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Which tube pre-amp????

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by afroman, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I'm thinking of getting a new amp when I get the money. I now play trough a BBE Bmax and a Carvin DCm1500 into AGuilar 410 and 2 112's.

    Which pre-amp thata has at least one tube (preferably more) would you recommend. I'd keep the same power amp and cabs.
    I like the BMax but would love to have a tube sound also.
    I wanted an Aguilar DB750 but it's to expensive.

    I'd say a price under $1000.
    PLease give me your choice and describe the sound as best as you can. The pre-amp need to have and effects loop as i have a compressor and a noise reduction thing.

    Thanks... :D
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    get an older demeter 201 :p
    actually a lot of them are great, the aggie 680 is outta your reach, the alembic is awesome, both new demeters are great, i always liked the old trace v-type, and there are a ton more.
  3. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Read Purity. Without a doubt! :bassist:
  4. inazone


    Apr 20, 2003
    You might find a used 680 for about 1k. The ampeg svp-cl is very nice as well but it doesnt have an FX loop.
  5. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    Go used, there are very few pre's that are out of your range for $1K. I do recommend the 680... It rules! The only other pre- I'd even consider trying at this point is the READ Purity.

    Some others to consider that are easily in your ball park:
    Demeter VTBP or HPB
    Kern 777 (harder to find)
    Alembic F-1X
    Aguilar 659 (I don't care for it)
    Trace V-types
    Warwick Quadruplet
    Eden Navigator
  6. {OE}


    Sep 23, 2004
    Connecticut, U.S.
    Alembic F-1X
    Ampeg SVP-CL
    Kern IP-777
    Read Purity
    Trace Elliot V-Type

    I like all of these and you really cant go wrong with any of them; though it sounds like the SVP or IOD would be the best fit what your looking for. Im going with the Ampeg, myself. Most bang for the buck vs. availability and I dont need a crossover or efx loop. Deff. try the pre.'s out before buying if at all possible.

    Good luck, have fun! :bassist:
  7. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    It looks to me like a trip to Bass Tasters is on order for you sir. You can hear sound files from all kinds of pre-amps at this site. The guy that runs the site is a TB member as well.

    My recommendation is to stay with BBE, and get the BMaxT.

  8. I'd say a READ Purity pre. They seem to get awesome reviews from everyone that uses one.

    P.S. Im looking for a Trace V-Type pre if anyone has one for sale or knows where one is for sale.

    (Dont know if thats against the rules or not, I'll delete it if it is)
  9. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    The Kern triple-7 is one of the nicest pre's I've used lately. The Read Purity is right up there too. The funny thing about tube pre's is, they're all basically the same (in terms of the internal circuitry). The tonal differences are due mainly to the choices of component values in the tone stack and etc. The Alembic F2-B, for example, is nothing more than a clone of a 60's Fender Showman preamp. The F1-X is the same thing with the addition of an effects loop and a crossover. If you're electronically inclined, check schematicheaven.com for all your favorite schematics. If you browse through the Fender, Ampeg, and "bargain" sections (which includes Traynor and Pignose and so on), you'll see that the vast majority of all the tube preamp sections are pretty much identical. There's an occasional oddball, but for the most part those oddball circuits have gone away over time, 'cause they were more expensive to build and didn't provide the expected incremental value. I've even used a modified old Lafayette phono preamp in the studio, it happened to be there when I needed a preamp, and it got me the sound I wanted (go figure). Also, there's a guy who's making a rack-mount preamp version of the old Acoustic 370. I've been meaning to check into that one, it's not exactly a tube pre, but it does have a wonderful fat sound, and in a one-space rack I could definitely imagine some uses for it.
  10. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    Demeter HBP-1- God I love mine. More equalization and tons of nice little features. The downside is no Jenson output transformor but I use it live anyways.

  11. Scooperman


    May 28, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    Another thing that's great about tube pre's is that they generally are all built like tanks. So feel free to buy a used one.. Even if it isn't sounding quite right, the repair is probably very minor, such as replacing a tube.

