Bass preamps have two advantages: they allow you to directly plug into PA systems / recording consoles without needing miking the best bass amp, and do this while putting actual amp sonic behavior and taste in your tone.
Therefore, bass preamps are considered standard issue equipment for pro bassists, some utilizing these as complementary impacts to improve the noise they’re becoming from their preferred amp.
Inside this guide, Every preamp, Fidlar urge includes a summary record of bass players who have used them don’t like everyone. Keep reading to see our Best Bass Preamps review.
Table of Contents
- 1 What’s A Bass Preamp Pedal?
- 2 What To Search For In A Bass Preamp Pedal?
- 3 What Exactly Does A Bass Preamp Pedal do?
- 4 Things To Consider When Purchasing A Bass Preamp
- 5 Best Bass Preamp Brands 2021
- 5.1 1. Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Bass Driver DI
- 5.2 2. Darkglass Microtubes B7K Ultra V2 Bass Preamp
- 5.3 3. EBS Micro Bass Two Channel Pro Bass Pre Amp
- 5.4 4. Behringer BDI21 V-Tone Bass Driver
- 5.5 5. MXR M81 Bass Preamp Pedal
- 5.6 6. Behringer V-Tone Bass Driver DI
- 5.7 7. Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI V2
- 5.8 8. Ampeg SCR-DI
- 5.9 9. TC Electronic SpectraDrive Bass Preamp Pedal
- 5.10 10. Darkglass Vintage Deluxe V3 Bass Preamp
- 6 Conclusion
What’s A Bass Preamp Pedal?
Bass preamp pedals are foot-operated switch-enabled pedals, together with the principal role of providing a significant increase.
Should you put in profit at a subsequent point to an inadequate line-level input signal, you are going to wind up with much less strain than the previously promoted one. Therefore, a preamp will improve what your device gets until you toy with it any farther.
In addition to its sign increasing capacities, many will include the 3-band EQ you will generally find in your preamp mind, or amplifier if it is a bass combo amp.
There are lots of people who say that this leaves the onboard pedal EQ obsolete because most amplifiers will include tone preferences and other consequences. Still, there are always people who favor it until the first signal is routed.
Having countless consequences can be devastating, as every stage deteriorates the initial instrument sign, but for a few genres, this may open up an intriguing noisy selection of audio features.
For the vast majority of precision or cleaner gamers, this is undesirable, and that’s where the debate begins.
One good reason to have a preamp different from the own amplifier is for recording functions. Most studio setups will have rack-mounted preamp choice, which might consist of a whole variety of preamp apparatus the sound-engineer will tailor-made for you.
A preamp pedal is similar but allows for foot-operation that, when independently secured, provides you the chance to change from clean to dirty within a hands-free method.
Should you rely upon your amp, you will need to record using a mic in the amp, or it’ll require it’s own straight out, which some do not provide as fast as a committed DI box does use its ground-lifting.
In live-situations, it is preferable to have bass straight out-putted via the computer system. Some bass is too sexy for your mixer, which is the most crucial reason the DI box became so vital. For many professional places, the techies will insist you’ve got one.
What To Search For In A Bass Preamp Pedal?
They have been made to provide a passive tool an essential increase, but if you’ve got active circuitry on your bass, you will require one that can efficiently deal with this, or else you may create some unwanted sound.
It is sensible to locate one using a ground-lift switch that provides independent clean and distortion channels, and, ideally, you would like a parallel output for optimum functionality.
As it is likely to become trodden-on, durability is a vital element. The buttons themselves ought to be quite sturdy, as they will get the most wear and tear.
In terms of the EQ and tone forming onboard, it is right down to the genres that you perform with. First of all, you are just searching for a sufficient signal increase and the signal fitting of their DI capabilities.
Should you play with it heavily, you might want a bicycle that delivers a tasteful pair of the driveway and mix options to provide you longer to get creative with.
What Exactly Does A Bass Preamp Pedal do?
The best way to explain what a bass preamp pedal would be (and how it works) would consider how a typical amplifier is constructed. It’s two different and different segments a preamp stage and a power amp platform.
The preamp section is pretty much just as its name suggests. That usually means a significant part of the signal processing which provides a specific amp its sound is completed in this phase until the signal is amplified to where it could be heard (thus the expression preamp, it is before the amp).
From there, the signal goes into the power amp section, in which the signal is fostered (amplified) and shipped from the amp output (generally a speaker).
In the simplest sense, a preamp pedal will take that first point and set it to its foot-pedal-sized enclosure.
Things To Consider When Purchasing A Bass Preamp
Bass preamps are frequently utilized to improve the sound, making them more like a consequence that colors the sound. Most bassists prefer the ones that mimic the sound of tube amps, but many others favor to clean and translucent.
