I Need Some Help! Clean Preamp/DI Pedal Choices

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by TheAndinator, Nov 26, 2022.

  1. In spite of searching online for hours, I figured it might be a decent idea to ask the many people of experience and opinion on this glorious website.

    I am searching for a Preamp/DI pedal to go at the end of my signal chain on my pedalboard. This will both run DI into a PA and also into an amp. (XLR output is a must!). I would like to be able to both shape the sound slightly, but not color it too much as a Sansamp or many other faux-amp pedals will do. I do not have a specific use for an overdrive since I have my dirt pedals earlier in the chain. Tubes would be nice for sure, but not necessary.

    I play both jazz and CCM (worship/U2-like sound) for the most part and it is nice to have a bit of control over my tone, but 8/10 times, the sound techs I work with will have a good EQ dialed in at the front of house. When I play into an amp, I have a Markbass Little Mark III, so the sound is mostly clean.

    While the Noble DI is obviously the trend as of now, I don't have the money, nor do I want to wait 40-42 weeks as recently posted on their website. Here are a few ideas I had:

    -Mesa/Boogie Subway DI
    -Westminster Effects Wittenberg Bass Preamp V2 (recently came out with the V2, so not a lot of reviews for the updated version)
    -Markbass Mark Vintage Pre (breaks a lot of my requests, but I have been impressed with Markbass and it has the tube warmth, right?
    -Nordstrand Starlifter (seems quite simple for the price, but am I missing something?)
    -NU-X Melvin Lee Davis Preamp (has a seperate un-altered out for amps so that I can send an EQ-ed signal to FOH and a bypass to my amp.)

    I can guarantee that there might be some better options out there, so please let me know! Thank you!
    fivestringgecko and Zbysek like this.
  2. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    If you like to have a tube in there, the EBS ValveDrive V2 could be an option.
    It's a simple device, capable of a range of clean sounds.
  3. BLDavis

    BLDavis May the Tort be with you. Gold Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Ellenboro, NC
    Take a look at the Dicosimo 800RB. It's a GK 800 preamp section in a pedal. I love mine. I go amp-less on stage and this thing is like having my old GK rig without the back ache.
    alembicguy and TheAndinator like this.
  4. That is a very interesting option! I’m not finding any V2 version anywhere online, but maybe I’m looking in the wrong spot. All that being said, I really do like that option!
  5. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    The v1 is called Valve Drive. It runs off 12V AC - and I'm not entirely sure but I think it does not have a DI out.
    The v2 is called Valve Drive DI and it runs off a more pedalboard friendly DC, I'm not sure if it's 12 or 9V, but I think 9.
    TheAndinator likes this.
  6. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    Not sure if you looked at this yet but caveman audio makes a very simple preamp with a DI called the BP1 compact. I bought mine when it first came out back in August and love it. No tone controls on it just a gain and a level control, that’s all it needs. BP1 Compact Bass Preamp - Studio quality bass preamp at your feet
    TheAndinator and Derek Williams like this.
  7. Scott Bland

    Scott Bland Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2020
    Trickfish minnow or Trilobite. That Mesa is great. And I love my arkham oracle. but for normal gigs i use the trilobite at the end of my chain for most gigs. I like the fx loop dry/wet mix and super clean di.
    ryanowens and TheAndinator like this.
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    RevOgre, Real Soon, bassbrad and 2 others like this.
  9. geof_


    Apr 25, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    DanAdams, XLunacy and TheAndinator like this.
  10. ProbablyTooLoud


    Aug 1, 2020
    instrumentlevel and TheAndinator like this.
  11. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I’ve got a Starlifter and I’ve been happy with it. The scoop/bump settings are useful without being over the top. My only gripe is the in/out jacks have the orientation reversed compared to most other pedals.
    akukulich and TheAndinator like this.
  12. That makes more sense! Thank you for the clarification!
  13. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Bayou City
    Sounds like you want something more than a DI box, a bit of control, but not a lot of color...

    I'd throw the Q\Strip out there.
    Totally clean / flat - but has a TON of EQ control.
    I just got one as my "emergency" box. Smaller than I expected (perfect for a pedal board). Sounds fantastic going into the FX return of the amp I tested it with (actually prefered the Q\Strip to the amp preamp). Boosted the B / T two clicks each, and I had my sound.
    Doesn't have any "SansAmp" technology - more of a channel strip.

    The MXR M81 is kind of in that same category. I think the Q\Strip has a better feature set.

    Broughton Messenger - but that may be hard to come by.


    My feeling is stuff like the Mesa Subway DI / GK / Trickfish / Origin Effects Bass Rig, etc... are going to be more "voiced." That may or may not be bad, depending on how you feel about that "voice." Sounds like you are looking for clean.

    I have to say the Sushi Box Finally looks pretty cool, and I thought about that one - but no EQ control.

    This looks really cool... Kaos Amp Tube DI Direct Box Preamp | Reverb

    If you want to get into a 122 page thread, this is pretty great... Tube Preamp/DI Sound Samples — Noble, Oracle, P-15, Super Stack, REDDI, Tonecraft, Jule...
    You could knock a TON of these off you list because they either don't have the XLR DI, or are just straight up DI boxes with Tubes.
  14. That’s very enticing! Expensive, but it looks great nonetheless! Thank you!
  15. I just ordered a Trickfish Minnow from a dealer on Germany and the unit will be cleared at customs and delivered to me this week.

    Having tried their Bullhead 1K amp and having played Foderas with custom-made pres by Mike Pope for more than 20 years now, I have high hopes for this pedal. I will give an update as soon as I receive it.

    Joshua, steelbed45 and TheAndinator like this.
  16. Big fan of the versatility and simplicity of tone for it! Also cool to learn of a new cool brand! Thank you!
    ryanowens and Scott Bland like this.
  17. Thank you so much! That genuinely helps a lot!
    hennessybass likes this.
  18. Rojd

    Rojd Supporting Member

    May 29, 2018
    Rocky Mountains
    ShiftLine Olympic IIIs
    EBS ValveDrive DI
    MXR M81
    TheAndinator likes this.
  19. darwin-bass

    darwin-bass Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    Genzler re/q, perhaps?
    TheAndinator likes this.
  20. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it.

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio

    This sounds like a job for the Q Strip. IMHO priced well for how good it sounds and for the feature set.