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User reviews on Bass preamp pedal products

EBS Micro Bass II Cured My Hunt For A Phantom Powered DI (EBS - MicroBass II)

By Alan Ace Cooper, 27/07/2012
MY WANTS AND NEEDS LIST:

Quiet for live TV and studio capable.
Switchable from one sound to the next.
Phantom power capable.
Preferably have a battery only option/No power cord/adapter.
Small or Flat enough to fit in the pocket of my UnderCover or MONO gig bag.
Compression capable.

In my Hunt For The Phantom DI, I had a short list of switchable DI boxes (listed below). In my mind, I wanted a versatile replacement unit which could do the work of my old units for less than $300.00. Seriously!?! The unit needed to fill at least 3 of my needs. Its ability to run off Phantom power was high on the list. The sound engineers at the 3000 seat church where I play/perform prefer to use the phantom option. If its their way, then it is my way. I also wanted to avoid a situation where Phantom was used accidentally with an item that is not Phantom capable. Whistling noises, along with the smell of fried electrical components, are NOT cool! The unit needed to be studio quiet, since the church broadcasts on television and the internet.

EBS Micro Bass II: All I can really say is WOW! It is the only item, out of the six bass DI units I tried, that I felt could cover the full sound spectrum for my situation. The solid state box has a great range of tonality and more functions than I could ever use in a live setting. The control knobs feel secure and turn smoothly. Some settings can sound a little mechanical but I have simply learned to avoid those settings.


UTILIZATION

The Micro Bass II delivers on all the features I read about on the EBS website, in user reviews, Bass Player Magazine reviews, and Talk Bass threads. It features 2 channels, single bass or A/B switchable, Phantom capable and also battery capable.

I also enjoy practicing with the MB2: It has the ability to connect a CD player/iPod and mini headphone jack for personal practice. - Computer to unit, bass to unit, headphones out – BAM! It takes up far less room and set up time than my practice amp and the amps need for RCA jacks. My practice amp offers neither the ability to use the tone controls nor volume controls of the external unit. The MB2 does! The MB2 also features a speaker simulation function and a Class A tube simulation function, A dedicated effects loop feature. The only feature on my list not available from my “Wants and Needs” list was compression.

The piercing LED lights on the unit grab your attention both dimly lit and overly bright stages. The Mute and Bypass footswitches work as they should and easily allow you to tap from function to function without problem. The small push/push switches that you need the most are easily accessible on top of the unit. The other switches that may fair better in studio situations are placed on the side of the unit. Fortunately the input and output jacks keep these small switches protected from being kicked.



SOUNDS

The Mirco Bass II is not as smooth sounding as the Radial BassBone or Aguilar Tone Hammer. For those that prefer buttery tones, this may not be the unit for them, although, these people could go for a flatter sound setting and rely on their bass to produce the butter. Being an old school Trace Elliot amp user, I am used to the Mid-range based snarl this unit is more geared towards. For live situations, it can get CrAzy Loud! You can send a disturbing amount of signal to the control board! A mind-blowing +12 to +35 db, depending upon the chosen boosted EQ or Drive section. You can see the units other features by visiting the EBS website @ www.bass.se



OVERALL OPINION

Cons - There is no dedicated tuner output (I can live without this). The small push/push switches are secure to operate but seem like a fragile choice for a foot operated unit. The Micro Bass II cost about $100 more than the other DIs that were on my list.

Other DI’s ON my LIST:

Radial ToneBone/BassBone
Aguilar Tone Hammer
Eden WTDI
SansAmp Bass Driver Deluxe
EBS Micro Bass II
Sadowsky Bass DI
Bass Witch IQ DI – Never plugged into this one due to its $599 price tag.


The thought of no longer having much use for my vintage, Trace amps and cabinets seems a bit sad, but I am glad EBS offers a suitable option. The MB2 gives me amp sound options scaled down to fit at my feet. Oh, did I mention with Phantom power?!? I also appreciate the tube saturated overdrive without the full on distortion and fuzz tones most other Bass DI’s offer. As I mentioned prior, the MB2 is about $100 more than the other units I tried, but it easily does $200 more than the other units. It is everything EBS and others said it was and “still” more than I expected it to be!
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The ultimate overdrive-preamp (Darkglass Electronics - Microtubes B7K)

By choconut, 29/02/2016
Used with a Jazz Bass into a Chillbass 100's, alongside a Rat and Big Muff. I play post rock and other punchy styles.
It's a very sturdy stompbox, no battery.

Very efficient and versatile settings. It's possible to get a good OD out of it, but I mostly use it for a constant sound coloration, it's always on and I use it to get more in the mix with an extra EQ stage. I also use it as a DI for demoing.

This stompbox brings life to the sound. In the past, I've used a programmable Tech21 Sansamp Bass, and I absolutely don't regret changing for this one. Soundwise, it really is in the league above in my opinion.
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I really dig it! (Two Notes Audio Engineering - Le Bass)

By batmad, 14/04/2018
Hi all,

I’ve owned it since it came out.
I played it live at La Cigale, an important venue in Paris.

I play an active Fender Precision in genres close to Royal Blood, The Black Keys, Black Pistol Fire (even though they don’t have a bass player). Needless to say I like a bass sound to be very heavy and aggressive, with a nice compression.

I’m very happy with that purchase.
The A amplification gives the low frequencies a huge punch, while the B channel provides very aggressive mids.
The possibility to mix both channels is a real asset for this pedal as it allows to keep channel A’s precision while distorting it using channel B.
For my live sets, I keep channel A on at all time and add B or another distortion (Moof MF Drive) for passages where I need to sound louder.

The only cons I’ve found so far is that the two switches are located a bit close to each other, so when in a hurry you sometimes end up pressing the wrong one. It also causes problems when intending to switch the both of them on or off, as sometimes only one of them gets switched.

It seems sturdy and well-built, but we’ll see how it ages.

In the end, I’m very happy to have bought such an ambitious product, all the more as it is French – ok, and a bit Chinese, too!
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News Bass preamp pedal

Taurus releases Mk2 version of its T-DI stompbox

Published on 10/14/15
Taurus has released the T-DI MK2, an updated version of its preamp and DI pedal for bass.

Lehle Basswitch IQ DI

Published on 03/30/11

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