Many preamps allow you to adjust the amount of noise coloration through the drive/gain knob; other preamps allow for much more precise control through blend/mix knobs along with other parameters.
Be aware that besides providing you straight to PA/Console tones, you can track your preamp into the power amp part of your bass to present your amp with another voicing.
While evaluations provide a fantastic representation of audio quality, your perception of audio quality will remain subjective, primarily determined by the noise of the artists which you appear to. We have included demonstration videos to get a clearer idea of the noise of every preamp.
EQ and Sound Shaping
Along with coloration, many preamps allow you to shape your audio via EQ knobs. Some provide fundamental Treble and Bass equalization, but some provide more precise control, complete with fully sweepable Mids.
They operate along with the preamp to offer you more control over the resulting sound. Even though more knobs imply more control, take care not to wind up obsessing over the controllers rather than making excellent music.
Passive or Active Electronics
Most bass preamps are supposed to work with conventional passive pickup equipped bass guitars. They’re also able to work with busy pickup equipped devices.
The interaction of the active electronic equipment inside the tool and the bass preamp can produce unexpected outcomes. It’s recommended or skip your bass’s active electronics if you’re planning to use them together with preamps unless your preamp has a particular alternative for active pickups.
Input / Output Choices
Most, if not all, of mobile bass preamps, arrive with DI box performance, which typically implies having at least one balanced XLR or even 1/4″ line workout. This simple alternative is ideal for primary usage.
However, many others allow for longer signal routing alternatives like the capability to plug in just two bass guitars or send your dry signal out to a regular toaster.
Some even have committed effects loop segments, as in, headphones out, and much more. We’ve introduced the output and input interfaces for each unit so that you may select one that has the links you want.
Unlike guitar and mic preamps, which come in a vast array of shapes, most of the top-rated preamps come in pedal format. This makes it easier to incorporate into existing pedalboards and enables some amount of hands-free controller.
There’s a single rack-mountable bass preamp, which made it into our advocated list, and it’s perfect if you already possess rackmount gear installation or, in case, you’ve got a reliable roadie/tech that may make noise alterations for you.
Rackmount units generally have more control and connectivity alternatives, but they’re less crucial as pedals for many bassists, according to market information.
Power Supply / Battery
Bass preamp pedals are powered with either a power supply or a battery. Power supplies are more suitable; simply double-check whether the pedal currently includes you because some producers ask that you get them individually.
Batteries power a number of those bass preamps recorded above, and they’re recommended for recording due to their silent operation. Just note that dreams tend to eat batteries up relatively quickly.
Best Bass Preamp Brands 2021
1. Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Bass Driver DI
For many players, you can not say the title Tech 21 with no fantastic preamp pedal coming into mind. That is because many preamps are precisely what their whole product line is based upon.
The SansAmp Bass Driver DI was specially created and voiced for the bass guitar, and while it’s’ from the title, it is pretty much an utterly operational preamp pedal.
Featuring individual Bass, Treble, and Presence controls, it is possible to tone contour to your heart’s desire. Toss in a Gain controller, a Blend controller which lets you adjust the wet signal level, and also a general level control increases the general flexibility.
Off it, as soon as you land a pair of parameters that you enjoy, you may save it using a simple double-tap of a footswitch, having the capability to save as much as three distinct configurations simultaneously. This is one of the very best bass amp brands.
- Three separate user-defined settings, which are accessible by selecting one of the three-foot switches
- Extensive control over all global tone characteristics, including Gain, EQ, and Level
- Housed in a roadworthy metal housing with footswitches designed to take extensive use
- It’s recommended to document the knob settings for a preset before you save it – if you double-tap by accident you can overwrite your settings and not know where you were at
2. Darkglass Microtubes B7K Ultra V2 Bass Preamp
If bass preamp pedals steroids would be the thing, you have to look no further than the Darkglass Microtubes B7K Ultra.
This poor boy, so many knobs, buttons, and other widgets on it, may seem a little intimidating at first, but maybe not so much after you genuinely understand all of it.
The B7K has most of the standard bass preamp pedal works you’ll find on other versions. Still, it comes with an enlarged set of EQ controllers (4-band) that, when utilized along with the Strike and Grunt mini-toggles, provide a vast assortment of possibilities.
Other useful features include XLR output, the capacity to load impulse responses (IR’s) to assist in simulating particular speaker cabinets, USB interfaces to connect into the Darkglass Suite applications, a ground loop switch, and a headset jack as icing on the cake.
