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Author Topic:  tube preamp
Tom Cooper


From:
Orlando, Fl
Post Posted 11 Dec 2008 7:38 pm     Reply with quote

I play through a PV nash 400 and would like advice on a tube preamp in the 4-500$ range. Would like to round out the sound a bit. TC
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Brad Sarno


From:
St. Louis, MO USA
Post Posted 12 Dec 2008 5:48 am     Reply with quote

Tom,

in that price range, I don't think you can beat a used Mesa Boogie Studio preamp. Not too hard to find. You may be able to find a used Alembic in that range too. There are some better tube preamp for steel, but they do cost a little bit more.

Winking


Brad
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 12 Dec 2008 7:09 am     Reply with quote

I have tried many different preamps over the years and I always go back to a Blue Tube II made by Tube Works (now Genz Benz).
Not only is it a great sounding preamp but there are so many controls on the back that just about any effects unit can be used in conjunction with it.
You can pick these off of e-bay quite often for less than $200.
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Roger Francis


From:
kokomo,Indiana, USA
Post Posted 12 Dec 2008 8:46 am     Reply with quote

And if you want to save up a few more bucks you positively can't go wrong on an RTP or the Sonic Pre from Brad Sarno, I know, becase i own an RTP (Revelation tube preamp) Great amp.
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Tom Cooper


From:
Orlando, Fl
Post Posted 12 Dec 2008 12:54 pm     preamp Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. As soon as I get some time I'll check them out. I just want a little tube action in my signal chain. thxs, TC
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 12 Dec 2008 2:10 pm     Reply with quote

Peavey made a unit a few years ago called the "Tube Sweetener".
That helps sweeten up the sound from solid state.
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David Nugent


From:
Gum Spring, Va.
Post Posted 12 Dec 2008 2:56 pm     pre amp Reply with quote

I found it surprising that no one has suggested a "Black Box".
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Marlin Smoot


From:
Denver
Post Posted 12 Dec 2008 4:10 pm     Sgbb Reply with quote

The Steel Guitar Black Box. Voiced for steel and makes your 6 stringer sound really good too. Great 'tube' addition to your sound and in your price range.
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Delvin Morgan


From:
Lindstrom, Minnesota, USA
Post Posted 12 Dec 2008 5:33 pm     Reply with quote

Not knocking the Black Box, but I tried it on my Williams w/GeorgeL 12-1 p'up and through a Pv NV112 and had little or no difference in sound. In my opinion, I gave it back to the owner, and he swears by it, go figure.
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Len Amaral


From:
Rehoboth,MA 02769
Post Posted 12 Dec 2008 6:16 pm     Reply with quote

The BB is very effective into a SS amp that will give you a tube vibe. For the best response you have to go from the guitar pickup to the input of the BB then output of the BB to the volume pedal then to the amp input.
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Henry Nagle


From:
Santa Rosa, California
Post Posted 12 Dec 2008 11:47 pm     Reply with quote

I have found the Black Box to work wonders with a solid state amp. Not many knobs to turn, but I really did notice a great positive change in the sound. It made a Webb sound a lot closer to a Twin Reverb.

Henry
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Eric Philippsen


From:
Central Indiana, USA
Post Posted 13 Dec 2008 4:21 am     Reply with quote

I understand that budget is definitely a factor.

That being said, the Sarno Tonic preamp is pretty sweet. It's so portable and compact, I know a steeler who packs it in his backpack to and from gigs and studio work. It does hold its $$ value, too. Really, the few used ones that show up for sale on this site are sold in minutes.

But it does cost more than what your budget is and, again, I understand that.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 13 Dec 2008 7:28 am     Reply with quote

Isn't that unit solid state?

I thought he was looking for a tube unit.
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Brad Sarno


From:
St. Louis, MO USA
Post Posted 13 Dec 2008 8:14 am     Reply with quote

Actually the Revelation and Tonic are entriely, purely 100% tube preamps from input to output. High voltage (300V B+ supply) tube signal path. Ironically, it's the Blue Tube II by Tubeworks/Genz Benz that is a transitor preamp. Those are actually transistor/solid-state preamps with a couple of low-voltage tube stages added for injecting a bit of tube warmth (harmonic distortion), but for the most part those are solid state devices. The marketing and labeling can be misleading sometimes. The Blue Tube II is indeed a nice sounding and very affordable preamp, perhaps not as "tubey" sounding as an actual tube preamp, but they do sound good nonetheless.


