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Salt on your Bass?

How do you use your preamp pedal?

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I was just curious as to how people with a preamp pedal choose to use it/ apply it in your rig, and how it influences your selection of other gear.

How do you approach your amp set up with a preamp on your board - is your amp clean/ transparent/ baked on sound? Do you go direct? Do you use it to tone shape only...if so what does it offer over a comprehensive EQ pedal/ OD to get a drive sound? Is it just a more flexible drive?

I have a preamp as part of my home recording set up. I've also tried a couple of preamp pedals in front of my amp preamp, but it didn't work for me and I never subsequently pursued it. I've always like to have my own backline of some description at gigs, and I've sometimes considered a separate pre/power set up to change out whatever wasnt working fo rme 

I'm really just curious to be honest as it seems a pretty fundamental part of the tone and I regularly look at preamp pedals.....as I'm sure we all do!  

 

Edited by Salt on your Bass?

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Mine go straight into the return socket of my amp. (my amps eq is then defeated - but check as each amp as some wont be). That way I get the tone I want.

Bass - pre amp pedal - return input.

 

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I've never found an amp that could deliver the tones in my head, so messed around with pedals instead until finding what I was after in the Tech21 stuff - I have the VTDI, YYZ and DP3X. I tried the VT500 amp which was great but felt a bit gutless in the power section, so am running one of those into an Orange Terror Bass set up for a fairly neutral sound.

The DP3X is like a studio producer in a box - clean compressed lows mixed with piercing distorted high mids, and the mid-mids sucked out to make room for the guitars and vocals. About as heavily processed as you can get, but fits like a glove in a really heavy mix, it really shines when you hear it alongside everything else, you can hear the bass clear as a bell without the ear fatigue you get from too many instruments battling for the same frequency range.

YYZ is more midrangey, basically a clean channel EQ'd to emphasise the lows and roll of the highs, mixed with a dirt channel that has the deep lows cut off to keep the drive tight, and the mid-EQ placed before the drive.

When playing solo through an amp I prefer the sound of the YYZ, but the DP3X sounds better in a headphone/monitor mix. But I'm not playing with anyone at the moment so hanging onto both for now!

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I mainly use a preamp pedal with my passive basses to give me some extra tone shaping. The Sadowsky preamp/di is my favourite for this- It just makes my Fenders sound better.

I don't usually use one with active instruments  but I don't like the slap sound on one of my favourite basses, so I'll run a preamp to give me the sound I want.

I run my amp flat and only use the graphic eq to notch out certain frequencies depending on the room, so I just use preamp pedals for additional tone shaping if necessary.

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20 minutes ago, Doddy said:

I mainly use a preamp pedal with my passive basses to give me some extra tone shaping. The Sadowsky preamp/di is my favourite for this- It just makes my Fenders sound better.

Exactly the same for me (except they're passive Maruszczyks). The SBP circuit just seems to sprinkle sonic fairy dust on the tone (which wasn't bad to start with) and is not obvious or intrusive as they still sound fundamentally the same, just more so.

Also use a VTDI, but only for driven tones and in addition to the SBP.

My amp (Phil Jones Flightcase) is set almost flat, just a little cut on the bass control. All my pedals are in front of the amp.

Edited by ezbass
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Just now, ezbass said:

Exactly the same for me (except they're passive Maruszczyks). The SBP circuit just seems to sprinkle sonic fairy dust on the tone (which wasn't bad to start with) and is not obvious or intrusive as they still sound fundamentally the same, just more so.

... and me.

Passive Fender/Squier through an EBS Microbass II and into a Fender Rumble 500 (or 100 for rehearsals). Amp eq flat, unless there are room issues. Not a lot of shaping on the EBS, but it really lifts everything... it’s mostly set-and-forget. I love the sound.

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Me as well.

Bass - Preamp pedal - Amp (set 'clean').

Although if I use the Eden WTX amp - I don't bother, as one of my preamp pedals is the Eden WTDI, which has pretty much the same characteristics as the amp.

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3 hours ago, la bam said:

Mine go straight into the return socket of my amp. (my amps eq is then defeated - but check as each amp as some wont be). That way I get the tone I want.

Bass - pre amp pedal - return input.

Likewise:

Bass > Pre-amp > FX Return.

Cheating a bit, because my Pre-amp is also a MultiFX.

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I had my amp set flat and got my eq/drive from my preamp pedal, in my case a Tech21 Para Driver. I did this as on the originals circuit it was either gear shares or provided rigs, this way I knew what was going to FOH was the right sound. For on stage whatever amp/cab I was using I’d either boost or lower the low-end. Made life so much easier, especially on gigs where we flew. 

