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Gone with the Head! Power & Pre Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by j-raj, Dec 22, 2003.


  1. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    OK, Recently have been having problems with my little SWR Bass 350, wimpy as it may be... I have thoroughly used it on all gigs from Dec 2000 to the present.

    It started to have a little distortion a week or so ago, now it is completely unuseable. It was mentioned to me from a friend to change the 12ax7 in it... did that, still same distortion. I really don't have time to deal with fixing it...

    ...on to the reason for the thread.



    Since I have the need for more power (headroom) on my gigs these days, I'm thinking about taking the plunge on a pwr/pre set up. There are a lot of you cats that using this set up and I really could use the input.


    Currently I have a Crown CE 1000 coming in from a follow TBer (via UPS)... I need to pick out a reasonably priced preamp, that is versatile, solid and has a great DI built in to it. Here are current Pre's that I have thought of (so far):

    SansAmp RBI
    BBE Bmax
    Trace Elliot V-Type
    Alembic F1-x (used)
    Aguilar DB 659 (used)



    If you have owned or tried any of these, please give me some of your feedback on them. Also if there are other suggestions that I should try out, let me know...





    *I really don't have another gig till NYE (12/31/03), so I have a few days to work on a pre or borrowing a rig.
     
  2. SoyBase

    SoyBase

    Jul 1, 2001
    Atlanta, Ga
    I say go for the Aguilar..After hearing you guys that one night at FPN, before I met you on the board here, I thought your tone was nice and thick, maybe a little creamy as well. A PRIME candidate for the DB659.

    You're welcome to come by and check out my 750 (same front end as the 659) to get an idea of the Aguilar tone. My space is off Collier and Howell Mill (sorta)..

    Disclaimer: I can't be held responsible for the sudden love for the Db750. Also, I cannot be responsible for the sudden addiction and cravings this amp may produce. Use at your own risk :p :p :p

    Thanks
     
  3. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    Doesn't vanselus have a good amp review page? Someone help him out with the url.
     
  4. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    Agreed, I have seen Todd's site before. I like how he cross references the instrument and the pre... Plus he puts the list price, Retail and what it should/would go for Used.

    I will peruse that site on my own, Kudos to Todd for putting the site together. I also need to hear back from those that are using their preamps on gigs and live settings.






    Soy, I do need to take you up on trying that rig out sometime soon... Collier/Howell Mill ain't far from where I live...
     
  5. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    One of the preamps not on your list that I find to be extremely versatile, great sounding and cheap is the Peavey MAX. I bought one used for $150. It has two channels, one is a tube channel and the other is solid state. The plus is that you can combine the two channels, for added tone shaping. It has a 7 band graphic EQ for the solid state section, and low/mid/high for the tube section. Has a DI, and it has a built in variable crossover, with outputs for full range, high and low. Has gain controls for pre and post, which is nice if you want to dial in some crunch.

    It a nice preamp, with alot of useful features. And yes, it sounds great with a pair of Aggie GS112s. For the price, it's pretty hard to beat. The stock tube is a little crappy, but if you change it out, the sound improves.

    In short, you can get a nice preamp without having to shell out a whole lot of bucks.
     
  6. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    Thanks Jive1!

    Galaxy Music here in an ATL Suburb is a PV dealer. I might check that out.

    Yes I should have added, I'm currently playing through (2) GS 112's and plan to get a 4ohm 410 sometime this Spring... So I'll have a few config's to work with.
     
  7. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    If you're gonna get a 4 Ohm 4x10, then I'd definitely look into something with a crossover. That way you'd get optimum flexibility, each of your cabs wil do what they do best, and make optimum use of the available power from your Crown.

    2 GS112s and a GS410:eek:
    Man, that's a big sound. Wear your windbreaker.
     
  8. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Listen to this man. He knows what he's talking about! :bassist:
     
  9. I agree that the Peavey Max is a great preamp. It sounds good through either of my cabs...swr goliath jr and sob, and aguilar gs212. It has alot of features and doesn't hurt the wallet.

