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Pre-amp to get a better sound from house amps: Fdeck or something else?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by damonsmith, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. House amps just weren't a thing in Texas and on the west coast. Now most places I play have one, but they tend to be bass guitar amps.
    I can get passable sound but end up lugging my GK 200MB when it matters. Is the Fdeck the answer to this?
    I drive to my Boston/Cambride gigs so this is more about NYC and making Subway trips easier - I like to keep it to the bass and messenger bag full of my CDs & tapes.
    Also, I can't find prices for his series 1 or 2, I don't need anything fancy!
  2. Scott Lynch

    Scott Lynch Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Delaware, USA
    For small form factor and ease of use the F-Deck is hard to beat. My series 2M lives in my bass bag for those situations when I'm plugging in to a BG amp. It's got the bare bones - variable HPF, phase switch, impedance correction - and runs on a battery, so it's one less electrical plug to worry about.

    The AI Flex Pre is a bit bigger and more expensive but is one hell of a preamp. Not sure how important EQ is for you, but I find the EQ points on the Flex very usable.
  3. YosemiteSam


    Jun 8, 2005
    Chatham, MA
    Here's the link I've been using to look at them: HPF-Pre, updated December 18, 2016 - hpftechllc
    Which after some navigation leads to this: http://personalpages.tds.net/~fdeck/hpf-tech-llc/hpf_order.htm

    I'm considering a Series 2, myself.

    I'm nowhere near as experienced as many here amplifying the double bass, but I have a Tonebone PK-Pre, a preamp that supports piezo inputs and provides HP filtering ("low cut") and a notch filter, in addition to EQ. It works, but adds some midrange tones that I can't seem to eliminate. I'm considering the fdeck to get the "pure" signal direct to my amp or PA.
  4. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    i talked to josh broughton at azure skies - here on talkbass

    he made me a hpf/lpf + mute and DI - a combo of an Fdeck and countryman T85 DI basically.

    love it!
    John Chambliss and Jeff Bonny like this.
  5. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Most house amps I've encountered are two piece. A mini amp like a Doubler or AI is my solution to use with the house speaker.
  6. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choiceâ„¢ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I'm using my Fishman Platinum Stage Preamp more and more. It has a hi pass filter with three settings and a flexible EQ, but I like the fact that I can use either a 1/4" or XLR out, the latter allowing me to to run off of phantom power. I use it to plug direct into the PA at one gig and I plug it into the effects loop of the house SWR combo at another. I also use it to create a second channel for the double bass with my Markbass combo.

    - Steve
  7. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I don't have anything bad to say about fdecks, but I would suggest going with a full featured preamp that fits in the bag. The fdeck is great at what it does, but it does not tone shape.

    I'm a big believer that if you have a preamp sound your happy with, it'll get you 90% of the way there on house supplied backlines. It's worked for me anyway in the situation like you have described.

    If the house amp has a garbage pre for upright, the fdeck isn't going to make it drastically better. I've used both the fdeck and I have the Broughton Audio HPF/LPF. Great tools, but I still used a preamp with both.
  8. An impedance buffer like the FDeck HPFpre enhances the tone for lower input impedance amps, but you have to use the built in EQ of the house amp, which is often not at optimal frequencies for double bass and not neutral at the zero position.

    A preamp with a high impedances input and EQ could be used to shape the sound and put it directly into the power amp part via the effect return. But that is a lot more expensive than an FDeck HPFpre.
    damonsmith, Ric Vice and ColdEye like this.
  9. ColdEye


    Oct 22, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Give the zoom a3 a try. It can blend too, a mic and a pick up. They can be around used for $130 or maybe even less. Happy with mine, can run on batteries too. Only thing I don't like is you can't completely turn off one channel. Tho their levels are adjustable. Has good eq and feedback control.
  10. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Like others mentioned, the FDeck is a incredible device, sometimes it's all you need, but it will only get you so far. When I did some digging I discovered that most of the newer heads, have 1 Meg Ohm input impedances, with some of earlier amps from Markbass and SWR being the exception. Even a B-15N has 2 Meg Ohms on it's Channel one input.
    So it depends on what pickup you use.
    All the preamps from Fishman are set to 10 Meg Ohms, so using the FDeck with the Full Circle should improve it's timbre. The bigger issue is how the tone stack is voiced on most bass guitar amps. The voicing emphasizes the upper midrange to enhance slapping, so unless you can "dial" that out it sounds terrible. IMHO the Headway EDB-2 addresses both input impedance and EQ issues in one compact little box. Just my take.


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