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 finally got a tube preamp

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madmike

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PostSubject: finally got a tube preamp   Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:38 pm

art tps II



mmmmmmmm. tube.
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Chowderboots

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:36 pm

Very cool. ART makes some neat stuff. I had an SGX effects preamp thing which I hated (can't stand multi effects anything...), but it was still a cool unit. Can you get any grind/saturation out of it or does it do clean sounds better? What made you choose that unit over other pres?
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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:29 pm

Oooh....me likey! Wink

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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:48 pm

chose it for the 2 channel / multiple tube configurations (3 for bass, 3kbrd, 2percussion, 3guitar and 3mics) / price.

i havent messed around with it enuff yet. just running a clean chanel with a preamp loop, the harmonics are amazing. i imagine with all the different configurations with my amp; preamp, shaping, eq, crossover, bi-amping etc, and now the preamp ... i shud be able to get just about any sound imaginable. i dont even know where to start setting it up ... bass to processor to amp w/ preamp loop? bass to processor to preamp to amp? bass to amp to processor loop to preamp loop? bass to preamp to processor loop to amp?

all these configurations ... i went down the basement and soldered up a bunch of new cables out of all my old ones with shorts. wires everywhere! Twisted Evil
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Chowderboots

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:18 pm

Mmh...makin' cables!
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:48 pm

i'm suprised when i scrape together a length of cable and a bunch of 1/4"s, how cheaply made all those cables i buy from the store are. i usually go out and buy new cables every year, just so i dont have to deal with a short and after a year, they are pretty beat ... but when i rebuild them, they last forever.
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Chowderboots

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:06 pm

Yeah I know. I've only had good luck with molded connectors like ProCo or Planet Waves. So far, my ProCo cables are holding up great, especially compared to the shorter quarter inchers and speaker cables I have. They're garbage.
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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:01 pm

Chowderboots wrote:
Yeah I know. I've only had good luck with molded connectors like ProCo or Planet Waves. So far, my ProCo cables are holding up great, especially compared to the shorter quarter inchers and speaker cables I have. They're garbage.

yeah i've got some procro XLR cables, they're pretty good.
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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:39 am

That looks killer, congrats!
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:23 pm

just reporting in with me breaking this preamp in yesterday.

awesome!

i shudda bought one of these 5 years ago. except for the last 3 amps i've owned being all ss, i've always used the built in tube preamps like the hartke hybrid lines. didnt think either was better or worse either way (it was hartke). now that i'm laying on the effects, the ss has reached its limitations (even with the high end carvin) ... just thought that thats the way it is.

just thought a tube preamp would "warm up" my tone ... thats all.

any problems with distortion, clipping or just overall harsh peaks that i'de eliminate previously with compression have been eliminated by this preamp under normal circumstances (not cranking the drive or the output). lots of effects banks i've turned the compression off. the phase, flange and wah have much smoother transition thru a wave. the over distorted crackly break up i was having with the synth effects are gone. distortion of course sounds great running thru tubes. my rig runs much cleaner and much higher levels (ITS LOUD!).

sorry ... cranking the drive doesnt give me that tube growl. this is not one of those $600 - $800 bass tube preamps ... this is a unit designed to use in a studio to "valve up" the sound from different outputs. there are different input selections for guitar, bass, keyboard, mics and vocal and both channels can be daisychained for any combination of 2 for many different tonal variations. the "valve" setting daisy chained (thru both tubes) is the closest thing i've found to true growl ... but it clips at very low output. maybe as i fiddle with it some more, i'll figure something out.

growl? i can get it from my processor correctly now with the preamp. it sounds more like growl and less like guitar distortion. those high end preamps have a much better, warmer growl sound that i'de love to have, but i got other things to spend the 6 - 8 hundred on before i'de buy one.

overall ... for under $200 ... this was well worth it. if like your sound and your looking to improve your tone and clean things up a bit ... this is the way to go. if your looking for straight ahead tube amp sound, i'de recommend you save your nickles, get a tube amp or a high end bass tube preamp. i also wouldnt recommed depending on this to improve your sound if your trying to get it to improve the sound of a sub - par ss amp.
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amimbari

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:53 am

just out of curiosity, does it use a 12ax7/12au7/12at7 or something else for the tube?

not saying you would try, but the reason I'm asking is I experimented a little on my Ganiac trying different tubes and thanks to the different grid voltages the tubes were originally meant for it does change the tone out of it.
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Chowderboots

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:39 pm

It says in the manual that it has a 12X7A in it, so maybe you could replace it with a different tube. I don't know if you'd have to re bias it or what, though.
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amimbari

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:12 pm

I didnt think about biasing when I tossed a 12at7 in my ganiac, it just "worked" and sounded bassier on the distortion channel so I left it in there Smile
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Chowderboots

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:16 pm

amimbari wrote:
I didnt think about biasing when I tossed a 12at7 in my ganiac, it just "worked" and sounded bassier on the distortion channel so I left it in there Smile

Sweet. Your Gainiac just has one tube in it, right?
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:05 pm

yeah ... i thought about that.

more spooky stuff that i dont know anything about. i'de have to spend hours doing research about tubes and re-biasing ... just to hear fom the better half about how obsessed i am.

