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stewblack

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Looks pretty tough- I'm used to much smaller than that!

 

I've just bought an EBS Valve Drive, like a high-gain Blackface Fender Pre. I don't want to be over-confident, but... good golly.

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I'm using the Two Notes Le Bass preamp. It sounds fantastic. There's a clean and dirty channel plus the option to blend them in parallel or series. It's a tube preamp and has a great tone. 

It also has a cab sim on the XLR output which should work well with a PA

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a little way down the same road, and have tried probably 20 or so preamps including quite a few of the usual suspects. I've moved all of them on except an RC Booster which really gets used like mild OD with the bit of dirt it does on full gain. What I've ended up with is a cab sim IR loader (with DI) instead, I've come to this conclusion before for recording when just a cab sim seemed just right. It's dead easy to load up a bunch of different IRs and there is a real variety in what they sound like. Compression and cab sim are my two always on pedals, then I have a (admittedly ever-changing) selection for producing dirt to overdrive to distortion if I want it. Overdrive + cab sim only is really nice IMO.

 

Worth saying that my currenty basses have quite "characertful" pickups - Haussells, Nordstrand NP and big split man (two big singles) and whatever my Sandberg 48 has in it - and I also am not aiming to replicate any particular kind of sound. I do need my tone to work in a band context and that's how i judge it, when I audition stuff I re-amp my bass through my DAW so I can play whole songs and listen to how the bass is sitting in the mix while I twiddle knobs.

Edited by adamg67
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1 hour ago, adamg67 said:

I'm a little way down the same road, and have tried probably 20 or so preamps including quite a few of the usual suspects. I've moved all of them on except an RC Booster which really gets used like mild OD with the bit of dirt it does on full gain. What I've ended up with is a cab sim IR loader (with DI) instead, I've come to this conclusion before for recording when just a cab sim seemed just right. It's dead easy to load up a bunch of different IRs and there is a real variety in what they sound like. Compression and cab sim are my two always on pedals, then I have a (admittedly ever-changing) selection for producing dirt to overdrive to distortion if I want it. Overdrive + cab sim only is really nice IMO.

 

Worth saying that my currenty basses have quite "characertful" pickups - Haussells, Nordstrand NP and big split man (two big singles) and whatever my Sandberg 48 has in it - and I also am not aiming to replicate any particular kind of sound. I do need my tone to work in a band context and that's how i judge it, when I audition stuff I re-amp my bass through my DAW so I can play whole songs and listen to how the bass is sitting in the mix while I twiddle knobs.

 

Which IR loader do you use?

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39 minutes ago, JapanAxe said:

 

Which IR loader do you use?

 

Hotone Omni IR, I figured since applying IR is relatively well known and fully digital it would do the job and it does - has decent software for pushing stuff to the pedal and does 40 IRs at a time, has DI out and an output volume. I wasn't after anything that would let me switch between lots of different IRs but it's doable with the single footswitch as you can program what tapping and also holding down do, so you can make them do up and down the patches if needed.

 

When I was using a rig (MB multiamp) that let me set up different tones for different songs I found I was mainly sticking to one or two anyway.

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On 07/09/2021 at 09:36, Baloney Balderdash said:

The NUX  Melvin Lee Davis Signature Bass Preamp + DI gets a fair share of praise, is quite affordable and supports 3rd party IR cab sims.

 

NUX-Bass-Preamp-DI-2-in-1-Guitar-Pedal-3

That ticks a lot of boxes, and there are additional things like an adjustable noise gate https://www.nuxefx.com/melvin-lee-davis.html there's a lot going on. My couple of reservations are:

 

  • The Bass and Treble EQ frequencies seem very narrow range and are quite low/high leaving big gaps in the EQable frequencies, that area around 60-150Hz is one I think I'd want to be able to EQ. Also 12db is a bit mild. Perhaps it works well though, I guess the designers know what they are doing and set it like that for good reasons.

 

image.thumb.png.88a42e0d28501d227c97adf7514a292c.png

 

  • It needs to be plugged in for firmware updates/laptop drivers installed etc. not a big deal but it almost always annoys me as there is usually some sort of faff and it makes pedals seem a bit like they have a limited life- like phones/laptops that are only supported with updates for a few years then one day your new version of windows decides it'll never communicate with the pedal again.
  • I assume you need to plug into a computer to select which IR is being used so I'd probably end up just using one rather than connecting to a Laptop every time I want to switch between them (if I'm plugging into a Laptop I might as well use a DAW for a lot more control). 

