(Super) Affordable Preamp Pedal?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Ser Phalanges, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Ser Phalanges

    Ser Phalanges Guest

    May 26, 2017
    Carson City, Nevada
    I recently acquired a new rig (Behringer BXD3000H - Ampeg 15), and it's plenty loud for what I need, but the tone isn't great. It has a 7-band EQ on it which doesn't seem to make too much of a difference for shaping the tone. I have a Sterling Sub Ray 4, and I really want to bring out the natural punch it has. From my research I've concluded that I need a preamp pedal.

    The reason I don't just go get the one I want (MXR M80, Darkglass B7K in my wildest dreams) is because money is very tight. My wife is really sick, and caring for her the way she needs means I don't really have any funds for anything that isn't a bill. My question is, does anyone know of a preamp pedal that sounds halfway decent for under $100? Or less? I know it's really silly to expect a good answer, but playing bass is really the only thing I have to relieve the stress I feel. So it's important to me that I sound how I want. Just something to bring out the wonderful midrange bark and punch. Something to hopefully look forward to.

  2. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Have you tried turning the shape, compressor, and ultrabass off?
  3. Ser Phalanges

    Ser Phalanges Guest

    May 26, 2017
    Carson City, Nevada
    I have. I never use the Ultrabass, and I don't like one knob compressors. The shape knob doesn't have an effect on the clean channel, and I don't use it on the dirty channel. I've been through all of it and it's just not there for me.
  4. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Master at 100%?
  5. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Which particular Ampeg cab is that?
  6. Ser Phalanges

    Ser Phalanges Guest

    May 26, 2017
    Carson City, Nevada
    As far as I know it was a combo that someone converted into a cab. I don't have any real details on it, and any kind of identifying markings aren't there anymore. Trust me on this, I've been through every part of my chain. It's just not good enough. It just doesn't bring out what I want to hear.
  7. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    My guess is it's that cab - a "preamp" can't perform miracles :( . Maybe try one of those amps into various cabs at Guitar Center to see what works with it - then look at their $100 used cabs. Should be able to get a 210 or 410 for that.
    Luka, Obese Chess, johnson79 and 2 others like this.
  8. Ser Phalanges

    Ser Phalanges Guest

    May 26, 2017
    Carson City, Nevada
    No, I really, really just want a preamp. It's not the cab. I've done my homework. Do you have a suggestion for an affordable preamp?
  9. karter2000

    karter2000 Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2005
    Nowhere land
    My vote would be for the Ampeg Classic Preamp Pedal:

    Ampeg Classic Analog Bass Preamp Pedal

    Just picked one up myself, and it does a pretty convincing Ampeg tone, with lots of tone shaping. $99.00 new!
    GtenderG, technocraft, HWM17 and 3 others like this.
  10. K-2


    Nov 30, 2016
    Vilnius, Lithuania
    Hi, I would advise to try a Behringer BDI21. It is a copy of Sansamp BDDI. They are known to have a mid scoop, but if you cut bass/treble on it, it works as a mid boost and it might be what you need. It has some drive to it if needed to it. I have used this pedal with exact same bass as you have, before I bought a Darkglass B7K. And it worked for me fine, Im a more scooped slap bass guy,but that pedal can boost mids too my bet is its around 500-800hz. I live in Europe and it cost me 30euros, I think it is about 40 dollars. I have never owned such great pedal for such money. Aswell it has a DI if you want to do some home recordings. Hope this helps, buddy and best wishes to your family.
  11. Ser Phalanges

    Ser Phalanges Guest

    May 26, 2017
    Carson City, Nevada
    Now that's some useful info! I have been looking at that one very closely. What I do is when I learn about a new pedal that may fit my needs, I will try to find audio samples or YouTube videos to get a feel for what they might sound like. I couldn't really find any for the BDI21 that didn't sound awful. They go for about 30 bucks here, and it truly may be my only option. Money is so, so tight and my wife isn't getting any better, ever, and school is about to start. I've been lucky to get the gear I do have, which was all given or loaned to me. Thank you for your suggestion.
  12. ThePresident777

    ThePresident777 Guest

    Oct 6, 2013
    Which one of these do you prefer?

  13. secondbestcody

    secondbestcody Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2017
    Madison, Wisconsin
    You shouldn't really need a preamp pedal since the ray4 is an active bass. It has a preamp built in. You should focus more on the amp or cab you are using. I play my ray4 through a Fender Rumble 100 or my Line 6 LD15 and they both sound just fine. Tweaking on the bass preamp, you should be able to get pretty much any tone you're going for with how much the boost/cut is on this bass.
  14. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    joshmmorrison and Versatek6 like this.
  15. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    The new Harley Benton bass preamp seems a nice affordable alternative. You also have the Dr. J Sparrow which is a clone of the Sansamp BDDI. Both of these have DI output.
    You can also use the Joyo American Sound or California as preamps, essentialy as tone shapers.
    You could also try a eq pedal to do that.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
    RyanJD and TheSeagoats like this.
  16. b_carville


    Jun 26, 2008
    Have you considered a Zoom B1.on pedal?
    There's a learning curve (it's
    easy) but there's a lot of preamp emulations(Sansamp,Xotic,MXR,Avalon)that are pretty good as well as eq's,exciter&a closet full of various effects& amp simulations. They are $49.95new.
    Best wishes to your wife.
  17. +1 on the Zoom. Yes, it's more of an effects device but they have amp models you might like. I have an MS60B and while not all the sounds are stellar it will give you at least some options. Plus there are threads here and elsewhere with lots of patch suggestions. You can get one used (I did) for as little as $50
    Danielz and Crowd crusher like this.
  18. spvmhc


    Apr 14, 2011
    I've used the Behringer BDI21 for nearly two years and still enjoy the tone it adds. It's subtle but noticeable; I recognize when I've forgotten to hit the switch to turn it on. For another $10 or so it makes sense to get a power adapter so you will not be reliant on batteries.
  19. go to zzounds.com and make payments on one. I think its like 55 a month
  20. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    I think a pedal preamp is a bad answer to the problem in this case.
    I gigged with the 3000. Not stellar but not a bad amp at all and controls work fine, it has a lot of adjustments available and should easily get your Ray to sound good.
    I suggest to work with what you have instead of spending already tight money.
    Leave everything flat, push the gain way up and you're there, decent tone.
    If you have any money left put in into a stock of fresh strings and a good setup.