i know different tubes get different tone. i'll look into it and see what i come up with, but i think ultimately i'll come up with something similar to what i said in my review. something along the lines ..........

i spent under $200 for this preamp. dont know if its really worth re - tubing and/or rebiasing. may just be better to use it for 2 or 3 years and then buy a new (or real nice used) high end or custom preamp.

but either way ... i'll end up ripping it open to see how it works eventually. its what i do.

remember ... i'm getting that growl pretty decent out of my processor now.

again ... i gotta fiddle with it some more.
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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:13 am

I went to Raising The Bottom concert several years ago sponsored by Lakland. Jerry Scheff was amazing. He had this killer growly tone. We got to meet him at a Lakland open house and I asked him how he gets that growl.

He told me he boosts his tube all amp/pre amp all the way up. Then turns up the volume up just a tad before it distorts. He said any bass will growl this way.

I am not sure how good that is for your tubes though?

Jerry with my son-He can hardly hear, has double hearing aids.
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amimbari

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:18 am

well MMike, 200 would not be a good "experimental" "let's see what happens" unit..my ganiac is so old if it blew up, i would just throw it in the garbage. Smile

and CBoots, ya 1 tube only in a very easy to access side panel that comes off to change it. It has the typical tube holder ( springs that hold it tightly in the socket ) I took that thing off cause with it on you just couldn't reach in and pull the tube out.

and BDog, I just let the "natural" junky jackson preamp handle a lot of the output from the bass to the ganiac, and really only use the ganiac on the clean channel with this 12at7 instead of the 12ax7 it just has more low end.

I would never recommend a jackson preamp if you want piano-tone but for clank rock...oh YA!!! Smile
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:07 pm

week 2.

i have the 2 channels chained ... processor, amp preamp, preamp channel one, preamp channel 2, return to power amps bridged, cabs.

this week i tried turning up the gain and lowering the output on channel one; kept channel 2 the same ... tube opl not clipping. i definately got some mean growl outta this thing. i had to cut back the drive on my amps preamp and the preamp gain settings on my processor ... it was just way too hot and overdriven.

the tube overdriven sounds way better than overdriving any ss circutry preamp in my rig. i think you guys know, you cant beat that growl sound.

again ... gotta tweak it more to get it right.

downside ... and as we were discussing above; this thing probably has a cheap chineese 12ax7a in it. i mean it works ... but the tonal quality lacking is more obvious when its overdriven ... plus, it probably shortening its lifespan.

obviously, i've done some research. because this is two separate channel unit, i dont need a matching pair; i can replace one of the tubes, probably in channel one that i'm gonna overdrive, and use the other for leveled output. yes, i probably shud go out and buy a great tube preamp, but this is the one i got now so, i'll make the most of it.

making the most of it is this tube ...... telefunken 12ax7.
http://tctubes.com/12AX7-ECC83-Telefunken-made-smooth-plates.aspx
the yugoslovian one below it would be a cheaper alternative. i dont know how much difference in the $39 would be in the tone, but the telefunken have a reputation for lasting longer when overdriven. the rca's were highly recommended as well.

yes, these tubes are expensive ... but its not like they are $600 ... they are less than a few sets of strings. i may by some other cheaper ones to taste test them ... perhaps do channel 2.

no, i wont have to re - bias my pramp with these. i was looking at a low output altenative 5751 for a different tone but i think this is more an alternative for guitar and not what i want. i would have to re - bias for that tube.
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:21 pm

and oh ... just so you guys know.

i was looking at rackmount units for this preamp. its one rackmount space.

units that i'de found are all 4 rackmount spaces ... and overpriced. i was thinking of mounting my amphead in it too, but thats 3 spaces with the amp and preamp in a 4 space unit, and my carvin has a blue tolex case i'de need to remove the amp from ... i just wanna keep the blue tolex case thanx.

i was gonna just build a custom unit to fit my stuff. seems pretty straightforward, but i had an idea of what i wanted set up and how it would look and it started to become a major project. ............ for a box basicly. ugg.

after i already started collecting parts for this custom case, i decided to chek out what carvin had to offer. they offer most of their amps and cabinets in custom tolex cases for a minimal markup.

carvin offers the same case my bx1200 with 2 rackmount spaces is in for $40. Twisted Evil
with the blue tolex and shipping ... it ended up being $70. Shocked

now ... hers the next project. i was thinking of getting one of those fancy shmancy tuners with all the led's and stuff for the one rackmount space open ... but i dont need a tuner. heres what i'm gonna put in there ......

lights. blue led's ... that dance with the bass comming outta my rig.

i gotta do some research to see what electronics and sound sensors i'll need.

thisll be fun!
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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:36 am

Now that sounds interesting madmike...I want to know if that works out for you.
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:06 pm

this worked out extremely well ...........



the top one rack mount space, i put grille from an old cabinet in there ... instead of there just being a big hole there.

next ... lights!

then i will truely be a rockstar (or a big geek)!
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PostSubject: Re: finally got a tube preamp   Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:12 pm

Those two rack cases look very nice like that. It's very tidy.
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