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Good stoner metal preamp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Lazarus.Bird, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    So I switched to a preamp/poweramp setup recently. I'm currently using an Ibanez ATK through a BlueBeard Fuzz into a SansAmp RBI pre. No doubt the RBI is a great preamp, and I knew what I was getting into as I use a BDDI at home to play with my headphones, but the RBI just isn't fully what I want in a preamp when using it at full volume.

    I'm not sure how to describe it, but I'll put the settings around the SVT suggested settings, boost my mids a bit and then when I try to turn up the drive knob I just don't like result. I tried using my ODB-3 to add some overdrive but it's too much of a distortion pedal to do what I'm looking for. I loved the tone I got with my SVT-3 with the tube overdrive set to max. I'd appreciate any suggestions for some other preamps to look at, as I'm relatively new to the pre/power game. Tried using the search function but I couldn't seem to get my search terms to bring back what I was looking for.
  2. 5watt valve amp > dummy load > power amp
  3. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    Could you please elaborate?
  4. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Get the tube sound from the 5 watt amp (including power tube saturation), use dummy load so it doesn't blow up, and the power amp to just make it louder?

    That's how I interpret that lol.
  5. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    I run an ampeg svp-cl. It's not dirty but it's thick. I then run a fuzz or boost into that. It sounds great. Run into a 2x15 it's like doom heaven.
  6. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    Any reason why Ampeg stopped manufacturing their rack pres? Not too hard to find them online but I wish I could try one out in person.
  7. So... you are using the drive to control volume? Is the level maxed on your post? Where is the level on your power amp?
    *edit Or You can't get your tone from the drive?

    If/when I get the dough, I am getting an Aguilar Agro pedal. It is hard getting a sterile power amp to have some flavor, I feel your pain. I wouldn't discredit the RBI, it should be able to do what you are looking for. It's tough getting the sound you imagine. Good Luck on your tone quest!
  8. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    I'm not using the drive to control volume, just to try to add some more warm overdrive but it seems like anything past the suggested SVT settings quickly gets into distortion. Not nasty, something is broken distortion, but still distortion. I get enough grit from my fuzz so I really don't like the clarity loss I get from turning up the drive knob.

    I have the volume on the power amp set to max (625W PA channel going into a 900W cab, I want it as loud as it will go). I have a dbx compressor in an effects loop where I match the gain knob to the level reduced by the compressor as explained in the manual, and then turn up the level knob on the preamp to just before I start to clip the power amp. Not sure if this is the proper way to get max volume or not.

    Obviously the easiest thing to do to get the sound I'm looking for is pick up a tube head, but I don't have the cash to fund that while I'm having my second cab built.
  9. froghat

    froghat Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2009
    Rhinebeck, NY
    You might also consider the Sansamp RPM. It's darker and thicker than the RBI and can get a very nice overdrive tone.
  10. ampegfuzz


    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    Why do you feel you need to use a comp? And your looking for more overdrive before distortion right? Are you trying to achieve this tone at low volumes? What is the cab you are using? Try removing the comp, turn down the power amp master, crank the pre master (not the drive), then slowly turn up the power amp master. EDIT: What does that button do on the front?
  11. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    Eh... it came with the rig when I purchased it. I don't use it to drastically compress anything. I play with very low action so I dial back my treble on both the bass and preamp a decent amount to reduce any clacking noise, and have so much low end fuzz I feel the compressor helps bring the higher register notes back up. This is really my first experience with a compressor so I'll admit to not really knowing what I'm doing. The noise gate really helps kill the annoying noise my fuzz makes when I stop playing at high volume.

    Trying to go as loud as possible, and I'm using an EarCandy BassBomb. Why do you suggest removing the compressor?
  12. St Drogo

    St Drogo

    Oct 9, 2009
    Not sure if this will help, but you asked for suggestions, so...

    I'm using an old peavey mark III head and I'm loving the sound when I really ride the pre, maxing or almost maxing out the input gain and so on. At the moment I have no need for a louder sound, but there are preamp out and poweramp in connectors, so if the need arises, I was going to try putting a more powerful poweramp behind the peavey's frontend. It could work for you too, but you'll have to lug around an entire head, if you can't get the preamp out of the head.
  13. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    I'm just getting into the whole stoner metal thing myself, and have tried both the Sansamp RBI and RPM, and much prefer the RPM. I keep the actual gain set pretty low (9-10 o'clock), and the blend dialed back to about 60-75%. Then I add the fuzz.
  14. ampegfuzz


    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    If your going for an overdriven tone when your fuzz is off. The comp may be lowering the needed input at the preamp to drive the pre into a likable OD. But i could totally be wrong, you should pop over to the ovnilab website and read up on preamps and comps for a better idea. But IMHO stoner metal need no comp.
  15. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    IMO, overdrive with compression don't mix very well.

    compression on compression. :(
  16. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    I hadn't even considered the fact that overdrive is actually a form of compression. I will try bypassing the compressor and tweaking around. I appreciate all the input, as this is mostly foreign territory for me.
  17. Can't help TOO much... i ALSO use an ATK and a Bluebeard fuzz!!

    I haven't needed much more volume going through a Traynor YBA-3 and a 1x15+1x18. However, it's a clean head... but i dig the more focused fuzz tone.

    However, a HUGE +1 to St Drogo. Peavey Mark III's are a HUGELY underrated amp for dirty bass lovers. Seriously. I know a few people that actually hoard the Mark III's. I have a Mark VI... but there's so much headroom on that sucker, i can't get grindy. I have had some grindy luck on a Mark IV though...

    Haha, Sonny (the bluebeard maker) is even working his electronics-voodoo and trying to combine a Peavey Mark III with an Ampeg VB4 to get ultimate OD/Grind tones. I don't know the 'hows' or 'whats' though... electronics aren't my forte...

    When you DO find them, they go for stupid low prices... routinely under $100.

    I still stand by my reccomendation: Anyone into really good solid state grind should check out the Peavey Mark III and the old Kustom200.

    Sorry if that didn't help much! I'm not well versed in pre-amps!
  18. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    I'm playing in a stoner metal band (ROMERO)......I was using a Mesa M2000 into a 2x15.
    I set the FET side clean and fat, and used the blending feature (FET and hi gain) for my dirty overdriven tone. Worked really well and sounded good. I'd kick on a TS9DLX or fuzz if I needed something more intense.

    Last night I tried my 800RB for the first time.
    Man, what a different tone.
    I set it so I could get the grind with a touch of hair if I dug in.....then threw a RAT out front. nice nice nice tone.

    So I tend to set the amp pretty clean as a base for dirt pedals and fuzzes.

    All us stoner players look for very different things in tone. :)
  19. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Ampeg SVP-PRO is what I use. (Its the Preamp from a SVT-2 PRO)
    Tung Sol at Gain, JJ at EQ, NOS 5963 for Drive, SilverDragon 12AX7B Output.
    That into a SVT-3 Pro Drive/Power Amp with Tungsol at PowerAmp Gain, and GE NOS 12AU7A for Mosfet Drive.

    USATK User btw, dbx Compressor in the chain too. Aphex Aural Exiter(When you need an extra push)

    I can tell you the ODB3 is pretty limited, and stock sounds ok, you have to cut bass and highs a to make the drive part sound good, but craps out the clean tone.

    Ive seen videos of the Bass Bigg Muff and think that it sounds awesome.. gonna try one soon.
  20. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    I've only had decent luck with the ODB3 using it as a straight dirt pedal. no blend.
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