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Preamps: Alembic, Demeter, Kern, Peavey, Ampeg

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Wxp4759cb, May 10, 2002.


  1. Wxp4759cb

    Wxp4759cb

    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I've got a few questions about the above preamps.

    I've heard that alembic preamps, more or less sound like alembic basses. Is this correct? I've played alembic basses before, but never seen an FX1 in person. Most people are saying that the alembic has a big mid cut. Does it still cut through? Can you get a decent jazz, or slap tone? Does it react fast enough to handle double thumbing etc.?

    The only question I have about the demeter is if they sound to sterile. Again never heard one.

    I've heard that kern is like the best of both worlds, but they are a bit expensive, so unless its REALLY worth it I'd rather get the alembic, or demeter.

    The SVP and Max are up there b/c they are cheap.

    I play alot of jazz (needs to handle upright). I also do alot of slap. Occasional rock songs in there to, and some funk. I tend to like a pretty hi fi sound without alot of mid coloration. I like the notes to be well defined and cut through, but not pinched sounding.

    Any advice?
     
  2. What do you think/have you read about the Sans amp RBI?

    I'm thinking of buying one but I'm not sure about that it's strong enough to drive a power amp well.
    It's all about the output voltage, it should be more then one Vrms.

    I mailed Tech21/Sans amp about this and they mailed me the specs from the RBI, but the specs didn't say anything about the output Voltage.
     
  3. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    btw, i'm in love with my Demeter VTBP-201s. just wish it didnt fart so much... makes getting intimate tough... :(
     
  4. Wxp4759cb

    Wxp4759cb

    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I've already seen that other thread. Thanks for posting it though. I just thought it had kinda run its course so I'd start a new one.
     
  5. Wxp4759cb

    Wxp4759cb

    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    A preamp farts? I always thought that was from the cab?!?!?!
     
  6. The Kern is worth the money. I've had mine for almost three years and the tones I get live and from the DI for recording are beautiful. It's a simple preamp with few controls but they are massively effective at shaping the tone. For slap, jazz, rock, metal, funk, I love it. I got mine with the built-in power supply and no wall-wart. :D

    The Demeter is supposedly wonderful if you've got a great sounding bass with good low end. The Kern is simply incredible with enought cut and boost to get you where you want to be quickly and easily.
     
  7. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I personally like the sound of the Aguilar DB659. I played the Alembic, finding it very warm, but almost muddy. The Aguilar retains a lot of Clarity while having an even sound across the frequency range. I liked the Demeter, but I did not find it as versatile as the Aguilar. I play Jazz and Funk almost exclusively, and I have not found a better, more hi fi and even sounding unit.
    [​IMG]
    Check it out!!:D
     
  8. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    couldnt agree more with AJ. the aguilar is a great funk, rock pre with a nice touch of hifi. good warm, round sound.

    but i too am a funk/slap/neo-soul kid, and find the extra hifi-ness of the Demeter's addictive. its presense knob and bright switch has two stages to work with. 2K & 4K. really adds a clear and clean top end like Marcus. the Aguilar's bright switch only adds one stage and lacks a presence knob.

    also, i like the way the "deep" switch on the demeter feels. its a nice cushy 3D "ummph". the Aggie's deep switch feels slightly rounder, but it doesnt feel as deep or natural.

    but admittedly, the Dem's EQ isnt as drastic as the Aguilar, so like AJ said, its not gonna be as versatile.

    still both are great choices and depends on the which sound you appreciate more.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    To tell the truth, I could have gone either way with the Demeter or Aguilar. Steve's music didn't have a Demeter in stock, so I went for the Aguilar. Both units are similar. I would say that the Aguilar adds body and warmth to the whole frequency range while the demeter has a bit more solid-state tone(still warm sounding), which is great, it's more of a Marcus Miller type of tone like Jokerjkny said. Both have a hi-fi clarity in the high end that sounds smooth and articulate. Try them both. You won't be disappointed!:)
     
  10. They sound really good. It would be nice to have shootout of the Kern, Aguilar, and Demeter. At this point it's splitting hairs.

