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What's out there for Bass preamps ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Paul Secondino, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Hey guys. I used to have a Aguilar F 1X pre . Nice enough tone but mine was super noisey in spite of reports that they wer supposed to be quiet.

    The only other pre(s) I have seen around are the Aguilar 659 and 680. I also saw a Trace preamp of some sort a while back but cannot remember the model. Haven't seen it since.

    So what pres have you guys used or come across and how would you rate their quality/features and sonic character (Discontinued or new Production preamps)
  2. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Dude, there are hundreds. Literally. Do a search. A short list of some that come to mind: Avalon U5, Kern IP-777, Ampeg SVPCL, Ampeg BSP, Millenia, Glockenklang?, Eden, Gallien Krueger, and more.

    Do a search.

    EDIT: Also check out basstasters.com
  3. 7thbass


    Nov 21, 2003
    Houston, Tx
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    If your Alembic pre was noisy then there was something wrong with it, plain and simple. Might've just been a bad tube, but who knows.

    There are LOTS of great bass preamps available. What kind of tone and features are you looking for?

    I own and recommend the following (no particular order):
    SansAmp RBI - solid state pre with tube emulation. Can do gritty sounds very well. Has a particular tone coloration (mid scoop) but it's a very popular one.

    Ampeg SVP-Pro - tube preamp that has the Ampeg sound, and a nice warm overdrive

    TC Electronics 1140 - solid state preamp with four band fully parametric EQ. It's TC Electronics: super-quiet, super-clean, super-transparent.

    Read Purity - all-tube preamp that has replaced my beloved Alembic F2B. Has the same warmth, clarity and booty, but with the addition of active mid controls, EQ bypass, tuner out, and other bells and whistles. This is my #1 pre when I want a clean and warm sound.

    Do a search, you'll find many more recommendations and reviews. And as suggested, try basstasters.com. Good luck!
  5. The RBI isnt soley mid scoop tho is it, it has a mid control :confused:
  6. seaKamp


    Jun 30, 2005
    I love my ADA MB-1, and for $200... quite the steal.
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    That's true, my review was simplistic. If you crank up the Blend control then you get a very noticeable mid scoop that isn't counterbalanced by the Mid control. What I do is run Blend at 40-50%, so the mid scoop and tube emulation are subtle. But hey, plenty of players *like* the SansAmp mid scoop, and there's nothing wrong with that!
  8. "Aguilar F 1X"!! Well, at least it wasn't "Aguilar FX-1". :)

    Can't believe how many bass players are dyslexic when it comes to Alembic's fine tube preamp.. FX-1, indeed! :scowl:

    To actually respond with some useful information- I, too, am an Alembic F-1X owner. I bought mine in 1993. I've never had any problem with it, it still has the original tube, and it most assuredly isn't noisy in the least. It is totally silent at all volume levels other than 9 or 10, even with the bright switch on.

    The F-1X still is one of the best built bass preamps of all time.

    The unit in question has been abused in the past and is in need of service. At minimum, it probably should have a tube replacement.
  9. Yeah, i was just unsure about how you meant with the RBI, but fair enough, yeah, i hardly ever run the blend on my BDDI past 50%
  10. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    If you are considering used pres as well, you can occasionally pick up an old Ashly BP41 on ebay for a good price ($100.00 or so). I have one and it is a very nice little one-spacer. It gives you some nice tonal options, including a parametric EQ (not for everyone, but if you have experience with parametric EQs, the Ashly features a nice one).

    Otherwise, there's the old Yamaha PB-1, which has also garnered rave reviews around here.
  11. epoxo57


    Feb 17, 2005
    Perrysburg, Ohio
    I really love the punch I get from my SVP-Pro, even just plugged into a Carvin DCM600 power amp and GK Backline 112 combo (can't get much more in my dinky apartment :bawl: )

    There may be noise problems associated with the SVP as I have heard, but I don't seem to have that issue...at least in my setup now.
  12. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    What you need is a BMAX-T. I think I saw one in the gear for sale forum. ;)
  13. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Demeter VTBP-201s. Best...thing...ever...
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Those are some oldies but goodies! I've owned both the Ashly and Yamaha, and also the AMP SL1 (preamp version of the famous AMP amplifiers). They're all excellent devices, and as noted can be found for cheap.
  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I have to add a recommendation for the Alembic F1-X and F2-B preamps (the basic tone circuit is the same, different bells and whistles). I used the F2-B for 20 years... 'nuff said. The only reason I sold it was because I got a Jack Read Purity preamp as noted above.
  16. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Been using my Alembic F-2B now for 23 years, got it new in August 1982.
    Did a re-cap about 1.5 years ago, even though it was still working fine. The original tubes are still working fine too (and still sound great), but I changed them out for Telefunkens about the sametime I did the re-cap.
    The F-2B is dead quiet.
  17. +1 on Glockenklang. They are butta. The Porsche of bass amplification.
  18. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    Alembics for old school sound.
  19. My Ampeg SVP-CL is nice for a fat tone with surprising tonal versatility considering the simplistic front end.

    BBE Bmax was nice for Hi-fi tone. Tight sound with deep lows. Didn't find a use for the compressor or BBE process. I wish I could've kept this one in my rack with the Ampeg. That would cover everything imaginable.

    Sansamp RBI
    Avalon U5
    SWR Grand Prix
    Aguilar DB (somethingorother)
    Yamaha PB-1 (oldie but goodie)
    Alembic F1x
    Eden Navigator

    OK my head hurts now. There are many others :bassist:
  20. There are 4 I'm personally thinking of...either coz i want them or because people on here like them and use them a lot...

    Line6 Bass pod xt
    Behringer bass V-amp
    Sansamp Bass Driver (there are a couple)
    Behringer Bass Driver (a very cheap but good copy of the sansamp)