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Which Pre-Amp Do I Choose?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by g4string, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. Alembic F1X

    16 vote(s)
  2. Demeter VTBP-201S (newer style)

    11 vote(s)
  3. Kern IP 777 (newer style w/o wall wart)

    7 vote(s)
  1. g4string


    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    I do not which one to pick. I will be using a Crest CPX900 amplifier and an Epifani 4x10 cabinet. My main bass is a Lakland 55-94 with Seymour Duncans. I am fingerstyle funk player who does a little slapping. I am looking for this preamp to thump, but with clarity. I am currently playing a SWR 750 with a SWR 2x10 Goliath Jr. and 1x15 Son Of Bertha. I hope this helps. Thanks for your time.
  2. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    You can't go wrong with any of those preamps. What don't you like about your SWR?
  3. g4string


    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    The SWR setup gives me a nice tight low-end thump but the sound is clear and crisp. The problem is I have to bring both cabinets to whatever gig I am at in order to get the this sound. I also have blown 2 speakers in the 2x10 cabinet within a years time. I talke to guys @ Epifani, they had said that SWR amps really push/move speaker cabinets more that any other amp manufacturer out there. And, when I do pick up the Epifani 4x10 I will still have the same same problem ofover stressing speakers. They recommended going with a power/pre amp setup. I had thought my problem was a speaker problem, ie. blowing speakers and having two seprate cabs. But I found out that it is an amp problem as well. I only want 1 cabinet to haul around that can do everything and an amp that sounds simliar to the funk sound that my SWR put out. :bassist:
  4. I would say go with the Kern IP-777 because to me it takes both the Demeter and the Alembic and combines their sweet tone all in one package! Kern is the best IMHO:D

    I wouldn't even worry about finding one with the wall wart, being you can send it in to Henry for a mod to the 3 prong plug-in cord for like $40 total!!! Hope this helps.
  5. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I respectfully disagree with bassminister. I own both the Demeter and Kern preamp models described in your poll and, given your style and preferences, as well as the cab you intend to use, I think you'd be happier with the Demeter. The Demeter is much more open on top and "slap friendly." The Kern is extremely warm and a great pre, no doubt. But the Demeter is just more "hifi" and likely to please you, especially given your history with the Bass 750 (a very fine amp, imo, and I used to own one).
  6. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas

  7. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    ive noticed the same thing with swr heads. i always thought it was just me. im using an epifani 410 with my eden wt800 and absolutely love that rig.
  8. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    I vote for the Alembic, simply because I have one now and can't imagine anything could possible be better! Honestly, I have never had the Kern or Demeter, but I've heard great things about both of them. If you are looking for a used one, from what i've seen, the Alembic can usually be had for a little less than the Demeter, and you won't find many used Kerns out there. (that's a good recommedation!) For the price I found my Alembic, however, I've got no regrets!
  9. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    Do you use the super deep bass effect much on your SWR750? I use an SM500 with Carvin speakers (not known as the most durable) and I've never had any problems. I still think that what you are looking for can be done well by all three of these preamps.
  10. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    From the description of your playing style I'd go with the Demeter. I have both the Demeter and the Alembic and I dearly love both preamps. But the Demeter produces a much clearer sound and it is a bit easier to EQ.

    Oh, and I'm not sure that you would be any better off, tonewise with the single space Demeter as you would with the older 1.5 space one.
  11. According to Demeter there is no difference between he newer single space and the original 1.5 space, but I've seen other comments on the site stating otherwise. I've got the new one and it's great.
  12. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    This may be very true. When I was inside mine I didn't think to look at the tolerences of the components to see if they were 1% or 10% values or what. But due to the hand-built nature I would assume some sonic differences. Plus the sonic differences of varying tube compliments is going to swing tonality one way or another. All in all it's a pretty great sounding preamp. Maybe not the best but pretty darn great sounding.;)
  13. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    You can't go wrong with either of the three.....I'm a Demeter fan myself tho;) SWR heads don't seem to have the speaker damping that you would get with a seperate pre/poweramp.
  14. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Alembic...No! Demeter! No! Alembic! No! Demeter!
    Alembic...No! Demeter! No! Alembic! No! Demeter!
    Alembic...No! Demeter! No! Alembic! No! Demeter!
    Alembic...No! Demeter! No! Alembic! No! Demeter!
    Alembic...No! Demeter! No! Alembic! No! Demeter!
    Alembic...No! Demeter! No! Alembic! No! Demeter!
    Alembic...No! Demeter! No! Alembic! No! Demeter!
    Alembic...No! Demeter! No! Alembic! No! Demeter!
    Alembic...No! Demeter! No! Alembic! No! Demeter!
    Alembic...No! Demeter! No! Alembic! No! Demeter!
    Alembic...No! Demeter! No! Alembic! No! Demeter!
    Ahh crap! You might as well get both! :)

    I haven't played through a 201S but I do have a HBP-1. If I could only have one (and it was fretted gig). I'd chose the Alembic . Of course if it was a fretless gig, I'd chose the Demeter. Either way you'll be happy!
    I suppose I've said nothing that will help you choose!:meh:
  15. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    If you like the sound you get with your SWR rig, why not go for an SWR Interstellar Overdrive?

    I don't have any personal experience with any of these pres (I'm looking to go pre/power myself, so these discussions are of interest to me), but all of them have gotten good reviews here.

    Actually, come to think of it, I haven't seen a BAD review of ANY preamp on this board.
  16. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I use the older Demeter as my main preamp. I've looked inside the new 1 rack space Demeter and some of the fine components used in the older preamp are no longer used. The original used metal Switchraft jacks and the 201S uses the plastic body jacks that are popular with most manufacturers.

    While I'm sure that the quality is still excellent in the new version, I have a pair of the older units that will leave my possesion after I die.

    For what it is worth, Bass Player did mention that the new version did sound a bit different than the older version. May have simply been the differences in tubes.

    I've tried various tubes in my preamps and have settled on a shortplate GE 12AX7A/ECC83 in the gain position (closest to the input jack) and a smooth plate Telefunken ECC83 in the EQ position. This tube compliment sounds very sweet and detailed to me.

    I don't think you can go wrong with any of the preamps mentioned but would certainly go for the Demeter for slap. You may also want to consider the SWR Grand Prix. It is a wonderful preamp as well and sounds terrific with a good tube in it.

  17. James G. Ellis

    James G. Ellis

    Jun 22, 2001
    A vote for a Kern, if you can find one. I just got mine and use it with the SWR cabs you mentioned and could not be much happier.
    I have only a brief experience with both an Alembic and a Demeter and would have loved to have had either of them, too.
    All are great sounding preamps and I don't think you'll be unhappy with any.
  18. just curious if you'd be interested in selling those swr cabs?
  19. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    www.basstasters.com is where you need to go.

    Jerry J, have you heard anything more about the Epifani pre getting closer to being done?
  20. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH