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Joe Meek/ has anyone tried this preamp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Brado, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Brado


    Oct 19, 2005
    Buda, TX.
    It's the "One Q." http://www.joemeek.com/oneqenlarge.html
    I'm just curious to see if any bassists out there are using this as a preamp for a live rig, or in the studio. Live, it would be run into a kickin' power amp & a couple of Accu Groove cabs (Tri115 & Tri112). My initial thoughts were; oh boy....another all in one unit. I'm wondering if the different components are quality or if it's just a bunch of cut corners. I like what I see as far as the versatility of the EQ. I noticed that the "low" (bass) is centered at 80hz. That's a good frequency to bump/ I'm just wondering if I would be missing a bump a bit lower (around 50hz. or 40hz)? Then again, any of my active basses have a bass boost centered at about 40hz. For any passive instruments that I use, I can see the advantage of 80hz being my lowest boost'able frequency. It's safe that way. 80hz doesn't seem to be as "stray" of a low end frequency as 40 or 50hz. Frequency centeres aside; my main concearns are: does this thing capture the tone of the bass & let it all through? Does it sound "flat" when the eq is bypasses or set flat, or is there some up-front coloring in the tone? Is it quiet? How's the compression? Is it quality, or just a bunch of hype?
    Any helpful advice is welcome.
  2. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    The Joe Meek gear is very colored to my ear, ESPECIALLY their compressors. Pro audio cats use this stuff for that reason. You'd have to try it to see if it compliments your tone goals. My guess is that the color will be apparent to you since you are using high quality speakers.

    It might be euphonic. Then again, it might not.

    Good luck!
  3. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Dunno about this particular model, but in general Joe Meek stuff is very high quality.
  4. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    It's overkill for bass. You don't need phantom power, de-esser, or in many cases even the mic pre. (Your bass will be hitting it with way more than microphone level.)

    I've got a pair of the discontinued VC3 half-rack units in the studio. I use 'em for their coloration. Single-knob compressor, enhancer, no EQ.
  5. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Dude, don't do it. The minute you plug your bass into a Meek pre, you will never go back to straight-up transparent preamps. Don't expect it to be flat, though. It'll be more transparent than a Sansamp, but as far as mic preamps go, Meeks are for making a lead vocal huge and fat, or turning that solo'd bridge J into a wall of gravy. Not for the faint of heart.

    On another note, go for the sixQ instead. A VU meter, de-esser, harmonic enhancer and extra band of EQ aren't worth $200 and another rack space, unless you're going to use it for vocals.
  6. Brado


    Oct 19, 2005
    Buda, TX.
    I'm not opposed to a little "character" in my tone. Coloring, for me, isn't a problem; so long as it works towards what I like. If you have a bass with transparent responding pickups & preamp, a transparent preamp/amplifyer & transparent cabs, what are you left with? As a solo bassist who does alot of band gigs, I'm always looking to carve out "my" tone, while being versitile enough to cover all of the different styles I play. For solo bass, I'll give you an idea of what I EQ in (when I'm not running things flat). I'll usually boost a little bit of low end (50-80hz), I'll bump about 3db-6db of 450-500hz, I'll usually cut anywhere from 3db-9db of 1-1.5k (depending on how harsh the upper mids are of the particular bass I'm using). I definately like some air up top. If I have any way of boosting anywhere from 8k on up, I'll do it. Nothing crazy, though....about 3-6db at the most. This EQ does well for many styles. For blues & country, I'll cut a bit of the top end & beef up the low end. For rock, I'll flatten out the 1k zone....sometimes boost it a little. CLANK! If a preamp like this can do all of the above & more, I'm all for it. There are times (during solo shows) when I don't bring a PA. I run everything through my rig (bass, vocals). I might get some use out of the compression & de-esser. I looked over the SixQ...but, if I remember correctly, it doesn't have the same EQ layout as the OneQ. I can justify needing two midrange bands. Having said all of this; I've usually done minimal tweeking on my bass head & do it all on the bass. All of my basses (up until now) have had great active preamps. I now own one passive bass & have two more on the way. I'll need my amplification to be versitile enough to cover my basses. I'll try & find one of these & test it out. Any other advice is welcome.
  7. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I play through tube amps, but for direct recording at my place go through older Meek pre's - I've never had any problem getting a good sound out of them. I don't use much compression, but that's a pretty good one IMO.
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I like the Joemeek coloration, and I like their quirky compression. That said, a lot of Joemeek gear is built very cheaply, as in crappily. You have to be careful which models you go for. In general, roughly, I'd say the oldest and newest models are good quality, but the stuff they made throughout the '90s and up to a couple years ago was not so hot.

    I've done a lot of reading and asking on this subject, and the sixQ gets the most love for practical use on bass.
  9. Lapicide


    Feb 19, 2008
    Before the One Q many years ago Joe Meek made the VC1Q, that was made in the U.K not China as the One Q is. Similar, but the One Q has a few more controls available. Before the VC1q there was a VC1 I think it was, which did not have the exciter and eq. I only have experiences with the VC1Q. I have several VC1Q's. I do use them live periodically on bass, I personally love the compression from these. They make the bass thump and punch, if that really makes any sense to anyone else. BTW, I only play fretless, so others mileage will vary. I find them most useful and preferred when used for recording purposes, on bass, vocal, guitar etc. going direct or with a mic. The eq on the VC1Q seems to fit better when used for recording. However this is with regards to the VC1Q which has a bit different EQ than the One Q. The VC1Q has 100 hz bass eq, a semi para mid and a high of 12k eq. The exciter is good and very usable. You can get good sounds running live through it, I generally prefer to use a dedicated, designed for bass preamp covering the bass voice range. I do occasionally use the VC1Q live on bass particularly for it's compression. If you are just looking for the Joe Meek compression, a new Joe Meek floor pedal is due near the end of the year. The floor Q I believe. It looks and is supposed to have the joe meek compression, all control features of their compression in a pedal. I definitely plan to check that out ..... Lapicide
  10. Brado


    Oct 19, 2005
    Buda, TX.
    The "voice range" of my bass (in a solo setting) is orchestral. 20hz-20k & everything in between. There was a post, earlier, that mentioned a bridge pickup sounding huge & phat as the result of the coloration these preamps cause......that's what I'm talking about! I've gotta hear this thing.
    The pedals they have look neat. Those, too, might be a great & practical option for what I'm looking for. If one rack unit does it, though, I would lean towards that over multiple pedals.
  11. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Well I don't know much about the new ones but as the old boy is sadly dead I doubt he is comming out with any new ideas as the old one is a bit of an old classic even available digital now as a plug-in?.
    I have a very old single channel Meek VC6 its got only 9 knobs and only one band of parametric eq and a funny drive level control thing, its got a good fat (if as you say) color'd tone but its quite surprising how well it control's that level of dirt you might be making outputting it into say an all tube amp or pre, with a nice even amount of grit, it improves my sloppy pressures and the q control is handy for dialing in that mid peak.
    Don't get too fussed about lighting red lights in the output meter, it likes it!
    The other good thing is its a snot green color. and the bass gets sort of greasy with it.
    It ain't no Neve like hi fi comp but its sort of brutal in a good way.
    Good as a mic pre as well. SM 58 mic's sound great doing screemo,
    cupped mic or beatbox its got switched phantom power too.
    handy for upright bass condenser mic.
  12. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    The Joemeek 3Q might be your answer. 1/2 rack sized, with compression, and eq ( one sweepable mid band as well). Nice sounding unit that doesnt break the bank. Multilpe outputs ( but no xlr out) and its also "snot green"

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