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Preamp? Which one?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by poundround, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. poundround


    Mar 8, 2005
    Lynchburg VA
    For a long time now I have been looking for a new bass head but the power I want is just too pricey. So now I want to buy a power amp and a preamp. I know which power amp im going to buy but im having trouble with the preamp. Right now Im looking at a Aggie DB659 or the Eden Navigator. I play mostly jazz and funk rock and would like any input anyone has to say about either preamp. :p
  2. I, too, am shopping for a new bass head, but I am finding that preamps are often just as pricey or even moreso than the the amp heads, and then you have to go and buy a power amp on top of that.

    In any case, a student of mine has a Nemesis combo amp and the thing sounds incredible. I am guessing that the Eden would be of the same quality in sound, then again, both Eden and Aguilar are reputable companies.
  3. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I've played both, and I slightly prefer the Eden. The Aggie is awesome though. Given your style, I think you would find the Eden more to your liking.

  4. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    I went this route with a new QSC RMX series amp, which is a real bargain.
    I bought a used Ashdown pre, but you could look at the BBE or Sansamp for some affordable models. Also look for used Ampeg.
  5. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    Love my Navigator... I'm looking for another Pre-amp with a Semi parametric EQ to free up the Navigator for the house P.A. post eq as well
  6. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Navigators sounds sexy...
  7. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    1.) I don't think you need that much power. or you'll go deaf quickly. You'll be constantly told onstage to turn down.
    2.) Pre + power + rack > simple head in both price and weight (unless you get unbelievably good deals with them and when comparing SS or tube flavours of each)

    I have a pre + a 2*440W @ 4 Ohms power amp setup now and I'm going back to a 400W head. And I don't think I'll miss that extra 400Ws (it's just 3dBs, after all)
  8. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Those are both great preamps. The Navigator is ulitmately more flexible, tonally, and offers more signal routing options, a very good compressor, a crossover, and several other features. The 659, though, sounds much more like what I expect from a "tube preamp" - warm, musical, complex, ability to dial in some grit/growl, very punchy overall, some nice high end sheen, and the sound just kind of reaches out and grabs you more. It can, however, sound a bit thick in the mids, or even wooly, especially with Sovteks. NOS Telefunkens or new JJ's work well with the 659, IMHO. The Navigator, on the other hand, does not really sound like a "tube preamp" to my ears, and I have found that switching tubes makes little or no difference. The effects loop options on the 659 are really nice, too (instrument/line level, series or parallel, plus send/return).

    I have been fortunate enough to acquire a number of very nice preamps, and the 659 and Navigator can each hold their own. Individual preferences will vary, but IMHO, both are worthy competitors.

  9. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota

    I have to second these comments. I went through a bunch of rack separates and I am back to a head. I have an Eden WT-550. 2 spaces, 20 pounds, and powerful. I use it with a Bergantino HT112. I have gigged it for jazz trio to big band to rock cover groups from small to medium venues with no PA and it works great. Plenty of power and a very good preamp. It only takes one or two clicks of a knob to make a noticable change.

    I would suggest really thinking if the extra cost and weight is worth it. I have wasted a lot of money coming to the conclusion that many people (including my "old" self) are hauling around and spending more money than they really NEED. Your back will appreciate it when you're older.

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