Preamp for my last rig ever

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by FretNoMore, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    So, the ultimate mortgage-the-house sort of rig... sometime early next year I think I might be able to afford the thing...

    Speakers: Two Bergantino HT112

    Two cabs sounds like overkill, but the idea is flexibility, either use them stacked, or with one of them as monitor. This requires a stereo setup so the monitor and FOH volumes are separate.

    Power amp: QSC PLX2402 or PLX1602

    I have a friend of a friend that will close down his rental/PA business, he also used to sell QSC amps, so I'm hoping he will have one of those left over at a decent price.

    Preamp: ???

    ... here's where I need some help. I play blues/pop/rock, not all that loud, and some jazz standards on EUB. Two channels would be nice, but perhaps not necessary. A mid voicing filter would be good, but perhaps not necessary with a really good base sound. But the choices seem difficult, and most of these I will not be able to try before buying. I'm not sure all of them are available for 240V mains by the way. Alembic, Aguilar, Demeter, Raven Labs, EBS...???

    I've done extensive searches here, but would still like to hear your suggestions for preamps with this cab/amp combination. In particular it would be good if you could try to describe the tonal characteristics of your choices, and any drawbacks you feel a particular unit might have. I'm sure they all sound very good, if different, so any plusses or minuses you could share regarding both sound and other features would help.

  2. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I'd suggest the Raven (although i own the Aguilar 680). It's flexible, clean, and will work really well with your upright. The reason I didn't keep the Raven is because I'm not looking for that clean clean transparent sound. Overall, I think that could be a monster rig!
  3. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I've heard that before ;)
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    The three preamps I'm most familiar with:

    Alembic F2B: basic tube preamp. It's stereo, which you might find useful: has three outputs, one for channel A, one for channel B, and one for both combined. Each channel has volume, treble, mid, bass, and a bright switch.... that's it. Despite the simplicity, a wide range of tones are possible. Also, one channel can be sent into the other which can produce interesting overdrive effects. The Alembic F1X preamp is a mono version of the F2B, but with extra features such as FX loop and crossover.

    TC Electronics 1140: four-band fully parametric equalizer/preamp. Like all TC gear, quality is superb: it's transparent and quiet. Like any multi-band parametric EQ, it's amazingly versatile. The downside is that parametric EQs have a steep learning curve and can be easy to overuse.

    Sans Amp Bass Driver DI: it's a stompbox, but I sometimes use it right into my power amp. Has a basic equalizer section, but excellent tube emulation: can be clean, but also used to produce overdrive or even fuzz depending on the output level of the bass (and the position of the Drive control). There's a rackmount version called the SansAmp RBI.

    Whatever you choose, good luck!
  5. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    I'm totally sold on my Line6 BassPodPro. Got it when it came out, find new reasons to love it daily. The Sansamp RBI would be my second choice. (I keep a Bassdriver D.I. in my gig bag as a backup right now).
  6. Classic5


    Mar 31, 2002
    Being in Europe, why don't you try one of the Glockenklang preamps. From what I've heard other say, they're great - and I'm sure would be the best value for money in your case.
  7. gnome01


    Oct 30, 2001
    Bronx NY, USA
    I recently got an Alembic F2-B and it sounds beautiful. It doesn't have really any bells and whistles but the tone rocks - smooth and warm, but can get nasty too. The overdrive cascade channel thing is cool, but you can use 2 channels to simply beef up the sound of a passive bass. Can't go wrong, but the SWR stuff is pretty cool too as long as it holds up.
  8. Yamaha PB-1. Cheap as hell and great sounding. Only 1 input though....

    Cheers rOdy
  9. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Thanks for the suggestions! :)

    The Yamaha PB-1 is no longer in production I think.

    As this would be "the last rig ever" (ok, ok, slim chance, I know) I think I'm aiming for top-of-the line. Seems like Glockenklang is way up there, and with European pricing it may be a contender. EBS is also a possible, and that one I could test as well.

    Anyway, looks like this will not fit my budget this year, hopefully early next.
  10. go for the line 6 bass pod pro they rock!
  11. Jeeze, I thought I was the only one using the Pod for a preamp. I use the "bean" instead of the Pro for logistics reasons. I'm trying to keep the weight of my rack down for one thing, but mainly because I do a lot of recording at home...upstairs. I'm old and lazy and I'd rather not have to drag my whole rack up the stairs everytime I want to record something.
  12. For silly reasons, I think you should go European. Ashdown, EBS, Hughes & Kettner, Glockenklang, Merlin, Tech, Warwick, are some of the options you have (there's also a dutch manufacturer said to make nice amps and cabs, but I can't remeber the name of it...). The good thing about some of the names on the list is that you might actually get to try their products out before you buy. Might take a trip to Germany to do that, but it would be worth it. Germany isn't, after all, that far away. It's also really nice a country.
  13. Lousy,

    I believe you're thinking about Hevos.

    Cheers rOdy
  14. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    The Hevos preamp/amps look mighty interesting.
  15. What if any difference is there tonally between these two preamps? I know the F1-X has a deep switch which sounds fairly essential. Crossover I personally don't care about.....are these Alembics identical sound wise or what?
  16. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    More like "last preamp I'd ever consider" if you're talking Yamaha. I had one when I was 17. Simple but not that tone friendly. I have a Demeter, Epifani cabs, and a QSC 2402. Awesome. Go for it.

    Also, don't be silly. There is no such thing as a last rig or guitar. It never ends:)

  17. Well, to each his own I guess. The Yamaha works great for me and it cost me $75 incl flightcase so no complains here.

    Cheers Rody
  18. gnome01


    Oct 30, 2001
    Bronx NY, USA
    I don't think the FX-1 and F2-B have much of a fundamental tone difference (although I've never tried an FX-1). The DI out is the only thing I miss. The F2-B has no deep switch, but you can beef up the sound by going out of one channel into the other.
  19. That's it. Thank you!