Tube Front-end to warm up solid state head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jdwinva, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. jdwinva

    jdwinva Supporting Member

    Aug 3, 2005
    Leesburg, VA
    Anyone use a tube DI (such as the Demeter, SVTDI, Juicebox, etc) to warm up their signal before going into a solid state head? I am using a Walter Woods or Epifani UL-502 (both solid state) and love them both. However, once in a while I need to have some tube grind when playing raunchy rock. I was thinking about using a tube DI or even a Sansamp Para Driver before the amp to do this. Any opinions / suggestions. :help:
  2. The Sansamp BDDI is a nice cheaper alternative that will add instant fatness.
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Yep, the Sansamp is the universal recommendation for this. Cheap, small, readily available. Even if rarely used, its a great tool to keep buried in your case along with screwdrivers, tape, spare stings and such. Nice to have a decent DI at an arms reach whenever you might need one in a pinch.

    Oh, and yeah, it gives good tube-like grind to ANY rig that's lacking it.
  4. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I agree on the sansamp. I had a SWR bass 350 and it was dry to me and I put the RBI through the effects return on the 350 and made my sound sooo much more enjoyable. the RBI would also be more flexible for tone option than just a tube-pre.

    try it!
  5. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    if you need to have some tube grind you won't get it from DI's such as the Demeter, Juicebox, Aguilar DB900, etc.
    These are thought to be transparent; they can add tube warmth or dimension, but they shouldn't saturate to give you that grind you're looking for.
    I can't comment on the Ampeg.

    Follow the advice others have given you and get a BDDI.

    keep groooovin'
  6. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I agree that the Aguilar and Demeter tube preamps won't add any "dirty" tube coloring, but they are full, clean, and airy sounding, so in that sense, they add some of the "clean" tube coloring.

    Another unit to consider if you want to add some tube warmth (but not overdrive), is the Peavey Tube Sweetener. You see these come up on ebay fairly often (that's were I got mine), and they are fairly inexpensive. But, it is a well made unit that uses three tubes (two 12AX7's for each channel, and a shared 12AU7). For the money, I am very happy with it.