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Davy

TC Spectradrive or Zoom B3?

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I'm thinking about ditching my backline and going to a floor based DI/Preamp/Effects unit with in-ear monitoring instead.

I'm not a huge fan of effects but can see the benefit on some songs so I've shortlisted the TC Spectradrive Bass Preamp peadal and the Zoom B3(due to the XLR output).

I've no reservations about the TC pedal as I've used their amps before and they produce quality gear but I'm not so sure about the Zoom as I've owned a B2 pedal before and, while it sounded good through a set of headphones, it always sounded really muddy through my backline.

Has anyone got any live experience with either of the two units that they could share?

Cheers

Dave

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Thanks, I often wondered if a jack output from the pedal was inferior to an XLR...

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19 minutes ago, Davy said:

Thanks, I often wondered if a jack output from the pedal was inferior to an XLR...

It isn't really. If it bothers you greatly just add a little DI box. The B3n is quite a bit better than the B3 IMO, and the spectradrive isn't in the same league as either (again, just IMHO)... 

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If I got the Zoom B3 or B3n then I'd probably use it mainly as a preamp pedal with some compression.

Would be interested to hear from others who have used the Zoom mainly as a preamp...

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B3. I used this as a preamp straight into the power amp of my bass and was fab. 

Also used it as an effect pedal into front of the amp while pa guy used DI out to the desk.We were both very happy. 

Like you I have no qualms about TCE kit it's great but I've not used that particular pedal. 

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The TC has a killer compressor and EQ, but no amp/cab sim as such, and the drive sounds are said to be somewhat mediocre.

Zoom B3 - lots of amp models but I found them all to be murky and boomy with the cab sims on.

Zoom B3n - no DI but some better sounding amps, and a killer Darkglass B3K sim.

 

I never got on with the Zoom products, always found the menus annoying and they never quite nailed the tones I was after, so given those options I'd probably opt for the Spectradrive. Or if you want a tubey/dirty amp sim tone, you could do much worse than pair a TC Spectracomp with a Tech21 VTDI /Sansamp!

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I used to use a Zoom MS-60B (pretty much the same effects as he B3 but in a smaller format) as a tuner, high pass filter and compressor and never had any issues with it when regularly gigging with it over 2 or 3 years. I also have a B3 as part of my home practise set up, one output goes into my practice amp, the other into a little mixer so that I can play along to tracks or a drum machine and mix the bass in with them. The B3 is set up similar to the MS-60B but with an amp model to simulate a more backline sort of sound. Again, no complaints with the B3.

Like you I'm not really an effects guy, I'm more interested in getting a usable sound and in my experience the Zooms deliver. Yes you can get 'better' quality modelling with more bells and whistles with something like the Helix Stomp but that obviously comes at a price, but the Zooms performs well considering their price. 

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Thanks for the comments so far, I guess I'm leaning towards the Zoom at this point...

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4 hours ago, Davy said:

Thanks for the comments so far, I guess I'm leaning towards the Zoom at this point...

Wish you were closer  I'd lend you mine 

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Ive got a few Zoom boxes (had the B3, but now B3n). Ive also got a Spectradrive (my second).

If i had to chose one to play live with it would be the Spectradrive. It has a really nice solid tone, and i love the EQ. (This spurred me on to get a BH800). The comp in the SD is of course very good, but i agree with DB that the drive side is quite poor. It does have a good tone print that works as a boost though. The only TP i use in that slot. 

Again, like DB i dont  really get on with the Zoom menus. I can get through them, but just never found them to be well thought out. I do love my B1-Four, but I wouldn't use it like. I haven't touched my B3n for a couple of years. 

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2 minutes ago, stewblack said:

Baggsy first dibs 

Sorry, i meant to type wouldn't use it live. When i get rid of my Helix Stomp ill be going back to the B1 for home practising.

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9 minutes ago, dannybuoy said:

Haven't you got 3 already?!

😀

Three B1on, 1 ms-60b (but in the market for more) and a B3. 

I like Zoom pedals. 

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Ive got a B1-on, B1-Four, 60-B and B3n. Also a G1-On and 50-G (i tihnk that's what its called). Not sure i really need all those, but too lazy to sell anything. The guitar stuff is my sons anyway. 

B1-Four is my fav and ill be using that again. 

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Hmmm so maybe a B1-Four? I've already been told that a jack output is not necessarily any worse than an XLR so that might be worth a try to dip my toe in the pre-amp/effect pedal world.

Bit of a sidewards one, any recommendations for reasonably priced pre-amp pedals? MXR or Ampeg perhaps?

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3 minutes ago, Davy said:

Hmmm so maybe a B1-Four? I've already been told that a jack output is not necessarily any worse than an XLR so that might be worth a try to dip my toe in the pre-amp/effect pedal world.

Bit of a sidewards one, any recommendations for reasonably priced pre-amp pedals? MXR or Ampeg perhaps?

Well the Spectradrive has a very nice DI (XLR) out, and IMO will make for a better choice if you dont need other effects. Not as extensive as the Zooms, but quieter and more accessible.

I guess budget comes in to play as well.

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