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Outboard Preamps/Compression Pedals

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by melodiaopus, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I am very old school when it comes to pedals, in that I have never owned one. I am a little confused as to the applications and usage of Outboard Preamps such as the Aguilar/Fodera and many other brands pres. Also, Compression pedals what are they actually used for? Live, studio?? I have a built in Compression in my PUMA 1000 but it seems like it really kills my volume level.

    Please let me know what exactly these are essential for and how I could benefit from these pedals? Also, which pedals are the best?

  2. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    There are nearly as many reasons to own an external preamp as there are preamp owners.

    Some people use them to add the features of active basses (hotter output, extra tone control, buffering your signal before it hits long pedal chains or FOH equipment that can cause "tone suck") to a favourite passive instrument.

    Some use them to provide some tone shaping in an ampless, DI signal chain, or to overcome the shortcomings of the built-in EQ on their amps...

    Others use them to add a footswitched, virtual second channel to a single-channel amp, as a solo boost, for matching levels between two basses, etc.

    There are also "character preamps" that supposedly add the flavour of a particular amp to your existing signal chain. The Ampeg SVT and B-15 are common targets for this type of preamp pedal.
  3. I really like to go direct to the amp or board. no pedals in the line but that´s me.

    Outboard preamps (in terms of pedals) are the "active basses" electronics in a pedal instead of being placed in the cavity of the bass. Normally used with passive basses.

    Compression pedals are normally used for live for those who wants to (not a norm, they can be used in the studio if that´s the bassists will). It´s used to decrease the dynamic range and if it´s overused or bad used they can suck the tone (to call it so).
    In the studio, the engineer takes care of this with better tools. I prefer to record without compression (unless I use a really good studio one) and compres at mixdown.
  4. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    So an outboard preamp is realy necessary if I own an active bass? And Compression is basically to limit certain level spikes that can cause the amp to overheat? Is this what I'm getting from all of this?
  5. An outboard preamp isn´t necessary. It´s normaly used in conjunction with passive basses to give them that "active spike" and good when you use very long cables.

    The compression you got it more or less.
  6. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    To get way more information that you think you are about to ask for, go here:

    Bongo has already anticipated your questions and answered them.
  7. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Also, are DI pedals like the SANSAMP DI Driver and the MXR DI are those considered Outboard preamps as well?? I'm a noob to pedals, sorry.
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    In that FAQ link you'll find and article that explains everything about preamps.
  9. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    It's a two-fer! Now, go read! :)
  10. Pre-amp and tuner are the two bare minimum things that i'd have on a board to gig with.

    When I was still gigging I used to regularly go straight to FOH with the DI from either my Tone Hammer or SansAmp. Plus they provide passive basses with active EQs which is nice.

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