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looking for new preamp- suggestions?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by runmikeyrun, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Hey guys, first post here but long time bass player and effects/amp builder/modifier.

    I play distorted 5 string bass in a band that has many fast off time riffs coupled with more classic metal grooves. At practice and shows w/ a crappy pa I run a BBE 383 preamp->dual 15 band EQ->QSC RMX 2450->ampeg 8x10 + 2x15. Yes it is loud!

    At shows w/ good PA and in the studio i run through both cabs w/ a modified Peavey Windsor (4xEL34) similar to a JCM800 with slightly more gain.

    I use distortion, and quite a bit, through either a BMP based circuit or a modified DS-1. I also have lots of other effects but mostly used to make noise as a segue between songs.

    The BBE preamp that i have is not to my liking. I find that with my sound it's difficult to get a good sound. I am looking to replace it and i'm not sure what the best preamp avenue to go is.

    I do have the BBE 383 and a Peavey 210/300w combo (with optional head box for peavey) for sale on craigslist @ $225, and i will probably post here, hint hint.

    Anyhow, i've been looking at options. There are several nice rackmount preamps that are very nice but also very expensive. I'm trying to keep the price @ about $200. I'm trying to afford it on what i get for my other stuff.

    I've been considering a few, and i'm ok with either rackmount or stompbox style. I've considered the MXR M-80 and Blowtorch (though the latter is more of a pedal), old reliable Sansamp, and even the Hartke stomper that's around $90. The Bmax preamp looks nice but seems hard to find used. Someone also has a ART Tube Channel f/s on here- not sure about that, it's too big and i'd have to ditch my eq.

    I prefer to buy new but am not opposed to purchasing/trading for something used if it's in decent shape. A direct out and parallel out are pretty much mandatory, especially both being post eq. I would prefer a crossover but 2 outputs would cover that ok. Things like distortion, FX loop, gate, compressor and BBE process are nice but not required; i currently have all of that covered with other boxes. A good eq w/ adjustable midrange frequency would be nice but again not necessary, since i have the dual 15 band eq. The nice thing about a stompbox is i could use it with my peavey too.

    Anyhow, if anyone has a nice preamp, rackmount or stompbox, in the $200 range or under that they like let me know. You don't have to do a full review or anything, just your pros and cons.

    I'm going to try to get to the Sam Ash here tomorrow to try a couple out, i think they have an M-80 and a couple others too.

    Thanks guys,
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    From what you've written it's quite hard to tell what sound quality you're hoping to get. You use a bunch of distortion and you have a rack EQ; so what exactly is missing? Do you need more clarity, more fatness, more modern, more vintage? Please clarify so we can help you narrow it down.

    Also, while trying/researching preamps, be aware that not all of them can properly drive your power amp. And be sure to check over in the "amps" forum too, as that's where you'll find many hundreds of threads recommending different rack preamps.
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Solid advice above. The bright side is, there's plenty to choose from these days, and bargains-a-plenty, right here in the classifieds. Good luck.
  4. cool, thanks guys! I try to keep a good amount of low end you can feel, and a good fatness in the mids. The BBE 383 just doesn't seem to have any good punch or kick to it. I know the signal gets compressed with distortion but it seems to lack balls. The guitarist has a JCM800 so i have to be able to grind though that.
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    How do you typically set your graphic EQ and the EQ on the BBE?
  6. I typically set the eq flat on the bbe and use the graphic to have a rounded boost centered at 80hz and then a gentle upslope to about 8k, dropping off at about 12.

    a bad rendering: _-^-____---^\__ The ___ is 0db, not -15.

    I do boost the 60hz knob slightly on the BBE, and use moderate amount of the low process control. Just trying to get more punch out of the whole setup, i think the preamp is limiting me.
  7. grooVWy


    Apr 9, 2005
    I would recommend Gallien-Kruegers 2001 pre-amp (not sure about the model name, but same pre than their flagship carries).

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