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  #1  
Old 03-30-2013, 11:05 PM
1948Gibson 1948Gibson is offline
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Default Preamp - a beaten horse I'm sure

I have a 1948 Gibson LG-2 with a LR Baggs m80 in it and a 2002 Taylor 314ce with their AA expression system in it.

I'm looking for a preamp for playing live that has EQ, doubles as a DI, and if it had a tuner out or a effects loop, I wouldn't complain. $500 is my absolute cap, though price will definitely be taken into consideration when making a final decision. What do you guys use!?

Just joined the forum and can't wait to speak guitar with you all!
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2013, 11:44 PM
akafloyd akafloyd is offline
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Lots of good choices out there. I like the Radial PZ-Deluxe for its eq, it makes it easy to dial in a good tone. The mute and boost switches can come in handy and the unique feature of having a phase switch for each output, 1/4" and xlr.

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Old 03-30-2013, 11:54 PM
1948Gibson 1948Gibson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akafloyd View Post
Lots of good choices out there. I like the Radial PZ-Deluxe for its eq, it makes it easy to dial in a good tone. The mute and boost switches can come in handy and the unique feature of having a phase switch for each output, 1/4" and xlr.

Welcome to the forum!!
Thanks!

I've never known anyone to use that one but I checked it out and it looks awesome. The only thing missing from my "dream list," if you will, would be an effects loop before it heads out to the PA. All I want is reverb though.
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Old 03-31-2013, 02:30 AM
pieterh pieterh is offline
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Default Preamp - a beaten horse I'm sure

The pz-pre (2 channel preamp) is a great piece of kit with an effects loop, tuner out etc. The Pz-Deluxe's older big brother!

I use it with my Guild D35 (K&K Pure Mini) and Taylor 414 ce (now with ES mark 3). The only downside is that extreme eq settings to tame the ES eccentricity (even the new version has the B string quirks) will not be ideal for the M80.

The Dtar Solstice is a 2 channel pre with separate eq per channel though not as precise as the Pz-Pre. It has an fx loop too.

Dtar's Equinox has very precise eq with sweep mid eq and TWO notch filters but is a single channel pre, no fx loop. The disadvantage of these units is that they are not floor mounted units with foot-switches.

I don't have any experience of the Baggs Venue though it has many fans here. It has an inbuilt tuner though if I remember correctly it isn't the most accurate (I use the Korg clip on tuner which I find suits nearly every situation - and instrument!).
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Gibson ES-335 Studio 2016; Furch OM34sr 2015; Fender MiJ Geddy Lee Jazz bass, 2009; Taylor 414CE 2005; Guild D35 NT 1976; Fender MIM Classic 60s Tele 2008; Fender US Standard Strat 1992; G&L ASAT classic hollowbody 2005; Ibanez RG350MDX 2010(?); Ibanez Musician fretless, 1980s; Seymour Duncan Tube 84-40; Vox AC4TV;

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  #5  
Old 03-31-2013, 02:25 PM
1948Gibson 1948Gibson is offline
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I'll check those out. Any love for a tube pre?
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  #6  
Old 03-31-2013, 03:19 PM
Trainwreckmusic Trainwreckmusic is offline
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Default Fishman Aura Spectra DI

Recently bought one of these.
http://www.fishman.com/products/view/aura-spectrum-di
It's the 1st time that I have not hated the sound of my acoustics plugged in.
I even use it wen I record as a DI to my recording interface as a supplemental source blended with the mikes regularly I record with. No question it has improve my sound both live & in the studio..
Definitely worth checking out...several threads on this DI here.
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  #7  
Old 03-31-2013, 04:43 PM
lschwart lschwart is offline
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If you're playing both guitars on stage and need to switch between them easily, I can heartily recommend the Radial Tonebone PZ-Pre. It's a very practical solution for a two guitar set up. It only has one EQ control for both channels, but I've been finding that the same setting works well for both of my guitars, with one of them getting just a sight additional tweak from it's own onboard preamp. It will accommodate both active and passive pickups. I use a delay pedal in the FX loop and bring that in along with a boost for solos with both guitars. I use a clip on tuner, and the mute function comes in handy for silent tuning.

