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Which preamp should I get?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Frank Martin, May 3, 2004.

  1. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I've lately been thinking of upgrading my rig which now consists of a GK Backline 250 (125W@8 Ohm) and an old, but good ported cab that I got for cheap, a H||H electronics 115PA (now H||H belongs to Laney). Yeah, I know, but since its for home mostly, and I could borrow amps so far for bigger events... Oh and I play a Corvette STD (bubinga) 6 - and I use it for many genres: from metal to jazz, even including church praise&worship

    I've been thinking of getting a pre + power setup - its more flexible, and power amps can be had for relatively cheap... BUT: preamps are harder to find used and even new than windsurfing fleas... :meh: (ok nothing better came to my mind). Everybody here uses the head + cab setup, and good pres are very hard to find... and very expensive: say US retail*1,5 - 2 depending on the dealer :mad:

    But yesterday, I've seen a shop have an Ampeg SVP-Pro used for around $600... I was tempted... :cool: But then I searched the forum and read about it, and came to the conclusion that I prefer SS: I HATE noise & hum. And retubing is a lot of $$$. And also I like my tone to have a good bit of clarity.
    So should I buy this pre?

    Other ideas I've had:
    - GK 2001RBP - not seen used, new would be over €800
    - BBE BMax - heard good things about it, but not yet seen one here; the local distributor has no homepage :(
    - Tech 21 Sansamp RBI - havent looked into it deeper, but so far sounds good - except for that I havent seen anything from them here

    So what should I get?
    Fellow European TBers, do you know any good pre that is relatively cheap, yet good and is available in the EU? Or any other ideas?
  2. zoran


    May 10, 2002
    Trace elliot gp7 or gp12 preamps are selling around 250-300€ used. If not, there is Ashdown, Ebs, glockenklang.
  3. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Thx for the reply!
    But: I havent seen any trace elliot pres around...
    I know there is EBS and Glockenklang, but I said 'cheap' - and neither of them is cheap :(
    I'm willing to spend €500 at the most - maybe a bit more, if I see something good, but I need the rest of the money for a power amp and a cab... All the money I have now is €900 + my old amp and cab, after I've sold that off...
  4. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Before I go off for a round of visiting dealers and looking at what they have & what they can get, any other ideas?
  5. GrooveSlave


    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Another option you might consider is using a studio Mic preamp with compressor and EQ as your bass preamp. I was considering this when I got my Demeter. Check out ART tube channel, Joe Meek, and Focusrite. Sorry, I don't have specific models.

    I can't recommend this from experience, but I've read reviews in various places on the Net from people who like this way.

    Good Luck.
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I'm not sure that it works in the frey range of like a B string - not many people have that deep voice... ;)

    So I got back from the stores - visited 5 of the "bigger" ones I know...These things can be ordered, but used? One guy said that I was the first one to ask about bass preamps in five years... As you see everyone here uses heads, and using pre+power is very rare...

    - I found out I can get Tech 21 gear - but its at a store I dont like dealing with and they have insane prices! :mad:
    - The GK 2001RBP might be ordered - but none of the dealers have heard about them so far - nor do they have it on their lists, so they couldnt even qoute me a price... :(
    - Seen some Ashdowns and heard they have a dealer somewhere, but they look too retro for even my Grandpa :smug: :rolleyes:
    - Going to look inside the BBE distributor - maybe that will work...
    - Ampeg, too, can be ordered, but then again, the prices...
    - And there still is (yet...)that used Ampeg SVP-Pro for about $600, but im still not so sure about going all-tube...

    Considering my options, what would you do? Out of all these, the BBE BMax and the GK2001RBP look like the most appealing to me, but I havent seen any of them so far
  7. zoran


    May 10, 2002
    Well, in that case you obviusly need some used equipment. Find some usable tones on www.basstasters.com and see what is your favorite...
  8. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I know I need some used equipment, I just cant find any! ;) :( . Well ok I've found a used Ampeg SVP-Pro, but Im still not sure about going all tubes - theres the noise, hum and retubing issue I hate about them...
    As for basstasters, I know that site, seen it a while back, but nowadays their server is down, so I cant go and give it a listen... :( but I still have some idea of which pres I liked (though I was rahter looking at basses then ;) :cool: )
    Thanks for your continued efforts, BTW
  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    well, despite my love for my Kern, Aguilar, and Avalon U5 preamps/DI's, the RBI's actually a REALLY fun preamp. i can nail Rob Deleo's tone during his STP days in a snap, and its a very cool rock oriented tone.

    from some accounts i've read, the BBE is supposedly like a cleaner, more muscled RBI, but have yet to play one.

