#1
I just started this thread topic since my other thread began with tube amp questions, and then I realized that I really only need a tube preamp for direct recording purposes, and not an amp/cabinet.

Anyway, I'm not looking for light, "blues-ey" distortion. I'm looking for full-on, heavy metal fuzz, and I'm not quite sure which preamp actually delivers this. I'll be using this preamp without an amp, going instead directly into a board for recording into a DAW. I read in the FAQ that you're not supposed to do those "A vs. B" kinda comparisons, but I can't demo some of this stuff personally, so I need your help.

I just would like to know which preamp has the nicest "fuzz." I mean, from tingly-clean-wisp-of-dirt, only-a-hint-of-distortion, "fizzyness," all the way to original Big Muff, "fuzz," with all the knobs turned up to '11,' plus, EVERY ANALOG NUANCE IN BETWEEN! Given that, which would you choose among the following tube-based preamps?

• Mesa/Boogie Recto Recording Preamplifier
• Tech21 SansAmp PSA 1.1
• Damage Control Demonizer

The sound I'm looking for is pretty heavy metalish, as demo'ed in, "Track 10: Walk," of my online mp3 here in my profile. I'm just looking for an "all-tube" delivered metal sound, and wanted to try to avoid using any digital pedals or modelers to achieve it. Thanks for any replies or additional suggestions.

P.S. The demo, "Walk," is a Fender Strat with a DiMarzio humbucker, playing through a Line 6 Uber Metal pedal, direct into a mixing board, into a digital recorder.
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#3
Horlicks:

Thanks for your comment! Have you tried the SansAmp or the Mesa/Boogie preamps? That's two votes from this board for the Demonizer!
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 1, 2007,
#4
while direct in is a fine way to record silently, i'm unsure as to why you'd want to do so with these, unless you happen to use some type of cabinet modelling program already loaded onto your computer.

direct in metal recording involves a lot a tweaking when not using cabinet/room emulation.
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
#6
Kivarenn82:

I appreciate what you're saying, but I'm pretty comfortable with direct recording's workflow. I'm actually quite happy with the tone control I've got with my (digital) Line 6 Uber Metal pedal, but would just like a bit smoother, analog transition between "clean" and "distortion" in the curve. Perhaps later I'll reconsider a hardware amp modeler, but I'm probably more inclined to buy an actual tube amp later, and throw an SM57 in front of it instead.
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#7
Jason43:

Thanks! That's three votes for the Demonizer!
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#8
properly miking a well set up amp is always a sure way to go. but you must be direct recording for a reason?
mine is that i'm living in an apartment and can't afford to be evicted for noise levels :P

you'll notice right away that miking an amp and putting a pedal into a mixing board sound very different. the cab will have a more mid based, rounder tone to it. whereas the direct pedal will be very thin and buzzy.

edit: oh and i might throw out there i'd actually go for the womanizer. it sounded chunkier to me than the demonizer. i got to try both side by side.
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
#9
Kivarenn82:

Gotcha. Yup, I guess, direct recording for now will have to do. I just like the convenience and signal integrity of direct recording. Plus, I always tend to record when everyone else is sleeping. Later, a tube amp and a mic, once I figure out which tube amp I like. Also, I just got back into playing recently, and I'm still figuring all this stuff out.

EDIT: By the way, I just listened to your mp3s. Awesome sound! What did you use to record? A miked amp? Any pedals?
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 1, 2007,
#10
The Womanizer, "chunkier?" Really? Guess I'll have to find somewhere to demo these side by side, now. Thanks for your comments!
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#11
srry for a late response. into shadows is using the line6 podXT, These children walk is using the Zoom G2. both good quality pieces of equipment for direct recording. i even used the G2 for vocals!

and yea i found the womanizer chunkier despite the fact its advertised as more of an overdrive rock sorta pedal :/
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
#12
I'm not a fan of cabs myself. I want to hear how it sounds "in the mix" on studio monitors! The Tech21 SansAmp PSA 1.1 has cab simulation so I would recommend that. Although that feature is not that good compared to other options.

Another options is a good Head + a Palmer speaker simulator (PGA-04). Apparently Satriani is a big fan of them.
#13
Quote by MyraT
Another options is a good Head + a Palmer speaker simulator (PGA-04). Apparently Satriani is a big fan of them.



interesting, i've never heard of that piece of equipment. something to check out for sure
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
#14
Quote by MyraT
I'm not a fan of cabs myself. I want to hear how it sounds "in the mix" on studio monitors! The Tech21 SansAmp PSA 1.1 has cab simulation so I would recommend that. Although that feature is not that good compared to other options.

Another options is a good Head + a Palmer speaker simulator (PGA-04). Apparently Satriani is a big fan of them.


MyraT:

Thanks for your input! Yeah, I much prefer hear what I'm playing on my HS50M studio monitors, mixed with my synth stuff. I heard someone on another board saying that the SansAmp did NOT go into full "metal" overdrive—that it stopped a tad short of that. I've GOT to demo one of those things somewhere!

