Which preamp/EQ/DI pedal ?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Adrisss, May 25, 2012.

  1. Hello everyone !

    I'm trying to make my way out of a pedalboard, and I must admit that I'm a bit lost regarding the choice of a preamp/EQ/DI pedal.

    There are a lot of pedals out there, all with different possibilities and options. Also here in France there ain't much places to try them.

    Here are the one I'm the most interested in :
    Lehle RMI : Basswitch IQ DI
    EBS : MicroBass II
    Radial : Tonebone
    3Leaf Audio : The Enabler

    Here are the features I'd like to possibly have :
    - 2 channels (mostly for boost or playstyle change)
    - Effect loop
    - Tuner out (Got a Boss TU2, I don't want it in effect chain)
    - Headphone out

    Any other models choices will be greatly appreciated.
    Also if you have ideas to compensate missing features, like I was thinking of the small Vox headphone amp ...

    I'm not asking which is "the best", so any advice will be a cool help !

    Last thing is I'm mostly playing a customised Fender Jaguar Bass Deluxe (BKP, Aguilar OBP2, Hipshot tuners, Xtender and Bridge). I really like its tone and versatility, can be really smooth, fat, warm or punchy. I'm playing many styles (mostly rock or electro/rock those days) and would like to use this single pedalboard.

    Sorry for the super long thread and thanks to all that read it !

    (And please forgive my frenchy english !)
  2. Ajak


    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    If you want several channels and a fx loop you might want to look into the VT Bass Deluxe or the Sansamp Deluxe.
  3. Thanks Ajak, for some reasons I thought VT Bass deluxe was digital.

    I'm quite an analog bassist. Not so long ago I was the kind of "Bass to amp" only.

    Don't they tend to colour the sound though ?
  4. Ajak


    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    Yeah, I don't trust the digital stuff either.

    Actually I've never played one of them, sorry. I've just checked out specs and demos and I'm definitely getting a sansamp programmable.
    I heard too that they colour the sound but all I can say is that I really like how they sound and that's all that matters to me.

  5. scHism


    Aug 12, 2009
    MXR M80
  6. I'll need to find somewhere to try these sansamps pedals.

    The MXR M80 was one of my first thoughts, I like the gate and small size but compared to sansamp deluxe, VT deluxe, basswitch and radial Bassbone, isn't it a bit less versatil ?
  7. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Of those mentioned, my choice would be the Lehle, or the EBS MicroBass. I haven't actually used the Lehle, but have several other pedals from them, and they're all rock solid and perfectly awesome, so I assume the same for their DI box. The EBS is also a very good choice, as it's pretty clean, and very versatile.
  8. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I've owned or own most of the pedals mentioned so far except the basswitch an the enabler. The bassbone has always been one of my favorites. Good tone and very versatile. The one thing that I don't like is the effects loop needing a Y cable. Not a deal breaker, but just wish it had two quarter inch jacks and a headphone jack. Also the 15 volt power supply

    The EBS can be a little dry sounding with certain instruments. I really like this pedal overall. No real complaints. Both can drive a power amp well. I use both to drive my berg IP all the time

    I know I pointed oh more issues with the bassbone, but I just picked up my 3rd! Truly a useful tool to have in your gigbag
  9. alec


    Feb 13, 2000
    Perth, Australia
    Adrisss, what are you going to use it for? Tone shaping? DI to FoH? Driving a power amp?

    I've used the M80, Microbass II and VT Deluxe, and VTD is the only one I kept.

    Some people say the M80 is two channels, but I think it's one channel with a switchable distortion circuit (which I didn't like much). The Color boost is nice but I preferred the PreShape on my amp. The EQ options are great, it's built like a tank, has DI and tuner outs. I rate it but I only had it for three days when I decided it wasn't for me and I ordered a VTD.

    Initially I used the VTD as a dirt unit, but it lacks low end when it's driven hard. Since getting more dirt pedals that retain lows, I now use it as a tone shaper. It's really good at the end of the chain. The presets give all sorts of flavoursome options. I don't use the FX loop but it's great to know it's there. Whether it's on or not can be programmed into the presets. The only things I don't like about it are that it gets noisy with the gain up and you can't tweak the settings and then toggle between that sound and clean (it goes back to whichever preset you had loaded before you started tweaking).

    I got the Microbass because it was cheap. I didn't need it and didn't use it much. Although it's a really well put together unit, I didn't find the EQing that useful and it was practically impossible to switch between the channels using sounds I liked without major volume differences. However, it's got a lot of features you desire - headphone out, tuner out, two channels, FX loop. It's quite a HiFi bit of kit.

    Also check out Dave Hall Amps http://www.davehallamps.co.uk/page8.html I think he does custom work.
  10. bass+performer-us_1+web.jpg
  11. Thanks for the answers !

    My main idea was to be able to bring my tone everywhere.

    So it's going to be a tone shaper, but it also has to be able to sound great in most circumstances encountered in gigs. I will also use it in studio recordings.

    So I need a high quality DI, but also a good preamp. I don't mind if it's coloured as long as it goes the way I need and can enhance most situations that needs to be.

