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Thoughts on AMT-BC1 Bass Crunch?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by AndrewM, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. AndrewM


    Feb 10, 2013
    AMT BC-1 Bass Crunch Preamp

    I saw this pedal/preamp the other day, and from what I've seen on Youtube so far, it seems to give off the type of sound that I would like to have.

    Naturally, I turned to talkbass for some further insight. When I started looking around, I discovered this pedal had been mentioned in threads about "the worst pedal you've ever bought", but I was also able to find people who heavily praised the AMT BC-1.

    I currently play through an Ampeg PF-350, which I love, but I was looking to add a nice, aggressive crunch effect while also having more tone-shaping options.

    Any input is appreciated, so long as it is informative and helpful :)

    Thanks in advance for your time.
  2. ryansalmond


    Nov 21, 2007
    I can recommend the AMT F1 as an amazing bass preamp almost no one knows about, because it's made for guitar. Don't know about the bc1
  3. AndrewM


    Feb 10, 2013
    Maybe we can assume that AMT makes quality products, if that's the case :p is it safe to run a bass through a guitar preamp though?

    Also, anyone who has experience with the BC-1, feel free to chime in :)
  4. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Not a single review on MF? Possibly not a good sign...especially with the price being over the $200 mark...
  5. AndrewM


    Feb 10, 2013
    Anybody out there have any firsthand experience they could share with us?
  6. Flat5Bass

    Flat5Bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2013
    New Hampshire
    I currently own and use the BC-1 as a preamp for going direct to the board in live applications.

    I'm on my lunch break @ work so i have to be quick:
    Good Things:
    It has a decent sound - very punchy.
    2 channels + Boost & Clean blend knob - both channels sound good yet distinctive.
    FET based circiut lets Gain knob add more saturation - good on Clean and Drive channels
    EQ switches are handy to tailor your sound

    Bad Things:
    I have the treble knob almost all the way down on both channels. There is a TON of high end available, if that's your thing.
    The "Output" jack is pretty harsh sounding, even used through a line in on an amp. The last time I tried, the Drive channel was generating some very weird overtones/harmonics from fret slap.
    I will try it with a different amp and let you know what happens.

    I will repost with more info later tonight/tomorrow and try to get you a more comprehensive review.

    Hope this helps.
    DeeDeeKing likes this.
  7. Flat5Bass

    Flat5Bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Okay - more details:

    I bought this to replace my Digitech GNX3000 as a standalone preamp I can just run into the PA and go. It does that extremely well - fits in the gig bag, sounds good, lots of useful features in one box.

    I ran the BC-1 between my EDB555 and GK MB800.
    I used the BC-1 in front of my amp, and through the FX return as well to see the difference in sound.

    What I remembered about using the Output jack was correct.
    The clean channel sounds ok, but the drive channel gets kinda painful in places :spit:. Especially the D and G strings starting at around the 7th fret.

    Using the Cab Sim out eliminated the pain and gives you a bit more flexibility in terms of gain/volume and the EQ. It will sound a bit more muffled, but it's mainly the drop in volume that you notice. You can EQ some/most of the muffle away.

    Using the BC-1 through the FX return lets the preamp do what it was designed for - to act as a standalone unit you can plug in anywhere and get the same sound. Output jack rules apply here too.

    It’s not a bad box, but it definitely has its limitations. And for the price, you may or may not be okay with them. I got mine off ebay for about $100 less than retail, so I don’t mind working around the BC-1’s issues. If I had paid full price, I probably would have returned it.

    If there's something I missed you want to know about, just let me know. Bottom line, if you think you might like the sound, find one to try out. But definitely compare it with something else just to be sure.

    BTW - Battery cover rattles – Set screw is a bit too long. Gonna try cutting down the set screw to see if that helps the rattle.

    I hope I didn't ramble on too much. . .;)
  8. AndrewM


    Feb 10, 2013

    No such thing as too much rambling! Thank you for the information :) It would definitely be a good idea for me to try one out in person before committing $230 to buying one. Lets say I try one out and I'm not too fond of it, for whatever reason (the output jack problems, maybe just the tone, etc.) Do you have any pre-amps and/or crunch effects in mind that would do a good job?

    What I'm looking for is a tone thats not completely overdriven, and still retains a nice "clean"-ish sound, but at the same time will also have lots of bite and a little crunch/distortion to it. That's why the blending knob on the AMT BC-1 appealed to me; I felt like I would be able to dial in just the right tone using the right blending of the clean and crunch channels.
  9. AndrewM


    Feb 10, 2013
    Tried to edit my last post but for some reason my changes were not showing up.

    Does anyone think a Sansamp bass driver might suit my needs?
  10. I'm also using BC-1 but mostly for the clean sound

    I use the 2nd channel to get a slight boost if needed, but yeah, most of the time I don't even step on it. I have my other overdrive box for dirt and girth.

    I think of it as a "tool" rather than an effect. I've done several gigs without amp, with the line goes direct from the cab sim output to the mixer, and it's flawless.

    Headroom probably is the main advantage, because it's an 18v unit.

    Sansamp BD has a better way of "coloring" your sound, if that is what you're after.
  11. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I didn't like it at all sold it after two days bad sound and noisy
    DeeDeeKing likes this.
  12. Flat5Bass

    Flat5Bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2013
    New Hampshire
    In addition to what fleizenkruz said, if you like the sound of your Ampeg, do you want a box that will change the base (not bass :)) sound completely, or do you want something to further tailor what you like about your amp?

    Just something to think about if you haven't already.
    If you have. . . pretend this post didn't happen.
  13. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    I like the Sansamp Para Driver DI because of the parametric mid control. Sansamp (and SVT-sounding stuff in general) tends to scoop the mids. This can make it hard to cut through a mix. The parametric gives me more control over that scoop.
  14. AndrewM


    Feb 10, 2013

    I checked out the Para, and to me it looks identical to the Bass Driver DI, except it has adjustable mids. Is this correct? If so, I think this would have to be my choice haha.

    I went to the nearest guitar center yesterday and played around with a Sansamp BDDI and I liked it a good deal :)
  15. AndrewM


    Feb 10, 2013
    I am leaning towards the second option; tailoring what I already like about my amp :p

    Also, the thing about the BDDI that I like over the Para, is that the BDDI comes in a 3-channel version which seems quite helpful to me. The Sansamp para doesnt have a 3-channel version though, or atleast I was unable to find one :(
  16. +1
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  17. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    Personally, I dig the sound quality. I dig how the distortion channel sounds. it sounds pretty heavy. and the preamp part is pretty good too. unfortunately, I've heard how noisy this pedal is. so it might be a good idea if you use that pedal with a noise gate.

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