Opinions on pre-amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by HardRockBassMan, Mar 20, 2002.

  1. I'm using a SansAmp Bass Driver DI straight into a Carvin DCM1000 power amp then out an Ampeg 8x10.

    I'm happy with the tone, but am thinking about getting a rackmounted pre-amp. What are some opinions on these units? Price is a concern. I.e. no $1200 credit card killers. I'd love to, but I just can't.
  2. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Well I'm one of those crazy fools that has three preamps. An Eden Navigator, an older Demeter VTBT-201DBL and an Alembic F-1X. I guess I just love preamps.:)

    Of the three I, for the life of me can't say one is definatively better than another. I really like the Navigator for it's EQ flexibility and all the other cool bells and whistles. I find that I run it almost dead flat on the EQ. Just a dab of any of the tone controls make a big difference. By all means it is no slouch in the tone department and sounds quite good compared to the other two preamps. The only gripes I have with it is that it is 2 rack spaces and the fangled LED's that serve no purpose. It has more functions than my WT-800 but yet still gets that Eden amp tone that I really like.

    I go back and forth on the 201 and the F-1X. Real simple setup. A couple of knob tweaks and I'm ready to go. I put real old NOS Amperex Bugle Boy 12AX7's in both preamps and they do sound fairly similar. It was well worth using those tubes, too.

    The F-1X seems to be built better than the 201 and the 201 is 1.5 rack spaces. But the Demeter has a bit more tone flexibility because it is cut and boost.
  3. ndjx


    Oct 26, 2001
    well since you have the pedal version, why not just get the sansamp rbi which is pretty much a rackmount version of the bass driver di?
  4. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    My vote goes for the Demeter VTBP-201. The best sound I've ever had. I believe new (with the Jensen transformer, a must-have IMO) they sell for around $799. Not a lot of EQ options, bells and whistles, etc., but it sounds great, so... who needs 'em. Very straight forward and simple to use, I don't think you could get a bad sound if you tried. Set it and forget it.
    The other preamp I own is the ART NightBass (tons of options, and effects). I like the unit, but I see that some people don't. There's a steep learning curve if you want a good sound, as most of the presets don't really sound that good (to me). I always go for the more "normal" bass sounds anyway. I think the learning curve is not worth it for many. The manual is over 60 full-size pages long. The NightBass is discontinued, they sold for close to $1000 when they came out around '91. I've seen them go on Ebay for around $300.
  5. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Yeah, I'd vote for the Rackmount Sansamp as well. You won't even have to look for a sound you like. And, if you only use the pedal for a pre-amp, you can sell the DI, and help pay for the rackmount version.
  6. I use the bass compactor, the sansamp DI and the RBI preamp into 1 800W amp and 1 WJ cab.I play in a loud rock band. Biggest and best sound I have ever heard from such a small sized rig.
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Another vote for the SansAmp RBI - I love mine into my DCM1000.
  8. That's the same rig I plan on going with. I'm ordering a new RBI through a local store today after work. I have the pedal version and I love it so the RBI seems to be a logical next step. If I'm happy with it my next purchase will be a DCM1000.
  9. Another vote for the RBI.I also use a Bass Driver DI and I use it with a Carvin R-1000.I don't use the preamp on the Carvin at all,just the Sans Amp.I'm also going to get the RBI sometime in the future.The pedal works great but sometimes it's hard to see and get to on the floor of a stage if you need to adjust something.You can get an RBI for about $300.
  10. Cool. I wasn't sure if the RBI sounded the same as the stomp box unit.

    Thanks for the help.
  11. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Do you find the Carvin DCM 1000 has ample reserve power? Is it lood enough?
  12. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'm not HRBM, but mine does! :D
  13. I am and yes, it gives me plenty of power.
  14. ndjx


    Oct 26, 2001
    I plan on getting the Sansamp RBI with a DCM1500, just to make sure it's loud enough. :D