Bass DI (preamp) suggestions.

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by abraham, Jun 15, 2002.

  1. abraham

    abraham Guest

    I am looking for something to record bass directly into my daw and also use live, preferrabley tube. I don't need alot of bells and whistles, mostly just a preamp and compression type piece. I've already tried the Pod Pro for bass and didn't like it. I want something simple but of high quality. My budget is $1000. I've been considering several options which include:

    Summit Audio's TD-100 (di) and TL-50 (compressor)

    HHB Fatmen processor

    Demeter tube di with external compressor

    Aguilar tube di with external compressor

    Avalon U5.

    Do any of you have any experience with these for bass? Or any suggestions I may have not considered?

    Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, Abraham.
  2. MJOwings

    MJOwings Guest

    I use the Avalon and it could not be simpler to get a GREAT DI sound.
  3. The Avalon is hard to beat for a great bass sound.
  4. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001

    It's outa the budget...but add an 1176 and it's a really hard chain to beat.
  5. Don Rowe

    Don Rowe Guest

    Double Ditto
  6. chrisaiken

    chrisaiken Guest

    Manley dual channel tube di,don't remember the model but I think they only have one.That into a distessor very nice!
  7. bluemt

    bluemt Guest

    Those all sound like good choices. I've been using a Manley dual mono mic pre to a Joe Meek sc2 and it sounds great.

    I recently tried a sans amp bass DI that someone brought to a session. This thing sucked! No headroom, cheesy sound, horrible.
  8. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    If you´re looking for some fat bass sounds, go for the Joe Meek VC6.
    Just my .0002
  9. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    May 14, 2001
    Mogadore, OH
    I recently tried the Summit TLA50 compressor on bass. It was very nice sounding. How about a Peavey VMP2, 2 channel mic pre with eq (all tube) makes a great bass Direct sound increadibly warm and dimensional. Plus you have a great mic pre to boot. DOn't let the Peavey name fool you, it isn't designed by peavey but a company called AMR, and Peavey just kinda produces them. They are in tons of pro studio's, one of the best deals in pro audio if not the best. They are around $700.
  10. faganking

    faganking Active Member

    May 22, 2001
    ".....preferrabley tube. I don't need alot of bells and whistles....."
    This describes the Aquilar DB900 DI. I tried five of the recent entries in tube DI's and this was the straightest, most all around natural sounding (to me).
  11. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Avalon....or you could go with the Avalon...and for live, the Avalon is nice and all the soundmen out there will love you for it..
  12. These days I never know if an 1176 is supposed to be a referrence to the UREI original or the UA1176N.

    Care to enlighten me RecorderMan ?
  13. Dix

    Dix Guest

    A while ago a friend of mine dropped off a “SansAmp PSA-1”. Told me he thought I’d find it useful and to try it out. If I didn’t like it to drop it back off at his shop.

    Well… after about a week of dubbing around with it I ran into his wife at a local grocery store parking lot… I gave her a check. :D

    While made for guitar for the most part… there is a bank of bass presets.

    The “sample” settings, while maybe not “perfect” reproductions… were definitely workable. The “SVT” settings left a little to be desired but a little tweaking and leaning on the “drive” knob a bit more than shown gave me a decent enough tone.

    In regard to the above statement I’d suspect it was in reference to one of the “stomp box” versions. The rack-mount PSA-1 IS a decent sounding unit.

    Tech-21 has some good “sound samples” on their website:

    “Street” price for the PSA-1 seems to be around $550-$600.

    They also make a dedicated bass unit (rack-mount) the “SansAmp RBI” for around $300-$350 but I personally don’t have any experience with it.

    Also, a few months ago I did a demo for a local rock act. The bass player brought his own pre-amp which I took a direct signal from. It was a Peavey “Max”. I was skeptical at first… but pleasantly surprised later.

    He was sending me a very nice ever-so-slightly tube distorted tone that I really was impressed with. I figured there had to be an actual tube in the preamp. Also I suspected some sort of "filter” circuitry was on the direct output I was being fed. The lows were very tight and controlled and the highs seemed to have a natural speaker-ish roll-off to them.

    This was confirmed in conversation after the session (turns out he’s a tech at the local Peavey dealer). The direct out is what they call “frequency compensated” simulating the response of a speaker (he noted that the normal unbalenced output could be used if the effect was not desired). Also the “tube” channel does have an actual tube in it, although he admitted he modified his by replacing the original 12AX7 with (if memory serves) I believe a 12AU7.

    Shortly thereafter I logged onto 8th Street Music’s website & ordered one of my own (about $350). I DO highly recommend the tube swap though… I plan on taking mine down to him for the same mod in the near future. The 12AX7, although not bad, just doesn’t quite match the sound he was getting from his.
  14. dpaton

    dpaton Active Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Actually, AMR (Audio Media Research) was (is?) one of Peavey's pro-line companies, like their Architectural Acoustics group. They made some pretty nifty things...they had a DI that I liked a lot.

  15. plexi

    plexi Guest

    Both! The reissue is faithful to the original and
    sounds just as great!

  16. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    Pretty much all the same. The only absolute that I know of is the speed of light. Eeryrthing else is relative to the reference of the observer. Any two 1176's sound slightly different. But by and large...they're the same animal. I own one 1176LN blackface that I had recapped&modified by Alactronics. Much quiter. It doesn't sound exactly like other black faces...but I like it can hit it real hard and it sounds great (sometimes-more these days-with very dynamic singers I wack it with 7 to 10 db of g.r. @ 8:1 with slpow attack (9 o'clock) and fastest release (5 o'clock). Works for me. So if I'm talkin' 'bout an 1176...I gues I mean the originals. But if I walked into your studio and all you had was a purple audio one or a bombfactory plugin I'd use them about the same...with pretty much the same results.

  17. Well if that's the case then the Bomb Factory classic compressors package is sounding like a real deal at $500. Particularly since it includes the LA-2A along with the 1176.
  18. cornvalley

    cornvalley Guest

    Check out the Shadowsky preamp while your out there, used by a lot of Pros. Mic the cab and use Little Labs Phase Alignment Tool (which also is an excellent DI) to help put it togther. Solid sound.
  19. pan

    pan Guest

    Ridgefarm's Gascoocker is an excellent (Stereo) Tube-DI and also available with a mic-pre-option

    ...from England...warm...hmmm

  20. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    Demeter tube di with external compressor would be my 1st choice. I've found this to be useful on every bass I've run it through.

    Avalon U5 is dope, as the kids say these days. Definately a worth while purchase (I got 2 for keyboards).

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