Noble tube preamp

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by bassmanbrent, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    Yeah man, we all get to what we get to. Chris really explained the nature of how tubes and piezos interact well ...Brad Sarno explains it well too, my ears tell me the same thing: I like the sound of the piezo being buffered by the tube WAY better then running thru a SS pre first, but to each their own. Also flat sounds great but with the V8 the more you goose the treble the more close mic'd it sounds, pretty directly.I like that very much and use it to adjust my forwardness in the mix of the band. Plugging into the Felix first (to me) brings back the quack and looses a fair bit of the mojo (first order harmonics buffering etc)
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  2. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    maybe the power tubes and 5 lbs of iron transformers are bringing back the mojo for me. ive tried plugging directly into my amp, but since its a clone of an old design, there is no hpf and no effects loop, so i need to run the preamp first. but paired with a modern cab, its 50 watts of heaven. definitely anough for any gig ive played
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  3. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    totally. I went thru a time where I thought the ultimate would be to have the Felix run into a tube poweramp like that. But the V8 into a powered speaker is so right.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  4. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    I created a new pedalboard for the Noble, double bass, and doubling with EB. The new and very useful device is a Headway EDB2 H.E. "equaliser direct blender harmonic enhancer."

    Below are pics of the Nano+ pedalboard with signal chain as EDB2 H.E --> Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-300 (mostly used as FOH mute switch) --> Noble tube preamp/DI. I can blend the two channels, or send 1 or 2 into the Noble, which then splits the signal to the DI and amp jack. Which means it's perfect on double bass for simultaneously using a mic and pickup (I'm using passive Ehrlund EAP contact mic on line 1, and Telefunken SDC on 2). You can also use one channel for double bass and the other for electric bass. Or bass on one channel, vocal on another. And so forth.

    Interestingly, the EDB2 H.E also provides an XLR out, which passes signals for 1, 2 or a mix without going through the Noble. Space on the board was too tight between the HDB2 H.E. and Turbo Tuner for easy XLR access, so I added an adjustable elbow connector to plug an XLR in from the back side of the board.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081TLMYH7/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    The tuner and EDB2 H.E are powered by the Noble. Jack Roan made me a boost cable to provide 18v for the EDB2 H.E.

    Board-front-EDB2HE-closer.JPG
    Board-closeup-enter-connections.JPG
    Board-rear-center-connections.JPG
    Board-underneath.JPG
     
  5. bherman

    bherman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    that is a mighty fine looking rig.
     
    Ukiah Bass likes this.
  6. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    Love it man...I have the Felix sitting on top of the Sarno V8...very similar.JUst discovered that if I run the XLR out of the V8 to Ch1 XLR then the signal goes thru the transformer and eliminates the redundant gain staging works great. I also have that tuner. People dont realize how good that tuner is for correcting your pitch on upright...where'd you get that cool XLR right angle extender?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
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  7. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    link to amazon is in the post!
     
  8. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Simply a thing of beauty and Simplicity. It will be nice when you get to play out with the new Headway EDB-2 H.E. If you run the EDB-2 into the Noble, I would think you would loose the tube impedance loading for the Ehrlund, because
    the Headway is the first thing the signal from the pickup hits. Since the Ehrlund doesn't really require anything above the Headway's input impedance anyway, it probably doesn't make much of a difference. Just wondering. Will you then run the final
    output stage from the Noble into an amplifier or a powered speaker. Just wondering what your thinking was on that as well. Regardless it's a really nice setup.
     
  9. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    Haven’t determined if there is an impedance hit to the EAP. The Noble has two putouts. One is a quarter inch unbalanced out that I run into a PJB Flightcase BG-150 effects return or a PB-300 powered speaker. The balanced XLR output can go to FOH or whatever. I’m in early stage of testing everything but so far so good!

    The XLR out on the H.E can feed either Ch 1 or 2, or mix them so added flexibility if a totally clean signal is required.

    John from Headway told me today they will have a souped up H.E with valve in line shipping next year. Lots of nice options brewing!
     
    Ric Vice likes this.
  10. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    Don't bother ordering that XLR elbow connector for the EDB2-H.E's XLR out jack. Just did some test recordings and the connector injects a big noise floor. Quiet without. It was a good idea but....

    With double bass, both the Ehrlund EAP contact mic and the Telefunken SDC sound terrific with the EDB signals passed through the Noble. But why wouldn't they sound terrific? The Noble has yet to disappoint on EB or UB.
     
    Ric Vice likes this.
  11. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I really like the new feature set of the EDB-2 H.E. I'll probably trade my EDB-2 in and buy one eventually when gigs hopefully pickup. Adding a Tube to it's circuitry would be interesting, but the Noble is a full on preamp with a full compliment of tubes. So

    I can't imagine that they would be comparable in sound.
     
