1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

will a valve preamp make much improvement?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by matito, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. i currently am using a fender mexican jazz bass.
    with a behringer BX1200 amp. i know the amps not great, but at the time i quickly needed an amp and didn't have much money.

    i can't seem to get the tone i want, so i'm thinking if i use a valve preamp with the behringer, will that make much improvement to my overall tone?

    this is the preamp i'm looking at is the labsystems truetube

  2. never heard of it, so i can´t coment on that.
    but, using a good pre with a "bad" poweramp doesn´t really solve any problems(IMO).
    i´m not saying it wouldn´t work for you or that your amp is crap.
    it´s just what i´ve experienced.

    it´s possible you could get a different and maybe better sound out of it.
    but i would suggest you to try out some other preamps as well.
    so you could have a good pre to start with, if you later on would like to expand with bigger poweramps and cabs.
  3. yeah, well i don't plan on using the behringer forever, it's just a temp to start me off.
    My band is just starting to get some gigs, and by early next year i'll want to get a better amp setup.

    so i figure for now i can get a preamp to try to improve the sound of the behringer. and then later on use that preamp and buy a new amp and speaker.
  4. For live settings a better preamp won't do as much difference than a better power amp. If you plan to work more in the studio, then start with the preamp, otherwise go for power amp first, then cab, then preamp.
    Using Behringer head as a pre is not such a great sin than using it as power amp.

  5. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Try the used market for a better head. look into some GK's or Ampegs...some of the solid state stuff sounds really good and is going for cheap on Ebay. Probably for just about the same cash as that Tube pre thingy! If you are really wanting a tube sound...save up your cash and do it right. You'll always be unhappy with a Behringer amp and even the best tube preamp run into it.
  6. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Used G-K's, SWR's, and Ampeg's are sold regularly on ebay at decent prices. Hopefully you can try out a few different brands of heads at your local music store, then find the same head on the used market.

    I especially like G-K heads; they're not valve, but IMO you can easily get a warm *tube-ish* tone from their EQ section. The G-K heads and combos that I've owned have been very powerful, reliable, and on the used market, they're fairly affordable.

  7. You can't really say its got to be one thing or the other.
    If the Behringer has crappy tone controls, and has enough power/speaker for the volume he needs, then the valve preamp could be all he needs. If the speakers are lousy, the power amp won't do any good, nor the preamp.

    All situations are different. You need to figure out what you're lacking and correct the weakest link in the chain first, but realize you'll possibly have to replace all the weak links to get where you want.

    To save money, I'd concentrate on getting stuff you won't outgrow, or if you get a temporary solution, get it used so you don't take a bath selling it later. So if that's a good preamp, its not money wasted. Might not solve the problem, but it gets you that much closer.

  8. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    To put it simply: you can't polish a turd. That amp has a crappy speaker, and no tube preamp is gonna make it sound better.