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Joeglow

Active member
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
38
Pre amp pedals and DI boxes

Just curious because if anyone uses a Pre amp pedal. It seems redundant to me if your playing any EBMM bass but wondering if anyone use a pre amp pedal instead of utilizing the onboard pre amp? With my passive basses I've been using a 2 Notes Le Bass pre amp pedal, with a balanced XLR out, single tube operated. It also has a speaker switch that gives the impression of playing through a bass cabinet. Without the switch activated, the PA without sub woofers does the bass tone a serious injustice. I've tried to use this pedal with my Stingrays but it colors the tone even when all the eq's are set flat so I'm looking at just a straight forward DI box for my Stingrays. I'm thinking of getting a Radial JDI passive box as it seems to be the preferred DI and the reviews look really promising. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

Btw, if you are in the market for a cool pre amp pedal for other basses you might own check out the Le Bass pedal. It is a great single tube pre amp pedal and I highly recommend it if you are playing anything passive.
 
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tbonesullivan

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Joined
Aug 24, 2012
Messages
2,041
Location
New Jersey
You will find that many people who gig will use a preamp pedal, mainly so that they can have a direct out and still have some level of tone control. If you run a Direct OUt from the amp, most sound guys prefer, rightly, that it be before the EQ and controls of the amp. That means if you've got a great bass amp, the sound really won't come across through the PA.

A preamp pedal gives you that much extra level of control, and also there are things it can do that simply aren't built into the bass.
 

delberthot

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Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
75
Location
Camelon, Scotland
I've never been happy with the sound from my GK MB500 into the PA. I DI it pre-EQ so that I can make changes on the amp to suit the stage without it affecting what goes out front.

Sounds great through my cab onstage but rubbish through the PA so I've just bought a Sansamp BDDI v2.

Once I'm happy with the sound I plan to run it straight into the input of my amp so that I can still control what comes through my cab to compensate for boomy stages etc
 

Jeepster

New member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
2
Location
Dallas oregon
I’ve used a preamp for years, before it was common. I currently use a sansamp, in conjunction with the active sterling I play. Helps my small practice rumble 60, and boosts my ampeg stage stack, without clipping, love it!
 

bovinehost

Administrator
Joined
Jan 16, 2003
Messages
18,163
Location
Dall-Ass, TX
I had all the Sansamp stuff in the late 90s, early 2000s but the Bongo sort of made all of that unnecessary.

I do have one of those Vox Stomplabs. I've been using it to record instead of a DI and it sometimes really does the trick.
 

JayDawg

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Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
1,880
Location
Sterling, Colorado
GK Plex - just gives me a little more FoH control (work great with the Bongo)

I have one of these coming from GK pretty soon. I will have it paired with my GK Fusion MB 800 class D head and GK NEO 410 cab. Lately I’ve been playing my K B custom shop P bass. It is purely passive with the Nordstrand Audio NP4a P style pickup. I love the tones and versatility of Nordstrand’s. I’ve also been playing my K B custom shop T-Hawk bass. It is an active/passive bass with 2, Nordstrand Audio dual coil pickups. The pre amp in it is set up slightly different than the Ernie Ball/Music Man pre amps in my Stingrays and Bongos

At church, we have everything dialed in for whatever bass I bring and play but if I do any studio work or if I go to Denver and sometimes sit in with friends’ bands for a few songs or sub for them if their bass player is out, then I like to have as much flexibility and versatility as possible because each studio and venue is different. But, in saying that, Music Man basses are pretty versatile in and of themselves and are completely capable just going direct of the eq that comes in them.
 
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Golem

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Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Messages
2,164
Location
My Place
`


I'll use either a MarkBass or a Hartke
wherever I'm able to plug into a house
system. In such cases I don't bring any
amp at all. I can hear the house system
quite well due to the unusual nature of
our ensemble: duo or trio, no drummer.

I never bring it to be used as an effects
device between ax and amp, unless the
"effect" I need is to buffer a "raw" piezo
[such as an URB or a bass uke].
 

nhbassguitar

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
111
I use the latest incarnation of the Tech21 Bass Driver DI to accomplish, in terms of EQ, what my Stingray (2.5 years old) can not do on its own with its on-board preamp. Blend at zero, Drive at zero; I use it only for its EQ capabilities.
 

nhbassguitar

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
111
Just got in an Aguilar Tonehammer preamp/DI from Sweetwater. Haven't had a chance to wring it out yet, but initial impressions are positive. SR HS model, switch position 1 (both bridge coils), treble full CCW, mids about 20% up from full CCW, bass full CCW. Then I use the TH to beef that up: treble full CCW, mid frequency full CCW (about 180 Hz), mid level around 12:30, bass around 1:00, gain around 8:00, level around 9:00. Since I use the SR's volume for swells in a couple of songs, I need to be able to dime it for repeatability. But I want to try higher TH gain settings for a steeper LF cutoff (poor man's subsonic filter) without driving the AGS into grind territory [1]. So, I'm going to put a potentiometer between the SR's output jack and the TH's input, so I can knock back the SR's output a bit. Basically I'm going for a clean but vintage sound, while avoiding the phasing anomalies associated with using two pickups. I'd use the neck pickup alone, except it sounds a little too much like those original single-coil Precisions -- sort of hollow and "dubby."

