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settling for 2nd best preamp---suggestions needed

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kingjere, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. kingjere


    Feb 13, 2006
    I have been trying to re-purchase an Alembic F1-x preamp for a month with no luck. (I used to own one but had to sell to fund a move.)
    I am getting ready to settle for a second choice, but I don't know what that would be. Any suggestions?

    I am running Fender MIA J-bass powered with a Qsc Plx1804. I am looking for a punchy, fat tone.
  2. Snakeman1066

    Snakeman1066 Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Central Valley
    what kind of music are you playing?
    what is your budget?
  3. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Years ago I picked up a Peavey Max on eBay (if I recall arightly) as a backup for my Alembic, for $180. Imagine my surprise when I found it could do the Alembic tones well and had at least as good a s/n ratio, and could do a lot of other tones as well that Alembic could not, and allowed footswitching between tube/SS and user-blend of the two.

    The Alembic went bye-bye, and a bunch of new cash met my wallet for awhile.
  4. markkoelsch


    Sep 6, 2008
    Well, this is really budget dependent. I to really would like an F1-X, but cannot afford one. That being said, I played through a Demeter VTB-201, and it sounded great. Either one would work for me. There are other options, but it depends on what you are looking for in terms of features, tones, and price.

  5. kingjere


    Feb 13, 2006
    I would spend as much as 500 or so for a preamp. As far as type of music, it varies. I am not much a slapper but I like having a good solid tone when I need it. For features, I would like a tuner out I guess, but thats not a big deal.
  6. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    I had a Sansamp RBI for a few years before I got my LMII. It got a great fat tone but could be clean too. They also have a very good pre/post DI out with a volume control on the front panel for the send to FOH. Not very expensive but very effective. If I were to go back to a pre/poweramp rig I would get an RBI/1804 rig for sure.
  7. monroe55


    Mar 17, 2009
    Nice. I got this same set up and dliema. MIAjazz, QSC1804, and looking for a good pre. Let me know if you try anything that sounds worthy...for under 5beans.:D
  8. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Ocoee, TN
    Where are you in the world? I just picked up a used F-1X for less than 500.

    If you're in Europe or Australia this might be harder to do, but the pop up from time to time in the US.
  9. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    If you dig the Alembic pre tone, you should actually consider dumping the power amp and getting the Hartke LH1000.

    The front end is VERY similar to the Alembic tone (it seems modeled after that Fender type tone stack, and has a similar 'warm, fat, but 'tube clean' sort of tone).

    The price on these amps is ridiculously low (lower than most middle-grade preamps alone), and you would have massive amounts of power in a two space format.

    Don't confuse the LH with other Hartke heads. It's old school tube all the way. Similar to the Alembic pre, it's like having the front end of an old Bassman connected to 1000 watts of SS power.

    It's a VERY impressive head, and the quality is WAY higher than you would expect for the price. The tone is just fat and punchy and beautiful to me.

    Just another idea on a possible way to go, given your tone goal and budget.

    If you really want to stay pre/power, you might consider an Aguilar DB659 if you can find a used one. They pop up quite often in the classifieds. They are a little more aggressive than the Alembic, but are uber quality, one rack space, and tubey as heck!

  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Also it seems like the Alembics show up for sale with some regularity, so if you've been "trying for a month" then keep looking for just a bit longer because one will show up, either here in the TB classifieds or on Ebay.
  11. svtb15


    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig
    I have used an Alembic F2B for nearly 30 years.. I have done all types of music with it.. it certainly has more headroom than any of the other preamsp that i have owned or tried... very punchy.. it does not have radical EQ if that is what you need .. but what it dies is Buttahhhhh...

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