Author Topic: Aion L4 Bass Preamp  (Read 2053 times)

LukeFRC

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Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2023, 05:08:02 AM »
Finished!!

LukeFRC

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Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2023, 05:10:53 AM »
My review (as a bass player, I don't play guitar) of the Lab Series L4 preamp ...

It's the oddest sounding thing I've built! It doesn't sound like I would expect it too, and can't put my finger on why!
What I was expecting was "preamp pedal, quite clean, maybe crossed with an low gain overdrive pedal."

The closest thing I've experienced to it is my old HX stomp and flicking between two amp models (once set up with non crazy gain) - there's a processed nature to the sound, some compression maybe? and a complexity that feels more like an amp model, esp when getting hairy, than something like most the OD pedals I've tried (or indeed models of said OD on HX stomp or the Zoom stuff)

Channel A is pure Fender tonestack, probably more bassman feeling than showman preamp - there's that classic dip in the mids.
Channel B is more- I dunno what - I can get more driven rock tones out of it. Deep switch on both just adds more everything and changes the way it reacts. Swept mids is very powerful but fairly wide Q I think.
 
You can set it up so A is lower gain, and B higher, and then bounce the high gain into the post master limiter to keep the signal level under control.
Playing with it this way I was thinking "this is finicky to set up and get levels right" ... and then played along to a track and it sounded great - slightly dirty but fitting in the mix and not fizzy or shouty at all - just right and part of the tone I was hoping to get when I built this pedal.
 
Another strange thing... The preamp I built before this was a valve version of a Alembic/Fender showman, and it had quite a lot of output that would quickly clip the colourbox at the end of my chain.
This also has lots of output, or at least sounds LOUD-  but doesn't seem to make clip the colourbox clip as much - I don't think it's subsonics as I was using a HPF between them but it's very strange.
 
Anyway. slightly fiddly to set up, but rewarding when it is.

gordo

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Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2023, 05:14:21 PM »
That's a good write up and nicely done build!  I hadn't really thought about it but it is a bit fiddly to set up.  On the real thing there's no channel switching so once you have a sound dialed in you stay there.  And like a Fender I don't think most people use the first channel.
Gordy Power
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mauman

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Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2023, 06:01:39 PM »
On the similar L5 preamp by Aion, I find it works best as just that - a preamp, last in the chain, and running directly into a power amp.  It's not really an overdrive or EQ pedal, it's the amplifier's preamp in pedal form.  Maybe running your Colour box before it would help?

LukeFRC

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Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2023, 01:06:11 PM »
That's a good write up and nicely done build!  I hadn't really thought about it but it is a bit fiddly to set up.  On the real thing there's no channel switching so once you have a sound dialed in you stay there.  And like a Fender I don't think most people use the first channel.
I think Aion have a really good recreation of the amps preamp - in pedal form I think ideally it would have the drive part of the circuit for each channel with some kind of post drive attenuation- then effects loop, then gain and limiter. Or something- but then that ends up being similar to some of the Suncoast stuff.
I like that fender style preamp sound so think I will use the first channel a fair bit - we will see!!

LukeFRC

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Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2023, 01:20:10 PM »
On the similar L5 preamp by Aion, I find it works best as just that - a preamp, last in the chain, and running directly into a power amp.  It's not really an overdrive or EQ pedal, it's the amplifier's preamp in pedal form.  Maybe running your Colour box before it would help?
Interesting- for the L4 I think the low gain overdrive it does is really musical sounding and as an ďamp soundingĒ eq (Ie not a surgical tool) itís pretty good. Iím currently running it after most pedals but before chorus. Thr colourbox I think was made for guitarist direct to desk fuzz thing, but where I think it shines for bass is in the low gain mode as an end of chain di and preamp strip sound - itís the transformers - they sound great.
They go straight to desk and back through my IEM Ö who needs amps in 21st century?! :p

nzCdog

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Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2023, 02:09:53 AM »
Nice!   Love the knobs, looks like fun  :)