 

I'm tempted though, for the price it seems hard to beat.  

Edited by SumOne
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5 minutes ago, SumOne said:

That ticks a lot of boxes, and there are additional things like an adjustable noise gate https://www.nuxefx.com/melvin-lee-davis.html there's a lot going on. My couple of reservations are:

 

  • The Bass and Treble EQ frequencies seem very narrow range and are quite low/high leaving big gaps in the EQable frequencies, that area around 60-150Hz is one I think I'd want to be able to EQ. Also 12db is a bit mild. Perhaps it works well though, I guess the designers know what they are doing and set it like that for good reasons.

 

image.thumb.png.88a42e0d28501d227c97adf7514a292c.png

 

  • It needs to be plugged in for firmware updates/laptop drivers installed etc. not a big deal but it almost always annoys me as there is usually some sort of faff and it makes pedals seem a bit like they have a limited life- like phones/laptops that are only supported with updates for a few years then one day your new version of windows decides it'll never communicate with the pedal again.
  • I assume you need to plug into a computer to select which IR is being used so I'd probably end up just using one rather than having the Laptop connected to switch between them (if I need to be plugged into the Laptop I might as well use a DAW for a lot more control). 

 

I'm tempted though, for the price it seems hard to beat.  

That's just an idealised illustration - I doubt that the filter slopes are really that sharp.

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On 09/09/2021 at 10:20, SumOne said:

An impulse (response) decision but I've just gone and bought the NUX. Will report back!

I've used the NUX MLD for the past year. It is very flexible now you can load 16 ir cab sims and three individual voiced preamps.

Check out Talk Bass thread.

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To elaborate I don't own the NUX bass preamp myself, but I have read a lot of praise for it and I did consider using it for my "amp-less" setup.

 

I love my NUX Tape Core Deluxe though, which is a digital emulation of the legendary Roland Space Echo tape delay, it is in my opinion much better than the Boss emulation of the same tape delay, even if much cheaper, and a testament to how great NUX's digital modeling technology is, despite the relatively cheap price of their products.

 

In fact as far as I concern it might be the best sounding delay ever made, at least digitally based delay.

 

I can also warmly recommend the NUX Solid Studio IR Cab and Poweramp Simulator pedal, which supports about double the resolution of the IR files than other products from competitors in a similar price class, and actually than most much higher priced pedals that supports 3rd party IR cab simulation files too. 

 

I actually owned the latter pedal at some point, but sold it, as I settled for a simple EQ based cab simulation, that I dialed in to my own preferences using the 2 band fully parametric bass equalizer of my Zoom MS-70CDR to mimic a LPF set about 3.5kHz with a downwards slop of -12dB/Oct.

 

Cause while an IR based cab sim will be much more precise and authentic in terms of mimicking a real bass cab that also means that it will be much more intrusive on the tone of your bass, whereas a simple LPF will be more true to the actual raw tone of your bass.

 

It's totally a matter of taste though. and with an IR based cab sim you can get your bass to sound pretty accurately like almost every possible bass cab ever produced, at least that is giving you can find an IR of it, but really there is a huge amount of options to be found on the internet, both in from of free and paid for (but usually quite reasonable priced) IRs of various cabs and microphone combinations used to capture them.

 

I just happen to prefer a simple LPF solution that will leave the raw actual tone of my bass more intact.

 

 

This is how my personal "amp-less" setup looks in written form (only including always on units) :

 

My "amp-less" setup in written form (only including always on effects) :

4 string 28,6" scale Ibanez GSRM20 neck + GSRM20B body Mikro Bass (equipped with an EMG Geezer Butler P pickup, wired directly to the output jack socket, and strung with gauge .090 - .072 - .054 - .040 D'Addario XL nickle plated steel core roundwound strings, tuned in F# standard tuning, 2 half steps above regular 4 string bass E standard tuning) ->>

