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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Doodaddy, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. Doodaddy


    Jan 11, 2005
    West Monroe, LA
    I'm looking to put a preamp before the power amp to warm my tone a bit more. I'm having a hard time finding bass-dedicated preamps. My guitarists seems to think that a standard tube microphone preamp would just fine? Any comments on this?

    I was looking at the Focusrite Trackmaster Pro if you were wondering.
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Avalon U5, or if you've got about $2K, the Avalon VT-737sp.
  3. The Avalon U5 is great for recording. If you want tube goodness for your power amp to play live, the Alembic F-1X and Demeter preamps are great.
  4. your only using a poweramp at the moment..? WOW.

    um........ go go GC and get a rack preamp. Sansamp Rack version will do you fine at $299
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    There are MANY preamps that can do this.
    To get an idea and hear samples, go to http://www.basstasters.com
  6. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    SansAmp BDDI is a good choice too..

    it's not totally tube warm.. but it does warm the tone up...

    Otherwise, there are also numerous Bass Pre-amps..

    Ampeg has 3 rack-mount Pre-amps.. all tube

    Aguilar has a couple

    I know SWR, BBE, and SansAmp all have them as well.
  7. If it is for live gigging, a preamp neds to be versatile to handle various styles or tones. Some of the wonderful studio preamps don't cut it live because they require careful tweaking and other gear to round out the sound going to the board such as a compresser/limiter.

    I like a pre with a powerful EQ section that can remember presets. Right now I'm using a Tube Works RT-924 that serves as the front end, gets a very good tube sound, is quiet, and clean too. Basically a Fender pre in one rack-space, similar to an Alembic F1 (F for Fender) without the price.

    On the effects loop I have inserted a Rocktron Blue Thunder. The BT is not perfect but it does have an excellent parametric EQ, limiter, presets, reverb after a highpass filter that works well for fretless, true bypass, plus lots of junk I don't use. See a forum elsewhere on this site for more on the Blue Thunder.

    This rig serves up a nice clean basic tone and the BT lets me tweak all I want without altering the basic tone. So when I need a ballad or vintage tone, there it is. When I want to slap, it is just one turn of a preset selector away.

    One thing this rig does not have is a DI out, however it does have an aux instrument level out that can feed a DI.

    Eden makes an excellent real world preamp, no presets, just good tone and a price to go with it.
  8. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    You want a great preamp? Do a search on Read Purity...

    That'll end your search, for sure! :hyper:
  9. Yes... don't take your guitarists advice about electronics anymore, ever! ;)

    For starters, is there such a thing as a "standard tube mic preamp"... methinks not.

    Chances are that they don't have the frequency response, input impedance, sensitivity or EQ controls or other features (such as effects loop etc) that you really need in a bass pre.
  10. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I've just looked into these recently and read lots of reviews on lots of them. And from reading the reviews, I would actually say that the term "standard tube mic preamp" pretty much nails it - at least for the over-the-counter stuff. Used prices range from a stack of Bens to under $50 and for the new stuff there's no significant correlation in buyer satisfaction between what you pay and what you get that I could see.

    So far I've bought an Art MP for $30 shipped and it does fatten and warm tone up noticeably but you're not going to get any dramatic affect from any of them that I've read. I'm just now starting to mess with the tube variations and have a post wondering how to crack the puppie open. It does have enough moxie to drive my QSC power amp and function as a DI.
  11. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    check out the "Amps" forum instead of this "Effects" forum. There's a ton of good stuff to be searched for about preamps. My personal recommendation? Aguilar DB659. Its pricey but well worth it.

    that basstasters site is a very good palce to start. it only has a small selection of preamps, but most of them are well-liked and high quality gear.
  12. Doodaddy


    Jan 11, 2005
    West Monroe, LA
    Thanks for the links. Due to my computer being down, I have limited time on the internet elsewhere (hence such a long time for my reply;)).

    But I DID glance through a few. Let me rephrase. I cannot spend 2k on this. :(. Ideas for around anything up to 500?
  13. I have heard the Avalon U5 played live and it sounds great. One of these days soon I will be getting one. You might consider one of those.
  14. Doodaddy


    Jan 11, 2005
    West Monroe, LA
    To the top!
  15. oshaughnessy


    Jun 4, 2005
    I bought a Radial Bassbone a month or two ago. It has 2 channels with separate EQ sections, and channel 1 has 2 great sounding presets and a flat setting. It also has a tuner out, high quality direct out, and a boost/mute/effects loop. It's *really* flexible -- a Swiss Army Knife of a pedal/preamp. I haven't been able to get a bad sound out of it, either. Some people seem to mistake it for an overdrive pedal, but if you just expect it to be a preamp with some nice tone shaping controls, it's great. I think one will run you about $250 new.
  16. ppanousos


    Apr 10, 2005
    EBS-1 v2 does the job for me.Great bass preamp.Check it out if you want boutique tone. :bassist:
  17. Pruitt


    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    In the under $500 range, I'd look into a Sansamp RBI. ;)
  18. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    little update on the Art mic pre. I swapped a US amperex (not a Holland tube) 12ax7 in it and it didn't make any significant difference that I could tell. There's nothing unusual about that from what I've read regarding most pre tube swaps in most any of the rigs - and I've read a bunch. But, like pups, sometimes a very small difference can be major. The amperex may have darkened it up a bit. One things for sure, the Art has darkened tone, not just fattened it up running into all 3 amps I've run it into - tube head, ss power, ss combo.
  19. Doodaddy


    Jan 11, 2005
    West Monroe, LA
    Looking like my plan ;).
  20. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I'd check out the GK 2001RBP if you like the Gallien-Krueger sound.

    Moved to amps.