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Preamp advice please

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Anthbass, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. Anthbass


    Jul 24, 2006
    I found a good buy on an old BGW power amp and will likely purchase it. I have never used an outboard preamp before so I would appreciate some advice as to what brands to consider. Also, the more budget-minded the better, for the time being. Thanks.
  2. 00Funk

    00Funk Banned

    Jul 17, 2006
    Dallas TX
    Get a Trace Elliot V Type. Its supose to be really close to an Alembic F1-X

  3. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    My opinions:

    1) Buy used.
    2) Ampeg, BBE, Sansamp, SWR, Alembic, Fender, Eden, Aguilar, and Demeter pre-amps are all fine.
    3) Go to http://www.basstasters.com and listen to some clips of various pre-amps. Then, just try something.

    Pre-amps are fun! All IMHO :ninja:
  4. Dan55


    Apr 26, 2006
    I've used a SansAmp BDDI as my preamp for the last couple of years and couldn't be happier. Nice warm sound that'll growl if you want. Less than $200 most places. Get the AC adaptor with it though, so you don't run through so many batteries.
  5. Anthbass


    Jul 24, 2006
    Thanks Jim, that is a great site. Am I right in thinking that the Tech21 sansAmp Driver box that I have is not powerful enough for a moderately sized power amp?
    Dan-I've been using a Tech21 driver and so far, I really dig it, so the rack-mount version is appealing.
  6. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Actually, it will work fine.

    I use a Sansamp Para-DI pedal with a power amp, no problemo...I actually put the pedal on top of the rack, so I can tweak it if needed.

    You might be happy with a rackable version, because it is more convenient. You could then just take the pedal when you don't need your whole rig, and can still have some/all of your sound. :D

    Exactly which tech21 box do you have, I'm confused...:p :p :p
  7. Anthbass


    Jul 24, 2006
    I have the programmable bass driver with DI, the model with three 'stomp' buttons, like the old Fender foot switch boxes. If this will work with a power amp, then I am ahead of the game, money-wise.
  8. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I say get the programmable Sansamp, put it right in front of you with your three favorite settings under your foot, and play until your fingers bleed!:D

    Seriously, the Sansamp is a great unit!
  9. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    what kind of sound are you after.. name some artists/bands/songs you like the bass sound in.. it will help narrow down the choice. fwiw if you want to sound like Chris Squire I would not suggest a Demeter VTBP-201S...
  10. high mileage

    high mileage

    Apr 17, 2006
    Rockford IL
    Yep - sounds like you're all set.
  11. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    That's a good one, and will work fine, I expect. :p
    Let us know how you like the new rig. :bassist: :bassist: :bassist:
  12. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    My understanding is that some of the older BDDI (not sure about the newer ones) did not have enough output to drive some of the less sensitive power amps, but the PBDDI has plenty of output (so you should be cool to go).
  13. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I used a pair of the BGW power amps as part of my touring rig in the late 70s. One was a 500 watt (I believe) model and the other 250 watt. I used an Alembic tube preamp, the 2 channel model. I had to crank the preamp almost wide open to get enough signal to drive the BGWs to a loud level. So, that is something to consider with your choice of preamp-will it put out a hot enough signal to drive the BGW?

    The safest would be to borrow a few preamps, like the Sansamp, and try it with the BGW to see how it works. I know the model of Alembic preamp I used was not hot enough for the BGW when used as a 2 channel stereo hookup. You could, with this preamp, connect the 2 channels in series to increase gain and get some overdrive and this is what I eventually did. I was never all that happy with the sound though and it was a pain to balance all the levels and still get a clean enough sound. That's just a thought.

    The BGW amps were solid and reliable and very conservatively rated so you should be able to get a good sound with the proper preamp. Since you're in Canada and I bought my BGWs in Vancouver when they were new, it might be interesting (to me at least) to check the history of your amp. There's a remote chance it is one of the ones I had. There weren't many of them sold. I used mine with 3- 2X15 JBL loaded custom refrigerator sized cabinets, In those days I had roadies so I didn't care about portability. Those BGWs were heavy and I think my birch plywood rack case , loaded with the 2 amps and preamp, was around 100 lbs. The cabinets were heavy too.

    Good luck in your search.
  14. Anthbass


    Jul 24, 2006
    Thanks to everyone who weighed with advice. I will be able to try the unit (which is a 750C) on the 20th. The seller has 2 of them and alledges that they are both pristine, so I'll report back once I give them a go.
  15. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    I enjoyed the Alembic f1-x quite a bit, has a fun tube sound, moreso than other preamps that I found.

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