TC Electronic SpectraComp
 (always on 3 band parallel compression, adding extra punch, snap and bite, but without really affecting my playing dynamics) ->> TC Electronic Sub'N'Up Mini (always on digital polyphonic octaver, used as an 1 octave up effect mixed with clean bass signal, giving an effect similar to that of an 8 string "octave" bass, with pairs of respectively bass and octave strings) ->>
 Boss LS-2 [A+B Mix <-> Bypass] (always on parallel effect loops mixer/switch) ={ [Loop A Send] ->> Joyo Orange Juice (always on low gain overdrive, really primarily used to enhance harmonic content, [Tone] set at about 11 o'clock, [Voice] set to boost a wide curve around a 800Hz center frequency about +3dB pre gain stage, always mixed with clean {bass+octave up} signal from parallel effects [Loop B]) ->> [Loop A Return] ->||<- [Loop B Send] ->> (empty effects loop for clean {bass+octave up} signal blend with Orange Juice in effects [Loop A]) ->> [Loop B Return] ([Loop A] + [Loop B] mixed at an about 50/50 ratio) }=>> Artec SE-EQ8 (always on 8 band graphic equalizer, settings as follows: [Freq=100Hz LoShlv Boost=+1dB ; Freq=170Hz Q=wide Boost=+1dB ; Freq=280Hz Q=narrow Boost=+3dB ; Freq=500Hz Q=narrow Boost=+2dB ; Freq=800Hz Q=narrow Boost=+1dB ; Freq=1.4kHzHz Q=narrow Boost=+2dB ; Freq=2.3kHz Q=wide Boost=+3dB ; Freq=5kHz HiShlv +/- 0dB]) ->> Zoom G1Xon (Always on subtle plate reverb, and additionally used for 4 other reverb patches) ->> NUX Tape Core Deluxe (Roland Space Echo tape delay emulation) ->> Zoom MS-70CDR (Always on "160 Comp" (emulating a DBX 160A compressor), set to a quite subtle compression -> always on 2 x 2 band parametric EQ : [Freq=63Hz Q=4 Boost=+1dB ; Freq=250Hz Q=4 Boost=+1dB ; Freq=400Hz Q=4 Boost=+1dB ; Freq=1kHz Q=4 Boost=+1dB[/I]] -> always on faux, EQ based, cab sim, consisting of a 2 band parametric EQ set as follows: [Freq=12kHz Q=1 Cut=-18dB ; [I]Freq=20kHz Q=0.5 Cut=-20dB], and additionally used for a lush Church reverb that can be switched on/off) ->> Joyo American Sound (always on clean preamp (gain set to ever so slightly break up when digging in the hardest), a Tech 21 Blonde clone, analog emulation of a Fender type amp, with a wide curve around the center frequency of 400Hz boosted about +3dB, and an about +3dB pre gain stage boost to a wide curve around the center frequency of 800Hz)

->> EHX Black Finger (always on tube driven optical compressor, used primarily as a tube preamp stage) ->> 
ART Tube MP Project Series (tube preamp, with HPF fixed @40Hz)

->> [Effects Return] (poweramp input) of Peavey Solo Special 112 (160W, solid state guitar combo, with the build in 4 Ohm 12" speaker unit disconnected and instead hooked up to a The Box PA 502 PA speaker) ->> The Box PA 502 (full range PA speaker with 1x 15" woofer/mids driver + 1.7" high frequency tweeter horn)

 

 

This gives me a very consistent tone, making sure I sound approximately the same weather I go through my powermap and full range PA speaker (the Box PA 502 that I use got got an exceptionally good low end response, better than some dedicated bass cabs, which is rare for full range PA speakers, not only in this cheap price class, but in general regardless the price, and they sound amazing and have very close to flat response, giving me a tone pretty much identical to when practicing at home though my Sennheiser HD 380 Pro studio headphones)  at band rehearsals, through a PA at a venue when gigging, or I pratice at home through a mixer and then my high end studio headphones.

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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3 hours ago, spyder said:

I've used the NUX MLD for the past year. It is very flexible now you can load 16 ir cab sims and three individual voiced preamps.

Check out Talk Bass thread.

 

I like the look of these, but also like being able to easily switch between IRs on the IR loader pedal I use. How do you switch between the different IRs on the MLD?

Edited by adamg67
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On 10/09/2021 at 19:59, adamg67 said:

 

I like the look of these, but also like being able to easily switch between IRs on the IR loader pedal I use. How do you switch between the different IRs on the MLD?

Unfortunately you can only do that when it's hooked up to a computer. There is no way of changing it on the fly.  You have use one at a time.

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My early impressions of the NUX MLD are that it's good. 

