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preamp for Full Circle

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by anonymous02282011, Apr 8, 2009.


  1. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    I'm going back to the preamp/power amp route.

    I left off having used the following, none of which were really ideal for one reason or another:

    1) Fishman proplat EQ bass: not enough gain, and I wasn't crazy about the tone.

    2) LR Baggs Paracoustic DI: nice, but too much nob twiddling required; tone isn't exactly the end-all-be-all, but not bad IMO.

    3) Evil Twin tube pre: had to use it with a HPF due to a ridiculous boost at 8hz. Just felt like too many boxes and cables to carry. Sounded the best of the bunch though; three dimensional, warm and fat.


    I don't use a microphone, just the full circle. I'm thinking something with a broad semi-parametric equalizer, plenty of gain (more than the Fishman anyway). I'd be running it into an Electrovoice amplifier and a VL208.

    I wonder if any of you guys have checked out those preamps built for electric bass, like the Alembics, Yamahas, Kerns, Demeters, Aguilars, etc etc. ? I've searched around a bit but I'm not quite sold on one or the other yet.

    Let's put factors like cost and tubes vs. no tubes aside for now.

    Your thoughts and suggestions are much appreciated:)
     
  2. bribass

    bribass

    Jan 25, 2006
    Northern NJ
    Endorsing Artist; Arnold Schnitzer/ Wil DeSola New Standard RN DB
    I've never tried one, but I've heard good things about Sadowsky's pre amps.
     
  3. BCAlbin

    BCAlbin

    Dec 7, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    I like the DTar Equinox. Three bands of fully parametric EQ, two cut-only notch filters, input gain, output gain, +20 dB switch 1-TRS Input, 2-TRS outputs, XLR output. Use it as a pre-amp, or a pre-pre-amp, or just as an outboard EQ.

    Transparency disclaimer: I'm an endorsing artist...but even if I wasn't, I'd still like it.

    BCA

    edited to add: 4.7 Meg Ohm input impedance
     
  4. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    I used the Alembic F2b (an old one) for a while and loved it. It's based on a Fender Dual Showman pre from what I've been told. It gives a nice warm, fat sound and is great for slab, too. Used it on many recording sessions and was always well liked by engineers. I mainly paired it with an old W Woods 100 watter but it was great with a Bryston 3b (when I could stand to lug all that around). Maybe the new ones have an xlr out, mine didn't.
     
  5. Saw one on the Classifieds recently.
    (maybe two units in fact, but I'm not sure)
     
  6. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    The DTar Equinox is attractive given the parametric EQ and the two separate notch filters. Thanks for the heads up on that one.

    Just out of curiosity, have any of you experimented with the Millenia TD-1 ?

    http://www.mil-media.com/td-1.html

    Some of the electric guys swear by it, it seems to have some nice features that MIGHT work well for a piezo equipped double bass.

    Tom Bowlus? Mike Arnpool?

    Anyone?
     
  7. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    aha! Found an Equinox at a local dealer. How rare is that? I can actually try this little guy out before I go broke! nice.
     
  8. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    I own a TD1 and I love it, I've owned a bunch of other pres like the Summit 2BA and TD100 as well as a Focusrite ISA428.

    The Millennia is just great and it's a very versatile piece of studio gear. It works perfectly for a large condensor for recording or as a DI for a pick up. It is also killer with other instruments and vocals. It is my desert island mic pre, for me it's the corner stone for quality tracking.

    That being said I don't really bring it out on gigs it mostly is the workhorse in my small home studio or if I want to drag a good DI/PRE to a demo session. I do have an XTI2000 which powers my playback monitors, I have on occassion paired the two and used that to power my VL208s at home, not on a gig.

    Personally I think for a live rig my Glockenklang Soul head sounds better and is more convenient. But it would be hard to beat if you don't mind a fairly large unit.

    FYI - I don't use a full circle.
     
  9. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    Pete

    thanks for voicing your experience.

    everyone seems to love that Millenia TD1. You think it would kick some ass with upright bass?

    Also, as our Glock "endorser" here on the DB side, have you checked out the Glockenlang Art Classic preamp?
     
  10. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    TD1 - You've got your 3 choices of input impedence, tube or solid state and a great 2 band EQ with the adjustable Q (man I wish every EQ unit had adjustable center frequency and Q). I know it kills with DB, I rehearse once per week at my house and plug my pickup into it every time.

    Glock - I keep talking about them but since they're not being sold in the US currently I don't think they'll really catch on anytime soon. I scrambled to pick up a Soul when the US distribution stopped and it's a great amp and somewhat different then the Heart Rock. I've Played through the BAC preamp on a number of occassions mostly through an IP rig when the Groove shop was open and I thought it was very nice. I can't say to much about it since I haven't spent hours of ABing in the basement or gigging with a BAC... Everybody I've spoken to that owns one (BAC or Heart Core) likes it better then the Soul or HR which I think says allot...
     
