1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Pre-Amp Options

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by RE:PEAT, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. RE:PEAT


    Jun 24, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm interested in upgrading my setup and trying to understand the preamp options. The only preamp I've had is the one currently on my active Corvette. Prior to that my basses were passive. So what are the advantages and what would be the effect in sound/tone having and onboard preamp, an outboard preamp (e.g., Sadowsky) with a passive bass or a rack mount preamp (e.g., Aguilar DB659) with a passive bass? (For the purpose of this question, these brands are strickly referencing the different preamp packaging). Cheers.
  2. WOW, that's a lot of territory to cover.
    Advantages of a pre-amp:
    -more gain (better signal to noise ratio, more sound to the amp)
    -slightly "ballsier" sound
    -active EQ (shape tone controls without sacrificing signal)

    -IMO, preamp sound is not as "creamy" (but that's just marginal)

    Advantages to having an onboard pre-amp:
    -can drive the cable (cable loading doesn't affect sound)
    -controls are on the bass

    Advantages to having an outboard pre-amp:
    -transportable from instrument to instrument, while affording almost identical sound to the onboard

    Other more elaborate rackmount preamps also can give you such things as
    -tube amp driver circuits (for that warm tube sound)
    -compression circuits (to give you a tighter/punchier sound)
    -balanced DI outputs for the main FOH systems

    I'm just now starting to experiment with preamps (homebuilt ones) and am finding them quite useful. I've had active basses before, and liked them...but there are still things about passive basses that I like, too...
  3. RE:PEAT


    Jun 24, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks Pilbara, I may have some expriment'n to do!