Louis
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:16 PM
Grenade Grenade is offline
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I'm using an ART Studio V3 Tube MP. It has 16 voicings, phase switch, 20db boost, phantom power, 1/4" and XLR inputs and outputs. It's velcroed to my pedalboard with Boss TU-3, EQ pedal and a chorus. And a volume pedal.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:27 PM
Grenade Grenade is offline
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It also has a limiter.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:39 PM
krisls krisls is offline
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Another PZ Deluxe user, great little box. I run 3 pedals into it setting levels and EQ on the PZ then out to Amp or PA. Tuner out and the mute switch is handy. The boost I use now and again modestly.

If you need dual inputs for two guitars or an effects loop, look at the PZ Pre. As I mostly use the one guitar the Deluxe suits me perfectly. The Baggs Venue is the other main contender I looked at but the tuner is so so. I prefer separate bits n bobs. Didn't look seriously at the Fishman Aura but some people love it.

Kris
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2013, 06:04 PM
BTF BTF is offline
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I use a Presonus Acousti-Q tube preamp and like it. They're discontinued but can be found for reasonable prices used at GC, among other places. They have 2 channels (for blending) with ultra-high input impedance, one with phantom, tuner out, active eq with notch filter, fx loop, XLR-out, footswitchable mute and variable volume boost (I don't tend to use that feature). The units sound so-so with the stock Sino 12AX7 in them, but the sound MUCH improves with a quality tube like the JJ ECC803s or Ei ECC83 (full tone!), ECC83s (good to darken up trebly guitar pickups) or a 12AY7 (tames bass-heavy guitars and is quite warm) in them. They are relatively well-built, but get horrible reviews online (mostly due to user's problems with the phantom power, which I also don't use), yet mine works and sounds great (I use the ECC803s which gives it a fuller, warmer tone). The tube is at the end of the preamp circuitry, so a quality tube there can make or break the unit.

I also use the ART V3 (with a better tube there as well) at the end of my pedal chain to warm up my effects and provide output options. It's somewhat noisy, but no more so than most club and restaurant PAs! I like it very much.

Last edited by BTF; 03-31-2013 at 06:37 PM. Reason: typing error
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:16 PM
Grenade Grenade is offline
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What tube did you use in your V3?
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2013, 06:27 PM
BTF BTF is offline
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Depending on the tone you want, you can use several. The tube on the ART is also at the end of the circuit. I like the Sovtek 12AX7WXT (my current choice), a discontinued but still-available tube produced in the early 90's. It sounded somewhat different (more like a 70's 7025- I also use it as V1 in my JCM800 preamp) than its sisters, the WA (thinner, but brighter and clearer- good to tame bass heavy guitars) and the WB ( a bit darker and bassier- too much so for my rig, especially on the V3's "warm" settings). The JJ ECC803s is another good choice (big bass, warm highs), the JJ ECC83 is somewhat dark-sounding like the WB, but good to fatten things up. The EI ECC83 is great (big and warm), but EI is gone now and vendors are charging nutty prices for them. The Russian tubes (Mullard reissues, that kind of thing) tend to give you more highs, the Czech tend to be darker and bassier. Tungsram is a killer for acoustic instruments, but they're gone and you can buy 6 or 7 ART MPs for the price of one tube! A 12AY7 is good as well, but is a little less loud. It tends to even out the spectrum and keep the bass more even with the highs. Electo Harmonix/ Sovtek makes a pretty good one of these. Just remember that ART will void your warranty if you change the tube before the warranty period ends. The tube isn't terribly difficult to change, just be careful when you open it up so you don't break the ribbon cables (gently crack it open at the top, leave the shell closer together at the bottom).

Sorry I can't be more specific, but each of us hears a different sound. Much like recommending a restaurant! At a cost per performance ratio, I'd say WA for its clarity, WB if you need to tame some high end, 803 for its big sound and 83 if you really need to cut some highs. I haven't tried the recent reissues in the V3. Hope this helps. Regards, Bill.

Last edited by BTF; 03-31-2013 at 09:38 PM. Reason: clarification
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  #14  
Old 04-01-2013, 05:54 AM
Grenade Grenade is offline
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Thank you, I'll keep this info in mind for when my warranty runs out.
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  #15  
Old 04-01-2013, 06:14 AM
ukejon ukejon is offline
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Hard to beat the LR Baggs Venue. Great design, super quiet, very versatile EQ, handy foot switch controls (boost, mute, tuner, etc).
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