Neve preamp and power amp - Holy grail of tone?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by krivosh, May 24, 2018.

  1. krivosh


    Mar 13, 2008
    I'm in process of buying new amp for live applications. I'm thinking about trying something unusual and since almost all amps have some kind of colour, i narrowed my choice to some kind of NEVE preamp copy and power amp. Have you ever seen or used something like that live? Even Talkbass doesn't offer much info on combo like this. Warm audio preamps with EQ are priced just right for me, but i'm not sure if studio equipement is really road worthy. Second choice would be Demeter Preamp HBP_1.
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  2. sears

    sears Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2005
    ec, md
    I have been thinking about this. the Golden Age Pre73 will drive both a power amp and a DI. The Warm Audio (which I think is more API-derived) manual suggests against using both outputs at the same time. I was thinking of pairing one of those half-rack units with a Speck ASC-T EQ.
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  3. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    The results can be great. Some units are built better/same/ or worse than dedicated bass amps. Add a big class D power amp in a light rack and go to town. Make sure your cab can deliver the goods or else you'll lose a lot of nuances you can get with a good front end.

    I have had good results with the Presonus RC500. The latestest generation of bass amps do seem quite attractive though.
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  4. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    My 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices in such a scenario would be an Alembic F-1X.
  5. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie

    Aug 21, 2013
    I'dactually like to try a Neve, to see how they compare, but yessir... hard to beat that F-1X.
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  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    I've got enough Neve channels to cover the whole band! :D

    Neve Counterpoint 1500.jpg
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  7. Bassist30


    Mar 19, 2004
    I have the F2B and it to me is the ultimate. It does sound a little different than the F-1X to me. Both by alembic.
    I would love to have a Neve also, but sometimes what you can get out of it in a studio is different in a live situation. I have not seen it in any set up or in an arena. Maybe the board for the soundman but not on a bass rig.
  8. Studio pres offer different eq points than electric bass needs in live performance. The last tone shaping in your signal chain is used to adapt your tone + cab to the room/world. Conversely the desk eq. adapts the music you made to “tape.” All this to say it could be great or just so so. Next to your experiment some mainstream pre or amp head is rocking the bandstand and peeps effortlessly.

    Mine is not an armchair opinion but one borne of experience. I love bass pre amps. At one point I tried every with an XLR out on it and if it wasn’t for return policies I’d be out more than time. Fun though. Dedicated bass preamps just really do it. If you want the high end characteristics of studio preamps then audition some hi-end bass pres.

    Your tone goals are really it here. The Alembics mentioned were designed to give us through big PA power amps the Fender amp sound without the limitations of 40, 60 & 85w amps. Do you want studio pristine clarity? Might sound great solo but meh in a live setting. Do you want phat? Great sound? Thousands of tone shaping options?
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  9. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
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  10. 10cc

    10cc Inactive

    Oct 28, 2013
    Looks like I Neve to come over:roflmao:
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  11. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Doesn't seem that odd of an idea to me. For awhile I considered running either a Great River MP2 or a Millenia tone controls. Also, several TB members have used the Millenia TD-1 or Avalon U5 with powered speakers.

    Obviously the TD-1 would be the most flexible of the options I listed but I think the Avalon would be the warmest.

    If you want warm and tubey...maybe you should look into the Jule Monique.
    Ric Vice likes this.
  12. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    Have you looked into Trickfish amplifiers? The front end is designed by Neve...
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  13. I've seen this done with an Avalon Preamp. Amazing tone, but a little crazy financially.

    Avalon VT-737sp
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  14. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    I thought Mike Pope designed it?
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  15. somebrains


    Feb 7, 2017
    Neve + power was the "grail" in the late 80's - mid 90's for all the studio geeks in CA I was around.
    2nd was something Fender based like Alembic.
  16. Bassheart365

    Bassheart365 Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2014
    Northern California
    It wasn't until I played through an Avalon U5 in a studio session that I understood this. For sheer compactness and power, I use a Class D amp (Bertantino Forte) live. But before that in my signal chain is my U5. I don't use a rack enclosure. I simply put the Forte on top of the U5, and both fit easily on top of my cabinet(s). I leave all the tone knobs on the Forte at noon. My other dedicated preamp is a Millennia TD-1, which is a tube preamp (can be switched to solid state as well) and has the same form factor as the U5. They are both soooo good live and in the studio that I have a hard time deciding which one to use.
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  17. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    The Sonic Farms 2di4 is an amazing studio-caliber DI that works beautifully as a bass preamp.
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  18. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
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  19. yes i do this. i have a SS power amp (stewart pa-200) and use various tube mic preamps with it. small compact and light.

    i've always liked my studio tone over my "amp" tone. I've been there every tube amp there is and couldn't find "the sound". meanwhile everytime i go direct i get "the sound". problem solved, i do a DI into a Mic Pre and SS Power amp. small light portable and my tone.
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  20. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Surprise, AZ
    Isn't it interesting that for all the emphasis placed on the importance of input and (at least) output transformers, the Avalon U5 has neither. Yet, it is certainly held in high regard tone-wise.

    - John