very big and warm sounding, but I've not played one in person. I'd certainly consider it if you're going for something that will do both "vintage" and "modern", though.

  7. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    what about the SWR interstellar overdrive? that's what it's designed for: being able to have vintage and modern sounds.

  8. I think the Alembic FX-1 is the one for you. It's very vintage sounding, with a fat, buttery bottom end, and is very well built and well-priced. As stated above, it's very close to the Fender Bassman circuitry, but with high quality components. The controls, like the Fender, are all interactive. Turn the three tone knobs down and you've got...nothing! A great preamp.
  9. If it were me, I'd use the Sansamp Bass Driver DI and forget about tubes, unless you want to get a tube power amp. See, the "vintage" tone w/some fuzz is best produced with a bit of overdriven power tubes as well as preamp tubes, which is what the Sansamp does. Using just preamp tubes may not get you what you want.

    I don't claim to be an expert, this is just my experience....
  10. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    I'd suggest considering a Kern IP-777 - mine sounds wonderful with the QSC powering EA VL210 cabs
  11. Bob G,

    How about a URL for Kern?
  12. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Sure, http://www.kernacm.com/ where you'll find info on the IP-777 as well as a reprint of the Bass player Magazine Dec. 98 issue review.

  13. Thanks! I don't have any particular preference in the tube vs ss argument, so I tend to shy away from tubes strictly from the retubing/cost viewpoint.

    As you are using the Kern for a pre-amp, what else are you using in the chain for EQ and a crossover, if any?

    I'm thinking along the lines of a pre-amp, EQ, and a Rane crossover into either a pair of mono amps, or a single sterero amp for bi-amping.
  14. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    There are three commonly-available tubes in the Kern; I bought a set from Lord Valve for less than $30 and am still using the originals. Power amp tubes and maintenance are a bigger and more expensive headache -- not so with preamps

    The Kern has sufficiently flexible EQ on board and I've not needed anything beyond what it has to offer.

    I'm not using a crossover, but running both EA VL-210 cabinets full-range at 2400w from a bridged QSC 2402. I have biamped in the past, even wrote an article for Guitar Player on the concept and my rig in 1980. With today's full range cabinets, I wouldn't do so again unless I was using a subharmonic synthesizer and didn't mind carrying a huge 18" driver cabinet. Watts are cheap these days.
  15. neptune


    Feb 2, 2001
    bgavin, Thanks for bringing up the question about additional eg with preamp-poweramp setups. I've got an Aguilar DB-659 and a QSC power amp. I find that this setup doesn't offer enough eq flexibility for my taste. I'm going back to an integrated head, at this point probably Eden WT-400. I'm not trying to criticize the Aguilar, it does have a nice sound, but I personally don't want to hassle with alot of outboard components (i.e eq, crossover, compressor etc.) in order to get "that sound." in many venues. Currently, I'm willing to trade off some tone for maximum portability.
  16. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Alembic F-2B or F-1X. As stated before, the circuitry is based on the Fender Dual Showman.

  17. I'd say go with the Ashdown or Aguilar. I think BassNW has the Ashdown on clearance right now for $399.00 USD.
  18. Another vote for the Alembic F1-X. Bass, middle & treble gets you to a beautiful vintage experience!!!!
  19. One more vote for the Kern 777. I run my Sadowsky 4 string -> Kern -> Crown K2 power amp -> Euphonic Audio 2x10. Heaven.
  20. And another vote for a Kern IP-777. I use one with a Raven Labs mixer, QSC 2402 Amp and 2 Acme Low-B2 speakers. Wonderful!