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Small preamp (or something else)
Old 20th February 2011
Gear Head

Small preamp (or something else)


I started playing my clarinet and bass clarinet with a pickup. This has a regular PL output cable (we call it PL here, I'm not sure what it's called elsewhere, this is the normal type cable/plug you use to connect an electric guitar to an amp).

I understand that having my own preamp could help the signal a lot. I'm not sure why, since I don't know much about this, but a friend who uses a similar pickup said this got him a much better signal. Then I heard the same from another player who uses a similar pickup. I was also told this by a sound engineer who tried to amplify me directly connected to the console. I'm not sure why this is, since the console/mixer has a preamp (I assume). Some guessed it might be to do with the distance (cable length) from pickup to preamp, which might be less noisy if much closer.

So, I'm looking for a preamp. Or possibly one of those units with preamp and EQ etc. One channel is good. It doesn't need phantom but I guess all come with it. Price is very important but quality is too. Though, this pickup is mostly used for loud stages, playing with electric instruments, or using effect pedals, so the tone is not as natural or good as a real clip on mic (which I have too). So signal quality is more important than any type of sound colour etc. which is not so important. I can find what price I'm willing to spend after I know some options that are available (also considering prices here are usually much higher than in USA for example).

Thank you.
Old 20th February 2011
Here for the gear

One thing you could try is a small Mackie mixer. The 402 sells for about $100. Or, there is a step up with the 802 ( $200). These little mixers have some decent pre-amps built into them. The 402 has a two band eq. You can also monitor yourself through the headphone.
Old 21st February 2011
Gear Head

Thanks. Seems like a very possible option. Alothough much more than $100 here, at least it's less more expensive than many similar things. Just one question, since I'll need a mono one cable output, is that a problem? A mixer usually has left and right or something like that. Will I be able to use one cabel for output from this to the main console or an amp?

Old 21st February 2011
Lives for gear
You could try a simple small DI/amplifier like the ART Tube Pre, around $50...
Old 21st February 2011
Lives for gear
travisbrown's Avatar
Originally Posted by clarnibass View Post
I can find what price I'm willing to spend after I know some options that are available (also considering prices here are usually much higher than in USA for example).

Thank you.
Where is "here"?

You'd be fine with an ART TubeMP, a halfrack Presonus Bluetube preamp, or even an external belt-pack preamp often used for acoustic guitars, like a Passac, Fishman, etc.

All these could be had used for under $100, and new for under $250.

And as crazy as it might sound, try running through a Line6 POD. You might get something good out of it.
Old 21st February 2011
Gear Head

Here is Israel.

I asked around about DI, preamps and small mixers. It seems that a DI box wouldn't work for all my needs. The small Mackie mixer is definitely an option and a small preamp like the ART is also an option, possibly others too.

Prices are much higher, but usually ordering from USA will end up close to the local price after shipping and taxes, so it's not worth it to essentially give up the warrenty for the small difference (a huge hassle if necessary).

ART TubeMP Studio V3 (couldn't find the non-V3 version): $180
Mackie 402 mixer: $180

The mixer has two channels in case I ever need them and other things that may be useful. So I guess it depends if the ART is so much better than the Mackie 402 mixer in sound and signal quality that it's worth giving up Mackie's mixer with more features?

Old 21st February 2011
Lives for gear
travisbrown's Avatar
For your purposes, they will sonically perform equally as well.

I've never tried the V3, so not sure about the voicing functions. ART typically builds solid gear, though, so it can take some kicking around.

If you have two instruments (clarinet/bass clarinet?) wired up at the same time, then the Mackie might work better.

The TubeMP is a little more of a convenient form factor for stage use. I think the MP can be battery-powered, so that might be of benefit too.
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