Which PreAmp for silent practice?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Khaer, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. EBS Microbass 3 Preamp

    6 vote(s)
  2. NUX Malvin Lee Davis Preamp

    3 vote(s)
  3. Markbass Vintage Pre

    5 vote(s)
  4. Trace Elliot Multipedal TRANSIT-B

    1 vote(s)
  5. Darkglass Vintage Ultra V2

    0 vote(s)
  6. Darkglass Microtubes b7k

    0 vote(s)
  7. Ampeg SCR-DI

    16 vote(s)
  8. Other - Specify in comment

    29 vote(s)
  1. Khaer


    Mar 24, 2021
    Hey Guys,

    I am currently with no Amp or Cab - waiting for my Mesa TT-800 to arrive somewhere around July. I am meanwhile looking for something fancy to plug straight into, mainly for silent practice with Headphones and Backing Tracks through Aux. Anyway, I would like it to be something which will stay relevant when my main Amp will arrive, so I can use them together and experiment with sound.

    So concluding:
    1. Headphones and Aux are mandatory
    2. Silent practice with no Amp (bass straight to the preamp with headphones) mainly...
    3. ...But with option to serve well as Preamp with my main Amp later
    4. I am looking for something versatile, but mainly for clean and warm tones, no high distortion really necessary
    5. DI or some option for recording would be nice, but not mandatory
    I mainly consider:
    - EBS Microbass 3 Preamp - looks like a swiss army knife with tuner on the top of cake
    - NUX Malvin Lee Davis Preamp - really great compromise between versatile yet simple
    - Markbass Vintage Pre - this tube-thing looks really interesting
    - Trace Elliot Multipedal Transit-B - another can-do-it-all with nice features

    I am open for other suggestions thou. Darkglass Preamps and Ampeg SCR-DI looks great aswell but my first impression was that they are mainly for high-distortion types of sound, while I dig warm, clean and tube-like sounds.

    Edit: If this matters - I am playing passive Fender Jazz.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
  2. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Ampeg SCR-DI for me as part of my practice & studio setup. I don't use the Scrambler portion, although I do like the Scrambler pedal.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Honestly, the TT handles that very well. In your shoes, I would grab a super cheap Behringer mixer to get me by for a couple of months and then just rock the Mesa.

    That being said, that EBS (among your choices) seems pretty amazing.
    BrentSimons, danster and Khaer like this.
  4. Khaer


    Mar 24, 2021
    That is potentially very smart idea, but as I stated before - I want it to stay relevant and have rather quality gear. I will propably continue to use this preamp more or less in travel or at home when my rig will stay in rehearsal/practice room. I am sure I will make use of it :)

    Thanks for Your first replies!
  5. furym


    Aug 31, 2014
    Carthage, NC
    I am using a Sansamp into a Rolls for silent practice and for my church rig. I hear lots of good things about EBS and I have started recently eyeing the NUX. The cab sim IR on the NUX looks interesting.
  6. 4Mal

    4Mal Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    HX Stomp
    BrentSimons, Low Down Brown and Khaer like this.
  7. Johno Dunn

    Johno Dunn Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Carpinteria, Ca.
    TC SpectraDrive. Checks all the boxes, plus onboard (TonePrint capable) Drive, and Compression. And cheap!
    LeSonyr, raphaeld, MAXSPINRUN and 3 others like this.
  8. NCBaker


    Dec 3, 2020
    Portland, OR
    I can't give you a real educated answer here b/c I have very limited experience, but I will toss out the DSM Simplifier Bass Station. I picked one up on the classifieds here a couple months ago and it's been pretty great for silent practice (I literally have no room for a worthwhile amp in my place). Headphone and Aux, two fx loops, plus cabsim options. Fully analog if that matters. Just another option to consider!
    amper and Khaer like this.
  9. Khaer


    Mar 24, 2021
    Hey Guys, thanks a lot!

    Looks like I've propably picked wrong Preamps initially, almost all poll answers are "other" ;)

    Sansamp - been considering it, looks really nice aswell
    TC Spectra and DSM - have to check them out, thanks!

    HX Stomp is my biggest concern. Looks like it has literally everything, but it's getting even more expensive and I'm a little concerned about it not being analog - I'm rather into analog and more old-school tones. I dont think I also need THAT much features. I like to have something versatile but I tend to have 2-3 "go-to tones" prepared and rely pretty much on them, rather than turning knobs every single time. Anyone here has personal experience with HX? I

    Anyway - at first I was leaning toward EBS vs Markbass, and I think i still do :)) Any thoughts about this matchup? :)

    Kudos to You all!
  10. Low Down Brown

    Low Down Brown

    Jan 8, 2018
    +1 for HX Stomp. It's a very versatile digital beast. Great for silent practice, sounds fantastic through FOH, and fits in a gig bag.
    Khaer likes this.
  11. +1 for the Spectradrive
    MAXSPINRUN and Khaer like this.
  12. Johno Dunn

    Johno Dunn Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Carpinteria, Ca.
    “Anyway - at first I was leaning toward EBS vs Markbass, and I think i still do :)) Any thoughts about this matchup? :)
    I had an EBS for a brief time, and it was just too clean for me. Almost sterile. Had no character in my opinion.
    The TC works great for at home, IEM’s at Church, and live through a monitor.
    Khaer likes this.
  13. KJMO


    Feb 6, 2015
    The Spectradrive seems like the best deal. The EBS has a lot of features, probably sounds better, but worries me because it seems like people often sell them right after buying. Some seem to like the second version of the EBS better, but they actually both look good to me, if there's nothing wrong with them.

    I have a stomp, but if you don't want to spend a lot of time editing, that is not the right choice. If the Darkglass element worked better, I would recommend it, but it didn't for me. It has everything you could want, in theory.

    How about one of the shift line rigs?

    Shift Line
    707GK and Khaer like this.
  14. KJMO


    Feb 6, 2015
    If you like the Markbass sound, that looks really cool. I don't see anything missing, feature-wise. Weird that it has the digital outs, but could be useful I suppose (I could use it for an extra input on my audio interface).
    Khaer likes this.
  15. SLPimp

    SLPimp An Injury to One is an Injury to All Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2020
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    I like amplug style headphone amps. No wires.
    Daniel Piper likes this.
  16. naetog

    naetog Supporting Member

    May 26, 2006
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    I have an EBS MicroBass 3, and it is a huge upgrade from the 2.
    Sounds better, drives power amps MUCH better, I like the drive channel more, the compressor is actually usable, and the tuner is quick and accurate.
    I think the overall build quality is much improved on the 3 as well.

    I had a 2 for a long time, and it was fine, but the 3 is well worth the $.

    Will it replace my regular amp? No way, but it's great for home use, and as a backup at gigs or practice if you have a PA.
    DrMole, BrentSimons and Khaer like this.
  17. Flog

    Flog a Viking in Tejas

    Oct 18, 2017
    Denton, Tx.
    Ampeg PF-500. -has mini aux in and headphone out. -can double as a backup/practice amp -has "that" ampeg sound. -you can pick them up for stupid cheap! (saw one on CL the other day for $200)
    FDR Jones and Khaer like this.
  18. Khaer


    Mar 24, 2021
    Sounds great! But how do you respond to the allegations about EBS being sterile and with no character? ;) And do You have any comparison with Markbass?

    YT reviews sounded nice for me, not able to give it a try live thou.
  19. Aqualung60


    Jun 19, 2013
    New Jersey
    Ashdown Tonepocket.
    javi_bassist likes this.
  20. I use a variety of tech 21 fly rigs these days.