  12. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    Hard to say how these will compare. Noble has two tubes, but one is for the unbalanced output and the other tube is for the balanced XLR. The Valve H.E will have to be bigger, and bigger still if it wants to do an H.E+Noble concept. We’ll see how it delivers later. Meanwhile, the new board is meeting every expectation except for the bum elbow connector and that’s not Headway’s fault.
     
    Ric Vice likes this.
  13. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    I have been using the Ischell contact mic lately mixed with the pickup and routed like you have above.. that is thru the tube pre last. The Ischell is such an excellent mic and mixed with the pickup and then warmed in the tube pre (and using it's treble knob to add air) is such a fantastic double bass sound. It has a more clinical eq going into the Felix first, but this right now is my favorite way to play. The Ischell provides maybe 80 % of an air mic's realism but without perceptible bleed or feedback and the pickup fills in what is necessary. I think your Noble/EDB3 sandwich prolly sounds great. Try an Ischell in the mic ch. killin sound.
    ...just read that you are using the EAP and a mic...I would like to try the EAP again with a tube pre. I bought one when they first came out but didn't dig it...
     
  14. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    It's been interesting to hear the same signal through both the Noble and EDB2 H.E (clean) without any EQ in the paths. The EDB naked tone is excellent. But I still prefer the tubed Noble. I'm new at double bass and don't have your experience ... none with Ischell. The only other pickup I've used (also through Noble) is the Gage Lifeline. It sounded very nice pizz but definitely had the piezo thing going on; it was unusable with a bow. The EAP sounds really nice through the Noble. Substantially into the "microphone zone" -- especially with Noble.

    FWIW, the preferred placement of EAP is about a half inch below the soundpost.
     
    Wasnex likes this.
  15. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Well, even you're new to the Game you're take on the Gage Life Line is "spot on" from my perspective. I think the original Realist sounds better with arco, because it senses the body of the instrument. Unfortunately, pizzicatto is "tubby" on the Original Copper Realist so

    the Life Line sounds a bit better with pizz. The EAP is a pickup that sounds great on my bass and your bass with either bowed or plucked.
     
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  16. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    Yeah I like a piezo mixed with some kind of mic ideally. When the pickup gets too mic like, pairing it with a mic is just a headache. Might as well believe in either one or the other. The EAP if I remember was very mic like but the placement way off near the bottom of the bassbar took all the directness out of the sound...or at least the directness that I needs to hear in a band. (might sound really great straight into the Noble though)
    The sound I am getting now Grace (With piezo/Ischell blended)>Sarno V8>MAS18 has really come close to perfection for me. With just the Piezo into the V8 (and careful use of the treble knob) I get a damn good sound that is so close, it is excellent for most things.I often end up with the Felix tied in if just for the Mute/HPF/gain/routing functions...also there are some gigs where for some reason even in a trio where I have the V8 turned up and the 1200W amp on the MAS18 all the way up and I am still not getting enough volume. (go figure...I suspect the problematic HPF circuit in the MAS18 is somehow attenuating the power), with the Felix I have plenty. But once I am carrying the Felix to every gig I feel like I should be using that fine Mic pre on it. The Ischell keeps it all great sounding with no feedback or bleed out of the amp. (I would try the EAP as the mic part of the sound with a lower bridge piezo, bet that sounds good)

    Having the system set up the way you do with the Solid State EQ out front then the Tube Pre decouples the piezo from the tube but the difference in tone is entirely overcome by the airy-ness of the mic blended signal. (so long as you have a Hi Imp preamp like the EDB3 or Felix for the piezo) and what you get back is the blend knob which can change the percentage of piezo to mic (massively useful knob). Also set up this way the eq (for my bass) is super simple:everything flat. I use the blend knob for directness and tweak only the treble knob (all the way at the end of the signal chain) on the Tube Pre, a little, to add definition if needed. So pretty much your setup but different components.I have one of those little pedalboards but I don't use it cause the V8/Felix sandwich is so big it wouldn't fit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
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  17. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    The real-time blending is a new feature for me. One thing I've noticed for DB is a requirement to boost the mic'd signal more than the pickup's signal to get the same perceived volume through the combo amp. (I'm using a PJB Flightcase BG150.) I'm not sure why. But in deference to this thread, no matter what volume, both signals always sound great through the Noble!
     
  18. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    Yeah I am totally convinced that DB and a tube pre are perfect for one another.
     
    Seanto likes this.
  19. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    Is this a general statement, or specific to your bass.

    IMHO, ideal placement of the EAP can vary significantly from bass to bass.
     
  20. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    My preference on my Thompson RM-200 hybrid double bass. I've tried quite a few locations. I'll probably systematize the testing to double check preliminary impressions as I casually moved the EAP around a square foot target zone.
     
    Wasnex likes this.