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preamps/heads - carvin, tech21, alembic, bbe, ampeg

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by heath_the_great, May 20, 2004.

  1. im continuing my ongoing search for a new amp and there are alot of which i wont be able to try and i dont want to miss out so im just askin for advice from people who have or used some heads and preamps in the below list....

    CARVIN R600 & R1000
    ALEMBIC FB-1 (ill be able to test this one at least)
    TECH21 LANDMARK 300 & 600

    Im not lookin for comparisons just pros and cons
    Cheers y'all
  2. RBI for me.

    Pros: Really basic to use, Great sound right out of the box, Ability to turn off SansAmp technology, Good sounding tube-y overdrive goodness, Very flexible connection options (uneffected out, sansamp out, fx loop, etc.) Old sckool look. Can sound like an Ampeg (vintage tube) with no problem, but also dials in an SWR (modern hi-fi) tone with ease as well. Ability to Blend SansAmp with Bass is key.
    Cons: I'm still using my BBE Sonic Maximizer with it.

    Hit up Basstasters or do a preamp search here. Preamps are discussed ad infinitum on this board.
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Bazillions of choices out there (which is a good thing). First, I suggest deciding whether you'd rather use a consolidated amp head or a component rack... there are advantages and disadvantages to each.
  4. callofthebow


    Oct 19, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    then, what are some of the advantages of a rack setup vs. a head setup, and vice versa?
  5. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    BBE Bmax. I am impressed with this machine even though I was suspious of the hype about it. Out of the box, it had the sound I was looking for all these years. The only bad thing is the DI. But I've got other DI boxes if I need them and and the the few time I've DI'ed out of the BMax sounded good....
  6. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I own and love the RBI (see above comments) my only con is no sweepable mid control, but the new tech21 RPM has sweepable mid, but no "presence" control that the RBI has ( I don't use the presence knob!).

    I've used the landmark 300, but found it borderline underpowered for my situation and the 600 was too heavy for my taste, the pros are that the first channel of the 300/600 IS the RBI and the second channel of the 300/600 IS similar to the RPM. cons is that, if I remember right, there is no xlr out control, like RBI/RPm, and no 'blend" control for second channel. you can also combine both channels for hybrid sound that is kinds cool.

    I'm choosing to go the separates route and getting rbi/rpm and separate lightter more powerful power amp.....stewart 1.2. I'm still waiting on the RPM, but hoping it sounds exactly the same as channel 2, but with xlr out control and blend!!!!

    go separates, stay flexible!
  7. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I found that the RBI and the Ampeg SVP have different sounds. Yeah, you can get kind of close to an ampeg sound with the RBI, but not really. It never had the bump in the midrange I was looking for. Not enough control over the mids for me. The RBI sounds very nice but it didn't cut it for me.
  8. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003

    howdy ibanks,

    i was hoping you could let me know what it is about the bmax di that you don't like, maybe we can improve it in the future.

    this di is the same design as our stand-alone DI-100X which we compared to the Radial active di when we were designing it.


  9. TxBass


    Jul 3, 2002
    Frisco, Texas
    Had an R1000 for a long time---and it was great...but I like my BMax better. It has such a deep, full tone and a great compressor (IMO). Can't really go wrong with either, I just wanted my preamp seperate from my power source.

    good luck!
  10. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    I would have like the DI pre-EQ/master volume, but, that's not a big deal; don't change anything! I HATE improvements!!
  11. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003
    thanks ibanks,

    consider NOTHING changed! :cool:

  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Some basic differences:

    A consolidated head is easy to set up: instrument cable in the front, speaker cable out the back. It's often smaller and lighter than a rack rig. But it isn't modular.

    The advantage to a rack rig is modularity. First, it's easier to upgrade. Example: if you like the tone of your amp head but it isn't powerful enough, you'll probably have to upgrade the entire head or use it with an additional amp. With a rack rig, however, you could just replace the amp with a more powerful one, and keep your existing preamp/EQ. Another benefit of modularity: if something breaks in your consolidated head you have to bring the whole thing in for servicing. However with a rack rig it's possible to locate and patch around a defective component. Example: I had a preamp fail at one gig... I simply removed that preamp from my signal path and continued the gig with very little downtime.

    Disadvantages to a rack rig can be size (sometimes), weight (sometimes), and complexity.
  13. i checked out that basstasters site...the bmax and alembic sound pretty sweet, but id still hear the carvin.......

    it doesnt worry me what i get as long as it sounds sweet....

    but im not a too big fan of tube...tube emulation is sweet when needed, but i prefer solid state...the bmax is lookin pretty sweet, im goin to look at acme cabs soon, i was shocked at the price difference between the bmax and bmax-t. the bmax-t was twice as much compared to the bmax..according to basstasters....

    Are the Bmax's availible to australia or will be?