Now, that cab simulator looks very interesting! But now, which head do I get? See, I will never actually need an "amp," since I'm only recording with myself. That's why I was on this whole preamp thing. Is there a tube head that isn't a million Watts, and also isn't a million dollars, that you would recommend for direct recording applications used with the Palmer cab sim rack unit? I mean, I guess I'm back to my Crate/Laney/Vox small, tube amp quandry now, since I don't need a lot of power. Very nice find. Will DEFINITELY be looking into it. Thanks again for your valued comments!
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 1, 2007,
#15
Oh man. I'm reading Harmony Central reviews now . . . Holy crap! This Palmer PGA-04 cab sim seems awesome! What is the least-expensive, 50W Marshall tube head I can buy???
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 1, 2007,
#16
Is the Marshall 2266 Vintage Modern 50W head [$1,400 USD] the best I'm gonna do?
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#17
hey sorry to steal ur thread level4.

can you use the demonizer through an amp? like just as a distortion pedal? or is it just for recording?
Sincerely,
Shitstirrer
#18
Well, from researching the Palmer, I found another one. The Motherload. I found a detailed review from a Google search of the Palmer PGA-04. Apparently, the Motherload has far more control over the color of the distortion than the PGA. It's also twice the money—$1,000 USD. But if I can get authentic, Marshall stack-sound, turned up to "11,' nicely DI-mixed with my synths and into a DAW, I'll be one happy "mother."
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#19
Quote by macaroni
hey sorry to steal ur thread level4.

can you use the demonizer through an amp? like just as a distortion pedal? or is it just for recording?


No problem! I haven't used a Demonizer myself, but I believe you can use it through an amp. But it's likely that it will only sound good if you play your amp "clean."
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 1, 2007,
#20
By the way, how does the Damage Control Demonizer stack up against the Damage Control "Solid Metal?" Which one has more gain?
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#21
Quote by LEVEL4
No problem! I haven't used a Demonizer myself, but I believe you can use it through an amp. But it's likely that it will only sound good if you play your amp "clean."


thanks man. im (was) using a line6 uber metal too but i ****ing fried it using a wrong power adaptor, so im trying to find a replacement.

im thinking about the damage control pedals or maybe a metal muff.
Sincerely,
Shitstirrer
#22
Okay, I am TOTALLY unfamiliar with the various models, new and old, of 50W Marshall tube heads! I don't know what's what! I know I need one with a master. But beyond that, I have no idea which "budget" Marshall head does "metal" best. Are the dual super-leads best for metal?
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 1, 2007,
#23
Okay, the EVH 5150III 100W head is like way too much money ('cause remember, I still gotta spend $1,000 on the Motherload thing). And the Marshalls are just confusing the heck outta me. So what about pairing a Peavey Valveking 100 head with the Motherload simulator? One guy said at Harmony Central that the "Peavey didn't have enough gain for metal." Does that mean it really doesn't have enough overdrive gain, or does it simply mean that he just doesn't play it loud enough to distort to metal-levels?
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 1, 2007,
#24
The Solid Metal has more gain than both the Demoniser & the Womaniser.
Quote by buckethead_jr
I didn't think they had metal in the 1790's

Quote by Guitarislife125
Copper is a metal

Quote by buckethead_jr
Ah, touche.
#27
Quote by TehJermie
^ its just a demonzier without half of the features(comp, recording out,etc)


True, but the TS was only asking about the gain factor, and I've had the Damage Control staff telling me that it's gainier.
Quote by buckethead_jr
I didn't think they had metal in the 1790's

Quote by Guitarislife125
Copper is a metal

Quote by buckethead_jr
Ah, touche.
#29
Quote by Kayfan
Demon-izzle, it's getting to be pretty obvious what the choice should be

Thanks, Kayfan. Yup. Looks like it. Demonizer. Maybe later, a good head and the Motherload.
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#30
I know the Rocktron Prophesy is digital, but they're pretty sweet, worth checking into.

Carvin has the Tone Navigator, I haven't used it, but I can safely say it should have some good tones onboard.

You might be able to pick up a used Mesa Triaxis for about $1,000 on ebay as well.
Major of 7 String Legion 7 > 6

Carvin DC747
Ibanez RG2228
Schecter Avenger Custom Shop
and my baby....
Gibson Explorer Studio
#31
MESAexplorer:

Thanks, man. Yeah, I saw both Rectos and Triaxis on Ebay for some decent prices. From what I read, the Recto has more gain and seems to be more what I'm looking for. Thanks for the suggestions.
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#32
Quote by BassTalk
The Solid Metal has more gain than both the Demoniser & the Womaniser.

Thanks, BassTalk!
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#33
another thing to consider, while tubes are important for dynamics and tone, a big piece to look out for in recording is the quality of your AD/DA converters. having a full tube amp running out a nice cab with the mic set up perfectly, can still be ruined with cruddy AD/DA converters.
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
#34
how will the demonizer sound through a solid state amp? using a guitar with emg's?
Sincerely,
Shitstirrer
#36
Quote by Kivarenn82
another thing to consider, while tubes are important for dynamics and tone, a big piece to look out for in recording is the quality of your AD/DA converters. having a full tube amp running out a nice cab with the mic set up perfectly, can still be ruined with cruddy AD/DA converters.

Thanks, Kivarenn82. Yeah, I've been looking at mic pres with built-in "high-quality" AD/DAs for miking my acoustic guitar. Not sure what's what, or which AD/DA to get. How are the Focusrite mic pre-AD/DAs? I was looking at the TwinTrak Pro because it had a stereo input, in case I wanted to use a stereo effects pedal for my Strat someday (which I would direct-record). Also, I'm thinking about getting the new Shure Beta 57A to use to mic my acoustic guitar.

But, back to the AD/DA question, I was looking at channel-strip AD/DAs for DI-recording of my Strat (so that I DON'T have to mic a cabinet). I plan to take the signal right out of the DI-output of the Damage Control Demonizer, and go straight into my line mixer, into my digital recorder. Are there any AD/DAs that you would recommend for this application?
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 6, 2007,