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Preamp Suggestions?

Dan T.

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So lately I've been considering getting a preamp for my rig. I use an Ampeg svt 4 pro into a Ampeg 8x10 or an Eden 4x10 depending on the sitaution I'm in. And I play an Ernie Ball Stingray and a Fender Jazz with EMG's.


For the past year or so I've been using a Tech 21 Sansamp pedal which will always be something I will stand by as a great tool but lately I have been looking for something more. Does anyone have any good suggestions?


I've been looking at the Tech 21 Sansamp PSA and have found one used for a decent price but it seems to really be more a guitar preamp? Any suggestions are appreciated!

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I have a Demeter VTBP-201s. Great preamp. Sounds fantastic in the studio and great live as well. Super clean; pristine sounding. Pairs up very nicely with my Acme cabinets.


I have a SansAmp BDDI; great preamp. Recently used it as a DI for a show. Sounded great. I don't leave home without it.


I have a Kern IP-777. Great preamp. Super-fat sounding. A lot more color in this preamp than my Demeter. Sounds a bit more "old-school" when you twist the "tonal color" knob; not a bad thing. It pairs up very well with my Bergantino cabinets.

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i wasn't particularly happy with the results i got with a tech21nyc sansamp PSA-1, but i think it was mostly because i was in a store and using gear with which i am unfamiliar.


if you like the BDDI, you could probably do well for yourself with the RBI rackmount version. the only complaint i've heard about that is that the mid knob is useful, but it doesn't counteract the characteristic mid-scoop of the unit, which is also found in the BDDI.


i am personally in love with my warwick quadruplet. there are so many sounds in one small package.


i have also always been a fan of the fender circuit, which can be found in units like the alembic F1-X and the BBE bmax preamps. of course, it is also found in the new fender TBP-1, but i've only read magazine reviews of that.


i have also enjoyed the ampeg SVP-BSP billy sheehan preamp. if you're judicious with your setting, you can get a more characteristic ampeg overdrive from it, but it's best for an "ampeg, but cleaner" sound and a great over-the-top distortion.


i work for peavey, so i'd be remiss if i didn't mention the much underappreciated peavey max. i preferred the SVP-BSP over it, though, and the quadruplet trumps both.


i think there are far too many options to find "the one", but you can certainly choose one of any of the suggestions and probably be pretty happy. remember that there isn't a perfect tone, but only "your tone". i love the versatility of my quadruplet, but i don't think i'd want to keep it if i couldn't sound like me whenever i play, on whatever settings.



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