Versatile Preamp Suggestions

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by DagoMaino, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    I am in need of a preamp for a studio board that I use for guitar, bass, and synths; so versatility is key. The main function of this is for final tonal/volume tweaks and DI. I use a Tone Hammer for bass-specific applications, but currently have my eye on a Sanasamp Para Driver for this application.

    Any other preamps/DI options out there that I should consider?
  2. krcriado1990


    Sep 18, 2017
    I use the Noble for literally all of those instruments...recording and live. I really cannot go back to the ToneHammer after using this. It absolutely kills on acoustics as well as synths like my Minimoog. I use it as a part of my live acoustic rig every Sunday at Church.

    Electric Guitars are tricky because they need some sort of cab sim to get a better, more realistic tone.
  3. Broughton Messenger may be what you're looking for. Lots of versatility, great sound.
  4. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    Broughton Messenger
    blindrabbit likes this.
  5. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    I like that this has the boost possibility. That is definitely an advantage over the Para Driver.
    JuanC likes this.
  6. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    Hmmm, That's a lot of, scratch for my application. My studio is more of a writing studio rather than finished product recording. I definitely have some pro level gear but my skill set and patience threshold is more comfortable tracking demos. I am definitely not surprised that this is a class above a Tone Hammer. Still curious if you have experienced an audible comparison on the Nobel vs a REDDI or BAE for the upper echelon of DIs?
  7. I use a Southampton Ictineo for my all around plug in polisher because if I need a DI I am old school and use a separate box. Other boxes I use are [sfx]AY2, JohnK FET-F2B and a Zeibek Submarine mk III. Current fave DI is the Rupert Neve RNDI plus old stand by Countryman Type 85 and a couple of old boxes with vintage Jensen transformers.
  8. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    You should consider Q strip from Tech 21 and Alix/Bix from Grace Design...
    Bassmike62, LeonD and DagoMaino like this.
  9. Brother Goose

    Brother Goose The Process IS the Reward!

    Dec 4, 2013
    Syracuse NY
    God Is Love
    GK Plex?
  10. The nice thing about the Messenger is that you can use it almost as a second channel, in that you can use a second instrument with it and not have to mess with any of your settings. Just use the lower output instrument with the boost adjusted to match the higher output instrument without it.
    blindrabbit and DagoMaino like this.
  11. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    I definitely like the sweepable frequencies of the Q Stip over the Bix. Good suggestion.
  12. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Alix has parametric mids plus sweepable HPF/notch filter...
  13. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    The Felix/Alix are top notch and sound a-MAY-zing. In all my gear slutting (Not “whoring”. There’s a difference.) I ended up with a Noble and a Felix at the same time. The Felix won.

    The Grace stuff is spendy though. But man...There’s some magic in there that’s hard to describe.

    I currently own a Messenger and love it. Ultra quiet, ultra clean, lots of EQ available, pretty small, not expensive....What’s not to like? Combining the H/LPF’s with the Bass/Treble controls yields some interesting and useful tones.

    Also, Fishman has some nice options for preamps that look interesting and are not crazy expensive. The OP may want to check them out, too.
  14. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    Another vote for the Messenger, very clean, responsive and present sounding. Notes have alot of clarity. I also have a Radial Tonebone OD that I use mainly for db but the Messenger has really improved my toan.
    Zbysek likes this.
  15. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    I'll second the Q/Strip.

    Four band EQ, HPF, LPF and DI. Reasonably priced. Plus it sounds good. The "Swiss Army Knife" of tone.
    Zbysek likes this.
  16. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    I hope to try the Grace stuff sometime. I just can't justify >$400 for mainly a live preamp. I would love to have all my live pedalboards under $1000 (although that doesn't always happen), just for the fact of not stressing about if I leave them unattended during load in/ load out. I've had moments of panic before where someone just moved my gear out of the way and I'm sick to my stomach thinking someone walked off with my vintage p-bass or a $2000 pedalboard.... or I just need to play classier gigs. ha ha.
    The Diaper Geni likes this.
  17. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    I’m with ya! I had a terrific run a couple of years ago and splurged. But, like you, I can’t justify the “ expensive stuff” playing in the trenches.

    All that great gear was fun while it lasted, though! But honestly, I’m just as happy with my Messenger.
    DagoMaino likes this.
  18. fuzzspiral


    Dec 8, 2018
    I use a Brick Drive by Providence: three band eq with another mini knob for different mids freqs and a knob "presence" that works on the tone clarity, it will be very helpful, expecially with the guitar, I think.
    It also have the drive section with dedicated volume and blend knob. It's very transparent as drive/overdrive so it will keep your tone and it stacks very well with other pedals
  19. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    I pulled the trigger on the Q Strip, mainly because I threw an offer out for what I had in Reverb account and the guy took it. I just didn't have the patience to wait for a Messenger, and it was about $100 more at that point. I really doubt I will be disappointed for the functionality that I needed and the price I snagged it at.

    Cheers to some great suggestions. Thanks, all!
    The Diaper Geni and LeonD like this.
  20. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    Nice! Between the Q Strip and the Messenger you cant go wrong.