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Guitar preamp for distortion?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kringle77, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    Im not sure which forum this should in but, has anybody used a rackmount guitar preamp to get their od or distortion. I have been looking into this for awhile but I havn't seen too many rack units for guitar kicking around the local stores. I'm looking for an actual preamp, not a multi-effects. I would like to put one in an effects loop that can be kicked in or out so as not to alter my tone when not in use. Something with two or three channels would be great. Channel 1 grit & 2 all out guitar distortion.
  2. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    One thing you might look for is a Peavey Rockmaster preamp. It's a three channel, tube guitar preamp that only takes up one rack space. They quit making them in the early 90s, but they pop up on ebay.

    Another one to look for is the T.B. Raxx Bass preamp made in the 80s. It was all tube, and was meant to distort. I don't think it had multiple channels though.

    The guitar version was the T.G. Raxx. That was kind of a Dumble clone or early Mesa Boogie preamp. It was made in the 80s too and was all tube.
  3. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Pretty sure Dug Pinnick does this. Not sure what guit amp he uses tho...
  4. Jonesy4fnk

    Jonesy4fnk Supporting Member

    I use a floor pedal, the Mesa Boogie V-Twin guitar preamp.....its sounds really good with my setup. It has 2 channels, one is switchable clean or "blues" overdrive, and the other is a high gain channel for that super saturated distortion.

    I'm looking to add a Loooper to run the V-twin tru-bypass and blend the wet/dry signal. But with the EQ its pretty easy to dial in a nice full range distortion tone.

    For guitar rack units, the Marshall JMP-1 is a good choice. Or if you can find one of the old ADA preamps.
  5. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    Thanks guys, I have been looking at the mesa. I may get one of the new carvin preamps. I tend to like solid state distortion for bass for some reason. It tends to cover the whole range alittle more evenly I guess. I let you guys know how it turs out.
  6. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Maybe you might want to consider the SWR IOD, it has some good distortion tones. Actually I've used it with guitar at times and it sounds pretty good there too. But I've found these are also good all around sounding preamps, even clean. I miss recording with it. Really great sounds though I only owned it for a short while.

    I may have to get one back again, I'm not sure why I parted with it in the first place.
  7. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I'm using a Boss GX-700, which is an older guitar-oriented rack modeler with multi-EFX besides all the modeling stuff. There are a lot of things in this unit that work really well for bass. It's basically the same COSM engine as the VG-8, but without the polyphony.

    Sometimes I use my Hafler T2 tube guitar preamp in the EFX loop of the GX-700 too. I generally prefer solid state distortion for bass too though.
  8. SubMonkey


    May 3, 2004
    Denver, CO
  9. Eisenmann


    May 12, 2004
    try the hughes & Kettner tubeman plus preamp
    it produces really nice overdrive and distortion sounds and has 3 channels i believe.

    if you have the money try to find the h&k access preamp.
    its a midi preamp so you can save as many presets as you want (128 or something like that, i believe)
    and it has three totally different channels with different circuits.

    my guitar-player had one and it totally kicked ass with my bass rig.
    but its hard to find and quite expensive and all the midi stuff is a bit tricky to use...
    but the sound... :bassist:
  10. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    I'll look into that. I ordered one of the new carvin, solid state preamps. If it doesn't do it for me I will be sending it back pronto. I played my bass though a marshall tsl guitar head this weekend. Thats the sound I want. I wonder if the JMP-1 preamp can get that sound?
  11. I am big on bass distortion and currently have two guitar preamps in my rig - the aforementioned V-Twin rack from Mesa Boogie and a Chandler Tube Driver. Both work well but give very different sounds; the Mesa is better for very saturated sounds the Chandler is better for a more hyper-fuzzy / overdriven sound. I have also used a Line 6 POD 2.0 for recording which also sounds real good after some tweaking. I also so someone mentioned the SWR Interstellar Overdrive. I tried one of these a few years back and was very disappointed - it was very expensive and sounded awfully sterile. I resold it very quickly.

    Good Luck!
  12. Eisenmann


    May 12, 2004
    i always thought the interstellar overdrive was the ultimate holy grail of bass distortion.

    i'm gasing for one since i started playing bass.
    but it seems to be impossible to buy one here in europe
  13. Chris, the BSP isn't doing it for you? Do you still have it...if so so, could I borrow it? :D

    I've been experimenting with a guitar amp for a little grit. Also checking out the Bad Monkey.
  14. alanbass1


    Feb 8, 2006
    The problem with most guitar gear is that they are mid biased and do not let much bottom end through. I play guitar in bands as well as bass and I find many OD/Distortion units strip the bass out of the guitar sound, let alone the added octave bass players are looking for. One of the few pedals not to do this, in my experience, is a BJF Baby Blue, which really maintains the bottom on a guitar. Doesn't EBS sell a bass overdrive?
  15. So did I - until I got one, lol. Very disappointing. I am a big SWR fan (have an older Bass 350 head and a Big Ben 18") so when I got it and it sucked I was really let down. The only way for me to describe the sound is sterile - it lacked warmth AND flavor. My Chandler Tube Driver kicks the snot out of it and I bought it used for $50! There was another posting about the IOD not long ago here on the TB - some people like them but a good number of folks HATE them. Count me as hating. On the positive side I did sell it at a profit!
  16. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    Hey nickle! I just sold it. FYI guys, I use a sparkle od for my grit but want something over the top for parts of songs or soloing. I loved the svp-bsp but found that live, it only really seemed to work without a tweeter. I have finally started using tweeters, so turning them off is no longer an option. I'm just looking for a different texture and guitar preamps are definitley voiced differently. I really would like to get the same sound as running into a marshall tsl head. They are the exact sound that Im looking for.
  17. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    I was thinking about doing something like this. Using a guitar pre-amp taking a DI from it into the desk and putting a slight distortion on to it and mix it a little bit with my full range bass sound.Take out some lows and change the mids and highs around a bit and maybe add some chorus as well. Then click it in and out whilst the guitarist is doing solos to beef up the sound and avoid that drop when a powerful guitar chord piece goes into the solo.
  18. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    Thats the idea!
  19. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Well if you do go ahead with it I'd love to hear how it works out for you. Chances are it will be quite a while before I'll be buying one. (Full stack of cabs and a monitor and power amp are taking precedence on the shopping list)

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