Brad
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Tom Cooper


From:
Orlando, Fl
Post Posted 13 Dec 2008 8:50 am     preamp Reply with quote

Thanks so much for all the info. I really enjoy learning about steel guitar stuff. Pls keep it coming. Thank God for the Steel Guitar Forum! TC
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Donny Hinson


From:
Balto., Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 13 Dec 2008 8:58 am     Reply with quote

Tom, you didn't whether or not if your Nashville 400 had the "mod"? If it's a newer amp, the mod is included. If it's an older one (and doesn't have the mod), that will probably do far more for your sound than a preamp.
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Steve Feldman


From:
Central MA USA
Post Posted 13 Dec 2008 9:08 am     Reply with quote

Mesa also made a V-Twin tube preamp of slightly later vintage than the Pre. I think it's also very good.
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Tom Cooper


From:
Orlando, Fl
Post Posted 14 Dec 2008 6:29 pm     preamp Reply with quote

In the meantime researching preamps, I hooked up my Presonus tube mic pre. I hooked it up like you would a Black Box, in front of the chain. It definitely produced a sparkle and life that was not there before. I'll use this until I can fully research and learn about all the options. As for the Nash, the serial # is 8A 03530583. I may try to go to Peavey site and look it up when I have time. At least for now I have a reasonable solution, although I may upgrade eventually. Thanks for all the great posts. TC
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James Collett


From:
Southern CA
Post Posted 16 Dec 2008 5:44 pm     Reply with quote

I use a V-twin- I don't have a rack so I use the stomp-box version; I go from that into the poweramp in of a Mesa Mk11B- man does that sound good!
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Dave Diehl


From:
Mechanicsville, MD, USA
Post Posted 18 Dec 2008 4:31 am     Reply with quote

Given your original desire of something in the $4-500 range, I honestly think (after getting one) that one should try to find the extra $$ to get a Tonic Preamp. It's not that much more and it may save you from buying one for the price range you're seeking (as I did) to turn around, sell it and go for the Tonic after all. It is an excellent preamp.
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Marlin Smoot


From:
Denver
Post Posted 19 Dec 2008 4:06 pm     Reply with quote

Delvin Morgan wrote:
Not knocking the Black Box, but I tried it on my Williams w/GeorgeL 12-1 p'up and through a Pv NV112 and had little or no difference in sound. In my opinion, I gave it back to the owner, and he swears by it, go figure.


Delvin - I understand - when I got my BB, I felt the same way - but it took a weekend on the bandstand before I really 'got' what the BB was doing for me. I wouldn't want to play without it now. It's not like an overdrive stomp box where, when you stomp on it you hear a change right away.
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ajm


From:
Los Angeles
Post Posted 20 Dec 2008 5:25 pm     Reply with quote

On the complete other end of the price spectrum........

If you happen to see an ART MP Studio V3 (I think that's the number, it's the one with the 20 position rotary preset knob), you might want to give it a try. It'll probably be way under $100, and you might like it. I'd stay away from the dual channel rack unit and stick with the single channel desktop model. There is definitely a difference between them.

I'd also like to say that there is a certain "mojo" factor with tubes, and don't get too hung up on it. Just because something has a tube in it doesn't really mean anything.
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Leland Ogle


From:
Baxter Springs, Kansas, USA
Post Posted 21 Dec 2008 6:59 am     Reply with quote

I just received my Tonic Preamp on Thursday and used it on a gig last night. I won't leave home without it now. Even the sound man said it was awesome. He said he had always boosted the highs on my steel, now everything is set flat.
Lee
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John Bechtel


From:
Nashville, Tennessee,U.S.A.
Post Posted 27 Dec 2008 12:15 am     Reply with quote

Fender & BOSS recently got together and came up with a Stomp~Box for under $150 called: BOSS [FBM~1 ’59 Bassman] It contains Presence, Middle, Bass, Treble, Level & Gain Knobs. It works on either 9-Volt or AC–Adaptor and is designed to be used preferrably in the Pre-EQ Effects-Patch and simulate a tube pre-amp., or directly from instrument to Amp. Input. I purchased one and it seems to work well for me!
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My T–10 Remington Steelmaster
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