    IMHO, you cant go wrong with the RBI, and i'm sure you can find one for waaaaay cheap on Ebay or something.
  10. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    Yeah, my dumb ass forgot to renew the domain, so the site was down for a few hours.

    Sorry - www.basstasters.com is back in action.
  11. did you know warwick makes a preamp? i just bought one used, but i haven't received it yet, so i can't say how it sounds. however, i am very excited about it.

    i've played through warwick combos and a quad VI head through a pro 411 cabinet and really enjoyed the sounds i was able to get, so i'm confident that it will be really sweet. there's probably more warwick availability around you than here.

    the quadruplet preamp lists for $1000 here in the USA, so perhaps you can get it fairly reasonably in the EU -- congratulations Hungary!

  12. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    BBE Bmax.

    PM djnylonpants regarding getting one where you are.
  13. drjenney


    May 4, 2004
    I've check out a lot of preamps too, but am down right allergic to hum and noise. I've got two I'd recommend. If you want a basic preamp with few frills and great tone, I'd recommend an Alembic Fx-1. If you like bells and whistles, try the ART Studio Nightbass SE. Both are extremely quiet, great tone. I think each has a single tube in it.

    BTW, are Glocks really as good as they're made out to be? It's almost impossib le to audition one here in the US :bassist:
  14. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    i just bought a used trace elliot gp250 pre amp...and it is sick. its ultra clean, with lots of punch. im running it with a genz-benz 2x10 xb, and a genz-benz 15...and it is plenty loud. the 7 band eq allows lots of room for tweeking your tone.
  15. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    :smug: This is funny... For these past days I have been waiting quite intently - I've never been keeping so close track to TB so far :eek: - it was like the first thing when I came home or woke up that I turned on the PC, but replies came just ocassionally; now that I've been away and couldn't check in, the replies just start pouring in! :D

    Thx, I will start answering them when I get home - I'm still on class now... :cool:
  16. ADA MB-1

    it can be had for anywhere from 150-350 depending on if it comes with the footswitch... its tube / solid state... that would be my choice
  17. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Now that I opted out the next two courses :oops: :cool: and arrived home, I will start answering:

    Listening to the clips on basstasters, the BMax sound a lot more to my taste than the RBI (but that might be because of the EQ, as well)

    As I found out yesterday and the day before yesterday, I can order the RBI, but, unlike over at you, here its not cheap... :(
    And mot seen any used - even they have not sold a single RBI unit, just a few BDDIs

    E-bay for me is either the German or the Austrian, but neither have pres - not to mention the price if they do... :mad:

    But if I do find one, I will check it out. And also, how does the BDDi compare to the RBI - is the only difference that it is rackmount and has some more knobs, or is there a diff in tone, as well?

    Thx :)
  18. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    There comes "me and my 13 factor" - like when I wanted to check out the Lightwave site, it was hacked; the net freezes down just when I want to send an important e-mail, the busses shut the doors in front of me, etc, etc - I am Murphy-approved :eek: ;)

    The site that you made is great, and has been a lot of help to many of us here - so dont blame yourself, where would we be without basstasters? ;)
    Keep up the good work and Good Luck! :D
  19. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Thanks - but the EU is no big thing (I mean not a big sensation now), it was in the air for a long time now - actually, before the soviets left the country, the negotiations had already started. for over a thousand years of saving Western Europe's but and keeping the Eastern door closed, and adding a lot to European culture, they have finally acknowledged us :rolleyes:

    The problem is that here the dealers sell by list prices - if I tell them "retail prices" they would say "what?" :mad:

    Other problem is that allmost all bassists here use heads, and barely anyone uses the pre+power setup :bawl: - but I will be on a lookout for that, too... Ok I'm on a lookout now for almost anything, that doesnt ooze bad quality or have bad sound :D
  20. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I already did ;) about two days ago, but still no reply so far... But what the heck, he is a product manager, thats a good excuse, I bet he really has a lot of things to do