outboard preamp showdown

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by egotistical, Oct 4, 2003.

  1. i had really grand plans for this, including recordings and everything else since i recently bought 3 different outboard preamps and i was going to play them head to head and post a big review, but like most things i set out to do i end up falling short here... anyway i think i have some usefull info to post anyway... recently i bought: the sadowsky belt clip outboard preamp, aguilar db-924, and the fishman model b... i got the sadowsky 1st and i really liked it... the change it made was huge... it made my spector ns2000 sound almost identical to my spector rebop (they have the same pickups, the differences in electronics are just pickup placement and preamp, with the rebop having the 18 volt aguilar obp-1 as opposed to the ns2000's 9 volt emg bts)... anyway, despite how impressed with the sadowsky i was, it wasnt without its flaws... it became noisey when i turned the volume knob up all the way... apparently hissing is a common problem because the person i sold it to said that the one he had before mine hissed a lot when he turned the treble knob up all the way... he didnt mind the volume knob hiss because it didnt hiss until it was almost all the way up and having the volume at 80% or less was more than enough for him and i... you might be asking yourself why i sold the sadowsky... well, the reason would have to be my the pleasnt surprise (otherwise known as the fishman model b)... i picked this little unit up for only $50 (half the price of the sadowsky, which was a steal at $100)... i actually prefered the sound of the model b to the sadowsky... it was a little warmer and didnt suffer from any noise hissing... all in all a very quiet unit... when looking at these 2 side by side they look identical... apparently they buy the knobs and boxes from the same place... this is where the similarities end, as the circuits look completely different and the battery connectors are different... the fishman has a standard connector that is most commonly seen with anything that uses a 9 volt battery... the sadowsky has a box that the battery goes in... its kind of funky looking and inserting a battery can be stressfull because the force required to do so makes me worry that i might break the whole setup during this exercise... thats about as much as i can offer for those 2 units... as far as the aguilar db-924 goes... i cant offer much... other than comments on the construction of it, since i never got to play through it... i got this unit at the same time that i got the fishman (bought from the same person on ebay)... the reason being that the db924 is the only unit that requires 2 9 volt batteries and as luck would have it i only have one... attribute it to my cheapness or laziness or just my being content with the cheap fishman model b, but i never saw fit to get another battery to check out the the aguilar against the other 2 preamps... i was kind of scared to... i like the idea of having a cheap outboard preamp that gives me the sound that i wanted... if i tried the aguilar i might be forced to keep a more expensive unit that uses more batteries... anyway, of all 3 preamps the aguilar is constructed the best... the box is really heavy duty (not that the other 2 are weak) and everything is laid out really nice inside, although it has 2 sadowsky style 9 volt connectors that i dont like... my favorite feature is the volume knob, because it has notches in it internally or some ****... i really dont know what the term for it is, but think of one of those old car radios with the round knobs where you can actually feel it when you turn the knob by every incriment... its usefull for fine tuning things... thats basically all i can say about that

    this concludes my review... not at all what i origionally intended to do but hopefully someone will find some of this information usefull if they manage to make sense of my drunken rantings
  2. by the way if anyone wants me to post pics of the internals / externals of these 3 preamps, id be more than happy to do so