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groove tubes brick?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cthump, Aug 1, 2005.


  1. cthump

    cthump

    Jul 26, 2005
  2. Robson

    Robson

    Feb 13, 2004
    Finland
    I was curious about it too, so I went out and bought one yesterday.

    I've been trying out a lot of preamps through the years and I must say this is definately one of the best! It's just what I was looking for! Clean, warm and tubey. Nice! :D
     
  3. Robson

    Robson

    Feb 13, 2004
    Finland
    I'm in love! :hyper:
    This thing is amazing!

    (Sorry guys, I'm just so happy I finally found what I was looking for - proceed...)
     
  4. jock

    jock

    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
  5. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    One thing you might notice is that you only have one volume control, no gain and master. The Brick seems to be very well liked in recording circles for its warm sound and is well regarded as a DI.

    But, without a separate gain / master does that mean you don't have the control over the tube to go from clean to overdrive? If so, that would be a limitation for me.

    If you're looking for "one sound" which a lot of players do, with a volume control, then it might do the trick.

    For my money, I'd rather go with a dedicated tube preamp, like the Fender TBP-1 or the BBE Max T.

    If you wanted something really clean from the recording world, the Focusrite Trak Master (the older one, not the Trak Master Pro) is almost everything a bass player could ask for in a preamp with input gain / master output, "tube sound", compressor, and usable EQ all in one rack space.
     
  6. marwady

    marwady Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Northern Michigan
    I find mine to be a great studio tool.

    I agree with Hawkeye, if you are looking for a bass preamp only, the Brick is rather limited and you could do better with a dedicated preamp.

    However, I use mine not only to warm up my bass tone in digital recording environments, but I also use it on guitars, keyboards, vocal mics, etc.

    Lots of tube gain for passive basses and dead quiet. P Basses can almost sound active and still have a vintage tone.

    For example, I run my Rode K2 tube condenser mike (an already monster sound) through it for my wife's vocals and it sounds HUGE! FET condesers warm up really nice also.

    By the way, it's built like a tank.

    Just my .02 :)
     
  7. jock

    jock

    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Here is a quote from the review I linked to:
     
  8. westland

    westland

    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    How would you compare The Brick to a SansAmp DI ... certainly there is a weight difference, but is there an advantage to having a real Class A tube DI with a heavy power supply?
     
  9. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Apples and Oranges. The Sans Amp BDDI is a good DI and has some OK overdrive effects and tube emulation. The GT Brick IS a tube DI.

    I used to have a SABDDI and used it as a stomp box for overdrive effects now and again. It works well as a DI for live use, not as good for recording.

    The GT Brick gives you one basic tone (I'm postulating) and works very well as a recording DI, live DI or mic preamp.

    These are two different animals, each with strengths in certain areas.
     
  10. Robson

    Robson

    Feb 13, 2004
    Finland
    The sound of The Brick will blow your mind, trust me!
    Like Marwady said: It's great for everything, not just bass.
    Even cheesy software synths will come alive through the brick.
    I seriously recommend this piece of equipment. It made me so happy I had to start posting here on talkbass, after lurking around for years. ;)
     
  11. Robson, could you compare The Brick to other hi-end DI's like the new Ampeg, Demeter or Aguilar. Or maybe even the Avalon U5 or Radial JDI? Does it do both clean and tube warmth depending on gain settings? Someone in another thread said that the tubes should be replaced with better ones. Was that your feeling too? And finally, had you used yours for live? I'm really tempted by this one as both DI and pre. I don't eq my amp anyway.

    Thanks :)
     
  12. westland

    westland

    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong

    Now I'm intrigued. What equipment do you use (if you don't mind me asking) and what sort of music do you play; sound are you going for? :cool:
     
  13. westland

    westland

    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong

    I'm curious about this too. I am gathering from the Groove Tubes site write up that the Brick is a Class A True Tube preamp whereas everything else below $500 generally is a starved plate design, which would I guess cover Ampeg, Demeter or Aguilar. This is apparently why it is big and heavy. I wonder how much of a difference Class A really makes (especially compared with the Aguilar which is $100-200 more expensive).
     
