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RBI vs tube preamps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by xyllion, Jan 17, 2003.


  1. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I just posted in the preamp poll. I own a Kern now and I really like the sound of it. I am a little concerned that I have too much money tied up into my preamp. I haven't listed to an RBI yet, but I think I may.

    Has anyone else been down this road before? Any words of wisdom?
     
  2. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    if you've got a mercedes, do you really want a pinto???
     
  3. zoran

    zoran

    May 10, 2002
    croatia
    Yes, I'm feeling like that every day with my glockenklang and pray that it doesn't exist better preamp for less money.
     
  4. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I hear what you are saying, but in all other aspects of my life I only spend as much as is needed to get the job done. I'm not a professional musician, but I love my preamp. I just wonder if I've spent too much and should settle for less.

    The Kern preamp is probably worth as much as my car if not more.
     
  5. SCT1422

    SCT1422 Supporting Member

    I think FN4A hit it right on the head... Remember back a few years ago, the Hugh Grant fiasco... Why would he go to a hooker when he's dating Elizabeth Hurley... The RBI is really nice and does sound good... I had one, but it's a tube emulater not the real thing... I now own a Kern... It's friggen awesome...
     
  6. thetaurus

    thetaurus

    May 28, 2002
    Muncy, PA
    i'm actually thinking of selling my svp for an rbi. i a/b'ed my svp with my bddi, and really liked the bddi. after practice this weekend, i'll probably know what i'm going to do.
     
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'll take solid state over hollow state every time if the quality is there. My RBI can do just about any tubey tone I could ever want without the hassle of tubes.

    Try this: Take an RBI and a tube pre, and drop each six feet to a concrete floor. Plug in. See which one works. Repeat process with two more preamps another 99 times. Report back with the failure rate for solid state vs. tube.
     
  8. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I think the RBI and the SVP can sound very similar if you fool with the knobs a bit. The RBI doesn't quite have the tubey sound of the Ampeg (no wonder), but the RBI is a little more versatile if your looking for more than a tube-like tone. I can see how Geddy Lee can sound like Geddy Lee with one, aside from BEING Geddy Lee or course ;)
     
  9. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I can understand how that can be important, HeavyDuty, but for me, it is unlikely that my equipment will get dropped.

    Seems to be people on both sides of the fence. Guess I'll have to listen to both and make my own decision.

    Thanks for the input guys. It does give me more information to work with.
     
  10. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I agree about the durability thing. I don't plan on dropping my rack too often.

    And yes, as I learned, there are enough people on both sides (tube, SS), so you have to listen and make your own judgement call.
     
  11. You might be surprised by the results of that. 12AX7s and their kin are surprisingly robust.
     
  12. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I stand by my comment. I'm a ham that's had my share of tube radios!
     
  13. I've dropped the odd amp in my days, and from what I've seen they come out about even. ;)
    I'd suspect a hand built, point-point wired tube preamp like the kern would stand up to as much or more abuse as a mass produced SS preamp.

    At any rate, it's not that big an issue if you want tube tone. That being said, the RBI/BDDI are both great units and do an admirable job of emulating tube tone circuits.:D
     
  14. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Sorry folks, wasn't my intent to open a can of worms.

    I will let my ears decide. I will A/B the two preamps and see what I think.
     
  15. No real can 'o worms. I don't think myself and HD are gonna come to blows or anything! ;)

    That's what you need to do!:p
     
  16. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Oh, yeah? PUTTEM UP! ;)
     
  17. SCT1422

    SCT1422 Supporting Member

    Hey for the money, you can't go wrong with the RBI....