Sometimes direct is better, sometimes amp is better.
It depends on the player, music, and the bass. I seem to like active basses thru amps -- active thru DIs just sound overly bright and sterile to me. Passive and DI works great though.
Why not track both the amp sound and the direct sound if you can?
Any of the pres will work -- are you talking about as a DI? Or as a mic pre for the mic'd amp? I would try the Daking for bass DI.