Preamp Predicament

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Aaron, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I'm looking for a preamp to go with my Acme B2s (and AB International Poweramp)-

    I've played a demeter vtbp through acme cabs before and really liked the tone with my hanewinckel and my fretless, but i couldn't find much of the tone I was looking for with my p-bass with flats- with that I'm looking for more of a vintage ampeg vibe- big, thick, and round bottom end, rolled highs. From basstasters, the closest I could hear was to the tone I was thinking about was the Ampeg svp-cl preamp. I wondered if it would be worth finding a preamp for that tone, or if it was a lost cause to find a preamp that would give more of a vintage sound through acmes. Is there a hifi demeter-esque pre that can also give more of a vintage vibe as well?
  2. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Look into the Kern IP-777 (which can be heard in Basstasters also). Lots of thick bottom end.
  3. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Perhaps an Alembic F1-X would fit the bill. Check it out.
  4. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    While it is hard to tell this from just a few clips on basstasters, the Eden Navigator is, in my experience, one of the most tonally flexible preamps out there. I was all set to buy a Demeter 201s, but the Navigator could yield a far greater range of tones. That said, you may find yourself needing to use another rackmount or pedal effect to add some grit to your tone, if that's what you're after. Maybe a Sansamp or a Fulltone Bass-Drive?
  5. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I'm using a bunch of Acme....mostly old school vibe.
    I really happy with my SWR grand prix. Much moreso since I put a telefunken in it.

    I've found that Acmes are best when you have good control over the mid's and more importantly good control over the low end those things put out.

    The old school thing is decidedly a low tech sound and the acmes are high tech for sure.

    If you were to get one of those 50 hz FMOD passive low cut filters and run it through your effects could crank some lowend without all that REAL lowend burrying your mids.

    Works like a champ for me.
  6. bassjam


    Aug 2, 2004
    Lakland Basses,Genz Benz
    i own a demeter and an eden.they are different animals.imo you are calling for two different tones.i think the eden is great for old school tones and can sound modern as well.the demeter is great for the so called modern tone but im not sure you would be happy with it for the old school tones.the eden is smoother and rounder,the demeter is quicker and more transparant.they are both great preamps,just may need two different preamps if you are looking for two different tones.
  7. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    ooohhh yea.... :hyper:

    but if you're not ready for the crazy wait,


    i've used both with my B-4, and the tone shares that fat sweetness. compared to the Demeter, the tone is pretty dull, but dead-on for that "always strung with flats" like experience. i give a slight edge to my old "shoulda NEVER sold it" Kern, only cause you can dial in an exhorbitant amount of highs, but current wait for a new one will test you. :meh:

    the great thing about the Acmes is its sonic velcro nature. slap anything on it, and it'll gel to whatever sound. you could try using a Sansamp Bass DI, or my fav, an SIB FatDrive for an added dark tubey fatness
  8. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    Thanks for the input- I saw a bassgear add for a jensenless demeter vtbp for $250 that I'm following up on (looks like i'm getting it. side note - anyone ever do business with spencer zimmerman?- his name/address/phone number checked out through argali/fonefinder/etc.) Max was telling me the older ones sounded a bit more "vintage."

