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I need a good low priced outboard preamp - any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Jan 30, 2005.


  1. I have a Behringer V-amp. I like how it makes my bass sound, but it's just not working with my live setup. I need a good small bass outboard preamp which isn't going to cost more than my bass. Any suggestions? $100 - $150 max.

    Thanks!
     
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    no. you get what you pay for.
    if you're talking about a preamp like one found in a bass (rather than a rackmount preamp) you should be able to find a used aguilar or sadowsky unit for about that much. you'll have to plug it into the input jack of your amp as those preamps won't be hot enough to drive your amp to its full potential when plugged directly into the poweramp input
     
  3. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    used sansamp bass driver or acoustic di
     
  4. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    yup, those too
     
  5. I had thought of a sansamp bass driver, but what else is out there? The sansamp is really appealing because it would add to the sound, act as a direct box, and is super portable. Some people have complained about the lack of midrange control and I am using a Jazz Bass. Any suggestions?
     
  6. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    If you are looking for something with enough output to drive your power amp the Sansamp will not be enough (unless you mod it.) I know from experience. I had to use an ART Levelar to boost it, and that was not quite enough. You didn't specify if you were using a pre/power or dedicated bass amp head.
     
  7. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    Check out the Sansamp Acoustic DI. There is no distortion knob but in it's place there is a sweepable midrange. If you want the distortion and the sweepable mids I think they just came out with a new one that has both - just announced at NAMM. There is a thread about it somewhere around here.
     
  8. patrickj

    patrickj

    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Have you changed the configuration of the V-Amp from the factory default? Press the B & D keys together and change the setting to 'L1' (live 1). The default is set for studio 'S1' and while works well for studio use, isn't so hot for a pre->power setup (for one thing, L1 turns off all cabinet emulations so you actually get the sound of your cabinet, rather than your cabinet trying to sound like another cabinet).

    If you haven't tried it, it's like getting brand new bass gear.
     
  9. Right now I actually just plug into the V-amp and then to a direct box to the board. I'm acutally looking for something a bit more portable and simple. I had thought about the Sansamp Acoustic DI for this since I would have midrange control. Would this be a good fit?
     
  10. I'm actually plugging into the V-amp and then straight into the board. What can I use instead that will give me great tone but is more portable and simple?
     
  11. bump
     
  12. I'm still smiling after owning the Aphex Bass Xciter 1402 for about a year now. A quick search through "for sale" in this forum might give some nice results. :bassist:

    Jure
     
  13. patrickj

    patrickj

    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    I'm not sure of what else there could be that's more simple than what you're doing. The Sansamp and the V-Amp are essentially doing the same thing, so unless you're just not digging the sounds from the V-amp it doesn't make sense to replace it for the sake of replacing (feel free to get it if you want, I'm just not following the reasoning :))

    I mounted my V-Amp to a DIY pedal board (plywood, cable ties, 5/8" drill bit for the vamp feet) along with the psu (far enough away that it doesn't interfere) and foot switch. In L1 the left out goes to my PA or amp (whatever i'm playing through at the time) and the right out goes to the board (if needed/available). In L1, the right out is basically a bypass intended for DI.

    The V-Amp does provide the necessary output to drive a PA (I guess unlike the Sansamp - never used one).

    Hope something in this helps.

    :bassist:
     
  14. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Hmmmmm.... That' interesting, because when I plug my bass into my Sansamp, and then directly into the effects return of my combo amp (when my full rig is overkill) it works beautifully. Plugging into the effects return effectively bypasses the preamp of the combo (front panel controls become non-functional), and it seems to have plenty of power to drive the power amp. Is running it this way sending it through another gain stage to bump the signal up enough to drive the power amp section?
     
  15. YES! YES! YES! The mid control is great in this little thing and the blend knob allows for a variety of different tones from dry, similar to you bass's unaffected tone, to fat, deep, warm and tubey.

    I've got some mwwwaahhhh out of my PJ with it. I can only imagine what it would do for yours.

    I don't want to sell it up too much, after all you get what you pay for, but I am very happy with the quality and usefullness of the Acoustic DI.
     
  16. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    some amps have much more gain after the effect return than others. eden amps have a very low gain effects send, but amplify the signal quite a bit after the effects return. this seems mostly to be due to the fact that the effects loop on the eden is pre-eq, and the eq section is active. when you run a different preamp into the eden's effects return the eq is still usable. not sure about your amp. other amps with pre-eq affects loops (liek the alembic f-1z preamp) really dont juice the signal that much after the loop, but i suspect that's because the eq on the alembic is passive.

    FWIW, most amps have the effect loop post-eq and don't offer much gain after the effects return jack.
     
  17. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    The combo in question is a Peavey TKO-115. From what I gather regarding your post, there is some sort of a gain stage when plugging into the effects return of an amp that will boost the signal to some degree (varying degrees depending on the manufacturer). That would make sense, when said in conjunction with Stinsok's post earlier. Thanks for the help IvanMike!
     
  18. Thanks for your response. Here are the problems I am having with the V-amp: 1) it is too big to be effectively portable in my gig bag and I am tired of carrying the v-amp gig bag and 2) I get good sounds, but they don't sound the same when run through the direct box into the soundboard as they did either through my amp or in headphones so I find myself trying to fix them at the venue (when I do all of that initially on my PC via MIDI cables). I want something smaller and easier to fiddle with on the fly that will sound as good or better than the V-amp. Like I said, if I were recording I would choose the V-amp but I need something for a live situation. I'm glad it works for you, though.
     
  19. Does anybody know where the Bassplayer Magazine D.I. box shootout is?