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Got my Fender TBP-1!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by afroman, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Looks great, cool pedal and thank God, a detachable power cord.
    As soon as I turned it on and started playing I noticed a huge difference with the BBE Bmax I had. I now understand such descriptions as: "creamy", "warm" and "buttery" tone. It's less fast than the SS Bmax but the sound is so much better IMO.

    The vintage tone controls get a great sound just by leaving them flat (2-10-2). The overdrive section on the preamp gave a very nice tube warmth. Not an overdrive or distortion but it complemented the clean tone very well. I tried it with my 2 Aguilar GS112's. I got a really round warm tone out of this setup.
    By pulling the Bass knob you get a very pleasant bass boost, great for use with a jazz bass. I treally added some great lows to my jazz w/o getting boomy or muddy.

    The semi-parametric mids are great. I loved how it sounded when used to give more punch in the desired frequencies. I basically used it to get a mid boost, since the passive tone controls dont allow that. The Room Ballance knob is great. I think that it'll be the only knob I use when I play on different gigs. When I find my tone I'll just make the adjustments with that knob depending on the venue. It's very easy to get great tone out of this preamp just by having everything flat. But the overdrive and para mids add more presence and punch to the overall sound.

    I used my Fender Geddy Lee jazz (w. Ultra Jazz PUps), Stingray 5 and Lakland 55-01 (w. USA Barts). All sounded awesome but specially the Stingray and the Jazz. The bridge pickup of the Jazz just came very alive with this amp. Maybe the tubes are the thing. The growl I was able to produce with the bridge PU was incredible. I have a love-hate relationship with my Stingray but it sounded very good with this amp. The "brittle" highs I disliked were gone, and what i got was smooth treble and punch, punch, punch and tight lows. My Lakland sounded very clean and balanced but I'll try again when I get the new strings I ordered (it really needs them).

    Overall I really loved it. I have to try it more because it has a lot of flexibility and tone options. I just have to find my tone, cause good tone is there as soon as you turn it on. I liked my Bmax but felt it to be trebly and kind of sterile. The TBP-1 is very warm and has that tube quality that I now understand. The difference 2 tubes can make is incredible.

    I'll give some more info when I try it in bi-amp mode and play it in a live gig, since I just tried it in my room. It really is all I expected. The basic passive controls sound great just as they are but the other EQ features give you the versatility that the passive controls sometimes lack. Very well built and the looks complement the great sound. I can wait to keep messing with it.

    Sorry for the long review but I know a lot of people are waiting for some insight on this amp.
  2. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    awesome. thanks man, keep us updated. makes me still want one.
  3. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    thanks for the review, keep us posted when you try it in a live setting.

    keep groooovin'
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Nice review! It's very cool that the TBP-1 pre seems to be exactly what you needed. :)
  5. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I messed with it some more this afternoon at higher volumes and I love it much more. The creamy tube tone is so....well, creamy. The para mids are great for getting punchy mids. It really complemented all of my basses (which are very different). I'm falling in love with my SR5 all over again. I think I'm getting close to finding my tone.

    I also bought a BMax-T before I found this Fender on Ebay so I'll compare them when I get the Bmax-T. That'll be a more fair comparison than with the SS Bmax.

    Take care guys...
  6. Sweet afroman! I'm glad you found the preamp you wanted.

    I want one, but a cab is first.
  7. Mobay45

    Mobay45 The artist formerly known as "Big Daddy"

    Apr 28, 2004
    Irving, TX
    Thanks. I'm interested in the comparison with the tube BMax. I bought it over the TBP-1 because I couldn't find anything about the Fender. I might make a change later though if I keep reading reviews like yours! :hyper:
  8. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    I was quite interested in this model. Sounds like a winner! Classic tone controls with some more modern flexibility tossed in for good measure. Enjoy it!!! :cool:
  9. Jaycephas

    Jaycephas Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Waxhaw, NC
    Sounds great...glad to see BassPlayer was right on with their review.

    I would like to know what power amp you are using with the TBP-1? I'm trying to decide what amp is "good enough" for a nice pre-amp such as this one. I'm considering this pre-amp or the Alembic F1-X or one of the Demeter bass pre's.

  10. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000
    THat sounds awesome. Now I need to find me one...
  11. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I'm using a Carvin DCM1500. Powers:
    300w x 2 @ 8 ohms
    500w x 2 @ 4 ohms
    750w x 2 @ 2 ohms
    1000w @ 8 ohms bridged
    1500w @ 4 ohms bridged

    I searched a lot before buying a power amp and found this one to be very good with the features I wanted. It's 2-rack spaces high, has Speakon outputs, is 23lbs heavey and provides ample power for any rig. They only thing I would add is the low-cut filters that QSC amps have. I'll maybe upgrade later to a QSC PLX series but they're more expensive. The Carvin is very affordable specially if youre from the US. I bought it in a dealer here in PR and paid a little more thatwhat you would pay in the states.
    You really have to search for what you like. QSC, Crest, Crown, Carvin, Stewart World, they are all very good power amp companies. You just need to see which one's better for you.

