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Need help in choosing preamp

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by P-punk, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Hi.

    I'm looking for an outboard preamp to give my basses ('71 J & '79 P) a little more oomph/boost. It should be pretty neutral, and not color the sound too much. I already have a VT Bass Deluxe, and as much as I love it does color the sound. The preamp I'm looking for now should just amplify the natural sound of my basses, but with the possibility to EQ a bit. Not to many knobs, two or three should do it.

    I've read a lot here on TB about the different preamps, and in a way I like the simplicity of the Sadowsky pre, but I'm afraid it will color the sound too much. In a lot of the reviews Marcus Miller is mentioned, and I don't want MM's sound. I'm really not a fan of his sound, especially his highs.

    In one of the reviews of the Sadowsky someone mentions the Linden EQ as a more vintage sounding alternative to the Sadowsky. Is the Linden to like my VT Deluxe? Is it any point in having both the VT Deluxe and the Linden?

    To sum it up - I'm looking for a simple preamp to boost the signal and natural sound from my bass, without coloring it too much. If it colors it all, it should color in in a "vintage-y way".

    Anyone got any recommendations?
  2. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Aguilar Tone Hammer?

    It's the one I'd trade my SansAmp for. And for precisely the reason you mention: I want to be able to get a neutral EQ and the SansAmp is built with another purpose in mind.
  3. refuge4


    Jan 23, 2009
    Houston, TX, USA
  4. Hi, and thanks for the answers.

    I've been thinking of the Aguilar, but I'm a bit skeptical because of all the knobs. With 5 knobs, I fear it's too many variables, and that I will have a hard time finding the "right" tone. Should I be worried, or is it easy to use?

    Edit: I just realized that it's actually 6 knobs.
  5. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Don't let it intimidate you. Looks to me like it just has

    EQ: bass, mid, treble
    output volume

    It's true that the mid is a two knob affair, one to select the frequency and one to boost/cut that frequency. But it's still pretty simple.
  6. Even with many knobs and no detents in the pots, you can always throw a small strip of tape above or below the knobs and mark where you like the settings. Many bands that move their gear a lot do this so that there is no question and the don't have to re-dial their tone each time they set up.
  7. ...I have no experience with newer, dedicated preamps; exceptions being; Line 6 and Pandora PX4-B which are effects boxes with preamp capabilities, as opposed to being pre-amps alone.

    Although no longer manufactured; you can find them used on internet auction sites. I have a reissue [ black-faced] Furman PQE-3, which is either a pre-amp only; no tone variation..just pre amp..or 3 channels of discrete parametric equalization; 15 db cut/boost.

    It's fairly light; solid state. You can either boost your signal or create your own tone to suit.

    I highly recommend it. It even makes my old Kustom 200-B head sound great...lol..
  8. dustinfennessey


    Sep 29, 2011
    Darkglass B7K
  9. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    A good choice if you really like to get your fuzz on. At lower levels of distortion it's basically a Tone Hammer as far as I can tell from the youtube demos I've seen.
  10. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    I guess Tone Hammer is indeed one of ht best options for natural sound.
  11. ergbass


    Nov 26, 2010
    I believe that the rc booster from xotic is what you need.
  12. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    Sansamp paradriver is also a good option
  13. I also recommend the Tone Hammer Stompbox! ...bought it for the same reasons you listed! ...now I have OBP's in all those basses.

    *shameless plug* I happen to be selling mine if you are interested...used it in a few recording/live scenarios and it is awesome! It should be posted tonight! :D
  14. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Sure! Trade me even up for my SansAmp BDDI! :)
  15. GrooveRonin


    Nov 20, 2011
  16. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
  17. Berme


    May 11, 2001
    +1. Although I use the BB preamp with very low gain, which should be similar.
  18. Berme


    May 11, 2001
    +1. Maybe too many knobs for you, but it seems great. I just ordered the b3k.
  19. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    I'd suggest the RMI BassWitch. (Basswitch Bass preamp foot pedal & DI with EQ | Ruppert Musical Instruments)

    I know, it has far more knobs than you want, but it is very neutral sounding. In fact that is why Paul Turner has chosen the BassWitch. He hates how other preamp pedals made his low end sound "active" and with the Basswitch's "bell curve" on the lowest band (as opposed to th usual "shelving" type) apparently his '66 J keeps the vintage flair.
  20. Hi.

    Thanks for all the replies. I have to check out all of them, but so far I've read reviews and watched YouTube clips of the Darkglass B7K and the RC Booster. Both of them seems real nice, but the Darkglass is maybe a little too expensive for me right now.

    Will use the afternoon to check out the rest of your suggestions. :)

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