    However, I may be trading my Peavey Max. I tried out a Peavey Pro 500 over the weekend...this is one sweet amp. I'm going to use it for one more gig before I make a decision. Would anyone like a review on this amp?
     
  10. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    OK, is that available in many Pre's these days?



    An a pair of Depends (undergarments)...



    See, that set up would give me:

    (1) GS 112
    (2) GS 112's
    (1) GS 410
    (1) GS 112's & (1) GS 410
    (2) GS 112's & (1) GS 410

    5 different configs... I like that.



    ebozzz,

    Yes, I'm starting to get the idea that jive1 knows what's up!!!
     
  11. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    The SWR Studio 220 has it, but don't know of any others.


    And you never have to go below 4 Ohm per channel. You amp will appreciate that.



    I gotta show this to my wife. :D
    Thanks, if I could be of any help, let me know. Just tryin to share the love that others have given me on the amps forum.
     
  12.  
  13. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    I've praised the MAX for quite a while now. It's hard to beat for the price that they can be had at new or used. jive1 was right about the stock tube. While it didn't sound terrible, I was much happier with the performance after replacing it.

    I tried a Sovtek 12AX7LPS in mine initially and now it has a Yuogoslavian Ei Elite 12AX7 with the gold plating installed. The Sovtek sounded smoother and more detailed than the stock tube and the Ei has similar tone to the LPS while being more musical IMO.

    It does have a crossover and it is a great sounding preamp. I own an RPM-1 EVO II also. :cool: The MAX gives the RPM-1 a run but the Ashdown is clearly the superior product. It should be as you can probably get two new MAX units for the cost that most dealers are selling the RPM-1 new. It's funny. I've been very pleased just using the full-range output of both preamps thus far.
     
  14. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Are they going to give you a reasonable amount on trade? If not, why not just keep the MAX as your backup? And, I'd love to hear more about the PRO 500! ;)
     
  15. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!

    Yeah me too...

    How do the Groove tubes 12ax7 stack up to the ones that you replaced them with?
     
  16. I've decided to talk figures tomorrow. The Pro 500 is a keeper. I bought the Max from the same store, so hopefully they'll give me a fair trade. I am aware that it's been going for about 150 on ebay...so maybe I will keep it for a backup. I've been very happy with it, and may decide to keep it. Maybe I'll trade the BBE instead. The price of the Pro 500 will also help with my decision. It's actually used...a week old. The original owner is a good friend of mine. So it also depends on the warranty...I won't pay full price if it's already been registered and I don't get a warranty.

    About that Pro 500. It's a very tight,warm, and punchy amp. I was able to dial in the tone that I have been wanting (my tone!) You all know the one, the one you hear in your head...well I finally found it. :bassist: I'm pretty excited about that. I thought it would be way underpowered...going from 850 watts to 350...I wasn't expecting much, but it's plenty for stage volume. I didn't have to dime it and had no problems being heard, and received compliments from everyone about the tone. It's definetly tighter then the Max. I'm digging the parametric eq, very versitile. I've never been a fan of graphic eq's. This amp sounds like it has a built in compressor..obviously it does not, but it's smooth and tight like a good compressor would be. Wow this is turning into a book, sorry to hi-jack this thread, I should have started a new one. Feel free to ask questions about the Pro 500.
     
  17. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    My preferences in order of preference (based on using the pre with the cabs you are talking about):
    1. BBE Bmax
    2. Aguilar DB 659 (used)
    3. Trace Elliot V-Type
    4. Alembic F1-x (used)
    [I haven't heard an RBI live, but I don't care for the sound of the BDDI clips on BassTasters.]

    The Trace and Agie are maybe a tie unless you optimize the tubes in the Agie, then I would give the edge to the Agie.
     
  18. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    I don't have any experience with Groove Tube 12AX7s. The stock tube in my MAX was simply labled Made In China. It lacked the depth & definition of the two tubes that I mentioned above.

    nickelseye, I would try replacing the tube in your MAX prior to geting rid of it. You might just be surprised at the improvement. Just a thought.
     
  19. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!

    ....or you could just give it to me and I'll replace the tube...


    :D