    Hope this helps.
  12. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Today I got the Bmax-T I ordered before I found and bought the Fender TBP-1 on Ebay. I compared them using my Carvin DCM1500, 2 Aguilar GS112's and my Fender GL Jazz, SR5 and Lakland 55-01.

    What a dilema. This two preamps are great. I messed with them for about and hour by playing one after the other continiously. I wouldn't mind to keep them both, but i can't. Here's what I think:

    Bmax-T: This amp is awesome. I had a SS Bmax and I though that one tube woudn't do anything, boy was I wrong!!. This unit is extremely clean w/o losing it's tubeyness. I tried it most of the time w/o the compressor or sonic maximizar to make the comparsison more fair (but both the comp. and SM work very well). This unit was way hotter than the Fender. I ran it Gain:3-4 and Volume: 3-4 and it was very loud. The amp sounds more "fast" and bright than the Fender. It sounds cleaner and has that tube warmth that I though was impossible to get with only one tube. This amp sounds amazing set "Flat". It made all of the 3 basses sound more present and clear. And with tha gain set at 9-10 I got beautiful grind playing pickstyle with the Jazz. This is a really good amp, and a bargain considering you also get a very nice optical compressor and a Sonic Maximizer.

    Fender TBP-1: Another great amp. The signal is much less hotter than with the BBE. I could set the EQ's volume knob at 5 and the preamps volume at 10 to get as loud as the BBE at Gain 5 Volume 4. This amp has more "warmth" and is a little "slower" sounding than the Bmax-T, but I think I like that (considering that all my basses have dead strings). With the 2 amps set Flat, I would choose the BBE. But I like the versatility that the TBP-1 provided over the BBE with the overdrive section, Parametric mids and the Room Balance knob. This amp would be a great with trebly/clear cabs (like SWR) cause it's warmth would make the cab more balanced. EQ'ed this preamp can sound very similar to the clean and brightness of the BBE, but It can also go much farther tonewise IMO. EQ'ed this amp sounds better to me than the BBE. I know that the "standard" test for a good amp is that it sounds great set FLAT, but I think I will keep this preamp over the BBE. I love the features in the Fender: Bi-amp outputs (which I still haven't tried), overdrive section with another tube, parametric mids, room balance, FX loop, etc. I think I will be ver happy with the Fender. I just can't wait till I fix my GS410 so I can try the amp bi-amped with th 410 and the 112's. I think with the 410, the Fender will sound clearer and brighter than it does with the gs112's. I think this is my winner by a very small margin.

    I would gladly keep any of these two great preamps. i think the're 2 of the best out there. Thanks for listening and sorry for the looooong post, but I promised you that I would write this comparison.

    Take care.
  13. Just a thought on the Fender- are you sure the -6DB button is not depresed?

    Afroman, thanks for the first-hand review, I had an interest in the TBP-1 way back in July after NAMM, but could never find one, now my interest is getting renewed. Any other thoughts you have on this preamp would be appreciated. :bassist:
  14. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    I've had my eye on the TBP-1 for a while now, but was never able to see / touch / play it at any local stores.

    I picked up a used Peavey MAX bass preamp in the meantime and am quite impressed with it for the money I spent.

    Thanks for taking the time to give us your impressions Afroman, and the BBE / Fender comparo, good stuff.

    Oh yeah, one more thing. How is the noise on the Fender? Is it a quiet preamp? I want to use it for recording too and can't abide noisy electronics.
  15. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Hi guys!!

    I don't find the Fender to be noisy at all. Today I tried it with my Fender Jazz live and the sound was just amazing. Very clear yet warm. I had the -6db deppresed since the jazz is passive, and I had preamp volume at 5 and master volume at 5 and it was loud. Competing with 2 guitars and a louyd drummer was no problem and the venue was outdoors.

    I have a Universal Audio 610 tube mic preamp in my bands studio (which is one of the best regarded tube preamps) and I'm thinking of trying how the TBP-1 sounds in the studio. I love the way it sounds amplified so I'll give it a try and see if the Jensen DI is as goos as they say.

    Hope this helped.

    Take care...

    PS. Just to let you know, I'm selling the BBE Bmax-T on Ebay, it's in perfect condition.
  16. Mobay45

    Mobay45 The artist formerly known as "Big Daddy"

    Apr 28, 2004
    Irving, TX
    Thanks for the BBE/TBP-1 comparison Afroman. From what you've said I'll probably just keep the BMax until I get the itch to change again.
  17. Would it be quick enough for fast slapping? I want the fat warm finger style, but a nice "snappy" slap sound.

    Many thanks
  18. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    It's very good for slapping. It's fast enough for good slapping sounds, but i describe it's general sound as more warm yet clean and articulate than just hi-fi and very refined. The SS Bmax i had before was "faster" for slapping but the amp just didn't have any character or attitude IMO. I think the TBP-1 works for most any type of music or style. Cause it just plain sounds good and is very versatile even with the "passive eq". I need to get new strings so I can really see how the jazz bass sounds while slapping.

    Take care...
  19. Any updates Afroman?
  20. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Nope, it just keeps sounding better the more i play with it. I just love it.
    I hope you guys get to try the TBP-1 in a store so you can hear it for yourselves.

    Take care...