- The expansive set of EQ controls provides a level of adjustment not found in many competing models
- Impulse response (IR) support to take speaker simulation into the modern age
- The combination of preamp features plus many found on traditional DI boxes help to make this a good all-purpose choice
- A lot of features on a preamp pedal can be a good thing, but it can also be overwhelming at first
3. EBS Micro Bass Two Channel Pro Bass Pre Amp
With a typical two-channel setup, the EBS MicroBass provides a new definition to the term flexibility’.
It combines several of the best features of a preamp, an A/B switcher (which means it is possible to use more than one bass), along with also a DI box into a single streamlined unit. It is an excellent pick for live players that need a broad assortment of possibilities from one rig.
The number of bells and whistles may appear to be infinite, using a tube recorder, an onboard envelope filter, an effects loop, XLR output, ground loop, etc, and so on.
There is so far to the EBS MicroBass it could be considered your whole rig without having anything else.
- An amazingly large feature set that easily takes the amount of control over your sound WAY past the next level
- A/B switching allows you to connect two of your favorite basses at the same time, toggling between them with a simple footswitch tap
- An onboard effects loop provides additional options past many of the competition’s best models
- Option and feature overload can be a very real thing, and it may take some seat time in order to use the unit to its maximum capability
- Distortion channel with gain, volume, and blend controls
- Color knob
- 3-band EQ and Phantom power
4. Behringer BDI21 V-Tone Bass Driver
The BDI21 V-Tone from Behringer is one of the lower-cost models on the list, but that certainly doesn’t mean that it lacks features and functionality.
The BDI21 is marketed as a bass amp modeler, which also has active DI box capability. While you can’t dial in models of specific amp brands, you most certainly can tweak in a large selection of tube-like tones, ranging from smooth and silky to heavily overdriven.
EQ duties are handled via a 2-band section with additional Presence control. With the Blend knob, you can dial in the exact amount of tube emulation you want to go along with your unaltered direct signal.
All of the modeling and preamp functions can be bypassed entirely by merely stepping on the footswitch. At that point, the BDI21 acts purely as a DI box, with the standard XLR output and ground lift switch being the only functional features.
- Features a wide range of tube-emulated amp tones, voiced more towards the vintage end of the spectrum
- 2-band EQ and Presence controls allow for greater tone shaping, and the Blend control lets you mix wet and dry signals to your preference
- Exceptional performance, especially when considering the attractive price point
- As an amp modeler, there is no capacity to emulate any single particular amp; the range is more general
5. MXR M81 Bass Preamp Pedal
The M81 Bass Preamp out of MXR gets straight to the nitty-gritty of things. It is the very best preamps and straightforward preamp pedal that also incorporates the main features of a fantastic DI box.
The EQ section in the M81 has kudos for its broad array of frequencies, which lets you fix.
It features a 3-band EQ (Bass, Mid, and Treble), but the neat thing is that the Mid controller has an extra knob where you can dial in particular frequencies to restrain.
Simple input and output knobs cap off the preparation, and there’s also a Pre/Post toggle, which will enable you to select if the whole EQ section influences the XLR Direct Out. A ground lift can help to produce the M81, another impressive pedal alternative from MXR.
- 3-band EQ with a sweepable midrange section allows for greater tonal control than many similar preamp pedals
- High quality and rugged design, as is typical of most effects pedals produced by MXR
- XLR Direct Out and an added ground loop make the M81 a great solution for both a preamp and a DI box
- It’s a relatively minor detail, but the LED indicator is extremely bright which may make it distracting on a full pedalboard
- Blend: mixes the clean and processed Signals. The clean signal remains at unity gain while the volume of the overdriven signal is set by the level knob, allowing for fine mix tuning.
- Mod: Selects or mixes between the two distinct distortion circuits: Alpha is punchy, tight with a lot of definition, whereas Omega is simply brutal and raw.
- Bite: boosts high midst (2.8Khz) for additional presence and definition.
- Growl: Shelving Bass Boost for a fatter tone and increased low end saturation.
- Direct Output: A balanced version of the ¼” output, useful for running into PA’s or studio mixing consoles.
6. Behringer V-Tone Bass Driver DI
This original choice provides a hell of a whole lot in 1 bundle. The Behringer V-Tone Bass Driver DI was featured by us at our DI boxes post previously.
It is a nicely made DI box to get more precise,ect signs, which packs in many preamp modeling effects.
Users may dial into their classic analog-inspired tones to make brightened funky-plunks or meaty bass distortions and crunches, in addition to providing them a polished, fresh sound, as a result of the proprietary V-Tone emulation circuitry.
