Wanted : a clean, fat and warm sounding TUBE preamp ....

gitman

Supporting Member
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995
What's currently out there , preferably not in a 19" rack and NOT meant for overdriven/distorted tones (natural tube compression is a must though !) ? I know of the Kingsley "Squire/Minstrel" pedals (currently unavailable), the Demeter Mighty Minnie (it has a power amp built-in, don't need that) and the Sarno products. Alembic comes to mind but these were built for bassists mainly and the sound is rather bland and hi-fi .... I play mainly Jazz/Soul/Funk gigs and when I want grit I kick in a pedal. For recording purposes the preamp would be used in combination with a high quality cab-simulator.
Please let me know !
 

eigentone

Silver Supporting Member
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7,160
The Alembics are based on the Fender Blackface Showman preamps. I have a F-1X, F-2B, and a '66 Dual Showman. They all work well for guitar and bass IMO. I certainly don't find them bland. Have you ever used one?

They were good enough for David Gilmour's guitar rig…
 

gitman

Supporting Member
Messages
995
The Alembics are based on the Fender Blackface Showman preamps. I have a F-1X, F-2B, and a '66 Dual Showman. They all work well for guitar and bass IMO. I certainly don't find them bland. Have you ever used one?

They were good enough for David Gilmour's guitar rig…
Hey, I dig Gilmour's tone and all but a) I don't have his budget and b) he's using a TON of extra gear before and after these preamps so who besides himself can tell the difference ?
 

peter_heijnen

Member
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1,977
Effectrode Blackbird. Has a beautifull clean and a second channel for either 'grit' or hi gain, depending on the mode it's put into.

Besides that, if people talk about 'natural tube compression' it's mostly the powertubes that are meant. The Blackbird's clean channel is really clean, not compressed.
 

gitman

Supporting Member
Messages
995
?? That’s a mic pre.
Yes, that is a mic preamp - BUT : when talking to some of the old guys who cut records in the 60's and 70's I learned that pretty often the guitar was sent directly into the board , via the usual and normal preamps, i.e. MIC preamps. It's a perfectly useable method for recording clean, uncompressed guitar tones because after all, you don't necessarily need a "dedicated" guitar amp for amplifying/recording a (clean) guitar signal. For fun I sometimes play through an old movie-projector amp, it puts out around 20 watts and has a glorious dirty sound, putting to shame my buddy's 60's Blackface Deluxe ! Just too bad that this amp has not much headroom and no preamp-out ....
 

teofilrocks

Supporting Member
Messages
4,046
Yes, that is a mic preamp - BUT : when talking to some of the old guys who cut records in the 60's and 70's I learned that pretty often the guitar was sent directly into the board , via the usual and normal preamps, i.e. MIC preamps. It's a perfectly useable method for recording clean, uncompressed guitar tones because after all, you don't necessarily need a "dedicated" guitar amp for amplifying/recording a (clean) guitar signal. For fun I sometimes play through an old movie-projector amp, it puts out around 20 watts and has a glorious dirty sound, putting to shame my buddy's 60's Blackface Deluxe ! Just too bad that this amp has not much headroom and no preamp-out ....
Sure you can record a clean guitar sound from a mic pre, but the OP’s title asks for “fat and warm”. That’s almost the opposite of what you get plugging in direct-to-desk.
 

easyed

Silver Supporting Member
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2,371
OP didn't specify anything about portability or power. I'll throw the magnificent Super Reverb in as it's my favorite amp for cleans. It's hard to beat that 4x10 room filling presence and the AB763 "Blackface" circuit (and Silverface modifications prior to the introduction of Master Volume) all do wonderful cleans. I've never played a SR with master volume, so I can't say how they sound.

There are lots of silverface SR's selling for less than the price of the reissue. If the bias balance adjustment hasn't been changed to straight bias adjust (or that capability added), it's one of the modifications I consider essential.

Edit: I just looked again at OP's title. OOPS! Looking for preamp. Any Fender amp from the Deluxe Reverb or more can be tapped at the feed to the PI and give a wonderful tone. It would require the addition of a switching jack to interrupt the signal to the PI and power amp section.
 
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teofilrocks

Supporting Member
Messages
4,046
You get the signal conditioning 'benefits' of tube precessing and then eq fat and warm into it to your taste.
Yep, YMMV.
Uh huh..

Also in the OP's post:
and when I want grit I kick in a pedal
I'm sure the mic pre sounds great with a OD pedal running straight into it.. /s

But hey, the OP gets to decide what he thinks is a good idea.
 

stevieboy

Clouds yell at me
Silver Supporting Member
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37,310
Are "fat" and "warm" really compatible with "clean"?

When I hear various pieces of gear that are described as fat and/or warm, they don't sound clean to me. They might sound good, that's not my question.
 

jackson

Member
Messages
3,225
I went though a phase where I needed a preamp direct to pa. I thought the boogie preamps were excellent. I had a Sarno that was also good, but for clean only.
 

gitman

Supporting Member
Messages
995
I have a specific tone in mind and I got that with some amps and I can only describe it as fat, warm and clean, just ever so slightly compressed. There was an old Ampeg combo , a Blackface Pro Reverb, a modded Silverface Twin , these amps gave up the goods (for me) with some tweaking and at a very specific volume level, too loud for home use but ok on stage. I have a pretty strong pick attack and use heavy strings on my archtops so the signal I send out has some pretty strong peaks and will distort a low-powered amp pretty quickly, even more so when I throw in some double stops or whole chords when taking a solo.
My quest is for that tone in a manageable box that can either be hooked into a console or a powered speaker cab. With the current abundance of specialized gear there surely is something out there that does just that ....
Please take a listen to theses two tracks and you get an idea of what sort of tones I mean :
 




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