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View Full Version : What are the best preamp options for me?



sleepy-jack
04-15-2012, 02:02 PM
Hey guys,

After looking through the relevant sticky'd thread and a few other related threads, I thought I'd post my own for some more direct advice.

I've just had a passive Shadow pickup installed in my Ashbury baritone ukulele. I plan to run it through some effects pedals and then through a Fender Acoustasonic 150 amplifier.

Of course, before I can do that I need a preamp. I've had a few different recommendations (such as the Shadow ACP-1 cable preamp, the Fishman PRO-EQ II and even the Boss GE-7 EQ pedal).

I'm happy to spend a fair bit of money in order to really get the best sound out of my uke, especially as I will be playing live in pretty decent sized venues.

What is the best preamp for my situation? Would something like the Boss GE-7 Graphic Equalizer do as good a job as a Fishman preamp?

Malaho in advance for any help!

Jack. :)

Kekani
04-16-2012, 06:36 AM
. . . Of course, before I can do that I need a preamp. . .

Why?


What is the best preamp for my situation? Would something like the Boss GE-7 Graphic Equalizer do as good a job as a Fishman preamp

So, do you need a pre, or are you looking for an eq?

Seems to me a waste, otherwise why would you go with a combo amp in the first place?

Aaron

chiefnoda
04-16-2012, 10:13 AM
before I can do that I need a preamp

I echo sleepy-jack's comment. The answer depends on what kind of pick-up you have. You said "Passive" but it is passive pieze, passive magnetic? Most likely you will need a pre-amp (or at least, benefit from having one in a signla chain). And note that you use a pre-amp mainly for signal conditioning, not to boost up the voltage.

Also, your Fender amp does not have effects you need? What sort of effects box are you adding to the signal chain?

Having said that, my thoughts are:

Boss GE-7 is a good EQ but probably not ideal for you. Your freq range is not wide (even with a bari) so some of the EQs are not usable. Also it is not designed for a passive signal so your signal may suffer. It's better to use a pre-amp designed for an acoustic instrument (with a passive PU).

I have not used the Shadow pre-amp. I have a Fishman Pro and that works well. My favorite is Baggs Para DI, slightly more expensive than a Fishman but Baggs has a nice Eq range (one EQ is sweepable) and is quiet. I put a Baggs a notch above - Fishman adds its own coloring to the sound, in my unfounded feeling but you can't go wrong with Fishman or Baggs. Shadow is proably OK too.

Cheers
Chief

sleepy-jack
04-16-2012, 10:55 AM
The answer depends on what kind of pick-up you have. You said "Passive" but it is passive pieze, passive magnetic? Most likely you will need a pre-amp (or at least, benefit from having one in a signla chain). And note that you use a pre-amp mainly for signal conditioning, not to boost up the voltage.

Also, your Fender amp does not have effects you need? What sort of effects box are you adding to the signal chain?


It's a passive piezo pickup (Shadow SH 1110-UK undersaddle to be exact). As for the effects, I'm using an octave pedal, distortion, delay and a digital looper. The on-board effects on the amp may get some use but for the music I play I need quite extensive control over modelling the effects I'll be using (especially the distortion and delay).



Having said that, my thoughts are:

Boss GE-7 is a good EQ but probably not ideal for you. Your freq range is not wide (even with a bari) so some of the EQs are not usable. Also it is not designed for a passive signal so your signal may suffer. It's better to use a pre-amp designed for an acoustic instrument (with a passive PU).

I have not used the Shadow pre-amp. I have a Fishman Pro and that works well. My favorite is Baggs Para DI, slightly more expensive than a Fishman but Baggs has a nice Eq range (one EQ is sweepable) and is quiet. I put a Baggs a notch above - Fishman adds its own coloring to the sound, in my unfounded feeling but you can't go wrong with Fishman or Baggs. Shadow is proably OK too.

I'll definitely check out the Baggs, many thanks for your advice.

sleepy-jack
04-19-2012, 04:55 AM
Thanks for all the advice, guys. I went for the Baggs Para DI and it's fantastic.
Great control over my sound, really easy to find a nice tone and the feedback elminator is a dream.

PhilUSAFRet
04-19-2012, 05:36 AM
preamps sometimes needed when input signal from passive pickups does not match up well with amp, making it difficult to "fine tune" the ukes signal with amp alone....of course it depends on amp too.

sleepy-jack
04-19-2012, 11:26 AM
preamps sometimes needed when input signal from passive pickups does not match up well with amp, making it difficult to "fine tune" the ukes signal with amp alone....of course it depends on amp too.

That's exactly what I needed one for. The difference in sound quality and tone is huge now that I've got a preamp.

PhilUSAFRet
04-20-2012, 11:13 AM
That's exactly what I needed one for. The difference in sound quality and tone is huge now that I've got a preamp.

Me too and someone recommended the Baggs! I may end up with one too.

jackwhale
04-21-2012, 08:35 AM
I use a Baggs para-acoustic DI with a Roland Street amp. Pickup is a MiSi which, as I understand uses a Baggs undersaddle piezo. There is guitar amp modeling on the amp but I just use the regular setting with a little reverb. All other settings on the amp are on the midpoint.

I like the overall tone. I can nearly match the straight acoustic sound of my baritone and add more 'color' from there. I'm not using distortion as you are so can't comment on that. The Baggs give one a lot of control over EQ.

sleepy-jack
04-21-2012, 12:53 PM
Me too and someone recommended the Baggs! I may end up with one too.

I'd certainly have to agree with whoever recommended it, it's worked a treat for me!

consitter
04-21-2012, 06:28 PM
Like jackwhale, I use a Baggs para-coustic DI. Of course my amp (Bose L1 compact) has no adjustment other than volume, so I seriously need something to go along with it.