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Preamp Opinions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BassBeat33, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. BassBeat33


    Feb 12, 2005
    charleston, wv
    1) Alembic F-1x
    2) Demeter VTBP-201s
    3) BBE Bmax-T
    4) Ampeg Svp-pro

    I need opinions here, which preamp would be best suited for a rock sound with good mids and lows. I play harder rock but prefer a cleaner sound over o/d.
  2. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    If you like a thicker, heavy tone and esp. if you don't have an active bass, the Ampeg would be your ticket. [Warning: some of these have been reported to be noisey -- try before you buy, if possible.]

    Next would be the BMax (SS) or BMax-T (Tube) -- the SS is quicker/punchier; the 'T' has richer harmonic structure to the tone and more dimensionality.

    I use the Dem 201S for most types of music (including rock) and I love the speed, clarity, and punch.
    Again, if you have an active bass, you'll get enough tonal flexibility to do rock, etc.

    Of course, that's just my take on your particular stated tastes.
  3. BassBeat33


    Feb 12, 2005
    charleston, wv
    thanks, I'm leaning more towards one of the first 3 choices (demeter, alembic, bmax-t) but can't convince myself which route to go yet so the more opinions i can read here would help out i'm sure
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    haven't played the bmax, but have owned the other three.
    I love the Alembic to death, but it is a little mid shy. The demeter is a cleaner sound, and the ampeg has the low mid sound they're famous for.

    If you want more opinions on particular preamps, I'd suggest using the search function. There's been lots of x vs y, x vs y vs z threads etc that have lots of useful information in them
  5. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i found that both the alembic and demeter excell for rock. if you want more of a "plug and play" experience the demeter might be the ticket as the alembic's passive/interative fender tone circuit tone controls have a bit of a steep learning curve. FWIW, the b-max also uses the fender tone stack.
  6. I like the Kern best, for it's strong bottom and great low mids. They are hard to find, though. The Demeter and F1-X are also nice, but not as deep as the Kern.

    The Ashdown RPM-1 is a great choice for heavy rock. It's got big bottom and the subharmonic synth and it's easy to control the grind. It also looks cool as heck with the blue light and big meter.

    I have one which I don't use cause I find it always adds a tiny bit of harmonic harshness which I hear on some of the softer, melodic (almost classical) stuff I sometimes play.

    I've never tried a BBE. The Ampeg I had hummed.


  7. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The Ampeg has a really big juicy sound, but the alembic and demeter are quieter and more pure sounding. The Ampeg has a 5 position frequency selector on a tube driven mid control, and that one feature gives it a big advantage as a rock pre. Positions 1 and 2 provide thick a low mid punch when boosted that I've never been able to match on another amp. I like all three (never played a BMax).

    Best bet: get the alembic and the ampeg and A/B them with your band. Really depends on your bass and cabs too.
  8. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i have great solid rock clean tone with a tech 21 RBI
  9. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    Aren't those pre's on http://basstasters.com ?

    I know the Ampeg is, and believe I've seen the Alembic and Demeter. Worth your look.
  10. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Just one comment (and I've heard others say this too), the Dem 201S on basstasters doesn't sound as good as mine sounds (even before I re-tubed it).
  11. BassBeat33


    Feb 12, 2005
    charleston, wv
    thanks for the replies so far, today i was on basstasters but it is hard to base a choice off a few clips heard over the internet and there is really no chance that i could test any of these out before buying so i've just been reading as many reviews as i can and looking for opinions to help along my search, so keep em coming
  12. ampeg66


    Dec 29, 2002
    You might also consider an Eden Navigator. Cleaner than the SVP-Pro, though you can dial in more tube grind as needed. It's got seriously heavy-duty low/low-mid grunt and punch, and it's still aggressive enough, at least for me (though part of that is probably the Stingray in front of it).

    I had to EQ the f*ck out of my SVP-Pro to get the thickness I'm getting using very little EQ on the Eden.

  13. v-12


    Mar 3, 2005
    FL Panhandle
    i guess it ultimately depend on the bass your using- but i've found the demeter gives a great tone no matter how its set, and it's just sooooo clear it really lets the little nuances of my mtd shine.
  14. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Ever give any thought to a Read Purity? I LOVE mine! :hyper:

    If you want a preamp that doesn't color your tone, this is about as "true" as it gets. It even has an eq bypass if you want a totally uncolored tone. The gain control allows you to go from totally clean to nasty distortion, and the "Enhance" control is about the coolest knob I've ever seen on any preamp!