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New rig idea: outboard pre+tube mic pre+power amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bthiemann80, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. Hey guys, I'm getting to the point where lugging around a 80lbs all tube bass head is a bitch to say the least. I've been thinking about a cool portable amplification unit without too many bells and whistles. I have always been more of a flat eq kind of guy, so I was thinking of cutting the excess and creating a new rig consisting of bass (passive precision or jazz) into outboard preamp (Sadowsky) into tube mic preamp (Presonus TubePre) into power amp (QSC PLX). I also have a dbx160a compressor I can throw into the mix as well. I've never really run this sort of set up before, from what I understand it shouldnt be difficult and stands to sound pretty good.

    Anyone out there who's run/running/looking to run a rig like this? I would appreciate any input, also any suggestions on how to configure the preamp running order, which one first, second, before power amp, after bass, etc. would be welcome as well, thanks!
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Lots of us run this sort of rig, it's becoming a popular method for tone-tweakers, allowing a very modular approach to the "building" of a bass amp.

    The devices go in this order:
    bass --> tone shaping preamp (Sadowsky) -->
    preamp that can put out a line-level signal (Presonus) -->
    line-level processor (dbx) --> power amp

    Yes, it "can be" done differently, but the above-described is the most correct way. It may be even more ideal if you used balanced connectors from the Presonus to the dbx and from the dbx to the power amp. But it may not be necessary to use balanced lines there, depending on the specific power amp input design.

    The only "complicated" thing to bear in mind is that the Presonus does not sound anything like an all-tube amp (no 12AX7-based preamp does), so don't fool yourself into thinking there are shortcuts. OTOH the tone of the Presonus is nice in its own way, so if you like that sound you're all good.

    Edit: And if you like a vintage tone, consider the Barber Linden instead of the very modern-sounding Sadowsky.
  3. Awesome man, thanks for the info!
  4. Interceptor


    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    I'm running something simular and agree completely with Bongomania.

    My set up is a Sadowsky preamp > Mackie 1202 > QSC PLX 1602.

    I'm temporarily using the Mackie as a gain stage to amplify things to sufficient level to drive the QSC properly. Together, it really sounds good. Very low noise, full AND clear tone together with plenty of power. I am a big fan of the Sadowsky preamp, for my tastes it is all the tone shaping I need.

    I am going to add a more permanant gain stage, either the Presonus or something morphed from the broadcast world, like a RDL Stick-on line amp.