The Quest For The Perfect Preamp - Jemsite
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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The Quest For The Perfect Preamp

I cant decide (sold my marshalls to get a rack rig for when im at Berklee).. so let everyone share there $.02!

im trying to go after a stereo preamp that can offer a great clean (eric johnson), fusion tone (guthrie govan/greg howe), crunch (steve vai rhythm/80s) , and high gain (diezel vh4/Bogner xtc style)..

1. Randall RM4 (cool because you can use 4 modules and they are all tube and good copys of high end amps with great cleans and gain, only bad thing is only offers gain, volume, bass, middle, and treble for each module and its not stereo so i would have to buy two chassis)
2. Mesa Triaxis (Cool because its 4 channels and has different modes in each one, but i heard it is a bit fizzy on the gain)
3. Marshall Jmp-1 (cool 4 channel amp with some extra features, but ive heard the cleans arent great and the gain is again fizzy)
4. Bogner Fish (awesome preamp! but costs a ton and is very hard to find, i dont know a lot of people willing to spend 2.5k on a preamp only..)
5. Engl e570 (heard good things but i have never really heard anything special)
6. Soldano x99 and x88r (Amazing, expensive, and yet impossible to find)
7. Soldano sp-77 (only 2 channels, no midi)
8. Hughes Kettner Access (nice preamp but again very hard to find)


Help!

Last edited by jimmypage1stfan; 03-02-2009 at 08:21 PM. Reason: For your enjoyment
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 06:54 PM
 
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Re: The Quest For The Perfect Preamp

I'd go with the Triaxis. Listen to Images and Words for a good idea of the sound. JP used a Triaxis and 2:90 for most, if not, all dirty sounds.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: The Quest For The Perfect Preamp

Quote:
Originally Posted by YaYoGakk View Post
I'd go with the Triaxis. Listen to Images and Words for a good idea of the sound. JP used a Triaxis and 2:90 for most, if not, all dirty sounds.
ya ive heard there nice.. but im not really looking for a distorted sound. more of a over saturated sound. The triaxis ive heard is real fuzzy and distorted and that is definitely not what i want. I want a smooth sustaining lead tone (think vai).
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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Re: The Quest For The Perfect Preamp

Randall rm4 is a very neat platform.

The H&K is sweeeeeeeeetttt but you are right about the cost.

.....

The Randall has all the modules though.....
glad you have to make the final decision (i couldn't)

Randall aren't great about sorting out problems on the pre-buyout amps
I have 2 Cebtury 200IIS and A BMF Tube head that are sweet but fragile.
On their new products i've tried i've been impressed and the customer service has supposedly been stellar.

Let us know what you choose
best of luck
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 09:12 PM
 
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Re: The Quest For The Perfect Preamp

It's easy - Engl E580 - balls to the wall and totally versatile. It'll cost you though.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: The Quest For The Perfect Preamp

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitvai1 View Post
It's easy - Engl E580 - balls to the wall and totally versatile. It'll cost you though.
theres no way i would pay 3k on a preamp alone! are they crazy? i could have a full rack rig with a used Soldano slo or a bogner xtc for the price of that preamp! im sure its nice but no preamp is worth that price, a nice boutique amp is, but not a single preamp.



anyways so far im leaning twards the Randall rm4 with some modules... i really need help guys! has anyone used the randall rm4? does it have a good modules for cleans, a fusion over saturated tone, and a high gain sound? i need some feedback fast as i might buy one on craigslist for a super good price and dont want to let it go if its a nice preamp.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 01:29 PM
ME.
 
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Re: The Quest For The Perfect Preamp

Go try that ENGL pre. I've got the head version and can't think of anything I'd rather have.
They're great.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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Re: The Quest For The Perfect Preamp


ADA MP-1
Digitech 2101 Artist

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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Re: The Quest For The Perfect Preamp

I've tried the kirk hammett rm
the lynch box
and the rm4
pretty much the same thing
I used the lynch with the grail module,a tweed module, and a bogner module and that would have been mine had the cash been available to me.... that combo blows me away.
The fender modules are spot on...
the bogner was fantastic... reminded me of the alchemist. grail is a ten.

The rm4 i tried was at a local club and that thing is nasty when loaded w/the rite stuff. I didn't particularly like his hi gain modules he had in ...marshall and mesa... great but after trying the bogner, ultra, etc. combo....

