Author Topic: Aion L4 Bass Preamp  (Read 2052 times)

gordo

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 3619
    • View Profile
    • Project Website
Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« on: July 16, 2023, 06:12:09 PM »
Despite it's mind numbing parts count this had a very detailed parts list and was pretty much a breeze to put together.  Two caveats: even though I read it twice, it didn't register in my brain that the footswitches get mounted on the top side of the board and the whole schebang goes in upside down.  That makes more sense if you line up the PCB IN and OUT pads.  Major boner on my part and had to solder sucker not one but two 3PDTs from the board.  Salvaged both switches and the board so I consider it a win.

Also, I'll send a note to Kevin (or Kevin if you read this): the labels on the drill guide for channel one should be Treble 1 and Bass 1 but are labeled Volume 1 and Midrange 1.  Not a big deal unless you cheated like I did and used it as a decal template as well.  I got it clear coated and while calibrating I saw the error of my ways.  At first I thought "I can live with it" till I realized I couldn't.  Luckily the clear coat was still fairly fresh and the pebbled white powdercoat doesn't like to hang on to decals as tightly and I was able to use duct tape to remove the decal/clear from the enclosure and start again.  Good recovery.

Enough babbling, I love this pedal (as well as all things Lab Series).  It's very nice being able to drive it with 9vdc.  I think this and a chorus will become to go to bass rig.  I don't play bass all that often but this is a no brainer.  The comp sounds lovely.



Yes I know that flux on the switchboard looks like dog drool but I'll circle back and straigten out the wiring while I'm at it



Gordy Power
How loud is too loud?  What?

mauman

  • Solder Ninja
  • ****
  • Posts: 334
  • Mike
    • View Profile
Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2023, 07:20:17 AM »
It's lovely!   I like the white theme.  I made Kevin's L5 preamp several years ago, and will have to try this one.  BTW, he's reposted the build doc, with the corrected pot names on the template.

jimilee

  • Global Moderator
  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 11473
  • Jimi Lee
    • View Profile
Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2023, 09:34:31 AM »
Wow, thatís fantastic Gordo!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Pedal building is like the opposite of sex.  All the fun stuff happens before you get in the box.

Bio77

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1700
    • View Profile
Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2023, 09:49:01 AM »
Oh man, now I've got the FOMO  ;D

Slick build Gordo!  8)  How does this compare with the Sludge Hammer (Sans Amp)?

jessenator

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 826
  • (un)Professional Hobby Collector
    • View Profile
Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2023, 10:01:44 AM »
Very nicely done!

Also, thank you for using the traditional definition of "boner" ómade my day.

Aleph Null

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 712
  • Too obtuse to be square
    • View Profile
    • The Hard Problem
Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2023, 04:41:18 PM »
Looks really good, especially given the drama with the labels! I never would have guessed. Do you find yourself favoring one channel over the other?

gordo

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 3619
    • View Profile
    • Project Website
Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2023, 06:25:56 PM »
I'm not really favoring one channel over the other except that you have the sweepable mid on channel 2, which either opens up a cool palette or works well if you switch basses.  That said, Channel 1 can get pretty grindy if needed (there's an internal switch) and I do like the simplicity.

I've been using the Sludge as well as Sushi Box's clone of the F2-B and it would be a bit tough to pick one as they all have a cool flavor.  I'm a sucker for anything Lab Series so that's a big bias, and I do like the compression.  It's not really like any other compressor out there (the Moog influence I suppose).  The Sludge has the built in XLR which is really handy as a toss-on-stage-and-direct-to-FOH option and I like the warmth and dead simple tube solution in the Alembic clone.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2023, 06:43:13 PM by gordo »
Gordy Power
How loud is too loud?  What?

gordo

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 3619
    • View Profile
    • Project Website
Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2023, 06:39:59 PM »
I had the faceplate badge from when Kevin was offering them and I managed to trash one of my L5 builds trying to convert it to 9vdc (sighÖ) so put it to good use.
Gordy Power
How loud is too loud?  What?

