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jwbassman

Making the change?

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Hi guys - I'm thinking about changing my EA iAmp 200 combo into a pre/power amp setup...

Currently the EA is a great hi-fi sounding setup and very light and compact to boot, which is ideal as I have a stack of PA gear to transport most of the time too.

I'm liking the idea of a valve pre amp but wouldn't know where to start, my main gig is with a bigband, I play a fretless 5 (don't even own a fretted bass although this may change if I can get some cash together) so most of the time guess I'm looking for a woody sound but with enough punch to drive the rest if the band forward and the ability to get a more modern sound for some of the funkier and contemporary charts we also have in the pad.

Any experiences, thoughts on the pre/power v combo set up much appreciated... i've been reading up on the BBE BMAX F, but I really know nothing about preamps... help!

Cheers

John

Edited by jwbassman

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A very good place to judge preamps from is the following website:

[url="http://www.basstasters.com/"]http://www.basstasters.com/[/url]

Lots and lots of clips to listen too. There are plenty of preamps out there.

As for the poweramp side of things, I personally believe that it doesn't make [i]that[/i] much difference in shaping your sound. You can spend lots of money on a power amp if you wanted, but there are some very good value ones out there. I use a behringer one, it's not gone wrong in 2 years. However brands such as Yamaha and QSC have some good value stuff out there as well and they are obviously a bit better quality.

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Cheers Spikyhedgehog - thanks for your input, i'll check it out...

I've had a look at a QSC earlier today, only online but it looked pretty good - guess I need to find a local shop where I can try these things out...

Cheers

John

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Well remeber that the main use for the poweramps is as part of a PA system, so if you can find a shop that sells alot of PA equipment then you might find something you are looking for.

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Will do - we've got a Rimmers Music in town, but I might have more joy if I take a trip to Manchester or Liverpool, a few more option there :)

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Research it carefully - I used a Bass POD XT PRO and Ashdown ABM500 stereo power amp, both top quality pieces of kit, and it just didn't float my boat as much as I thought it would. Changed to a MesaBoogie 400 + head and VIOLA, happy bunny. Same cabs, sames basses, but now a very happy bunny.

S

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Sound advice bassbluestew - I'm not one to rush into a change as fundamental as this, so rest assured I'll be doing my homework...

At the end of the day I guess it's what sounds to me - and this may well be different to next bassist, and the next, and the next :)

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Hi guys - seriously leaning towards the BBE BMAX F right now but not sure what to power it with or what cab to go for - the EA cabs are still looking (and from experience, sounding) good, but also considering a EBS 110 or 112 - but open to other suggestions... as for a power amp I'm liking the look of this [url="http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=006&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=160119295561&rd=1&rd=1"]1U rack mount[/url], any thoughts or recommendations?

cheers

John

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I'd suggest that you try a sansamp bass driver in front of your existing EA. You can (with a bit of adjustment) use this to warm up the sound, and make it sound "older" if that makes sense? I did ths for ages with my SWR (Grand Prix or Studio 220 into 800 pwr amp) for blues and rock gigs. I've also done the same with an iamp500 / cxl112 and get very good results. It may not be a purist approach, but I've always found it works well and you don't have to cart extra heavy rack boxes about. Maybe I'm just getting old and lazy.....

BB

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[quote name='BassBod' post='10235' date='May 31 2007, 09:36 PM']I'd suggest that you try a sansamp bass driver in front of your existing EA. You can (with a bit of adjustment) use this to warm up the sound, and make it sound "older" if that makes sense? I did ths for ages with my SWR (Grand Prix or Studio 220 into 800 pwr amp) for blues and rock gigs. I've also done the same with an iamp500 / cxl112 and get very good results. It may not be a purist approach, but I've always found it works well and you don't have to cart extra heavy rack boxes about. Maybe I'm just getting old and lazy.....

BB[/quote]


Hey BB

Thanks for the advice - the Sansamp has been recommended to be before, so there must be something in it :huh: I'm still not 100% sure about my setup at the moment, not sure whether it's the GAS kicking in or there is genuine need to try something else.

I've always played it save I guess, so maybe now's the time to try and experiment a little - at the end of the day if things don't work out I can always sell the stuff here or on eBay - think it goes something like this, nothing ventured - nothing gained :)

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Hi jwbassman

I'm going in the opposite direction - I loved my SWR rack, (90 lbs cab and 30-40 lbs of pre/pwr amp). It always sounded good. But, I really appreciate the newer lighter stuff (EA esp) and don't use the bigger rack gear unless its a tour/big venue and there's plenty of people to load the van or its a really important recording where someone might appreciate (or even notice) a better sound. Whenever I've used the sansamp for recordings I've always been very impressed, in fact surprised, that it performs so well. People think of it as a fuzz box, but it can be more subtle.

Enjoy looking for your solution - there's a lot of good rack gear out there - I'd recommend the SWR Grand Prix (very clean), any age of Alembic F1X/F2B (warm as toast) or the Trace GP12SMX. All great and sometimes available on evilbay.....or here?
BB

Edited by BassBod

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[quote name='BassBod' post='10590' date='Jun 1 2007, 02:03 PM']Hi jwbassman

I'm going in the opposite direction - I loved my SWR rack, (90 lbs cab and 30-40 lbs of pre/pwr amp). It always sounded good. But, I really appreciate the newer lighter stuff (EA esp) and don't use the bigger rack gear unless its a tour/big venue and there's plenty of people to load the van or its a really important recording where someone might appreciate (or even notice) a better sound. Whenever I've used the sansamp for recordings I've always been very impressed, in fact surprised, that it performs so well. People think of it as a fuzz box, but it can be more subtle.

Enjoy looking for your solution - there's a lot of good rack gear out there - I'd recommend the SWR Grand Prix (very clean), any age of Alembic F1X/F2B (warm as toast) or the Trace GP12SMX. All great and sometimes available on evilbay.....or here?
BB[/quote]


Hey BB

If I go through with this I'll be selling my EA iAmp 200 if you're interested - need to raise £500 on it - as you're proabbly aware they're £1300 new...

John

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I used to have a Sansamp PSA-1 and that was both warm and sterile at the same time, very odd! Then I switched to an Ampeg SVP-Pro and was a lot happier with my overall tone. Tube preamps vary quite a lot in range, my Ampeg only cost me £250 off Ebay but you can buy stuff like Demeter or Aguilar that is pretty boutique so shop around. You really do have a lot of options here! I'd look into either of the two BBE preamps, the Sansamp RBI, Ampeg SVP-Pro and SVP-CL and the EBS Classic 1.

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[quote name='Dan_Nailed' post='12541' date='Jun 5 2007, 02:09 PM']I used to have a Sansamp PSA-1 and that was both warm and sterile at the same time, very odd! Then I switched to an Ampeg SVP-Pro and was a lot happier with my overall tone. Tube preamps vary quite a lot in range, my Ampeg only cost me £250 off Ebay but you can buy stuff like Demeter or Aguilar that is pretty boutique so shop around. You really do have a lot of options here! I'd look into either of the two BBE preamps, the Sansamp RBI, Ampeg SVP-Pro and SVP-CL and the EBS Classic 1.[/quote]

Just to throw something else into the mix - I was chatting to Laurence at Overwater yesterday and he suggested I should try the Avalon U5 - any of you guys ever used one?

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[quote name='alexclaber' post='12574' date='Jun 5 2007, 04:12 PM']I have an Avalon U5 enroute at the moment. It'll be here in about 10 days, will update once I've given it a whirl.

Alex[/quote]

Hi Alex - great would appreciate it, looking forward to hearing your review :)

John

Edited by jwbassman

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