what do YOU desire from a 'preamp'

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by eddododo, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    Firstly.. I DO understand that preamp is a vague, context-requiring term :p

    with that in mind...

    I have been designing/workingon/obsessing over a (several) preamp designs lately (DIY, to be clear)

    I have these goals in mind (and more or less solved):
    -driving poweramp
    -usable as 'pedal' format (i.e. as an eq/tone shaper with bells and whistles)
    - good 'feel' in terms of transients
    -'warm-ish' but transparent

    leaving this pretty open-ended... and not tipping my hand of the other things i have been trying out, what features would YOU want included in this preamp?
  2. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    some more details-

    thinking FET-based, though there are a few sections / solutions where I am considering that an op-amp here and there wouldnt be the biggest crime..
    my current knob layout is along the lines of: -Gain HighPass Lows Mids (parametric) Highs Lowpass Volume
    Need Gigs likes this.
  3. OOD


    Jul 29, 2009
    Drive, eq/tone, level. That's all I really care about. I don't really like fancy preamps.
  4. NightCat


    Apr 4, 2013
    Smooth and subtle overdrive that responds to finger dynamics. Neither of my amps will distort so I have to get the "wool" in the signal before the amp.
  5. Blu bro

    Blu bro

    Mar 1, 2012
    Personally it needs a DI for me to consider buying any preamp pedal.
  6. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    It should be transparent and have a real goo sounding DI out or two.
    Basically the pre amp I have now. It could just be a bit smaller (it's a 2U pre)
  7. bigsnack


    Aug 24, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Clean DI, capable of pre / post EQ. Drive / boost, and EQ centers that actually make sense for recording bass. I've yet to find a great all in one box that has EQ centers easily applicable to recording bass and getting it to sit well in a mix. This has been a bit of an obsession of mine as well, although I am FAR from sitting down to try and remedy the problem myself.
  8. 3 bands of parametric eq (4 would be better low, low mid, high mid, highs...I love mids)
    pre/post eq sends, (1 of each or better yet 2 switchable..one for amp, one for FOH)
    can do clean or slight overdrive well
    mute switch or tuner out with mute
    one knob compressor, switched fx loop, separate gain/vol would be cool but not deal breakers
  9. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    TONE TONE TONE TONE..... and then more tone. An EQ helps as well as some voicing options. A DI is nice too but not necessary for me. I love preamps, Im such a preamp lush. I need nice characteristic tone from a pre. If I get that, Im happy overall.
    Driven Crane likes this.
  10. I want a lot of different things, probably why I have so many to cover the choices. Sometimes i want clear gain, other times i am looking for tone enhancement and other times i am looking for a particular amp like character. I also have some active circuits in kit boxes to cop tones of particular onboard bass preamps Bartonlini, EMG and Alembic to use with my passive basses.
    A DI and effects loop.
    Some (very slightly) less tasty extras would include a mute switch, tuner out, switching for two inputs (with separate gain controls), extra footswitch for drive channel, etc.
    If you included two inputs the ability to select which inputs to apply EQ to would be handy.
  12. edwinhurwitz

    edwinhurwitz Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, SMS
    bassbrad likes this.
  13. ........and if you could just fit all of the above suggestions in a 1590a enclosure, that'd be just great!:D
  14. I play higher end amps so I don't really care about a bunch of EQ. My base tone should never need much tweaking at all. I use a preamp for drive.
  15. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    I love the Tone Hammer, so you have to beat that.

    Consider adding these to it:

    1) dual gain staging - pre and post EQ. The EQ interacting with the gain is important to me and to how the final sound is produced.

    2) a mix or parallel / switchable series fx loop between gain stages or selectable.

    3) a built in limiter and or compression with realistic adjustments. This should be a parallel blend of the clean and compressed signal, likely before the gain and EQ. A visible indicator is always nice.

    4) a way (limiter) to balance the levels of a clean and dirty / drive channels. The ToneHammer sounds great when ags is on or off, but the volume change makes it tricky to balance live.

    5) 18v power to leave headroom for dialling in a perfect amount of gain / compression.

    6) a reasonable size and weight, that allows for controls to be accessed easily. You may be able use the stomp switches to create under the hood controls ;)

    Those are the top of the head ideas...
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  16. I like the ToneHammer too, but the feature I really miss is a headphone out and aux in that would make it usable as a practice amp.

    I'm usually not a big fan of built in compression or distortion because I'm picky about those effects, and if you love the clean pre but hate the distortion circuit, its kind of annoying to have this useless section of pedal just wasting space. That's being said the AGS on the ToneHamner is great.

    It should also make other od/distortion/fuzz placed before sound better.
  17. eloann


    May 14, 2012
    I almost found the perfect preamp with the Shift Line Olympic MKII :

    - Great clean to cleanish tone
    - XLR DI
    - Aux in
    - Phones out
    - Effects loop
    - Small footprint

    It's missing some gain for real distortion, a bypass switch and most importantly it runs on 12V AC making it impractical on a board - great practice/standalone tool though.
    Bearing in mind I have this, I've been droling over the Verellen Meatsmoke pedal which is kind of its opposite : few features in a huge package but beastly overdriven tone.

    Wondering whether the new Ampeg SCR-DI could fulfill all of my needs/wants (9v powered to boot)

  18. i wanna get the amoeg scr-di. i haven't bought a di because why would i use a di if i want the ampeg tone. i just makes sense to me to use a di made buy ampeg. the overdrive built in is a plus but they shood have added a tuner.
  19. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    Small, transparent, eq, di

    I don't need drive in mine but of you need to add it, fine.
    edwinhurwitz likes this.
  20. Badmuthaplucka

    Badmuthaplucka Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2004
    Tucson, Az.
    If I could get an Alembic FX-1 or an F2B in pedal form with an XLR out I'd be Happy with that! Just clean and warm. I'll supply the dirt!
    edwinhurwitz likes this.

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