    what I really liked about the demeter I played through was its transparency and quickness so i'm not sure an eden would do that as much to my liking, there might have been some other minor variables, but I played the same room with the same cabs and i didn't get that nice quick and transparent response. I figure I might try something like a SABDDI when using my p-bass (too bad I didn't have my old one and my acmes at the same time) to cover more of the old school sound. That FMOD crossover seemed interesting- would an electronic crossover/cutting everything below 50hz on an eq do the same?
  9. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    +1. I've used the IP-777 with Acme Low-B2s (Series 11s), this combo sounds great... esp if you're goin' for a thick bottom-end.
  10. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    A used Aguilar pre would give you a woolier tone than the Demeter too.
  11. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I don't know that you could call the F1-X slow. It has a more colored sound to it and I'd call it warmer than the Demeter and I've owned both. You would probably have more luck making the F1-X sound like the Demeter than the other way 'round.
  12. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    An Aguilar 659 or 680 (if you can afford a 680) will give you a nice thick vintage sound with loads of low end (the 659 has almost too much low end)
  13. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    I would tend to agree with your assessment for the most part but I do feel that the Demeter preamp can get that old school vibe depending on the instrument that you plug into it. I tried a Warrior Signature 5, a very modern sounding bass IMO, through the VTBP-201s & HBP-1 a while back. I then plugged in a modified (Fender Noiseless pups, J-Retro preamp) MIJ Fender Standard Jazz fretless that oozes OLd School vibe to me. Guess what? I got great modern tone with the Warrior and super vintage tone with the Fender.
  14. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    On the Basstaster's site, there are some clips of the Read Custom Purity tube preamp. Take a listen, you may like the sound clips of it.

    My band recorded some gigs a few weekends back so we could pass out the CD's to some clubs we'd like to book. I sent a feed straight out of my Purity's Jensen DI into our digital recorder. While I'm already very happy with my sound, I was pleasantly surprised with my tone on our recordings. I mainly used a Roscoe-6 with Barts, but I also used a Modulus Q-4 with EMG's, and a stock 1964 P-Bass a local guy in the audience brought in. My tone was really meaty and there was a slight bit of tube grunt when I was digging in. I've really had to listen closely to the disc to determine which bass I was using on each track; A few times I thought I was playing the vintage P-Bass until I heard a low D or C being played. The coolest thing has been that I can't pick out my Modulus Q-4 except on one funk tune.

    So to make a long illustration (sorry!) short, IMO the Read Purity adds some nice tube warmth and character.

    BTW I've also owned an Alembic F1-X, and IMO it's also a wonderful preamp.

  15. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    The Alembic pre can easily mimic a Demeter, plus you can dialup massive fat dub lows. You want big thick and round? You want Alembic. End of story ;)
  16. bassjam


    Aug 2, 2004
    Lakland Basses,Genz Benz

    thats a great point.i use my demeter almost all the time.for my gigs at the moment i dont really go for vintage tones.but i can get it using my old jazz bass.but when i plug the jazz into the eden,i guess it gives me more of what i would consider a vintage tone.its been brought up a thousand times that your sound is in your hands.i agree.but i still prefer the demeter,especially live.i love the sound of the eden in my bedroom,but live it tends to sound too soft for my tast after competing with a loud drummer and guitar player.our soundman also prefers the signal from the demeter vs the eden.(whatever that matters)
  17. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Fat bottom pres: Read Purity, Alembic F2B or F1X, Ampeg SVP-Pro, Kern 777. Those are the ones I've owned and/or tried.
  18. bassjam
    which Demeter do you use? just curious, thanks.
  19. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I used to use the Demeter and loved it, cept I craved a "vintage warmth" option as well. The Epifani quest might be a nice fit too, but based on your notes, I'd stay away from the Alembic, Kern & Ampeg.

    I would guess that the reason you like the Demeter so much is the complex and present upper mids, which help with the clarity and quickness. There's not many other tube preamps that favor that range (the Read does, but not as much as the Demeter), so one of the warmer SS pre's you might love. Ever try an Avalon U5? The new Epifani Quest might fit your bill too - but it has more of a "bark" than that demeter upper-midrange clarity.

    I disagree with Ostinato - the Alembic pre can easily mimic the highs of the Demeter, but the lows never seem to tighten up and the midrange isn't near as present in the Alembic. But that's not what the Alembic is MEANT to do either. Don't get me wrong - the Alembic is a beautiful thing, but if you want a Demeter sound, get the Demeter. You'll never be happy trying to get THAT sound out of THIS preamp.

    Don't discount heads as well - the Thunderfunk and the EA iAMP
    are great (and the iAMP is what I personally use)
  20. afroman


    Aug 31, 2000
    Brooklyn, NY
    Or you could buy my BBE Bmax-T in perfect condition on Ebay.

    Sorry...but I had to say something...