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good preamp: SPL Gainstation

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Hannes, May 5, 2006.

  1. Hannes


    Mar 28, 2006

    I've searched for a long time for a good double b./bass guitar preamp. A few hours ago I tested the SPL Gainstation. It's a microphon and line-input preamp with analog and digital outputs!
    It has a high end transistor AND tube preamp on board!

    This thing is really awesome. It's the most versatile devise I've ever seen. You can use it with an microphon for your double bass, you can plug in your bass guitar, no matter what you do the SPL sounds great. If you want to do some recording it has a really good digital output. With a switcher you can select two types of limiting Fet and peak.
    I didn't test vocals with the spl but if someone out there is able to sing: Try it :)

    I know, sounds like advertisment but I'm just happy having found "my" preamp after all :hyper:
  2. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    Looks really nice:


    But for that kind of money, there are many other "pro" options out there...like Avalon, Summit, etc.

    I'm thinking about one of the DTAR Solstace models... because I want to be able to blend a pickup and mic -- depending on the acoustics of the room/amp/sound system.

    The SPL looks solid though!
  3. Hannes


    Mar 28, 2006
    Yes, the price is hot :cool:
    But for me the gainstation offers all functions I want!
    Compare it with other preamps and then decide...
  4. Aleph5


    Feb 24, 2004
    I'm sure it's great, but for cost no object, did you compare it to the Millennia TD-1?
  5. As you can see in the picture below, I use the gainstation with my Neumann KM 185 (I do not use a pickup), Lab.gruppen iP450 power amp and a Glockenklang Acoustic Art cab. I mostly use the solid state stage of the preamp, with just a touch of the tube stage, and the FET compressor. And, although this might have become somewhat of a cliche, it really sounds like my bass acoustically.



    PS: as regards the Millennium, if you are located in the EU the SPL is far cheaper. Also, the folks at SPL (which is a very small company), are very helpful. I once visited them to let them install a Lundahl transformer in my Gainstation and I had a great time talking with them. (I am in no way affiliated with the company, BTW. Just a very happy costumer).

  6. Also, I use the preamp with my Fichter EUB (same setup, with an additional Glock Acoustic Art cab), and then I only use the tube stage and FET compressor. That sounds awesome as well. When recording my Fichter, the sound does not need any additional processing.

    The same holds for my acoustic; I have recorded my bass several times through the Gainstation only (with the Neumann, of course), and that also sounded just as I imagine my bass should sound like.

    As you can see, I am quite happy with the SPL!


  7. Hannes


    Mar 28, 2006
    Yes, great device! Did the Lundalh made a great difference?

    I compared the Gainstation today with the Avalon U5 mono.

    I think if you do not need the mic-preamp the Avalon is the way to go! I played with my fender bass through both (spl&alvalon) and if you want a clean good sound the avalon wins. The transistor preamp of the avalon sounds better than the one of the SPL. In my opionion the guys from SPL could have used a better A/d converter...

    The SPL offers more features (limiter,tube preamp) but costs twice as much. The Avalon is good for piezo pickups but can't handle microphones. I need the microphone option for mein db.
    Therefor I decided to buy the spl
  8. Hannes


    Mar 28, 2006
    p.s Vunz: why did you buy the lab gruppen? Have you compared it with other poweramps?
  9. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I have no problem using the avalon with a mic--i just got an impedance transformer, a passive device that converts from XLR to 1/4
  10. Hannes


    Mar 28, 2006
    But I'm sure there are other devices out there you sound better with mics...
  11. Yes, I have. I wanted a very high-quality power amp with no fan, and preferrably only 1 unit high. Enter the Lab.gruppen!

    Regarding the Lundahl transformer: live, the difference is hardly noticeable, but in the studio it is!



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