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Kern vs Alembic

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jock, Feb 13, 2003.

  1. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Saw the tread about Aguilar vs Kern preamps...
    Is the Kern worth the extra cost compared to the Alembic preamps?
    How much "better" does it sound?:bag:
    Any other differences?
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Like so many of these questions, the answer is "It depends...".

    If you got an Alembic secondhand for $330, you may not feel that it's worth the extra $370 or so to get a new Kern. Or you may, depending on how important the differences are to you.

    These are actually quite good preamps to directly compare, as they both have the old Fender Blackface type interactive tone circuit (bass boost, mid cut, treble boost).

    I had a used Alembic F-1X, which I paid $330 for. You don't see many used Kerns for sale, don't know whether it's cos there's less of them about or because people hold on to them. I paid $500 for the Kern. To my ears, the Kern is definitely worth the extra $170. The Kern has more gain available, more bass available, supposedly a better DI (haven't compared them yet) and more tone flexibility with the 'Tonal Balance' knob.

    If my used one broke, I'd have no qualms about paying full price to replace it.

    But, you know what, if I only had the money for a used Alembic I'd be very happy to be 'stuck' with it. It's a great preamp.
  3. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    what dave said...

    but i cant get away from that sweet Kern low end. the Alembic doesnt quite have that sweet gooshie stuff. :D