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ISP Technologies Beta Bass Preamplifier????

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by redsquidd, Sep 15, 2008.


  1. redsquidd

    redsquidd Banned

    Mar 11, 2008
    ISP Technologies Beta Bass Preamplifier
    Has anyone tried these preamps. They go for about $585 @ MF, but I've haven't heard on before. I hear their cabs are good.
     
  2. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    Maryland
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    Mr. Bowlus has experience with this unit...

    Mr. Bowlus, paging Mr. Bowlus.... :)
     
  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I sense that I am being summoned.... :ninja:

    ;) :p :D

    Yes, I reviewed this preamp (as well as two of their 3-way 18" equipped powered cabs) back in my GW's Bass Guitar days. It is very good stuff. I found the two big 18" cabs to be too darned big and heavy for one dude to move around, and they actually made a 3-way 1x15" in response to my comments! It kicks @$$, too.

    That Beta Bass Processor is one of the best preamps I have tried in its price range (or for a lot more). If you can give one a try, you should. But I warn you, the simple looking layout is deceptive. There is some serious technology behind that preamp, including one fo the best sounding compressors I have found.

    Tom.
     
    PawleeP and Somnambulance like this.
  4. slombovia

    slombovia

    Jul 15, 2003
    Utah
    I am a determined follower of Jesus Christ and am a Mormon.
    I am very interested in the ISP Beta Bass preamp.

    I found your GW review, Tom, but it was a pdf with only the first page which was mostly about the speakers. I'd love to see the preamp portion.

    Any comments from anybody appreciated. I haven't had much luck in the ultra light amp to push 2 ohms arena. So I think a preamp with my Stewart 700w will likely work.

    I have herniated lumbar discs and a torn rotator cuff. But if I can lift a 25 lb cab (very light for a cab), I can handle a 20 lb rack.

    Tom H.
     
  5. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I'll try to get you that complete review. This is an excellent preamp!

    Tom.
     
  6. I second a request for a full review.
     
  7. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    REVIEW!!!!!!!
     
  8. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I'm slacking, I know it. But I have this other bass gear magazine that is occupying a lot of my time at the moment. ;)
     
  9. ritterbass

    ritterbass

    Oct 17, 2005
    Alright I gotta chime in on this one, only cause I just got this pre-amp a few weeks ago from musicians friend to replace my BBE, ISP decimator and my Ashly CLX 52 compressor(not getting rid of that baby though cause it's awesome!) and I gotta say so far WOW this in my mind is the best bass pre-amp available for how well it does each of the 3 main features focuses of this pre-amp...You get a very nice versatile and transparent EQ section, a great compressor and BUILT IN NOISE REDUCTION!(the only production pre-amp with built in noise reduction) which is equally efficient as the stand alone decimator units. I went with Tom's recommendation to give it a go and it just made sense...Now I have all the benefits of those three main areas, EQ,Compression, and Noise reduction in this one unit! There is a bit of tweaking you can do, as tom was saying there was a lot of effort, thought and sound related aspects that went into this thing. It ended up being a pricey unit for me by the time it came to where I am(ottawa ontario). I got it from musicians friend, sure they list it for $585.00 but because of this recession ****, ups, charges, paying musicians friends profits and of course living in Canada that $585 was basically $800.00. Also musicians friend seems to be the only place you can get this thing as well, unless you just so happen to find one in a store somewhere but in the music stores here they just don't carry higher end good **** on the floor stock. Also I emailed ISP to have them send it to me factory direct and I got no response about it either way. The site just more or less links you to musicians friend. Sure they lists their dealers, but often I find the dealers will carry the decimator products floor stock and that's it. And even if an American dealer through the site carried it, i'd still be paying around the same price anyway as what musicians friend asks..Anyways enough about that I got it from musicians friend and honestly it's the best bass pre-amp in the world, so if you can get your hands on one go right ahead. Listen to what Tom has to say about it as well simply cause he has like 300 different pre-amps and everything else anyway.:)

    [​IMG]
     
  10. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Awesome! I am glad that this preamp worked out for you. One downside of doing all of these reviews, is that I haven't been able to gig out with some of the established gear in the collection so much. But this is definitely one of my favorite preamps, and an absolute steal at under $1,000. It is admittedly not the prettiest preamp on the market, but that all changes when you hear what it can do!

