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New bass preamp DI pedal

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Riccardo C, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. Riccardo C

    Riccardo C

    Dec 4, 2013
    Milan, Italy
    Greetings from Italy.
    I'm searching for a new preamp DI to keep in my pedalboard. I use it for a light eq and some distortion/overdrive (vaguely Tool sound) and in rare occasions of playing live directly in ths PA. So it must have clean and od/distorted channel
    It's a plus if I could connect it to headphones and play ampless at home, but not strictly necessary.

    Problem is, I pretty much ruled out almost everything I know.
    - Mxr M80: great but the distorted sound has the colour function (big scoop, sopay sound) always engaged. Sold it
    - Darkglass B7k ultra: distortion too harsh, too pointy. Have it now, planning to sell
    - Sansamp BBDI: mid scoop too big, even lowering bass and treble, and too fat. Sold it. (I guess other Tech 21 have te same taste)
    - EHX Battalion: seems good but the distortion sound too fuzzy, remembers my Big Muff which I only use for fuzz
    - Aguilar Tone Hammer DI: overdrive sounds unusable
    - Ebs Microbass: I had a couple of Ebs pedals and didn't like it
    - GK Plex: that would be my choice, on the clean channel it seems to have everything I want and I LOVE GK head sims, BUT the overdrive/distortion sound crappy from the vids I've seen

    What other could you suggest?
    Please no unknown artisanal brand. I know many of them are pretty good, but I often want to change and I need good chances of reselling.
    Thanks guys
    BOOG, TonyP-, CheckBass and 1 other person like this.
  2. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    BDDI and VTBass in parallel using LS-2.
  3. Riccardo C

    Riccardo C

    Dec 4, 2013
    Milan, Italy
    I ruled out the BDDI
    Kijuer likes this.
  4. sifrancis


    Oct 29, 2012
    Mesa, Darkglass, EQD, Mantic, Source Audio, Yamaha, Delano, Hamstead Soundworks
    Welcome to the never ending quest for the perfect preamp.

    I would suggest checking out the Two Notes Le Bass preamp. Plenty of demos kicking around, and should be easy enough to get hold of.
    Versatile pedal capable of covering a wider range of playing situations. It's "cold fusion" mode is very useful, allowing you to blend the two channels in parallel. It isn't without it's quirks, and it can be tricky to balance the levels when going between a single preamp and the fusion mode, but some patience can help here.

    Alternatively, pairing a separate overdrive/distortion pedal with one of the preamps that offers a clean tone you like (GK Plexiglas, MXR M80), is likely a much quicker route to what you are looking for, as there are unfortunantely very few preamp pedals that successfully implement an overdrive/distortion channel (IMHO), either through lack of sufficient/intuitive/flexible level control or insufficient EQ shaping/control between the two channels.
  5. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    MNAirHead likes this.
  6. Riccardo C

    Riccardo C

    Dec 4, 2013
    Milan, Italy
    It's good advise but besides being expensive (and taking more space, which means I should buy another board because two more wouldn't fit, so more expense) I like the blend between clean and distortion
    sifrancis likes this.
  7. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Please note that some dirt pedals feature a blend knob. I am not aware of many preamps which have the same function.

    I understand the space constraints though...

    Not sure which way it would turn out being more expensive. I guess it depends on which particular pedals you end up with. Some preamps are more expensive than two or more regular pedals...
  8. .:Aidan:., Rojd and Zbysek like this.
  9. Tekkers


    Dec 16, 2018
    Try the Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig. I seem to find myself recommending it every so often on here.

    EQ is solid and there’s a boost for drive and a compressor which can add up to a decent bit of grit, plus a headphone amp and XLR out for going direct. I toured with it for a while and honestly never felt like I was missing anything.
    Haroldo, gidbass and Zooberwerx like this.
  10. Leonid Nidis

    Leonid Nidis

    Jan 1, 2018
    They did all that and NO separate dirt channel.
    loendmaestro likes this.
  11. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    Orange Bass Butler or Tech 21 Steve Harris or DI -2112 maybe ?

    Line 6 HX Stomp has some great bass sounds in it. Including great GK sound.

    Can you describe the tone your after ?
    MDBass, Rolling Thunder and Zbysek like this.
  12. Leonid Nidis

    Leonid Nidis

    Jan 1, 2018
    You can try the TC spectradrive,fender express bass,trace elliot transit b.
    But based on how you ruled out a lot of good stuff I think you should get a separate drive.
    BurtMacklinFBI and Zbysek like this.
  13. Yep. Find a clean tone that does it for you. Add OD/fuzz/dist to taste with something that is dedicated (a pedal) and specialized. Just my echo of a similar thought process.
  14. NorthTexasBass

    NorthTexasBass Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2011
    Dallas / Fort Worth
    Another vote for the Two Notes Le Bass here. Maybe it's because of the tubes, but it has the most natural distortion I've heard. I play in cold fusion mode with a little dirt 90% of the time. It does clean very well, and it can get nasty if you want it to.
    alembicbones likes this.
  15. HeavyJazz

    HeavyJazz Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    Try the Sansamp Bass Driver version 2 - that will correct your midrange challenges and give you everything else you appear to be after.
  16. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Marleaux are also marketing a good one( I am saying '*marketing' because I do not know hor much of a hand Gerald has had in the design and engineering side of it) It's good tho!
  17. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    That's a pretty good description. Just to clarify, the boost can be assigned to "Drive" (OD) or just used to kick-up the volume.

    The EBS MB3 is another great choice and offers blended / interactive clean & OD channels.

  18. Overdriven bass DI'd is going to sound fizzy unless there's some kind of speaker simulation going on too.

    I've been very pleasantly surprised by the cheap Joyo American Sound. Don't let the low cost fool you, it is GOOD. Great tonal shaping capability, and it sounds very realistic when DI'd. It takes up other dirt pedals before it very well too, which is great. It does not have a DI, but you can get a good but simple one for not a lot of money and combine both.
  19. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    I would get separate od pedal. I had almost everything you listed and being one who doesn't use od, never had problems, but if that is what you looking for, none is designed for easy and comfortable use for that matter except darkglass but you said you dont like it.
    EDIT: My Darkglass were Vintage Ultra, (The white one) not that one you have though.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
    MynameisMe and BurtMacklinFBI like this.
  20. Leonid Nidis

    Leonid Nidis

    Jan 1, 2018
    I never had any problems with using dirt with no cab sim.
    I have a ebs valve drive di and gk plex.
    But I do only use mild overdrive.

    So right about that joyo American it does sound good.

    One more option is dark glass vintage,the newer ones should have cab sim if needed
    OptimalOptimus likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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