preamp: Avalon U5 vs. Demeter VTBP201

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Golem II, Jun 17, 2002.

  1. Golem II

    Golem II

    Jan 4, 2002
    Macon, GA, USA
    I was just wondering what y'all thought would be the advantages and disadvantages of using each of these as a bass preamp. Let's assume the user isn't interested in massive tone shaping, just a clean, direct signal to drive a poweramp. Here's what I've gathered so far (assuming the Demeter is the 1.5 rack space version with a DI, active and passive inputs, bright/deep switches):

    Avalon U5
    - small, light
    -discrete (I'm guessing it has a more hi-fi and uncolored but also more "sterile" sound.)
    - sends the same signal to your poweramp as to the PA if you're using one, so you have more control over your sound thru the PA
    -"tone" filter preset knob (I have no idea what impact this can have on your sound, but I'm guessing not much.)

    Demeter VTBP201
    - A bit larger, may need to rackmount
    -tube (may have more warmth and presence)
    -has an effects loop
    - Tame EQ, bright and deep switches
    - DI apparently comes before the tube and the EQ, so you don't have any control over the PA sound which may be much worse than the amp's.

    Which would you prefer and why?
  2. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I haven't had a chance to play the Avalon, but hear nothing but raves about it. I do use the Demeter and think it's great.....very pure! Every string on the bass comes through in full bloom!
  3. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    James Demeter made his name in studio mic pre's & compressors, so you're still getting a nice audiophile hifi worthy tone. also, the EQ and options like the brite and deep switches are all geared towards bass.

    the Avalon's a gorgeous sound, but its very limited. unless you're planning on using it also as a studio mic pre along with bass duties, it might be good for you.
  4. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    If build quality is a factor then the Avalon is the way to go. I was a bit surprised by the home workshop interior of my 201. But it never seems to have any problems at all. I will say that out of the three preamps I have the Demeter seems to always be my favorite.

    I'm not sure that I would call the 201, hifi-ish. It seems to be not much different than the Alembic F1-X. It's real plain-jane looking compared to Avalon, which looks like very high end stereo equipment.