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Wooo-Hooo! New Rig

Max Valentino

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Hey gang....after a few years of dedicated use of my Raven Labs preamp, several wekks ago I began to grow a little bored with its somewhat dry character. And so, I went on a preamp hunt. I have been doing quite a few R&B/hip hop sessions and gigs, and was looking for something that would not only fit in with these, but in my solo shows as well. (In sessions I usually run thru my Avalon U5 or vt737, but I find these both to be far to bulky to lug around to gigs...SteveC ceratinly is making good use of his U5 as a preamp, but for it is just to bulky to warrant this).

I had been putting a SABDDI in front of the Raven Labs and was somewhat pleased with the sound (yet, to my ears the SansAmp still leaves a lot to be desired..) and so I thought a RBI might give me what I needed. Bought one...hated it...sold it. Tried a RPM. Ditto.Tried out a Kern 777 and wow! great tone but a bit thick in the rump for use in solo bass shows. Got an Alembic F1x: loved the tone but had some issues with the instrument level serial fx loop. Kinda produced some probs with the +4 signals my gear produces. Same with the BBE Bmax..great tone and features but that pesky inst. level serial loop was pretty much useless for me (the only fx I use are a heavily modded Lexicon JamMan and a TC M-One, both of which are +4dBu signals).


Finally, after much frustration, I decided to just take the plunge and find a great pre with all the features I need...at whatever cost. I ordered a Demeter HBP1 and could not be happier! What a tone!!


But adding a new front end got me thinking about everything else ( I had just prior to preamp shopping added a Demeter Compulator to my rig; this IS the finest pedal compressor out there...rivals and outshines a lot of rack compressors as well!...as some of you know I have a kinda formidable collection of rack compressors...).


Ahhh..the NAMM show, where I performed for Godin. Took the time to pop by Demeter and let them know how wonderful their preamp is for me, and I found the rest of my rig! I just picked up (for fx) Fuzzulator and Tremulator pedals to match the Compulator, and a VERY cool all analog studio quality reverb, the Real Reverb (damnpricey for a device which only does one thing...but does it really well!) and, best of all a VTHF300M all tube Mono power amp.

Dumped the TC digital reverb for real, warm analog verb, and some nice pedals (the fuzzulator gives me all that the SansAmp copuld not...) and a big Tube pwer amp! Add to that a new Gibson Echoplex+ and I am now set.....


Just had to share this...sure I had to take out a new mortgage...but as they say, tone ain't cheap.

Sounds absolutely amazing. I am finally playing the sounds I have heard in my head all this time....



...it's not the arrow, it's the Indian.
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Wow, that was a freaking awesome story.


I'm wondering, if the Avalon was too much, isn't an all tube power amp a bit much? I thought were killer weight-wise.


Anyways, found your tone. That's amazing. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.


I hope this new rig helps you rock out to the 234th power :D

In Skynyrd We Trust
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I looked at the Demiter booth at NAMM this year. I looked and pondered. "Just walk away Mike, it's above you". Congrats Max. I've been contemplating individual pre/power set up for a while. It was nice to see your little mini reviews of other pre's. I'm glad to see your quest for tone is over.

Mike Bear




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ahhh...yes, it is big, but at 35-40 lbs or so not THAT unreasonably heavy! The problem with the Avalon is I need one rack just for that, another rack for my processors AND and rack for a power amp!


To be fair, for most of my solo gigs and "group" gigs where there is adequate PA support, I take a little SWR California Blonde Combo, which is small and light (tho it does weigh more than the Demeter Power Amp...) and can function as an adequate stage monitor (I usually use this little amp for my solo bass gigs...it has a mic channel as well, and that keeps me from having to haul around a mixer...). With the Cali Blonde I run into the fx return of one channel...the Demeter pre sounds great in this configuration.


For bigger gigs...well that is what the BIG amp is for. I run Bag End 2x10s with it. Sound good, but I was eyeing those cool Demeter 3x10s at NAMM......



...it's not the arrow, it's the Indian.
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Yea man, break it down for us! Tell us how you hooked it up, and what your paying through!

I got my first big rig this year and I'm stickin with it for a while...SVT-3 Pro through SVT4x10HLF


Down the road, when I have an establiblished gig somewhere, I'll look into getting a rig that's set up w/ pre&pwr amp, choice of 2 cabinets, and pedals and such.


Next on the list for me, is a good pedal compressor, looking at an M-Audio Mobile-Pre USB(for recording/file sharing on the laptop), and I need to build a powered pedal board.

"The world will still be turning when you've gone." - Black Sabbath


Band site: www.finespunmusic.com

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Max, congratulations. You sound like quite the happy bassist.


I need to explore the groovaphonics (yes, I'm trying to expand our LDL lexicon) of tube power amps. Something I'm not very experienced with.


Originally posted by getz76:

I love my Demeter preamp. They track VERY nicely as well.

Really? They track very nicely. Hmmmmm... I'll have to try that sometime.



--Sweet "Mo' Betta' Luv" Willie



Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Wow. Nice rig.


Yes, the Avalon is big to haul to gigs. I struggled with that as well before buying it. But when you find something that gives you the tone you want, you put up with it, right?


I am planning on putting it in a 3 space rack, not as nice as a 2 space, but still managable, with my Blue Max taking the other 1/2 space. My BDDI can just sit in there somewhere and I should be set.


What fun to try all those preamps. :P

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