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My new preamp

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by manchild, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. Carl martin preamp

    2 vote(s)
  2. MXR Bass DI

    6 vote(s)
  3. Sansamp Para Drive

    7 vote(s)
  4. VT Bass

    15 vote(s)
  1. manchild


    Jan 30, 2008
    Hey people,

    Been reading posts on the following 2 pedals that are in my price range, that i am considering getting, and my heads a little pickled! lol

    What would you recommend as a 3 band eq preamp pedal from the following:

    MXR Bass DI
    Sansamp para drive
    Carl martin para preamp
    Tech 21 VT Bass

    DI is not huge issue for me, as is drive as i currently use a CM-2 for grit at the moment - would the first 2 provide better grit?

    How would you compare the colouring/tone shaping of these pedals?
  2. TL5


    Jun 27, 2005
    I own two of your choices, the VT Bass and as of Friday I also have the MXR M80.

    These boxes are similar but there are some subtle differences.
    The VT bass will color your tone. The character knob determines what color. Anything before "noon" (counter clockwise from straight up) the color is in the SVT style. Straight up noon is supposed to be B-15'ish, after noon (clockwise from straight up) it begins to add the distortion. So no matter how you set the character knob, there is some effect going on, unless the device is off/bypassed.
    If your goal is Ampeg style tubeyness then the VT is an excellent choice.

    The MXR M80 can function as an EQ/preamp only. The color it provides can be switched in/out via the color switch (ingenious doncha' think?).
    The M80 also has the second channel, which is labeled distortion. The color is always "on" on this channel. Some use the second channel to simply engage the color, keeping the gain at a minimum. I used the pedal DI with IEM's last weekend. I ran the color on and used a really mild distortion on the second channel for one song. I liked the ability to blend some of the clean signal with the distortion.

    Both boxes are very usable and easily understood. Since I play DI'd most of the time, I think I prefer the combination of running the VT Bass in SVT/B15 territory with my Xotic BB for added distortion over using just the M80.
    However, if you're looking for preamp/EQ only, then the M80 sounds like it fits your criteria better.

  3. manchild


    Jan 30, 2008
    That sounds good, thanks for the info - im wondering whether to keep the CM-2 as my colouring/grit/amp sound or whether to just use a preamp like the vt for that job as well as the eq

    does a tube imitating overdrive give the same kind of sound as the tech 21 pedals give?

    Any thoughts on that from anyone?
  4. manchild


    Jan 30, 2008
    How does the para driver compare to the bass driver by sansamp? does the mid control warrant the extra money? is the drive colour the same?
  5. If you're going to be leaving this pedal ON 100% and using it only as an EQ, I would suggest you use your amps EQ to do that. If that's not an option the mxr bass d.i. is/was an awesome pedal.
  6. I can't comment on the paradriver, but I really love my BDDI. Realize that this pedal is pretty sensitive and pretty prone to a mid scoop, so if you go this route keep the blend, bass, treble and presence under noon or you're gonna get buried.
  7. manchild


    Jan 30, 2008
    Thanks for the advice guys - when i listen to internet clips the vt bass doesnt seem to get very warm sounding like the BDDI seems to is that only cause of the tone settings being used or is it like that in general?
  8. Kromwarp


    Sep 16, 2008
    Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Master Luthier: Ironclad Bass Guitars
    Another option you might have is the Electro Harmonix Knockout...excellect EQ and tone shaping abilities, new they are $67
  9. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    For the record, I voted Paradriver because every time I see a BDDI or otherwise similar Sansamp I have rushed to the stage to see what gear the bass player was using.

    the 'aah s/he was playing a sansamp birect box(in imaginary person voice)...of course..."I always forget about those(said to myself in a second dorkier voice)"' schizophrenic gear nerd episode always comes up with these units.

    As for your criteria, I think that the MXR is the best bang for buck option that fits all of your needs.

    I like ampeg tone and would probably buy a VTBass if I wasn't weighing options and features...but something in me wants a BDDI or PDDI.
  10. manchild


    Jan 30, 2008
    Thats great thanks for the advice - looking at both units, they seem to have the same frequency of bass and treble controls (dont know if both are shelving though?) except the MXR has a mid of 850hz, but the para can sweep to any mid

    Is 850hz the best frequency to have as a mid control? I dont want to spend the extra on the para if i would only set it up in the same way as the MXR.

    Would everyone agree that the MXR is the better unit? I find the Para to have a more 'gated fuzz/drive' sound when it is cranked....................
  11. Livewire

    Livewire Yahtzeeee

    Nov 13, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    I used to own the VT bass and for the past month, own the MXR M80. I sold the VT because I realized I wasn't really shooting for a SVT tone. The MXR80 is more of a uncolored EQ for me. The distortion on it IMO, is garbage and unusable in my band situation, so I use the second channel and a volume boost. I leave the MXR on during practices with the color switch engaged. I really like it, plus it has a DI out which the VT bass doesn't have (not sure if it makes any difference for you).
  12. manchild


    Jan 30, 2008
    Yeah i was wondering about the EXH stuff too - yeah i dont like the sound of the M-80 dist either, but may use it on 0 setting to add a little colour.....................

    when it is engaged does the colour switch effect the clean eq tone or just the dist tone???
  13. manchild


    Jan 30, 2008
    if you have both channels on that is..................................
  14. Livewire

    Livewire Yahtzeeee

    Nov 13, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    Like said before, with the second channel on, the color switch is automatically enabled. With the first channel, you can choose whether you want the color switch on or off.
  15. manchild


    Jan 30, 2008
    ah right cool - so the bass/treble increase is there if you use the dist either way...................

    hmm i like a mid boost so not sure if its what i want........................

    think maybe the para is best for me?
  16. sloasdaylight

    sloasdaylight Banned

    Feb 4, 2009
    Tampa, Florida, US
    (Full disclosure, I've owned 2 different BDDIs, one with only the phantom switch, which is the last generation, and the current gen. A Prog Bass DI, and a Paradriver)

    Frankly, I would spend the extra $10 and buy the paradriver. The mids control helps you from getting buried, and the parametric aspect of it allows you to dial in where you want to cut through, which is fantastic.

    That being said, I don't use it as a preamp, I use it as a distortion pedal. I haven't played the MXR or the Carl Martin so I can't comment on that, but I have played the VT, and while a lot of people seem to like it, I was not a big fan, and wound up settling on the BDDI (when I first got into SansAmp stuff). There is too much coloring of sound for my tastes with the VT.
  17. manchild


    Jan 30, 2008
    thanks for the input - im thinking the same thing, as to buy the cheaper option, may result in wishing I had held on for the more verstaile option..........................

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