    If you go the used gear route, almost everything you'd be interested in will be less than $1000.00.

    I bought a near mint (it looks near mint anyway) used blackface Demeter VTB201 on the 'bay for about $300.00, just earlier this year. I know that's a pretty good price, but even still, if you keep your eyes peeled and are willing to wait a bit you can probably find almost any preamp you want for around $500.00.

    By the way, lwt me put my vote in for VTBP-201, especially if you can find one of the older black face 1.5 rackspace ones. Super clear sounding and doesn't mess with your too much sound although it can give it just the tiniest drop of "sheen".
  12. DB5


    Jul 3, 2001
    Austin Texas
    :hyper: +1
  13. {OE}


    Sep 23, 2004
    Connecticut, U.S.
    Or if your in a hurry, for the same amount, just get a brand new SVP-CL ( esp. if you dont need any fancy features.) :p

    :ninja: Ummmm, did I mention I really like the SVP-CL :cool: :D
  14. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    All depends on what you're looking for in a tube sound. All the preamps people have listed sound good - but they all sound DRASTICALLY different.

    What are you looking for?
  15. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Thaks for all the advice.
    I'll hace to check basstasters once again.

    I just know that I like my SVT II's sound because of it's tube warmth, but I dislike it's weight. I do loike the tube warmth but i would like to be able to get punchy clean sounds too.
    The BBE Bmax sounds great, but I always end upwishing for a little tubeness, and I thinkbuying a BMAx-T wouldn't be that much different (just one tube, I'd prefer more).

    I would just like to have a versatile pre-amp that delivers the most tube sound posible. I know that power tubes also make a difference in sound, but I'd be using a SS power amp.

    Just let me know anything else you can, and I if you can describe (i know it's hard to describe sounds) the sound of the preamps you recommend, or how they differentiate with others.

    Thanks again..

    PS. Do I need an effects loop if I eant to hook up my compressor, noise reductor???
  16. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I read the review of this preamp on Bass Player and I loved the features it has. I haven't tried it but would like to know if someone here has.

    PLease let me know.
  17. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    From what I've read there is a significant difference between the BMax and the BMax-T - more than just the BMax with some warmth.

    If you are looking for an SVT-ish sound, I'd go with the SVPPro or SVPCL.
  18. knight


    Nov 3, 2002
    I've had the HBP-1 and the Kern. In my experience, the Demeter is very (VERY) bright, painfully so for me. very well built, and the parametric section can be very useful. The Kern on the other hand is fat, fatter, fattest. I remember someone on here actually described as obese. well, it is. the best thing about it is that by turning the tonal balance up it can do the clean bright thing. the HBP-1 cannot (again in my experience) go obese. Thus with Kern you get overall fatter tone and the ability to go hi-fi should the need arise. I'm sticking with the Kern. Good luck finding one, as Henry Kern recently retired.


  19. SCT1422

    SCT1422 Supporting Member

    Kern IP-777....Best of all worlds... :hyper:
    I think it's a cross between the Alembic F-1X which is nice and buttery tone and the Aguilar DB-659 which is nice and round... The Kern is definately the fattest sounding and I get alot of complkiments from players, sound techs etc.. etc.. on my sound/tone which I credit alot to the Kern... I have owned the Demeter VT-201 and also found it to be clean, but too bright for my tastes... Also the Sansamp RBI is nice, but I love the real tone/sound of tubes...
  20. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Read Custom Purity Tube Preamp. See www.readcustom.com for details. You can buy one direct from Jack for right under $800.00. It has a warm tube sound but it doesn't sound muddy. It utilizes a 12AX7 and 12AU7 tube that are fully accessible from the preamp's back panel. It has as effects loop, plus a Jensen D.I.. It also has a built in 4 band EQ, plus a 'Mid Emphasis' control, 'Bright' and 'Deep' switches, plus an 'EQ Bypass' switch. IMO the Purity's forte is it sounds clean and detailed, yet it adds tube warmth.

    Just my 2 cents, Art