 

  • EQ: 3 band with sweepable mids is good. Has it's own footswitch (for preamp - vol and EQ), clicked 'off' isn't mute - it's the preamp section bypassed.
  • Drive: Perhaps the drive at high gain could sound better (personal taste though), it sounds good to me on subtle low setting and using the clean blend though, as good as any low-gain 'always on' type mild overdrive I've used. It has it's own footswitch and can be turned on while the preamp switch is turned off if you want to run overdrive with no EQ (or volume) changes.
  • Aux in and headphone out: Not with their own volume controls though. 
  • Quality: Decent sound quality and no hissing or crackling, feels solidly built.
  • Noise reduction: Built in adjustable noise reduction decay/threshold.
  • IRs: This is the main thing that lets it down a bit - it's a shame that it needs to be hooked up to a computer to change IR (a small toggle switch to go between 3 would be plenty for me and would make it a great pedal). If I have the current IR turned on and run a Fuzz pedal into it beforehand the highs get muffled (as with running a fuzz into a BDDI with sansamp preamp/drive engaged, or any other time I've used fuzz into a preamp with anything other than mild preamp settings so it's not unique to this pedal) so it'd be handy to be able to turn off the IR via footswitch but the IR is on even with both footswitches set to 'off' (I'm hoping there is some way via the software to set it so that the preamp 'off' switch also turns the IR off, but I don't think it can), there are toggle switches to turn the IR off to the different outputs though. 
  • DI: Connections are very useful.
  • Preamp tones: I guess that it's not exactly doing the 'Preamp' thing in terms of emulating something like a SVT or B-15 tone at the moment but I'm hoping the right IRs will do that fairly well.  
  • Value: Considering it costs £120 vs alternatives it's very good value.

 

It seems like pedals that tick similar boxes as DI/Overdrive/Preamp/IR loader are things like the Strymon Iridium (£380) Darkglass Ultra pedals (>£360) which possibly are better but I'm not sure they are 3x better. If fact, they seem to be missing one potentially very useful feature of the NUX which is the fact IRs can be separately switched on/off for 'XLR' (which also has pre/post preamp switch) and 'Output' and there's also clean 'Through' output. So potentially the 'Through' can be used to send a clean signal to your Amp/Cab while 'Output' can send an IR affected signal (or not) to a mixer or FRFR speaker, and the XLR can send yet another signal (pre/post preamp and IR/no IR) to FOH mixer/audio interface etc. Can also record directly to a Laptop via USB with different settings (clean/affected/reamping) ....and if you really wanted to go for it could also use the headphone output so it's pushing out 5x outputs at the same time!

 

I mostly just wanted a simple pedal for end-of pedal chain volume control and EQing that could be used as a DI if needed, it works great as that. The main competitor seems to be the MXR M81 - but that costs more at > £150 (but it does have a smaller footprint and perhaps a bit tougher build quality) so even if the NUX only did the DI/EQ things it'd be a tough call between that and the MXR, the fact it also does all the other things too I think make it very good value.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by SumOne
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I've just picked up a NUX MLD preamp too - not had chance yet to really play with it so will post my thoughts later, but @SumOne
drop Jon 'Jkos' a PM on Talkbass - he's made an android app for using the editor when not connected to a pc. You need a USB micro cable to whatever USB your phone takes, usually C. It's not been updated for the 3.7 firmware yet so looks a little bit odd at the moment, but works great for switching between different IRs. I'm not sure I'll need to at a gig, I'm hoping to find my favourite and use it as a 'set and forget' type thing, but using your phone you could easily swich between every song.

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22 minutes ago, AxelF said:

I've just picked up a NUX MLD preamp too - not had chance yet to really play with it so will post my thoughts later, but @SumOne
drop Jon 'Jkos' a PM on Talkbass - he's made an android app for using the editor when not connected to a pc. You need a USB micro cable to whatever USB your phone takes, usually C. It's not been updated for the 3.7 firmware yet so looks a little bit odd at the moment, but works great for switching between different IRs. I'm not sure I'll need to at a gig, I'm hoping to find my favourite and use it as a 'set and forget' type thing, but using your phone you could easily swich between every song.

Nice one, I've checked that thread and it also seems that updating the firmware might not be the best move for everyone as it can't be taken back and adds more gain to the drive and changes the eq curves. 

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