Darkglass Electronics have just released the Vintage Ultra bass preamp, which is essentially a very versatile bass preamp housed in a compact pedal format. With the ability to go from clean, tight bass tones all the way through to throaty distortion, there’s lots of controls and options crammed into one unit.
Although it offers plenty of variability, this pedal still looks very well laid out. Darkglass Electronics make some very impressive bass pedals and amp heads like their Microtubes 700 which we wrote about earlier in the year. Their products share a very sleek, minimalist look, despite all the dials and switches. Before I even heard the demos, I was impressed by the general aesthetic.
You have a Master output level which controls the main level of the signal coming from the Vintage Ultra. This is then used in conjunction with the Level and Blend controls. Level gives the amount of overdriven tone, whereas Blend mixes the clean and overdriven outputs. The Drive control dials in the amount of actual overdrive. So there’s a lot of versatility here, with those last three controls all tamed by that Master output level.
The EQ section consists of the following:
Bass – +-12dB @ 100Hz
Low Mids – +-12dB switchable 250Hz, 500Hz and 1kHz,
High Mids – +-12dB switchable 750Hz, 1.5KHz and 3kHz
Treble – +-12dB @ 5kHz
Then you have two switches labelled Attack and Grunt. The Attack sets the amount of the treble that can be saturated and Grunt does the same for the low frequencies. Each switch has three positions that can be selected to apply the saturation to different frequencies within the ranges.
With input and output, DI output and a ground lift, this pedal looks very versatile indeed. It will only run from a 30mA, regulated 9V DC adapter with a centre-negative plug and does not take batteries.
I’ve included the three Darkglass Electronics Youtube demo videos below as they give a lot of detail on the Vintage Ultra and a good idea of what you can expect from this compact pedal.
Vintage Ultra product details: Darkglass Electronics
RRP USD $389