Johnson J-station as preamp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by smeck, Nov 5, 2001.

  1. smeck


    Nov 5, 2001
    London, England
    Has anyone had experience of using the Johnson J-Station as a pre-amp playing live? I was wondering about how good it sounds, and what power amp, etc you used. Would the Bass Pod or Behringer V-amp be similar in terms of sound? Any help is appreciated. :)
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    Welcome to TB!

    I won't go so far as to say I've played live with it, but I've used my J-Station as a preamp to my friend's Crown power amp a few times. The kids and cats liked it.

    It works well, but IMO you really need 1) the mic stand mount I've heard about and 2) a J8 pedal to have a really effective stage rig.

    I'm a big J-Station fan - I loke it better than the Bass Pod, but haven't A/B'd it to the newer stuff.
  3. Acepiloto


    Aug 25, 2000
    I own the Bass Pod and I absolutely love it! One main reason is that I seem to be very indecisive about my tone, so the Bass Pod's variety suites me well.
    As for the J-Station, my guitarist has one and I have had a few chances to fool around with it. Since the J-Station only has 3 different Bass amp models (that's not to say I just tried those with my bass, I tried the guitar models, but way too weak for bass IMHO) there wasn't much I could work with. The J-Station does have a good rock tone (I'm guessing modeled after an SVT) but other than that I didn't like it. I don't use effects too much, but I did like the Tremolo. (It's fun :p )

    Another advantage the Bass Pod has over the J-Station is the floorboard options. Line 6 has a very small floorboard that only costs $69 (Musicians Friend) for simple channel switching. Or you can get one with effect on/off, wah, volume pedal, bank switching for about $250 (Musicans Friend). Johnson does offer some floorboards, but they cost more than the actual unit.

    Of course Price. With the J-Station costing approx. $200 less, it seems to be quite a deal. But remember that the Bass Pod is a dedicated bass preamp and recording device, whereas the J-Staion is mainly a guitar preamp.

    Note: I am not affiliated with Line 6 or Johnson, so I'm not trying to sell anything. I'm just here to give my opinion.;)
  4. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    Have your buddy download the latest firmware (another advantage to the J-Station) - they've added several new bass head and cab simulations!

    The Johnson pedals are expensive, but they're top quality! They do make a simple three-button up/down a/b stomp (the J3) for about US$30 street price, but the J8 pedal is the way to go for maximum versatility (including an expression pedal).

    I like the J because it won't cost a fortune to keep up-to-date - the firmware is available for free download, vs. the purchased upgrades on the Bass Pod. The Pod is good, but for me the J works better. YMMV, of course.