It is very well-engineered and fairly durable to get an inexpensive plastic-housed alternative. It’s a straightforward design that is simple to use and features main drive, bass, treble, and flat mini-dials used alongside added existence and mix controls. This is probably the very best budget bass amp.
- Great analog emulation.
- Good scope.
7. Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI V2
The initial incarnation was well-received sufficient, but the Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver V2 version provides the Bass Driver a fantastic boost. It is tailored to match those who perform with 5 to 6 string basses.
The Tech 21 provides various EQ settings to dial upon; however, it mainly provides an elongated low-end controller, providing users buttons to help concentrate their frequencies. You may opt to highlight 80Hz or perhaps 40 Hz Hz, which using the individual driveway and attendance controls, gives users low-a low-enact unlike any other.
There is an incredible number of mid-range liberty for coloring your preamp point tonality. It’s parallel outputs and may be utilized right, bypassing your amp’s preamp circuitry.
It is well made and laid a little bigger than a few pedals on the market but more straightforward to navigate and control. It is still the very best preamplifier.
- 3-band EQ with drive, presence, and blend.
- Punchy high-impact bass.
- Switchable frequency boost.
- Parallel outs.
- Product type: Guitar Amplifiers
- Made in German
8. Ampeg SCR-DI
The SCR-DI brings you preamp, overdrive, and DI box pops in one stomp, both that a preamp section that reproduces the low-end friendly taste of hot Ampeg SVT bass.
Why is this preamp standout is that the inclusion of Ultra Lo aLow Ultra-Hi switches, a bass bass-friendly accurate for people who wish to accentuate large note conducts, or people who want to have more bottom end oomph?
As stated previously, this pedal includes Ampeg’s Scrambler overdrive impact, which can be tare tweaking work with bass guitars, and this segment includes dedicated footswitch and controllers. Wrapping its features include dry and wet output vents, aux, and DI out.
- Its construction feels bulletproof
- its preamp and EQ have a supremely wide breadth
- its overdrive circuit can cover much more ground than many standalone alternatives
- Battery life seems to be an issue for some, so it is recommended to power up this pedal via a power adapter.
9. TC Electronic SpectraDrive Bass Preamp Pedal
The TC Electronic SpectraDrive Bass Preamp distinguishes itself from the competition mainly off many unique features to the TC Electronic brand.
Starting, the SpectraDrive has TonePrint capacity, which, when combined with all the SpectraComp controller, allows for a vast array of compression profiles along with EQ stacks. This can help elevate your tone and be sure you’re heard inside and over the mix in a recording or live setting.
Additionally, it features a TubeDrive controller, which emulates the qualities of a great tube amp. A 4-band EQ segment allows different tone forming too.
The SpectraDrive is not only made for the point, however. An aux input and a headphone jack also help to be quite a fantastic selection for a practicing instrument ideal for those situations in which you need the right simulated cranked-up tone. However, you’d love to remain in good relations with your neighbors.
- Proprietary TC Electronic features such as TonePrint capability, a SpectraComp control, and a TubeDrive control provide a wide range of EQ and sonic options
- An included aux input along with a headphone jack are great options for your practicing space
- TonePrint integration may be problematic, and switching settings in a live venue may not be ideal
- Separate INPUT & OUTPUT level controls
- 3-band EQ section with sweep able midrange
- Studio-quality Direct Out
10. Darkglass Vintage Deluxe V3 Bass Preamp
If you are a bass that grooves on these smooth, tube-centric classic sounds, then the Darkglass Vintage Deluxe V3 Bass Preamp could be up your street.
Much like all the Darkglass B7K, there’s a 4-band EQ segment in addition to the Strike and Grunt controllers but using all the Vintage Deluxe that is geared towards permitting you a great deal of distinct vintage-based sounds when compared with more modern ones that the B7K was designed for.
The Vintage Deluxe also has selectable midpoints for its high and low mid controllers, further including the selection of alterations.
An XLR output together with a floor lift adds accurate DI box performance, to top things off.
- Extensive EQ shaping controls with a 4-band EQ configuration along with selectable range settings for the low and hi-mid knobs
- Voiced to produce vintage and traditional bass tones as compared to many modern pedals in the same market space
- DI box capability with an XLR output and a ground loop to fight off unwanted ground loop noise
- If modern-in-your-face sounds are what you’re looking for, this may not be the best solution for your needs
- Bass Preamp/Disttion Pedal with Dual Disttion Modes Blend Control
Fidlar expects you are swayed by what you have seen now! Otherwise, there’s a range available in the sector, and they all have their worth.
Possessing the Best Bass Preamps for your guitar can make a difference. Possessing a DI box is vital to your playing level, ensuring that the signal output fits the remainder of the gear.
Last update on 2020-12-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API