  14. interesting thread U guys got going here, I am quite interested to see if anyone coud compare the brick with some of the othe Tube DI brands you guys have been mentioning?
     
  15. westland

    westland

    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    I actually checked Harmony-Central's reviews on the DI boxes mentioned. The reviewer for the Aguilar DB900 seemed the most knowledgable, claiming to have owned most of these. He didn't like the Groove Tubes Ditto (apparently the Brick's predecesor). He didn't seem, either, to be able to articulate what the DB900 gave you in terms of tonal color. So I'm looking for some insight as well.
     
  16. I once asked GT per mail if the DITTO and The Brick was the same unit, expcept that the latter also is a mic-pre instead of just a DI, and got the answer that the Brick is entirely redesigned, and have nothing internaly in commom with the DITTO. So, I wouldn't put too much into a statement about the Ditto vs. the other DI's, if it's The Brick I'm interested in. And it is ;) Robson, anybody - please enlighten us :)


    (Just for all sakes: Westland, I'm not speaking against you, only offering my very limited knowledge on the subject. No offence intended :))
     
  17. Robson

    Robson

    Feb 13, 2004
    Finland
    I had an Ampeg Svp-pro a few years ago, but never really liked it. It's probably a matter of taste and style, really! Never had a chance to try the U5, but it seems like a nice tool, although it doesn't have a mic input.
    My neighbour has an Universal Audio 6176, which sounds absolutely fantastic, but I think the brick is just as good for recording bass. (You can buy 5 bricks for the price of one 6176..).
    The Brick definately beats Channel One by SPL and the dbx 586, when it comes to recording bass; the low-end is much clearer and punchier.

    I'll put up some sound clips later today so you can hear for yourself, it's really hard to explain sound in words, you know. ;)
     
  18. Thanks man - Looking foreward to the clips :)
     
  19. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    1) What are the dimensions of this thing?
    2) How does it compare to an Avalon U5?
    3) Will this push a poweramp sufficiently?

    Come on guys, clips!
     
  20. westland

    westland

    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    I just bought a Sansamp Programmable BDI last night. Here are my initial impressions running it through a Thunderfunk 550, Accugroove Tri112, dbx160A compressor setup. I've (per the Sansamp manual) put the dbx160A in the pre-EQ loop, and the Sansamp in the post-EQ loop (less noisy that way, as I tried the other combinations).

    (1) the preprogrammed 'fat tube' sound is very addictive ... I've put my Ritter Roya on passive humbucker mode, and really love the tubey sound. It doesn't quite get that overdrive 'squeak' that you can hear with real tubes, but otherwise, it's pretty nice. The Thunderfunk is warm, but the Sansamp adds a little something extra which I'm still trying to figure out. Anyway, for this alone it is worth its modest price.

    (2) the manual says it is low noise, but I'm spoiled by the Thunderfunk, which is even lower noise. So in comparison, the Sansamp adds some noise ... not much, but noticable. That said, the footswitches (which the manual says are custom) are completely noiseless, and have a nice feel when hand operated. You can always take the Sansamp out of the loop with a step on the footswitch, and its noise drops to zero.

    (3) the 'lazy pot' feature of the footswitches is brilliant. You step on a switch to change settings, and the old setting turns off instantly, but the new setting fades up over a few seconds. The gives you time to drop the volume on your bass pot if the new setting it too loud.

    (4) It's definitely worth it to have 3 switchable sounds. And the 3 footswitch package is actually a more practical shape for the Sansamp. Well worth the price differential over the non-programmable.

    I've not used a real tube amp, so don't know what I'm comparing to. But if this is close to the sound, I can see why musicians are willing to put up with the expense and weight of tube amps (or even front ends like the Brick, which don't capture the tube-speaker interactions).

    New gear! :D I'm a happy guy (for now)