    Tom.
     
  11. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    Maryland
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    So is this thing mainly a clean, hi-fi machine? Does it do rock? Does it sound similar to anything out there for a point of reference?
     
  12. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    It is certainly clean, but also very full and authoritative. I use it for rock, and it does quite well. But, don't expect this amp to add grit or overdrive. Add your favorite overdrive pedal, if need be, and rock it out!

    Tom.
     
  13. ritterbass

    ritterbass

    Oct 17, 2005
    Yeah man it's excellent for sure. I have yet to use it in the band situation yet only cause i need to move either my Ampeg 810 or 410hlf over to the jam spot but just fiddling around with it on my own i was very impressed. True it's not the prettiest looking thing in the world, without lots of LEDS and such but man as you say when you hear what this can do...man total clarity. It definitely needs to get recognized here.
     
  14. ritterbass

    ritterbass

    Oct 17, 2005
    This is exactly true as well, you have to go into this one with a bit of a different mentality. It is quite versatile but it can be VERY hi-fi sounding if you are combing it with an already hi-fi sounding head that already has a pretty decent transparent EQ section ie Markbass LM II or more modern hi fi sounding hybrid heads. So I would recommend using your treble controls on your head and the pre-amp a bit more sparingly. However again everyone's tonal palate and "signature sound" is different. Just take it a bit easy on the treble, compression and the exciter initially cause it could get a bit too crispy otherwise, it's that powerful. Also as he says if you want overdrive it would be better if you use your favorite stomp box or if you had another separate overdrive rack unit that handles that area alone. This thing does the three key areas of EQ, compression and noise reduction VERY well and for the price versus all you get out of it, it's like whoa! I can live without on board overdrive or a separate channel for that. Not to mention that would just add even more cost to the overall great package. However if they did this unit that good, it'd be interesting to see/hear what they could come up with if they started trying their hand at a bass overdrive rack unit.
     
  15. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    hey tom,

    just curious, but tonally, how does this guy compare to say the Demeter HBP-1?
     
  16. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I'll try to do that comparison sometime. As I recall, the ISP can dial in a sound that roughly approximates the tonal balance of the HBP-1, but of course, it does not have that tube glow. But, the ISP is probably the more versatile of the two, and it is also probably more technically precise and accurate - though the HBP is no slouch, and has some nice tube roundness to the notes.

    Probably the closest tone I can think of is maybe a Phil Jones preamp. Clean, clear, very full, but fast.

    Tom.
     
  17. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    woah,

    more versatile you say? dang. not to sound all "know-it-all" like, but the HBP-1 is fully parametric (cut/boost, Q, freq) over two bands. the ISP can do more you think?

    still, always on the hunt for that single rack suped up EQ'd preamp. hoping the ISP could be the ticket w/ my acmes.
     
  18. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Oh, the HBP-1 is very flexible, for sure. And I do love having two bands of parametric EQ. But, at least with the HBP-1, IME/IMHO, it has this sweet inherent tone, and the parametrics let you tweak that a good bit. But the ISP does not have as much of a signature tone, and instead has a tone of tone options, if that makes any sense.

    Tom.
     
  19. Ely

    Ely

    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    I'm very interested in this preamp. I would like to know some things about the compressor, exciter, and noise reduction. For one, are they pre or post effects, or is there an option to choose? Also, how does the compression sound? Is it more of a subtle thing, or can it do full on squashing if need be?
     
  20. ritterbass

    ritterbass

    Oct 17, 2005
    The compressor is quite good when comparing it to my Ashly CLX 52 which is also amazing. The exciter pretty much does as it says and adds more high end to it. The noise reduction is amazing as well. However with different basses and pick-ups you may have to recalibrate it a bit when switching instruments etc but it takes like a few seconds to do this.

    I have yet to fully experiment with it, with the band, to see how it fairs out...I personally like compression set that as soon as you play it engages immediately and then releases immediately once you have stopped playing or between notes etc.

    It's really one of those things you got to mess around with a little bit to dial in what you like but I'm confident that you'd be impressed with the range of what it can do.

    It has an output to plug in a footswitch be able to turn both the compressor and exciter on and off
     

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