    The microbass 2 looks sweet but I would have prefered more EQ options, even without drive.

    I'm going to use an overdrive pedal anyway, and I also have a mad fuzz boutique made ! As for now I have a boss ODB3 wich is noisy even when bypassed, that's why I'd prefer and effect loop.

    I' feeding these with a Voodoolab P2+ so voltage should be ok.

    Never heard of this last pedal, will check it this evening !

    Your advices are such appreciated ! Thanks a lot !
  12. I tryed to have a look into these mars bass performers but the website looks down !

    At the moment the basswitch looks the best but its quite big and expensive !

    DHA VT2 looks great but it's only tube and has a high current consumption, 1200 ma to run it at its best ! Though I'm still tempted to ask if they can add an effect loop to their VT2-Twin-EQ-Bass. I like its unique look also !
  13. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    The VT Bass Deluxe is a digitally controlled analog pedal. Your signal is always analog.

    The VT Bass is designed to get vintage Ampeg tones.
  14. I wish you guys made a Para Driver Deluxe pedal.
  15. DeltaPhoenix

    DeltaPhoenix Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    DHA, it has it's own power supply, so don't worry about it. It smoked the VT Bass that I had. Dave did some slightly custom stuff to my VT2-Twin-EQ. The DI is really great. I used it recording and when I had a backlined rig.
  16. VT's look really cool but I'm looking for something with a bit less colour.

    I've talked with Dave from DHA, and I'm now waiting for a VT2 !

    Gonna let you know when I get it !
  17. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    My vote goes to the RMI Basswitch (made by Lehle).
    Previously I used a Bassbone for a short time but I was disappointed by its sound and poor eq points selection. Wiring was not that easy either.
    Then I went for separate components: Xotic RC Bass booster for tone shaping, Lehle Parallel for FX switching and a Radial JDI. All this got absolete when I got the Basswitch.
    It has everything I need and is a breeze to wire up. It sounds way better than the Bassbone, does the 2 channel thing better than the EBS. The DI is the best clean DI I ever used!
  18. Well I just bought a MXR M108. It's a 10-band graphic stompbox. If I can find someone with the right equipment locally, I'll shoot my rig outdoors and use this EQ to fix the dips and bumps in my rig's frequency response. Once I get it dialed in, I plan to tape the sliders down. At that point it will be a dedicated part of my amp.

    The amp and cab are in the mail right now. After I do the above fix, I guess I ought to get a single-band fully-parametric EQ to solve whatever room resonance problem might crop up.

    After that, I guess I can work on developing my own sound in the way you describe, maybe with a VT Bass Deluxe.

    I wrote Tech 21 and asked:

    "How do the VT Bass Deluxe and Bass Driver Deluxe differ?

    "Will both make the same sounds?

    "Is one easier to tweak intuitively?"

    And they replied:

    "Thanks for your inquiry. Essentially, the Bass Driver has the built-in mid-scoop of an Ampeg SVT, and the Presence control puts an "edge" on the tube emulation, so you can get a more "aggressive" overdrive. Lastly, the Blend control can take the Drive and Presence (essentially, the tube emulation) out of the signal path, leaving only the Level, Bass and Treble controls (like an active DI).

    "The VT, on the other hand, doesn't have the scoop... it starts out flat, and because there IS a Mid control, you hear more midrange "punch" overall, so it'll offer a more authentic Ampeg B-15 tone. Secondly, there's more Drive, but without the "edge", it can get you into warmer, fuzzier psychedelic and "prog rock" territory.

    "The controls of the VT Bass are probably more familiar to most bass players. And it seems to me that since you can cut the mids on the VT, anyway, you can get some of the Bass Driver sounds... but you can't get the VT sounds with the Bass Driver."

    I thought you might have been looking for these kinds of specific answers about tone creation. Also Tech 21 products have some very useful suggested presets at http://tech21nyc.com/support (just pick the product), and the VT Deluxe can store 6 of these.

    Eventually, I will end up with a stereo bass, which I have wanted forever (I played a new 1978 Jetglo 4001 for about a year and ran it stereo into the 2 channels of a Sunn Beta Bass, which sounded close enough to the End of the World to make me happy). This time, I plan to use a pair of SGD wide-aperture pickups, maybe in a hollow body bass, each with its own varitone.

    But anyway, yes, your idea is excellent, to be able to take "your" sound with you in your case and have it ready wherever you plug up.
  19. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    If you weren't going with the DHA box I'd tell you to not forget about the Eden WTDI.

    No signal routing but it's really small and has been designed to work with both AC AND DC voltages from 12-18V.

    Pretty handy to fit on a pedalboard with mixed voltages. What cable's left, eh?
  20. Thanks for your replies !

    i'll post my feelings with the VT2 here.

    Tech 21 such as Eden still look great though !

    Now I'm at least temporary moving my quest for the sweetest sounding pedalboard to the other kind of effects. Where I must admit that I'm also totally lost !

    I now have 6 empty slots on my pedal board waiting for there pedal.

    I'm already reading lots of threads regarding every kind of effects. Yet I know I'll look for a good compressor, all the rest is pure theory.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Oct 27, 2021

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