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In Praise of the mighty Yamaha PB1!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by busmandan, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. I've been running a preamp/power amp combo for years. I bought a Kern IP-777 right after they came out, then bought a QSC PLX 2402 to run with it. I had Ampeg cabinets (SVT410HE and SVT18E) and used that setup for 6-7 years.

    I got tired of hauling two cabinets around, so I sold the Ampegs and bought a Schroeder 412R. And try as I might, I haven't been able to get the sound I like with the Kern/Schroeder pairing. Thinking it was probably the tone stack in the Kern, I bought a Mindprint Envoice II channel strip to try and gain a little more flexibility. The Mindprint was better, but still not quite what I was looking for.

    I've seen a lot of positive reviews, both here and elsewhere, for the Yamaha PB1. So when one came up on eBay a month or so ago, I snagged it for $120.

    I've used this thing on several gigs with the two bands I play with, and I simply can't get over how good it sounds. I have a Goliath III cab I use in smaller venues, and one night on a small stage I commented to the guitarist that it sounded a little dull to me. His comment was, "You should come and stand on my side!" So I went over before we started the next set to hear for myself - holy @#$%! The tone I've been trying to find for years was there in spades.

    I read on another thread here what the flat setting is on a PB1. I tried it and it's a little too crispy for my ears (with either my Stingray 5 or my highly-modified Dillion Dagger). I will say the parametric on the PB1 is completely insane - you can get just about any sound you want out of it.

    If there were ever a piece of gear that deserves a reissue, this is it. Yamaha, how 'bout it?
    Dave Neal likes this.
  2. Yup..... PB1->Crown for me. Heavy but it hurts so good. You are right, the Parametric is great. I like the flat setting, but then I use the parametric to add some in the 50 htz range so I can drop bombs when I want.
  3. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    I'll praise the mighty PB1 ! I bought one over 20 years ago, still use it to this day. Picked up another one off of Craigslist a while back, just to have as a spare.
  4. Brick Top

    Brick Top

    Dec 7, 2008
    I've always wanted to try this preamp. Are there any drawbacks to running the PB1 into a head with a preamp like Carvin B1500?
    etherealme likes this.
  5. taurus1


    Sep 13, 2006
    Vancouver B.C.
    another PB-1 fan here. I've never seen over $100.00, and I saw one for $30.00 about two months ago. built like a tank and all the features aaaand it sounds awesome. I picked up a Yamaha B100II head (looks kinda like a Bassman head), wow, Yamaha made some great stuff back than.
    imabuddha and Dave Neal like this.
  6. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Definitely the best buy out of cheap preamps. Beats the crap out of the cheap BBE stuff. Paid 200 for mine and sold it for the same when I found an HBP-1 for 300 locally ;)
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    nope. might want to bypass the carvin's pre by running the yammy through it's efefct return, but you also might not.
  8. bassvi


    Jul 12, 2005
    I pulled my old PB1 out and plugged my upright into it going into the effects return of of my Markbass CMD121. Sounds really good to me, much better than going right into the amp. I am going to try this rig on my next upright gig. The parameteric is the key. I can't believe how good this thing makes my cheap Fishman pickup sound!
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Rolled one through my rack, sold it, and bought an Ashly BP-41. Sounds similar to my ears. The single band para EQ's have tons of tone-shaping possibilities.

  10. BassinCT

    BassinCT Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    in CT, I saw one this year for the first time in 12 years. The other bass player at the concert had one in the rack and was raving about it. He was getting a nice tone with it into an Eden 2x10- I don't remember the power amp. He said he would never get rid of it.

    $120 used?!? nice.
  11. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Hmmm.... after having a look inside, the PB-1 appears to be made with pretty standard 80s issue consumer grade components. Mine sounds okay, but I wouldn't say that it would beat a boutique preamp. I prefer my Eden and Ampeg preamps. The parametric and variable crossover are cool features.
  12. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    I wish one those popped up for sale in Sweden, but I have never, ever seen it IRL, and I have been looking for it since 1996. In the meantime I stick to my EBS 1V2, which is a great preamp, as long as you can live without a parametric CUT - the EBS is boost only.

  13. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    I bought one to pair with a Carver PM1.5, during my first experiments with 5 string. Picked it up for $75, IIRC.

    I sold mine for what I paid for it, after realizing that bi-amping wasn't going to get me where I was headed tonally.

    Well made, like most Japanese stuff from that era. I found it rather bland. No major sonic quirks, not scooped or spiky like the SWR I replaced it with. But not my idea of tone heaven either. YMMV...
  14. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    I would love to find one to go with my RCF.
    I've always been a fan of Yamaha EQ's ( PM4000 )

    Still looking around in the ads .......
  15. many years ago- an easy job to replace all those cheap op- amps. A Recording studio tech took a look at mine and made some suggestions for improving the sound. I'm working from memory here, but IIRC the PB1 is full of TL072 or 074. The 074 is a quad amp. Just yank the old ones and put in sockets. There are several up grades like an LM837 - don't know what is available now, but some research will give you some more options. . When I did mine, it sounded much cleaner, tighter and quieter. You can upgrade the capacitors, but I didn't.

    I removed the lid of the PB1- that thing is weighty and, if it's in a rack, you don't need it. I think Yamaha purposely added weight to it to make it seem more formidable.
  16. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    The op amps in my PB-1 are JRC 4558Y IIRC.
  17. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    All I added was a Furman PQ3 3 band parametric to give me 4 band. That Yamy kicked A**
    Wish I had it back

  18. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    I snagged one and it should get here Thursday. The last time I had one of these was in the 80's. Can't wait to hear this thing again.
    wave rider likes this.
  19. i've got the PB-1 and the PG-1. people on the internet claim these share the same circuitry plus/minus reverb and dirt channels, crossover, reverb, etc. i've a/b'd these through same power amp/speakers and at same and modulated settings they do not sound the same. the pb-1 seems to be voiced for bass with a much higher output. the pg-1 lacks depth and bottom for bass and even with major eq tweaking does not generate much low end. the overdrive channel adds mid-y dirt that might be useful in a rig with two pre and power amps. but again, it doesn't have much low end. the pg-1 has a pretty cool low pass and high pass filter that is useful for thinning or darkening signal. might also be useful for creative effects on bass as well as guitar. the reverb is voiced for guitar and generates pretty much no effect on bass unless playing higher than the 12th fret on A, D, and G strings. i got the pg-1 for my guitar rig, so there's no buyer's remorse. but figured somebody should pipe in with some first hand experience of the differences between these two preamps.
  20. ric3xrt


    May 19, 2010
    SE PA
    Fantastic pre very under rated.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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