  11. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    wow. great feedback. thanks again Peter.

    Let's look at the TD-1 for a moment. I hear you when you say it kills with DB! I am working towards testing one out in my neighborhood.

    My initial concern is that the preamp is know for it's "pure and clean" sound, and while that sounds ideal for DB, it's not, given that we're using these cheap-ass piezo pickup to amplify this acoustically rich sound. Is the eq on that unit flexible enough to manipulate a good amplified tone? (i'm guessing you're going to say yes here) The variable input impedence is a plus, and the eq section does look good. I just wonder what it all sounds like . . .

    how does that compare with the Glockenlang you love?
     
  12. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    I think if you read up on what the real deal pro audio guys have to say they describe the TD1 as having a colored sound, more modern sounding then other mic pres. One of the important things I've found mostly through playing with a Summit TD100 is that bass and pickup have a specific sweet spot that works best in terms of input impedence, this gives you enough variations to find one that works well. My ideal bass tone is one that fairly accurately reproduces the sound of my bass with little EQ and I think this unit does a nice job. The EQ is so flexible and the 2 bands are actually enough, the only missing piece is a variable HPF.

    One nice thing about the glock is that it has both a low and bass EQ knob I use the lower of the two to roll off the very bottom end and the other to thicken up the upper bass frequencies, it seems very effective for me during live use.
     
  13. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    The TD-1 is flat-out one of the best preamps I have tried, and yes, it works great for both magnetic and piezo pickups.

    IME/IMHO, and YMMV.

    Tom.
     
  14. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    sage "IME/IMHO and YMMV" appreciated.

    My wallet was afraid you'd say that!

    I gotta test one of these guys out before I drop the $$$ . . .

    Meanwhile I can test out the Dtar Equinox this weekend hopefully and see how that holds up
     
  15. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I should add that in many situations (where I don't need the TD-1's bells, whistles, or EQ), I actually prefer the TD-100 (for its smaller size, if nothing else).

    Edit: I should add that one of the things I like about the TD-1 is the ability to EQ (when necessary) without mucking up the tone. I normally try to avoid EQ-ing any more than is absolutely necessary, as most EQ's are better at hurting your tone than they are at helping. Or should I say, used without discretion many EQ's can cause more problems than they fix. The EQ on the Millennia is excellent, though, and even fairly large boosts/cuts retain the inherent musicality of the tone.

    Tom.
     
  16. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    One concern that's steering me away from the Summit TD100 is that it lacks eq of any kind.

    On the other hand, I'm concerned about the lack of a HPF filter on both the TD100 and the much more expensive Millenia TD1. Especially since the Millenia will accept frequencies as low as 3hz. Shouldn't I be concerned about the piezo Full Circle sending infrasonics thru the Millenia, then through a power house of an amp, to those delicate speakers in my VL208 (which I've had to replace once already)? Theory aside, I will have to find a way to test this unit out.
     
  17. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, you could throw one of fdeck's excellent VHPF-Pre's in front of either unit and solve that problem. :cool:
     
  18. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    I know!

    I had one and sold it to a French bass brother when I purchased my Focus . . .

    I would like to avoid bringing THREE boxes (well, four included the speaker cab) to a gig, so I'm hoping the EQ options and the voicing of whatever preamp I decide on will be enough for me to avoid purchasing another HPF from Francis (no disrespect for Francis' HPF! It's a wonderful and useful little filter). Schlepping a 208 speaker cab, a 50lbs. amplifier and a preamp -- plus my bass, of course -- is enough to make me just buy a Focus and . . .


    . . . wait a sec . . . :eek:

    :D
     
  19. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    Focus gone . . .

    back strengthening training begins . . .

    gonna check out the Equinox and . . .

    the millennia STT-1 tonight (found on CL) :eek:

    I'm thinking the STT-1 is going to be the ****, but it's also 7x the price of the equinox . . . .:help:
     
  20. BCAlbin

    BCAlbin

    Dec 7, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    For <$500, I really like the DTar Equinox but I wouldn't expect that it would hold a candle to >$1000 "studio quality" gear like the Summit, Avalon or Millennia preamps. IMO, the sonic differences are so great, it's approaching the point of "apples and oranges". However, when compared to other similar units (Fishman Pro-plat, for example), I think the Equinox excels. It's clean, versatile, and well constructed (I've already accidentally dropped it once :eek: with no problem). If I could afford it, I'd love to have a TD-1 but I don't think I'm gonna be taking an $1800 preamp to a "bar gig" anytime soon ;)...(even if I could afford it)

    -BCA
     

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