Need preamp suggestions ( which one?)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ThunderStik, Jul 31, 2001.

  1. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    I am going to purchase a new preamp and I need help on deciding which one to get ( alembic f-1x, ashdown , demeter , etc..) and please also post what you paid or have seen it go for. Thanks
  2. I'm very happy with my Kern 777 preamp. It sounds incredible and the DI is gives me tone to die for. I run the DI straight to AD converters and am incredibly impressed with how beautiful and huge my Sadowsky bass sounds. It's simple to use and quite versatile. I'll keep it for decades if not life.
  3. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    What did you give for it JimS?
  4. You mean pay? Under $700 including IEC power cable upgrade (no wallwart) and ground lift at no charge. I don't recall the exact figure.
  5. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    That sounds sweet, anybody else?
  6. Freakapotamus9


    Jun 20, 2001
    try an ampeg svp-pro or svp-bsp. ive never heard the bsp, but i played the pro and was pleased with its sound. YOUR ears are the best judge in what you want. also, i know theyre hard to find, but check out an SWR grand prix. just my suggestions
  7. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    Surely there are more than 2 guys out there using a preamp. (bump)
  8. I have an Alembic F-1X. It drives a Rane crossover and parametric EQ, and bi-amps through a QSC MX-3000a.

    My only basis of comparison was my SWR Bass 750 that I sold because I needed more power and bi-amp capability.

    The F-1X works, but uses the old Fender style controls. Bass/Treble are Boost only, Mids are Cut only. Flat appears to be somewhere around B=1 M=10 T=1. I find the DI xlr connector on the front to be very annoying. The power switch on the back (inside the rack) is mildly annoying. The tone is just fine, but again I have no honest basis of comparison.

    The F-1X is built like a tank and very easy to service. Users can change the tube without difficulty unless they are challenged. If you want to bi-amp without all the extra crossovers, etc, the F-1X has a nice 12 dB slope crossover built in. The bad news is the outputs are unbalanced. I run an entire (xlr) balanced connection from preamp to power amps for hum elimination.

    The average selling price for F-1X on eBay is about $350 to $370. One just sold a few days back, so they do come on occasionally. Aguilars and Demeters are much more rare.

    Audition - audition - audition

    Your mileage may vary
  9. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    The audition part is the hard part because its hard to get to hear something when you cant find one. How often have you had to change tubes (Bgavin) and have you stayed with the stock tubes?
  10. I bought the F-1X from eBay where it was described as "excellent" working condition. When I opened the box, the rack ears were bent, two of the machine screws holding the cover had been replaced by wood screws, and the tube was HEAVILY microphonic.

    A trip to the local music shop got me a replacement Groove Tube 12AX7A for $17 and it runs perfect now. I expect the tube to last a long time, and since a single tube only, retubing is not an issue like it is with tube power amps.

    FWIW, the Ampeg SVP-Pro has 5 tubes, so the cost is a bit higher (5x).
  11. Freakapotamus9


    Jun 20, 2001
    you have a point, but 12AX7A's and other preamp tubes rarely if ever need to be replaced. so if you like the sound of tubes, try the ampegs. plus even if the tube(s) need to be replaced its only around $100 for the 5.
  12. I've got a SWR Grand Prix and a Ampeg SVP-Pro. The ampeg definitely likes to crunch. But a lot of options that are useful. Footswitched graphic EQ is nice, Footswitched mute. Drive control (Sweet) Ultra Hi/Lo. If you've ever tried a ampeg SVT-Fill in the Blank, then you know what kinda tones you can get. It's the preamp section of the SVT-2, and 4 12ax7's and a 12au7 bring out the boom. The SWR is a very clean preamp. Parametric eq's with adjustable mid freq (Hi and Low, that is incredible) Ladder Led's for the input level, Headphone outs, front panel Effects balance, Line and Line/Direct XLR outs, Aural enhancer....Very very very Pro product here guys.

    I'm guessing what you are looking for is something sounding like the SWR. The ampeg is made for live tone, I'm excited about both preamps. The SWR is gonna be great to record with. The Ampeg is a live sound machine though. I'm guessing that the SWR will out-preform almost all of the other preamps out there when it comes to features and tones attainable. And a rock solid SWR or Ampeg can be had for $200-$300. And you can trust their reputation(s) precede them.

