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The Vintage Ultra from Darkglass Electronics is a preamp intended for use with electric bass and featuring much in the way of tonal options, both in EQ and in overdrive. It sports knobs to boost/attenuate low end and treble, as well as two midrange controls with three-way selectable center frequency controls.
The preamp also features an overdrive circuit which allows you many distortion options; in addition to level and drive knobs, the Vintage Ultra provides two switches for producing tonal variations within your distorted sound: A three-way Attack switch dictates how the high end will impact the overdriven signal, which a three-way Grunt switch accomplishes much the same effect for the bass frequencies.
The preamp has been fashioned as a pedal, affording you separate footswitches for the drive section and for bypass (buffered to protect against tonal degradation due to long/faulty cable leads). In addition to its 1/4" instrument I/O, the Vintage Ultra provides an XLR DI out useful for PA systems, recording devices, and more. The pedal is not powered by batteries, and requires a separately available 9V power supply for operation.
Controls at a Glance
This knob provides a boost or an attenuation of 12 dB at 100 Hz.
This knob provides a boost or a cut of up to 12 dB. The center frequency can be toggled to 250, 500, or 1000 Hz, depending on the position of the selector switch.
This knob provides a boost or a cut of up to 12 dB. The center frequency can be toggled to 750 Hz, 1.5 kHz, or 3 kHz, depending on the position of the selector switch.
This knob provides a boost or an attenuation of 12 dB at 5 kHz.
This knob sets the amount of saturation in the overdriven signal.
This control selects how your treble frequencies will be effected by harmonic distortion upon instantiating the overdriven signal. The "Boost" setting emphasizes the treble content, thus providing clarity and presence. The "Flat" position leaves this register untouched, while the "Cut" position reduces the amount of high-frequency content being saturated.
As with the attack switch, this control selects how frequency content will be effected by the overdrive channel, though in this case it's the low end. You can choose between three different bass boost levels before the clipping stage.
This knob sets the volume of the overdriven signal.
Whereas the Level knob controls the output of the overdrive section, the Master knob adjusts the overall volume of the unit. This is suitable for fine tuning the output on clean mode, and also serves as a level control for the DI output.
This control engages the overdrive section of the pedal.
Buffered Bypass Footswitch
The buffered bypass won't only preserve your instrument's natural timbre—it also aims to correct any possible tonal problems caused by faulty/long leads.
In the Box
Darkglass Electronics Vintage Ultra Preamp Pedal for Electric Bass
Limited 3-Year Warranty
Table of Contents
Controls and Indicators
Lo Mids knob
Hi Mids knob
Lo Mids center frequency switch
Hi Mids center frequency switch
Ground Lift switch
1 x 1/4" instrument input
1 x 1/4" instrument output
1 x XLR male direct output
Regulated 9 VDC adapter with center negative plug (available separately)
4.2 x 4.7" / 10.7 x 12.0 cm
Not specified by manufacturer
Darkglass Electronics Vintage Ultra Preamp Pedal for Electric Bass Review