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Tube preamps - Two Notes Le Bass?


SteveXFR
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I'm looking for a tube preamp to put in front of my Orange Terror to give me some extra tone shaping and a bit of tube dirt. 

The Two Notes Le Bass looks ideal but every review video I've seen is using it as a DI rather than in to an amp. Will it do what I want?

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It will but you already have a tube preamp in the terror. Why add another? There are plenty of other options out there for tone shaping that don't have the... idiosyncrasies of the Le Bass. 

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For the use you're describing, I would rather look at something like an EBS Valvedrive. It seems like it is exactly what you're looking for: a subtle, tube-driven overdrive pedal with a 3-band EQ and two modes that are accessible by footswitch independently from the on/off-footswitch. According to the manual, "The vintage character changes the tube timbre, eq and compresses the signal over the gain stage."

The Le Bass looks cool, but I think it is an "always on" kind of pedal, where you either select channel A, channel B or both but with no option of bypassing the pedal. I'm not sure about this, but from what I gather it appears that way. 

Edit: nope, sorry. There is indeed a bypass mode on the Le Bass by simply tapping the footswitch of the channel that is currently engaged. 

Edited by LeftyJ
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Another alternative tube preamp/OD is the DHA VT1, added bonus being it has sweepable mid EQ. And there's one for sale on here:

A downside is the size of them, but most of these pedals with tubes are big. There is also the MarkBass vintage pre, they seem to have similar features but are £400 new.  

I'd like to get a smaller sized equivalent but it seems like an expensive game:  WR Goliath look good but at about 500 Euros they are a lot more expensive than I'd want to pay, or the Sushi Box London Underground X looks decent but seems impossible to get hold of so I guess they'd cost a lot with demand so high. 

So all things considered I'd get a DHA - apart from the fact that I wouldn't as I just sold one because it was too big for my pedal board! 

 

Edited by SumOne
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On 11/07/2021 at 19:59, SteveXFR said:

I'm looking for a tube preamp to put in front of my Orange Terror to give me some extra tone shaping and a bit of tube dirt. 

The Two Notes Le Bass looks ideal but every review video I've seen is using it as a DI rather than in to an amp. Will it do what I want?

Yes,  the 2 Notes should have this completely covered. 

And they have been going for pretty modest prices used recently.

But here's my caveat: not convinced that tube pedals really deliver that tube dirt you get from a valve amp any more than a normal dirt pedals? Partly 'cos the voltage that's typically put across a tube in a pedal is a fraction of what you get in an amp. But I'm not an electronic engineer so I may have that wrong in terms of impact.

I've recently stumbled across the Pigtronix Octava which is aimed primarily at guitarists, but has a clean blend which makes it great on bass too and it seems to lose precious little low end in any event. It's seen off all-comers recently, including some high-end dirt pedals I wasn't expecting it to. And it takes up 1/6 of the pedal board space that a 2 Notes would. It won't deliver the additional tone shaping that you can get from the 2 Notes, but I'm guessing a combination of your bass preamp plus your Orange Terror may have a lot of that covered anyway? 

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On 11/07/2021 at 19:59, SteveXFR said:

I'm looking for a tube preamp to put in front of my Orange Terror to give me some extra tone shaping and a bit of tube dirt. 

The Two Notes Le Bass looks ideal but every review video I've seen is using it as a DI rather than in to an amp. Will it do what I want?

It’s a massively versatile pedal and more versatile than people think with most of the comments/videos etc dealing with maxing out the B channel - that’s not where the magic lies.

A channel on its own may be enough to push the terror a bit for ‘more’ of a sound you want - you can of course use A&B in fusion mode again to push it further. Honestly running A even at low gain can be just the ticket - and don’t let only 2 bands put you off - it’s plenty intuitive.

The tube does make a difference to the sound and it’s interchangeable, but, it’s on your ears whether or not you like a tube pre, silicone, germanium diode, analogue/digital etc.

If you are going to have a go, put the real estate non-issue out your mind. For any piece of equipment, if you love it you’ll use it and find a way. 
I take up more real estate than I used to and Mrs Cuzzie hasn’t (yet) looked at something to take up less space.

I’d defo give it a whirl

Edited by Cuzzie
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@Cuzzie Thanks dude. To be honest, the size isn't an issue. I bought loads of pedals and now realise that they're fun for playing around at home but useless with my band so they're mostly going to leave plenty of pedal board space for just a preamp and tuner.

It sounds like the Le Bass could be what I want. I'm just looking for something fairly subtle to push the sound that last bit. 

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4 hours ago, SteveXFR said:

@Cuzzie Thanks dude. To be honest, the size isn't an issue. I bought loads of pedals and now realise that they're fun for playing around at home but useless with my band so they're mostly going to leave plenty of pedal board space for just a preamp and tuner.

It sounds like the Le Bass could be what I want. I'm just looking for something fairly subtle to push the sound that last bit. 

Couldn’t agree more - I probably got my fave bass sound ever using the Two Notes and Hartke VXL in combination, but lost it in fiddling too much. I also got a great sound Two Notes alone.

Hope it works out for you

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Well it's always fun to try out new gear and, if it's not for you, you can always move it on - with hopefully not much more than the cost of the postage to bear if you're buying used.

Just spotted something I wrote up on the 2Notes a few years' back  I'd forgotten about the "low end suck" I was finding, so perhaps worth just mentioning that so that it doesn't come as an unexpected surprise!

On 17/11/2017 at 14:27, Al Krow said:

...I currently have an excellent Two Notes Le Bass which provides clarity and 'sparkle' (ok that's not a technical term, I know) and when I combine Channel B with a little pedal pre and a clean COG T16 sub octave it produces a fantastic dirt. But like many dirt pedals it is sucking out a little too much the low end. I've got a much cheaper TC Mojomojo which does a much warmer drive but lacks the clarity and 'sparkle'. Connecting them in series is not as good as either by themselves.

It created quite a stir when it came out in 2016.. Two Notes Le Bass preamp - Effects - Basschat

Be kinda interesting to find out how many of us who have had one have held on to them.

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1 minute ago, SteveXFR said:

I've tried looking for a used one and only found one advertised and with postage, it's more expensive than a new one!

There were a few in the FS up for sale over the past few months. Most recent one was on for £120 inc P&P, which was such a good price I was tempted to give it another try! 

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