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Preamp for Metal Music + Fingers?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Masher88, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I've been kickin around the idea of a new preamp for my rig. I'm not too happy with the sound of my tube preamp. It doesn't have that aggressive metal attack sound...it's more tubey warm. i play with my fingers, so it's been rough finding a good sound for metal that mixes with really distorted guitars and tuned down (to C). Does anyone have any comments or suggestions? I was looking into the Ampeg SVP (Pro or BSP) even though they are both tubes pres....or maybe the SansAmp RBI, which I've heard that alot of metal player use (with picks, though?) Any metal players out there that use their fingers...besides Steve Harris from Maiden?!?! Oh yeah...I'm using my Ernie Ball Sterling with heavy gauge strings tuned to drop C.
  2. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I use my fingers for metal and love the tone I get from my Mesa rig. I prefer a deep clean heavy tone to a growly one, but this can certainly do growly if I want. Spector+Mesa=Perfect metal tone!
  3. Peg_legs


    Nov 19, 2005
    Huntsville, AL
    I'm using an RBI for fingerstyle metal and looking for a 400+. The RBI sounds great, but the tubes are calling since I got the Berg NV425 for x-mas. The Ashdown ABM stuff is worth a look
  4. Stachio

    Stachio Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2002
    I use an Ashdown pre which I find considerably less warm than their heads. I get a nice tone with a nice grind if I dig in a little. I play death metal so cutting through is rough, but I pull it off with the Ash. I like a middy sound, so that also helps.
    Getting an Ampeg SVP-CL and going to compare the 2. I've tried to ignore it but the Ampeg sound works in a rock or metal setting.
  5. The only one I can recommend is the RBI, as I don't know the ashdown stuff? Although I wouldn't think that ampeg would be the obvious choice for metal? Maybe an SWR?
  6. dont buy swr...i have been through two different workingman heads...stick with ampeg!!!
  7. bassisgood


    Dec 19, 2005
    mesa works good if you dont mind fixing i play death metal with my fingers and it sounds good with emg 18v actives and darrio stungs.
  8. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    a lot of it depends upon the tone you're after. The GT you use is going to sound like an SWR as it's the same design. the mesa you use should sound completely different.

    before scrapping either i'd look at eq settings. Try cutting the lows and highs a bit and boosting mid frequencies. Experiment with different cuts and boosts. For a metal tone i've often had great results by boosting middle mids and high mids - See the EQ thread linked in the "check here before asking" sticky at the top of amps.
  9. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Thanks for the suggestions! I tried every combination of EQ settings on the Mesa...nothing got what I was after. I just recently sold it anyways! I usually have a very midrangy sound...I think that's what I'm hearing and not equating that to a "metal" sound. I tried cutting the mids on the GT preamp, but my volume just goes along with it! I guess you gotta give and take in that situation, huh?!?! I'm kinda leaning on the Ampeg...just cuz I heard it can do good overdrives and distortions. However, most of my experiments with OD's and Dist. while playing with my fingers just sounds fuzzy...not "ANGRY" :spit: hahaah.
    Anyone have any comments on this. I love a crazy distorted sound with a pick, but I suck at playing with one.
  10. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    The ashdown heads will definitely work for you. Big low end and mids that cut through. I have owned the pre but now now play an aguilar ag500 head. I really love the ashdown gear. I personally do not think that an ampeg can cut through a death metal band and still have a good low end at the same time. I personally like ampegs at home but find that they just bite at live gigs. The ashdowns get that tone but are more solid and cut better.
  11. haujobb


    Dec 16, 2004
    Most people probably wont agree with me, but when I play with my heavy metal band, I ussually cut my lows, boost low mids, cut high mids just a touch, and boost the highs. When I'm stuck for volume, I cut the lows more.

    That might be a good starting point for you, you may not want to boost your highs like I do, it's all really preference there.
  12. David Vega

    David Vega

    Aug 28, 2002
    Puerto Rico
    OK! I think you should try the SVP-BSP. For metal, you need a lot of POWER and CABS and I know that you have those already!! Also, playing with fingers and getting a bass metal sound is hard. Most of the sound comes with finger control, compression etc, how hard you play etc. MEtal bass sound, for me , needs and huge low end, but also needs that mid-upper highs that give a presence of the bass on the band mix. Ive been searching for sounds, and I think the SVP -BSP will work. Crank the clean channel and combined with the overdrive channel, but not a lot, just enough to give you that cut thru the mix and upper high presence. Also, try before you buy, this is my personal experience with the SVP-BSP. good luck men, i been searching this for years, and I am close to it. :hyper:
  13. David Vega

    David Vega

    Aug 28, 2002
    Puerto Rico
    word, agree, but this guy have a lot of speaker he can get the sound!! :bassist:
  14. haujobb


    Dec 16, 2004
    If his metal band is going for a modern sound, ala Chimaira or Lamb of God. Too much lows will actually be his worst enemy and will put him in constant battles with his drummer. Not only that, but how can you expect those solid 32nd note runs to sound good if it's all mud? :bassist:

    I got a question. What are you influences, what metal bands to you want to sound similar to? That could help narrow your choices.
  15. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Usually when I think of lots of attack, I think of using a pick.
  16. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    have you considered trying a bit of compression to tighten things up a bit? not to strangle the dynamic, but to perhaps even it out a bit, colour the mid and pump the sound a touch(quick attack and release settings)? it could help with the 16th and 32nd notes with the fingerstyle, also. you do have a nice, fairly expensive rig.
    just a thought.
  17. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Amen, to that! I kinda screwed myself when I first started playing bass, by just limiting myself to only finger-style. I heard John Paul Jones and Cliff Burton play and wanted to play like that! hahaha! I'm learning with a pick now, but it's like going back to square one! Also, knowing that you can pay something better with my fingers drives me crazy!!! Most of the bands that I hear a good bass sound are ones that I know for sure that they use a pick...so, that's of no help. I have a limiter on my pre-amp now...it's set about half-way. I started using a heavy guage string set...110 ProSteels for the Low C. That string always sounds really tubby and lackluster. I'll check into that SVP-BSP. The Basstasters site has some pretty good sounds...does that have a pre-amp tube in it as well?
  18. David Vega

    David Vega

    Aug 28, 2002
    Puerto Rico
    Hey, listen to Testament bassist in Live in London DVD, that sound of bass with fingers, sound awesome. You should continue with fingers, you will get the sound
  19. Dan Molina

    Dan Molina TalkBass Secular Progressive

    Jul 17, 2002
    Murr Town, California
    right now i'm using fingerstyle with my bmax and flatwounds. Nothing sounds more evil.
  20. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    off topic but have you considered switching to stainless roundwounds? thats what i would try if i was in your position