“Le Bass” Preamp from Two Notes Audio Engineering

LeBass-largeI recently bought the Le Bass preamp from Two Notes Audio Engineering from Sweetwater Music. I was looking for a tube based preamp that actually used the tube. Many amps and preamps have a ‘token’ 12AX7 tube in them but the tube isn’t supplied with enough current to really do anything. Not so with Le Bass.

 

from two-notes.com:

The Two notes preamplifiers are a True High Voltage Design running internally at 200 volts to preserve the interaction between you and your guitar while working perfectly with your other effect pedals.

from Sweetwater.com:

Dual independent tube preamps

The heart and soul of the Le Bass are the two fully independent and footswitchable tube preamps. These preamps are voiced to give you the character of clean and driven bass amplifier tones. Preamp A is clean, clear, and extremely fast, while preamp B adds more grit to the sound, maintaining a tight low end. The two footswitches let you select either sound or blend them together to taste in Fusion mode to pile on even more gain that can take you into high-gain and fuzz territory.

I’ve been using a Tech21 VT Bass modified by Putnam Guitars to add a blend control, headphone out, auxiliary in, and DI out. By the way, Putnam does outstanding work and stands by his work.

I’ve had it for years and it’s a great tone shaping device. But it never seemed to get alovtbass_smng with my low B string.

It would distort a little too early for me on the low notes. So I found myself adjusting things between songs. This is a minor fault and I still love this pedal. It can get a thick, tubey sound and then provide plenty of grit and edge. Then tweak the knobs and you’ve got 1970s Rickenbacker edge. And at their price point, they’re hard to beat.

The newer ones have most (if not all) of the mods I had done but I haven’t used the newer versions. When I have a student ask about which pedal to buy first, I always recommend the VT Bass.

But I was looking for something more. Something that could provide me with an ultra clean sound throughout the register of the instrument but still give me grit when I wanted it.

Le Bass totally provides the cleans down to a low B and grit or distortion / fuzz as needed!

The tube in Le Bass is very easy to replace. They stock tube is a Ruby brand – which is a great tube! I was curious to see what difference other tubes would make.
Here’s what I found:

Ruby 12AX7AC5 HG+ – no noticeable difference
Electro-Harmonix 12AX7 – meh.. little flat sounding
Tung-Sol 12AX7 re-issue – favorite in Le Bass
Electro-Harmonix 12AY7EH – TONS of low end even on channel B. Very low noise. Louder on Channel B. Sounds much less full on A. Do NOT like channel A sound.
Ruby 12AT7C – Very clear and articulate. Nice open sound. Plenty of low end on both channels. Low noise.
My favorite so far. 

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