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transparent preamps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rickr, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. rickr


    Jan 28, 2003
    I was wondering if any of you could recommend a very transparent preamp? All I want to do is pretty much just boost the signal of my bass preamp without any coloration.
    I used a crest LT1000 which works good but I need a bit more boost.
    Someone recommended the Alembic F-1x.

  2. vision

    vision It's all about the groove!

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, La Bella Strings, and 64 Audio IEMs
    i used to have the demeter vtb-201s, it is a very transparent, clear amp. i could really hear the sound of my basses through that preamp, without much coloration at all.

  3. J.T


    Mar 9, 2005
    Tulsa, Ok
    Pre Sonus Eureka is super transparent. I would think any preamp with a tube is going to offer a lot of coloration, but who knows.

  4. 7thbass


    Nov 21, 2003
    Houston, Tx
    I would think they would be very difficult to adjust on stage, unless it came with opaque knobs. Which would be nice.

    The Alembic F-1x is a bit like a mike pre, very simple. Sounds great.
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Glockenklang BassArt (Classic)
  6. Nope, I wouldn't call the F-1X transparent. It sounds fantastic, but not transparent. The Avalon is the most transparent pre that I've ever heard.
  7. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    +1 on the F-1x. The Millenia stuff, from what I understand, is about as transparent as it gets.
  8. prockenklang


    May 22, 2003
    I own a Millennia TD-1 and (2)Millennia STT-1 pre-amps and have found them to be the most transparent pre-amps that I have ever heard.

  9. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Avalon U5 is, indeed, a good option. The Stewart UDP-1a is another neat little box that sounds great and is a fantastic bargain (if you can find one). Of course, someone else will bring up Millennia, but I'm trying to avoid them - or else I know I'll have to buy one! ;)

    While not actually "transparent", the Aguilar DB 680 sounds a lot like what you put into it, plus with a little tube polishing (in a hi-fi kind of way). The True Voice preamp from Brian Barrett at The Low End is another take on "your sound with some tubey goodness added." And believe it or not, with the EQ set flat and the Enhance at about 9 o'clock, I think that my Eden Navigator is fairly uncolored. But it'd be rather ironic to use a preamp with that many knobs when all you want is uncolored gain.

    I know Pete Skjold is coming out with a new tube preamp that has a bypassable EQ section, and would be mostly just your signal plus tube gain. The Read Purity also has an EQ bypass mode, but it does leave the Enhance circuit in the signal path.

    I think that there may be some other simple "uncolored, gain-only" preamps in the works, but that's all I can think of for now.

  10. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    See, two guys mentioned Millennia while I was typing my response! :p They just might be onto something... :help:
  11. rickr


    Jan 28, 2003
    Thanks for the info folks!
  12. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    +1 on the Millennia preamps, but I have one question for the Origin rack users:

    I handle my equipment very carefully, but I've wondered how road-ready the STT-1 is compared to the TD-1; it seems to me to be more targeted to studio use than regular gigging.

    My thoughts were to use the STT-1 in the studio and the TD-1 for regular gigs (if I could ever afford the two).

    Can you guys give me your thoughts on how rugged the STT-1 seems to be built?