LukeFRC

  • Diode Destroyer
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2023, 01:16:26 AM »
I'm not really favoring one channel over the other except that you have the sweepable mid on channel 2, which either opens up a cool palette or works well if you switch basses.  That said, Channel 1 can get pretty grindy if needed (there's an internal switch) and I do like the simplicity.

I've been using the Sludge as well as Sushi Box's clone of the F2-B and it would be a bit tough to pick one as they all have a cool flavor.  I'm a sucker for anything Lab Series so that's a big bias, and I do like the compression.  It's not really like any other compressor out there (the Moog influence I suppose).  The Sludge has the built in XLR which is really handy as a toss-on-stage-and-direct-to-FOH option and I like the warmth and dead simple tube solution in the Alembic clone.
Iím a bass player and interested in building the L4 even though I havenít heard it!! Channel 1 and the sushi box are both based on a similar fender tonestack, do they sound similar? And what does channel B sound like compared to the sushibox?
Just asking as i know what the sushibox will sound like so I think you might be able to help me decide if Iím going to build!

gordo

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 3619
    • View Profile
    • Project Website
Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2023, 05:41:16 PM »
Honestly, although the tone stacks are similar the boxes themselves are apples to oranges.  My bass player uses the Sushibox for it's simplicity and the fact you just can't get a bad sound out of it.

I like the L4 CH1 for the same reason but factor in the compressor and the boxes lose similarity.  I'm a mediocre bass player but I like the fact that I can dial in just a little grit and then level the whole signal to make the front of house guy's life a little simpler.  That way I can lean in on notes to get the grit or hold back a bit to keep it clean and I don't need to worry about level changes.

I'm also a gear hog, so factor that in, but I'd build them both.  The L4 is more expensive, if that's a factor.  The power board is in the ballpark of the Sushi's tube but the Sushi has a lower parts count and smaller enclosure.  For the record I'll also get the predrilled enclosure from Nathan just because it's so friggin cool but not at all necessary.  I'm not convinced the enclosure really even needs to be vented as heat doesn't seem to be an issue with mine.
Gordy Power
How loud is too loud?  What?

LukeFRC

  • Diode Destroyer
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2023, 06:58:09 AM »
Cheers for the reply

I actually had a Sushibox london underground with the fender tonestack - which was ok
I built a frog F2b which is very similar and sounds amazing - but my build and the high voltage power supply (on both pedals) werenít playing nicely with the charge pumps in another pedal in the chain.
The L4 sounds great though from your description - what would you (or your bass player) compare channel 2 too?

LukeFRC

  • Diode Destroyer
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2023, 03:17:01 PM »
so Musikding made a kit, and I put it together and it worked first time...!
Result! :)

Sounds good, still need to calibrate it

gordo

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 3619
    • View Profile
    • Project Website
Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2023, 06:36:36 PM »
Excellent!  For all the verbage that Kevin puts in the build doc I found most of the calibration is pretty much by ear, although following his doc will certainly give you a good bassline.  I was trying to keep the preamp fairly clean unless cranked up a bit and I found that the compressor can get a bit too aggressive and you start losing output volume.  The compressor really doesn't work like any normal pedal compressor, it almost feels backwards.
Gordy Power
How loud is too loud?  What?

jimilee

  • Global Moderator
  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 11473
  • Jimi Lee
    • View Profile
Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2023, 08:24:26 PM »
Excellent!  For all the verbage that Kevin puts in the build doc I found most of the calibration is pretty much by ear, although following his doc will certainly give you a good bassline.  I was trying to keep the preamp fairly clean unless cranked up a bit and I found that the compressor can get a bit too aggressive and you start losing output volume.  The compressor really doesn't work like any normal pedal compressor, it almost feels backwards.
Basseline




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Pedal building is like the opposite of sex.  All the fun stuff happens before you get in the box.

gordo

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 3619
    • View Profile
    • Project Website
Re: Aion L4 Bass Preamp
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2023, 10:07:36 AM »
Wow, even I missed that one.  Unintentional wit...
Gordy Power
How loud is too loud?  What?