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Preamp pedals...WHY???

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by CTC564, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. CTC564

    CTC564 Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    Toms River,NJ
    Please explain why they'd be "necessary"...

    Seems like EVERYBODY is making one these days....

    Sadowsky has one (for years)
    Aguilar Tone Hammer
    EBS Micro Amp
    Eden WTDI

    Only to name a few...just seems redundant to me...or am I way off??

    Thanks TB
  2. Addison

    Addison This time, I didn't forget the gravy. Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    Bismarck, ND
    If you have a passive bass that you absolutely love as it it is, an external preamp makes a lot of sense if you don't want to mess with the electronics and install a preamp into the bass... especially if you're looking for that "classic" active bass tone.

    On the other hand... If you already have an active preamp in your bass, a preamp pedal is kind of overkill, IMO.

    Some preamp pedals make great distortion/overdrive pedals too. I use the Xotic BB Bass Pre with both active and passive basses for that purpose.
  3. kb9wyz


    Sep 8, 2008
    When you plug directly into the board and only have a monitor for yourself, these are very relevant. Even then, most of these will serve multiple functions that an amp will not and will supplement an amp nicely as an EQ or Overdrive pedal. They also make recording a more pleasant experience.

    I'm sure there's more.
  4. I record DI with my passive bass.
  5. I can imagine the convenience of being able to have a completely different tone with a single stomp would be appealing to quite a few folks. Don't forget that many also function as DIs.

    I used to think the same way as the OP but after a while their potential usefulness hit me. I don't have one myself but I can understand why folks do.
  6. CTC564

    CTC564 Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    Toms River,NJ
    Well, being a player of only active basses I'm happy to hear that I'm not alone (thanks Kwesi) but you all have pointed out some good points...guess my eyes are opening...it'd be nice to have a preamp/overdrive/DI as an option for many situations...

    Which would you recommend and why?
  7. WilderStewart


    Dec 6, 2011
    I used to run tube amps, until i didnt want to re tube them anymore. Ive got an ebs valve drive that does every bit of what my tube amps did before. but now i control saturation instead of my guitarist..... Since getting a good pre amp my gig rig has lightened by almost half also. my only problem is now i want a couple more...
  8. A preamp like this can really help get a good sound out of crummy backline, too. In a pinch it can be your backup amp, providing a tone that's much better on the foldbacks.
  9. some of these are repeats:
    gain on an instrument with passive pickups
    driving a power amplifier stage or another pre in your amp
    they can function the same as a "boost" or "overdrive pedal"
    relatively inexpensive way to aquire an amp "flavour" without the weight & cost of the "real thing"
    DI to the mixer

    i'm sure there are other ways around most of these issues, so weather or not they're "necessary" is going to vary from rig to rig.
  10. Quackhead


    Jan 17, 2012
    Elk Grove, CA
    If you play a gig where the PA is decent quality and the monitors are sufficient so that you can hear yourself, if you have one of these, you don't need an amp. And as HolmeBass said, they really do make cheap amps sound better.
  11. KodyAudette


    Apr 30, 2012
    I run an ART Tube pre-amp as the first stage in my processing for a couple reasons.

    First of all, it get's my signal up to Line levels which helps it play well with the studio Rack gear I run it through next.

    Secondly, it allows me to use it as the drive/pre-amp stage of my amp. For the power-amp stage of my setup I use a solid state Behringer but using this pre-amp gives me the opportunity to benefit from Tube tone in a tiny, super robust package while still keeping my (light, robust) solid state power amp to drive my cabs. Also it uses a single 12AX7 so if it's time to re-tube, it's super simple.
  12. This.

    99% of the time, I have my Rusty Box tone no matter what I play through! in my opinion, its like having an amp's pre on your pedalboard, saves you from having to lug the actual amp head you want with you ALL the time!
  13. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    I used to use Aguilar Tone Hammer to improve the tone of my old Kustom Bass III amp and to actually be heard in mix.

    Now I use VT Bass to warm up and fatten up my GK rig. I get the best of both worlds this way - warmth, fat tone and tube-like breakup from VT and fast aggressive in your face growl from GK. Lovin it! Oh, and VT is always on for me.
    Would love to try Rusty Box with my GK though!
  14. These are freakin' great. It's unfathomable how they make such good quality pre's for under $50.
  15. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    A local irish band uses the ART Tube on their acoustic instruments as a preamp into their board. They love 'em.

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