Preamp / Acme B-4 Pairing

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Zooberwerx, May 18, 2007.

  1. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I'm currently using an RBI (which sounds great!) but caught the GAS bug for something a little more high-end. I never realized there was so much available: EBS, Alembic, Ampeg, Aguilar, Demeter, Kern...the list goes on. Problem is that I've never seen or heard the majority of these offerings firsthand and have even less of an idea as to how each would complement my existing CA-6 / Acme rig. I don't need to explain the Acme line, its been discussed a 100 + times before.

    That being said, please share your experiences, both good and bad.


  2. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I've used...SWR grand prix, GK, Trace, and currently ampeg SVP which is by far my fav.

    Other than running flat, I found that good control of the mids was the big thing. With no real "voice" of it's own, you gotta be able to put the curves where you want them. I'd tend to stay away from the Alembic or anything else that was passive cut only in the mids but I have no experience with the unit other than knowing it's not big on boosting mids.
  3. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    dang, so many

    for sheer plug 'n play, the alembic and kern preamps are great. nice fat, thick fendery tones.

    for more versatility, i like both the aguilar 680 and demeter hbp1. both have incredibly flexible EQ's that IME make the most out of the neutralish acmes. the synergy from those preamps working w/ the relaxed voicing of the acmes lets you carve most any sound you'd want. takes patience, but the rewards are freakin' fantastic.
  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Great suggestions! I had an SVP Pro but it produced a little too much background noise for my taste, a trait I'm trying to avoid with my next purchase.

  5. cheesybass


    Apr 10, 2005
    Hey Zooberwerx,

    I've had for about 7 years now a system composed of: Ampeg SVP Pro into QSC PLX2402 into Acme Low B4. Talk about rockin the house! I understand your concerns regarding noise from the SVP Pro, however. Mine was noisy, hummed and hissed when I first got it. I was disappointed, then I read about changing the tubes to quieten the preamp. I replaced all the OEM Sovtecs with Groove Tubes devices and the preamp went dead silent - in a good way! There's the slightest hum from the preamp, but noworse than my Ampeg V4B, or any other tube amp I ever played through. Anyway, good luck with your search, you've got a great foundation with the Crest and Acme!

  6. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    SW, OK
    The Demeter VTBP-201S or HBP-1 should be a great complement to the Acme's.

    A PJB Bass Buddy would probably be excellent as well.

    For my personal tastes, I think that adding an F-1X or to a lesser extent an Ampeg preamp to an Acme system would result in an overwhelming low end (at least the Ampeg would allow you to cut the bass if you wanted, but the tone would be inherently very BEEFY -- if that's what you're after then go for it).
  7. pedulla1


    May 14, 2005
    If the budget allows, pickup a used Aguilar DB680. I have that with a Mackie 1400i and they sound phat and huge. The only tone I cannot get is a bit of grit. For that I am trying an Aggie 112.
  8. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    If you want to answer this question, plug your computer into your power amp and hit You will get a fairly good idea of what all of those preamps sound like with your exact setup. It shouldn't take more than a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter cable to make it happen.

    FYI, I favored the Demeter VTBP-201 with my setup. While it wasn't my thing, the Trace V-Type sounded pretty fantastic as well.
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I found the RBI pretty much matches the SVP-Pro pound for pound so that's why I've left it out of contention. Still a great preamp and a great value.

    Really don't need that much "oomph" in the low end; the Acme cab more than compensates. I'd like to hear better definition in the low mids, though. I'm leaning strongly towards the Demeter HBP-1 as it offers 2 bands of parametric EQ. Several TBers gravitate towards the 201-S for its "plug 'n play" simplicity but I don't mind tweaking a few extra knobs.

  10. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    SW, OK
    Both the Demeter preamps are very fast sounding for tube preamps and have a very good punchy tone.

    The HBP-1 is a bit less tubey sounding than the 201S and to my ears sounded a lot better with the EQ bypassed (now extremely boomy rooms would probably need some cut).

    The 201S has more tonal colorations available and they just about all sound good (I preferred a JAN Philips 12AX7WA to the stock tube -- a lot of people like Telefunken's).

    [I'm not sure if the HBP-1 I played through had the stock tube or not -- I think it did, though.]

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