  13. I have an ADA MB-1, I like it a lot, here is something I wrote in an earlier thread about it


    The ADA MB-1 has: about 9 contours, 3 modes of distortion (shaped by contour and EQ), 5 bands of EQ, Compression (Rate, Threshold, Gain), Chorus (Depth, Rate), 2 seperate effects loops that can be used independently or together, and Tube and Solid State preamps (can be mixed or used independently).

    The 3 Distortion modes are Clean, Edgey, and Full on. They are shaped by the voicing contours and the EQ choices.

    The EQ has Lo, Lo Mid, Mid, Hi Mid, and Hi. The Lo is from 120 and under, you can choose which frequencies you want to amplify for the Lo Mid, Mid, and Hi Mid. Hi is for frequencies above like, 18,000 or something like that

    The Compression Rates are 1.5-1, 2-1, 3-1, 6-1, 8-1, 10-1, 20-1, 30-1, etc.

    The Chorus sounds good to me and you can get a lot of different sounds with it.

    The Tube amp sounds like Tubes (of course), it uses 2 12AX7s. The Solid State is very sharp and cutting.

    You can make a patch (say, scooped EQ with no distortion or chorus), then save it to patch 30 (the first one after the 29 presets), then make another patch with full on distortion, save it to patch 31, then make another one with mids boosted, and save it to patch 32, make another one, etc... You can save a total of 256 patches! They are footswitchable with a footcontroller.

    They are usually around $200 online (the companies factory burned down and they are out of buisness). There is a guy you can get repairs and parts from, he is listed on

    Hope I helped!

  14. 12Toes


    Apr 19, 2001
    Lexington, KY
    Good stuff too. Got it from ebay, total impulse purchase, @ $150, too cheap not to try it out.

    Anyway, loads of tonal variations, tube and solid state, mix and match. Much cleaner than I expected as well.

    This unit would be even better if the line out/effects
    loops were variable. Also, the build quality preceeds it. Strange, you get this new peavey stuff and it's so cheap and so good, its like cheating.

    That's my experience.

    P.S. Has anyone used the ashdown preamp??
  15. jvtwin

    jvtwin What it needs is a little more cowbell

    Jan 26, 2001
    LA Calif.
    I've had the Ashdown RPM-1 for about five months now. Simplified - not a lot of bells and whistles, which is cool with me. It has a switchable harmonizer (basically an onboard Octavier) but its very clean sounding unlike the stomp box version. I also like having the V.U. meter for checking signal strength from the bass. The only thing I don't like is having the D.I. and effects loop connectors on the back of the unit, and on a rack mount, this kinda sucks. I would prefer to have that out front. Other then that I really do like it. It gives a nice clean signal, not a a lot of colorization. I have mine set up with the bass, mid's and treble at twelve and adjust my tones off my bass.

    I found the preamp on eBay brand new in the box for $385.00 from a shop called the "The Bass place" in Scottsdale, AZ. They didn't even charge me shipping. Good guys and easy to work with. They always seemed to have something going on eBay. Check em out.

    Hope this helps.
  16. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    I agree with tufnuts on everything he said.. I have an svp-pro and i love it..I tried both but could only buy one. The SWR sounded too sterile to me, but that's what you want in the studio right? Im a fan of the ampeg's (dirty?) sound. The only problem is that SWR doesn't make the Grand Prix anymore, so you'll have a little trouble finding one. Both are definately worth a test run if you get the chance... I've never had a chance to try a high end-er like alembic of aguilar, but for that price, they had better be awesome.
  17. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    how much is the svp new
  18. Another vote for the Kern :cool:

    I had an Ampeg before getting the Kern. Very nice preamp if you like the Ampeg sound. I prefer a preamp that is more neutral.

  19. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    Musician's friend sells the svp-pro for $500, which means you could probably find it for $450 or so if you look carefully
  20. grooveguru


    Sep 14, 2000
    Central PA
    Alembic F-1X! Fat, Creamy and Smooth. Simple layout, Killer Tone and built like a Tank. Add a BBE Sonic Maximizer and you can take an eye out with the sound. Big Thumbs Up :)