I'll come back if I discover anything earthshaking.

[1] Tonehammer tone controls and the gain/AGS circuit are, shall we say, nontrivial in terms of full understanding. Gain structure is crucial to getting the most out of these things.
 

GregP

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
191
I use an MXR M81 Bass Preamp after my MXR M87 Bass Compressor...and run it all straight into the effects loop of my amp. I use it mainly as a boost to compensate for signal loss through my pedal chain. :)
 

mfallmann

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Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
197
Location
47° 7' 51" North, 14° 18' 31" East
I have one of these coming from GK pretty soon. I will have it paired with my GK Fusion MB 800 class D head and GK NEO 410 cab.

No offence, but that does sound quite redundant. I mean, you have the GK tone in your amp and plan to put some more of GK tone in?

BTT: I am right now mainly playing through a Boss GT10B into my inear and the pleasureboard. Thinking of selling that (i still have another GT100 for the band I play guitar in), and getting a Mesa Sub(way?) preamp instead ... can anyone of you comment on that preamp?
 

danny-79

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Joined
Feb 6, 2009
Messages
2,394
Location
England U.K
I have the Darkglass BK7 (and the3, favourite drive pedal I’ve ever owned) but very rarely use it and when I do i use it it’s to shape a passive sound. Not got a passive bass at the moment so it’s redundant atm.
D.i from the amp head 99.9% of the time
 

RJKANEAO

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Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
316
Location
Big Island- Hawaii
The Mad Professor Twimble has two channels, ones a preamp section that’s great and can be toggled on and off. I leave mines on through my gig every night. The other channel or section can be set to emulate PAFs, Jazzy tones or even differ type of dumble sounding overdrives. One of the best and versatile pedals I’ve ever owned. That and the Dunlop Echoplex is also a mainstay on my pedal boards. Aloha


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[email protected]

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Joined
May 25, 2007
Messages
142
Location
Northern VA
I use a TC Electronic SpectraDrive, it gives me a good compressor, eq, a little bit of dirt if I want, and a good DI. If I don't use the spectradrive I use a TC RH750's DI out post-eq/compressor, and I've tweaked the settings to sound good up front.

But both situations are really icing on an already good cake. With my MusicMan's I could play a gig with a bass and a passive DI box if I want--I just have to adjust the eq on the bass differently than I would with a preamp pedal. Usually a little more lows than normal, a mid cut, and highs to taste. I do like having the multiband compressor in-line too, which is why I prefer to play with it, but I'm certainly not lost without it.
 

RJKANEAO

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Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
316
Location
Big Island- Hawaii
I used to use the Dunlop Echoplex Preamp with it always on and still do once in awhile but the mainstay on all my boards would be a Mad Professor Twimble (Dumble Pedal) there’s two pedals in one. The left is to do a pedaltone (OD, Clean Jazz, PAFs etc) and the right is a preamp pedal that can be set to high or low. I keep mines in low and always on. If I’m using single coil pickups then I’ll switch it to high. Another great pedal is the DefCon4 by Walrus Audio. This pedal I’ll use with the twimble with just the preamp side running on low and this DefCon4 immediately after. It fixes frequencies and almost like an EQ pedal you can trim off Low/Mid/Hi but also turn whatever section completely off. Also it has a DB boost that’ll allow you to bring up the single soil pickups to become more audible.


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Chuck M

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Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Messages
172
Location
San Antonio, TX
I own a Sansamp BDDI and have used it in the past when a house backline or PA sounded blah. These days I have an Aguilar Tone Hammer pedal and would use it instead of the Sansamp pedal.

On gigs where the sound man wants to run a line from my rig to the PA I just plug into the line out on my head and it sounds great. I own and use Genz Benz Shuttle, Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 and Aguilar AG 700 heads. They all sound great although these days the Tone Hammer gets used with upright bass only as I prefer the others with electric bass.

The only gig where I regularly run a line to the house is my church gig where my amp is a Roland Cube Bass 100. I go directly from the amp's DI to the house PA and it sounds wonderful.

I would never use a preamp to color the tone of my basses since they sound so good. I only use a preamp to help correct problems with house/backline systems.
 
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