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2 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

I had my amp set flat and got my eq/drive from my preamp pedal, in my case a Tech21 Para Driver. I did this as on the originals circuit it was either gear shares or provided rigs, this way I knew what was going to FOH was the right sound. For on stage whatever amp/cab I was using I’d either boost or lower the low-end. Made life so much easier, especially on gigs where we flew. 

Same. Preamp / DI sends the tone I know is excellent to FOH and then any onstage issues can be dealt with by using the EQ on the amp which doesn't affect the DI-d signal. Also means I can do lots of home recording with the DI and really get to know how it sounds so I can be super confident I'm sending the best sound to FOH. And likewise any time you're flying or sharing rigs you know you've got your own tone with you. Win win win. 

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Successfully putting preamp in between the bass and the bass amp is dependent on getting the gain staging correct.

Whatever gain induced tone you are getting from the preamp needs to be under level control by the time it gets to the amplifier's input.

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I my case, I satrted using one because in 90% of all the venues I play have a backline amp (that they preferred to use). So I create my main tone from my pedalboard to FOH (I am always DI'ed anyways). Then I got a regular gig that didn't allow me to use an amp (even my small 75W combo) so my preamp became a must in my sound. I use it instead of my amp. If I use my amp, I leave it at home.

I started using the Aguilar Tone hammer. Then, I started gigging with an Ashdown RM that I love, so I bought the closest preamp: an Ashdown OriginAL. I play with it and IEM. 

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The only time I use a preamp live is when I’m on an amp less / iem set up. The pre ( mxr m80) basically becomes my amp and Di. 
when recording I use a pre dependant on the sound I’m looking for ( mxr, Eden, Hartke, behringer bddi) into the interface. 
for studio recording and main live work, it’s the Di from the amp head. 

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Had a Sansamp in some shape or form on my board for as long as I have been playing.

Usually last in the chain aside from any comp, I have it to set my standard tone prior to going into my amp which I use for room EQ, plus Sansamps just make any dirt pedal sound so much better.

Currently and for the past few years I have the BDDI v2, set and forget. 

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I used to connect my Radial Bass bone to return on my GK1001. Sounded great.

Then I bought a Bergantino Forte HP amp, tried the same, but sounded nicer with the Berg preamp. Sold Bassbone!

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In my case it doesn't change much from bass to bass. I do almost always record with my SansAmp RBI, and sometimes I rehearse with it (+Hartke 3500+a couple old Peavey cabs). When recording I also use the uneffected output, even tho' I've almost never ended up mixing it in.

But lately I've been using my Zoom gadgets more and more (same thing, basically SansAmp emulation, sounds convincingly good). I've got an MS-60B, a G1Xon and a B3. The B3 both has a DI and can be used as a sound interface. So I mostly record with it nowadays (DI output can be set to "uneffected" so you don't even need an extra DI for the wet/dry thing). It's SO convenient, it's "my tone in a box", I can go anywhere with a bass and one such gadget and have my tone on whatever amp/desk/interface I plug in, and also have a powerful tool I'm familiar with for the occasional tweak and/or experiment.

Whatever the choice, I just don't conceive an alternative for live situations, I'm all for carrying my tone with me in whatever portable thing I use as a preamp, and using whatever amp' there is, with it's EQ to simply adapt to the room's response and resonances.

Regarding tone, I use a thick crunchy tone for almost everything, might back off the gain a little for fingerstyle and that's about it. Here's the crunch out of my SansAmp RBI (a reference track for some recording)... http://www.andresdemarco.info/COCOYDANI.mp3 (Stingray5) and here's a sort of "clean" (cleanest I'll go) tone first, then crunchier, with my Star Bass...

 

Edited by andruca
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Thanks all, given me some food for thought with my own set up home and live. Got my by at home at the mo but thinking about other options. .... Also thinking about the whole separate pre and power thing again, but it doesn't look like separate power amps have reduced as an option like full amps which surprises me a bit. 

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9 hours ago, Salt on your Bass? said:

Thanks all, given me some food for thought with my own set up home and live. Got my by at home at the mo but thinking about other options. .... Also thinking about the whole separate pre and power thing again, but it doesn't look like separate power amps have reduced as an option like full amps which surprises me a bit. 

It's a case of nobody can produce a mini power amp with all the safety certification for much less than the whole bass amplifier.

The intent of the Quilter 800 was more or less just a power amp but the Talkbass design committee wanted more utility so it got two extra knobs. They are pretty cheap to buy.

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I think you’re better off with a clean sounding regular amp with as transparent a preamp as possible. That way you have a further EQ to tweak your on stage sound without messing with the DI signal going to the desk.

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