    The bright and deep switches with the tonal balance knob on the Kern are most effective.
     
  11. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    Sterile? No way. A great sounding, simple to use pre. I have the older 1 1/2 space Demeter, if something were to happen to it, I would definitely be looking for another Demeter. Every one of my basses (even the cheapies) sound great through the Demeter.
     
  12. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    I've never used the SVP pre but I have used a couple different iterations of the SVT tube/solid state integrated head. They sound great w/electric and very honky and nasal with upright- and I have tried them with several different URB pickups. Maybe I needed to spend more time with the eq which is pretty versitile but I definitely tried... The sound I started with the upright through the ampeg basically sucked though and "you can't polish a turd". (maybe thats a little harsh) Of course all URB's are so differents and peoples idea of good amplified URB tone is different so you might like it.

    I now have a DB 659 and agree with the above opinions about it. They're Grrrrrrrrrrrrreat!
     
  13. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I think enough of the VTBP-201 that I own 2 of them. They sound wonderful for every bass I've plugged into them including my upright. They also have UNMATCHED clarity. I've tried all the preamps mentioned except the Kern. The Aguilar DB 659 and the discontinued SWR Grand Prix are the only ones that come close to the clarity of the Demeter.

    I actually prefer the SWR (with an RCA 7025 tube) for upright. It is a bit brighter sounding and adds some nice qualities to the attack of the upright. The Demeter still sounds wonderful for upright, I'm kind of splitting hairs but still prefer the Grand Prix for upright and the Demeter for electric bass.


    Chuck
     
  14. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    I've got the Peavey Max and I just have to say that it's definitely the sleeper of the ones that have been mentioned. Very nice and flexible preamp that can be had for slightly over $300.00 brand new. I love the Aguilar stuff. I have tried the DB 680 & the DB 659. Never had a chance to try the Kern, Alembic or Demeter. The Ampeg is nice also if you happen to like that Ampeg sound. If I had to choose between the Ampeg and the Peavey, I would get the Peavey. The money saved would then go into a saving fund for the Aguilar! :D ;)
     
  15. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    i wouldnt go as far to say "solid state" but rather "hifi". :cool: SS connotates that "sterility" chris mentioned, and that is far from the truth. Clear and juicy seem more fitting.

    i think i should edit myself cause reading my last post, i made the Aguilar sound like the runt of the bunch. cause it aint! :p

    The Aguilar's got that old skoo Ampeg feel with a modern hifi touch thrown in for good measure. its warm but very satisfyingly so. i own an Aguilar DB680, and realize that while the Dem is clearer with a spongy juiciness, the DB680 has this comfy warmth that adds a delicious tubey burr to my notes. the DB659 is similar, just without the $800 parametric EQ.

    like JimS said, at this point you are just splitting hairs and should try them for yourself. course, he'd prolly be the first to tell you that the DI on the Kern rocks ultimate sock and the Demeter's just a poor man's Kern! ;) :D
     
  16. The only negative thing I've heard about the old Demeter is some lack of bottom end which can be rectified if you have a great bass (eg, my favorite, a Sadowsky). I've never tried the Demeter but otherwise it's supposed to great. One of the older ones had Jensen transformer with the DI..nice.

    When I played the Kern it truly blew me away. I placed an order for one on the spot years ago, added a Crown power amp, and i am most happy.

    The amazing thing is how suboptimal and colored other head units sound compared to it: SWR, Eden, etc. The only head that came close was the EBS Fafner.
     
  17. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    Jim,

    have you talked to Henry lately? how's the tech support?
     
  18. Wxp4759cb

    Wxp4759cb

    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I'm also interested in the ebs pre, but I don't know of anywhere in the midwest that stocks it. Its also probably expensive. Anyone know what they go for?
     
  19. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Chris,

    Contact our fellow TalkBass member, Adrian Garcia. He's an authorized Aguilar and EBS dealer. He can help you with that information. If I'm not mistaken, I think that he currently uses one of the EBS preamps. Here's a link to his site. There's a toll-free number listed on the there that you can use.

    Access-Bass