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Radial Tonebone PZ-Pre vs. Fishman Platinum Pre

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by swmmojo, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. swmmojo

    swmmojo Be up and doing...

    Hi TB DB folks!

    I'd like input from folks who have experience using both of these preamps.

  2. Adagio


    Jul 21, 2011
    Quebec City
    As you probably know, the PZ-Pre is worth more than the plat, and have a bunch of additional features too. That being said, I own a fishman plat pro and I must say it's really great for my EB, or to make my DB sound like an EB. Maybe other folks have better success with it, but if had to make that kind of choice again I'd jump on the PZ-Pre.
    Zbysek likes this.
  3. I don't have experience with the Fishman, but I use the PZ-Pre at every gig. Great piece of gear. It's my upright bass preamp and I use the second channel for the (few) songs per gig that I play mando instead.

    Lots of features for cutting feedback and EQing how you want. Good DI out. It goes to every gig, that's the best I can say about any piece of gear.
    Zbysek likes this.
  4. Zbysek likes this.
  5. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    I haven't owned the Pro-Plat, but I had a Fishman B-II for awhile. I found it a bit colder sounding than my PZ-Pre does.
    Those two new Radial things look interesting too (the PZ DI and the PZ Deluxe), especially if the tone quality is the same.
  6. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Don't think the Platinum Pro will make your DB bass sound like an EB. It is more dependent of the pickup of you use. If you leave the EQ in the middle it is pretty neutral sounding I guess?

    I guess if you don't need all the extras of the Radial the Platinum is just as good? (I have the Platinum and never heard the Radial).
  7. swmmojo

    swmmojo Be up and doing...

    Thanks for the replies! Great info.

    Does anyone have setup suggestions for the PZ-Pre with a FC? Since there is no peak light, do you have any PZ-Pre input level suggestions for the FC? Noon? 3? 9? I'm just curious how folks are running it in terms of input levels. (Please don't respond if you are going to say let your ears do the work. :crying:)

    I'm been playing with the PZ-Pre and I am digging it. I do like the Fishman Plat Pre but the PZ-Pre is giving me more clarity. I have a gig tomorrow so that will be the true test.
  8. Barcza


    May 1, 2005
    I used a borrowed PZ pre and FC with my Aguilar AG500/GS112 rig, the Preamp is amazing with the FC, the notch filter works perfect to kill feedback, and the paramectric mid works well to dial out the FC's harshness, without getting boomy or scooped sound. I can recomend the PZ pre with FC!
  9. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    i have used both and i prefer the radial over the fishman. the sound is a little "thin" when using the fishman. i cant seem to get the sound i want no matter what i try. also it seems a little bit more electric than natural if that makes any sense. personally, i just got a baggs venue di and i prefer that over both. the sounds of the venue and radial are similar but i like the features of the venue a little more. the boost and tuner are what sold me on it. and the venue works great on acoustic guitar really well. the bigger problem i have is fighting with my guitar player over who uses the baggs.
  10. I have both and prefer the Radial. That being said, my preference is based almost entirely on the added functionality of the Radial; in particular the mute button and the second channel. The preamp is clearly an important part of the signal chain, but so is your bass, strings, pickups, amp, cabinet, hands, ears, etc. So keep in mind that no one piece of gear will single-handedly morph your tone into something you love, or hate for that matter. Trust me, I've spent more on gear than I care to admit over the years.
  11. Jeremy Darrow

    Jeremy Darrow Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fishman Transducers, D'Addarrio Strings, Aguilar Amplifiers
    I know this thread is a bit cold, but has anyone used the PZ-pre for doubling with an acoustic bass and a bass guitar? I know that the Bassbone might be a better choice, I'm just curious.
    Zbysek likes this.
  12. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Radial builts great products, but if you're going to EQ both instruments I think you need two sets of tone controls, unless the Electric Bass has active circutry. I'm looking closely at the new Flex Preamp from Acoustic Image, which isn't out yet.

  13. Jeremy Darrow

    Jeremy Darrow Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fishman Transducers, D'Addarrio Strings, Aguilar Amplifiers
    That's exactly what my concern is.
  14. swmmojo

    swmmojo Be up and doing...

    I'm using the PZ for doubling and it's been really great. I EQ for the DB and adjust the electric EQ on the bass to get the tone I want. I haven't pulled the Fishman out since I bought the PZ. It's killer.
    Zbysek likes this.
  15. Jeremy Darrow

    Jeremy Darrow Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fishman Transducers, D'Addarrio Strings, Aguilar Amplifiers
    Awesome. How tough was it to get your electric tone where you wanted it?
  16. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    New double bassist here... I have both the Fishman Plat Pro and the Radial PZ Pre. After going back & forth between them for a couple of months, I definitely prefer the PZ Pre. The Fishman sounds good, but does mask a little of the instruments character regardless of eq settings. The Radial just nails the acoustic tone better and has a more gig friendly feature set (variable notch, footswitchable mute). The only drawback of the Radial is the lack of phantom power ability & you have to use the ac adapter. Sounds amazing though!
  17. swmmojo

    swmmojo Be up and doing...

    I use a MTD 635 and a Fender Jazz. They are very different sounding electric basses but I can adjust EQ on the instrument leaving the PZ EQ for the DB. I typically leave the amp EQ flat and DI everything from the PZ. I haven't used the Fishman at all. This mix of stuff works for me great.

    I agree with Scotch, too. The Fishman does mask some of the instrument character making the PZ superior. Phantom would be awesome for the PZ as well.
  18. bump..update

    I have both (used) via Guitar Center and taking advantage of returning the one I don't want without penalty, except shipping from one GC to my local branch. The reason I'm looking at these specific preamps is because of the sweepable parametric mid control available on both. My bass has a strong "boxy" mid component (Realist Soundclip, Spirocore Weichs) that needs to be tamed. The standard frequency centers of the amplifiers I have don't quite center on the problem and I need the ability to fine tune the center frequency a bit.

    I tried the PZ-Pre (2 channel) on a gig through 2 amplifiers. An old AI Contra and a Gallien MB150. I was quickly able to dial in a reasonable tone with the mid control and look forward to further fine tuning of the sound in the future. Using the 2 amplifiers, it becomes obvious that the basic sound of each amp with the eqs set "flat" are different animals. The sweepable mid of the PZ-Pre allows me to compensate for the difference; as well as the characteristics of different rooms. It's not a perfect solution, but I feel much better about my sound on stage.

    Several things for consideration.
    1. With two channels, the PZ allowed me to add a microphone (SM57 centered in the bridge using foam) through a ART MP preamp fed into CH2. The preamp is set to mix mode and allows me to blend the two sources should I choose to gig in that configuration. It also allows you to double with another instrument. I use the built in volume pot of the Realist Sound Clip to help with fine tuning the mix without having to access the pedal on the floor once the overall mix between the pickup and the mic is established. A PZ-Pre and the ART preamp, won't take to much room on a pedal board made to hold just those two items. (I don't want to carry any more than I have to. If I had the choice I wouldn't do this at all!)
    2. The overall mute switch is useful.
    3. The knobs are easy to access on the PZ-Pre. On the Fishman Platinum Pro, some of the knobs, such as the mid frequency pot, is shorter than the rest. I find that the lower profile of these knobs make it harder to access the controls in the middle of the gig. The switches that control some of the functions are also small and it takes more effort than I'd like to be able to quickly access the features during adjustments at the gig. In my case, I didn't need to go further for comparison. I put the Fishman away and decided to return it.

    There are many other features which both preamps share and some that they don't. In my case, for the reasons mentioned above, the PZ-Pre is the right choice.
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