There's a rm4 on the raliegh craigslist for 800 or 900 loaded with modules.

I'd look for a used one loaded w/some of your preferred modules...save that 200 per module..and then buy more and more... collect em all, you'll be the envy of the guys with the Bogners,Mesas etc. cuz you'll have 'em all.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 03:22 PM
 
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Re: The Quest For The Perfect Preamp

I personally love my TriAxis and don't find the Lead modes to be fuzzy or distorted at all, unless you count the Rectifier mode as "distorted." It's a wonderful preamp for "over-saturated fusion" in lower gain modes with the gain control cranked.
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: The Quest For The Perfect Preamp

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synesthesia View Post
I personally love my TriAxis and don't find the Lead modes to be fuzzy or distorted at all, unless you count the Rectifier mode as "distorted." It's a wonderful preamp for "over-saturated fusion" in lower gain modes with the gain control cranked.
thanks for your insight, would you mind doing a full demo of the channels for me? if its not to much trouble..
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 05:49 PM
 
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Re: The Quest For The Perfect Preamp

Quote:
Originally Posted by courtney2018 View Post

ADA MP-1
Digitech 2101 Artist

+1. No MP-1 in your list ? Tsssk, especially for the ridiculous prices they go. I guess one of the reasons you choose to go rack is because of versatility? I myself wouldn't be satisfied with a preamp that doesn't store presets, especially because you mention a rather broad tone spectrum there.

Do I dare say it but have you considered a modeler? After the huge list of gear that I've owned over the last 15 years (preamps Digitech Valve FX and 2101, JMP-1, ADA MP-1 & 3TM), having decided to go from plain simple amp and stomp boxes to rig and back 2 times and things in between, I now own a Pod X3 Live and I'm heaving the time of my guitar-life with that thing, seriously. AxeFX is another price range but seems to be da bomb. (I'll be posting a review shortly of my X3 combined with the freshly acquired Atomic Reactor amp).
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 12:59 PM
 
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Re: The Quest For The Perfect Preamp

The randall mts gear.... i own an rm4, rt2/50 and a rm100. you cant go wrong.

go to the randall forum, find it right on the randall homepage. listen to all teh stock, modified and modeled clips of ALL TUBE preamp modules people have posted up there. it'll blow your mind. many people have given up their front end boost with this mts line.

Last edited by bhuard75; 03-08-2009 at 01:09 PM.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: The Quest For The Perfect Preamp

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmike View Post
+1. No MP-1 in your list ? Tsssk, especially for the ridiculous prices they go. I guess one of the reasons you choose to go rack is because of versatility? I myself wouldn't be satisfied with a preamp that doesn't store presets, especially because you mention a rather broad tone spectrum there.

Do I dare say it but have you considered a modeler? After the huge list of gear that I've owned over the last 15 years (preamps Digitech Valve FX and 2101, JMP-1, ADA MP-1 & 3TM), having decided to go from plain simple amp and stomp boxes to rig and back 2 times and things in between, I now own a Pod X3 Live and I'm heaving the time of my guitar-life with that thing, seriously. AxeFX is another price range but seems to be da bomb. (I'll be posting a review shortly of my X3 combined with the freshly acquired Atomic Reactor amp).
Small world i own a pod x3 live also! there great! i used it for my Berklee audition (got a scholarship!). I like it a lot but for a live gig it doesnt really cut through the mix. I use it mostly for practice and for fun now, i use it so i dont have to haul my marshall heads and cabs around.. Im still going to bring it to Berklee and use it for practice and at ensembles, but i want a all tube better sounding and more powerful rack setup for live gigs in Boston.

thanks for you input bro.
Hayden
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 05:10 AM
 
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Re: The Quest For The Perfect Preamp

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmypage1stfan View Post
I like it a lot but for a live gig it doesnt really cut through the mix.
Well it seems to be able to cut trough a mix in recordings because it's used all over the globe by pro's. I think it's a matter of tweaking presets separately, tweaking frequencies, for live situations and towards the other band members. A maximizer can help a lot as well (It did wonders for my MP-1. I run the X3 trough a BBE sonic stomp into an Atomic reactor (specifically designed for modelers) with a 6L6 power stage. There are also quite some bands who use the Tech21 Sansamp PSA live, same story. Anyways I've always had the feeling that in case you use a rack in stead of a head/combo, there is always some work to be done to make all these different pieces and brands work together sound-wise in one 19".
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