And Baby Makes Three!
The popular FELiX and ALiX preamps from Grace Design have become a new standard in high-quality preamplification for live bassists (and other acoustic instrumentalists as well - but we talk mostly to bassists, so...)
The FELiX is a two-channel model with a phantom-powered XLR for mics, blending, and so on. The ALiX takes most of the great features of the FELiX's pickup channel and creates a single-channel model with all the bells and whistles. Both feature transparent sound, dead-quiet performance, and really useful tools for sound-shaping.
Some of us don't need all of that, though. And maybe, just maybe... might just like to keep an extra $300 or so in our pocket - while still having studio-grade sound, onstage. That's why now there's BiX.
BiX is the newest, smallest, most affordable option in the lineup. A one-channel, scaled back (but still very capable) preamp that provides the high-impedance input to get the most uncompromised sound out of your piezo-electric pickup (like the various Realists, the K&K's, the Ehrlund, the Fishman pickups, and many more) no matter what amp you're using. The input impedance using a standard cable is 10 megohm; it can be altered to 1 megohm by using a cable with a TRS plug. (See the manual for details, it can be perused on this product page by clicking the tab above).
It features a 1/4" output for your stage amp, as well as a top-shelf DI to send to the house. A built-in effects loop allows you to add additional tone or EQ options, and a boost control with footswitch allows for two different volume levels (great for soloing, or for pizz and arco.) There's also a mute footswitch - for breaks or tuning.
And don't underestimate the two-band EQ; it has selectable roll-off points so you can tailor it to your needs.
Runs on standard 9vDC (power supply included), and has the smallest footprint yet. And, as always, made in the USA of high-quality components. All this, with a 5-year warranty!
Available in brushed silver finish only.
Need to figure out some of the more in-depth features of this product? Here's a copy of the manual, in PDF format, here.
You may wish to visit the manufacturer's website to see if a more recent version is available.
Every product we sell comes with a warranty registration card for our customers to fill out and mail back to us. Also, product warranty registration can be completed online. We urge our customers to send in or complete their product registrations so we can keep them notified of any service, recall or upgrade situations that may arise. Any submitted information is held securely and in strict confidence.
In the event that anything should go wrong with a Grace Design product, our service department is available and ready to help our customers with prompt, courteous responses and quick turnaround schedules for any repairs that are necessary.
- The Grace Design Standard warranty period begins at either: a) the date of original purchase - original customer proof of purchase required b) the date the product was originally shipped from Grace Design - if original customer proof of purchase is not available.
- This warranty is transferable to any person who may subsequently purchase the product during this time.
- This warranty excludes the following conditions: normal wear and tear, misuse, customer negligence, accidental damage, unauthorized repair or modification, cosmetic damage and damage incurred during shipment.
- During the time of this warranty, Grace Design will repair or replace, at its option, any defective parts or repair defective workmanship without charge, provided the customer has appropriate proof of purchase and that the product has its original factory serial number.
- Customers within the US are responsible for all inbound freight charges to Grace Design's facility, while Grace Design will pay for return freight charges via ground service. Customers outside the US must contact their distributor for warranty / product return details.
- In order for Grace Design to provide efficient and timely warranty service, it is important that you mail the completed warranty registration card enclosed with all of our products within 10 days of the original date of purchase. You may also register your product directly with Grace Design by telephone (303-823-8100 Monday-Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm MST), or you can register your product online at www.gracedesign.com.
- This warranty is in lieu of all other warranties whether written, expressed, or implied, INCLUDING ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. In no event will Grace Design be liable for lost profits or any other incidental, consequential or Exemplary damages, even if Grace Design is aware of the possibility of such damages.
- In no event will Grace Design's liability exceed the purchase price of the product. This warranty gives the customer specific legal rights. The customer may also have other rights, which vary from state to state. Some states do not allow limitations on implied warranties or consequential damages, so some of the limitations of the above may not apply to a particular customer.
After hearing stellar reviews about the Grace Design FeliX for use as an upright bass preamp but not being able to afford its hefty price tag, I was excited when they released the BiX. My first impressions after a couple days of toying with it are that it is quite impressive even if it lacks some features of other piezo preamps in its price range. The sound quality is absolutely amazing. My first concern was the lack of a mid frequency contour, but the selectable shelving EQ is intuitive and you can easily get the scooped mid sound that helps upright basses sound more natural by selecting the frequency rolloff points and boosting the bass & treble. It sounds complicated, but it's actually pretty intuitive. It definitely has a "my bass only louder" vibe to it. When compared to my FDeck series III (which I always thought sounded transparent), it actually sounds MORE transparent which I found surprising. The FDeck actually appears to muffle some highs comparatively. This became really obvious with some arco. It did however sound warmer than my Rane AP-13, yet more musical. The DI is noiseless and crystal clear. The mute function is noiseless during switching with no audible pop when turning the unit back on. The boost feature is nice, but not necessary for my purposes. Maybe it'd be useful for solos. There's no HPF, phase switch, or notch filter like on its big brothers. The ground lift is a tiny dipswitch and not easily accessible if you want to remove ground hum in a hurry. You can't blend two signals with this unit either. The BiX does have a nice effects loop though, but there is no bypass switch for it. It's not small enough to mount behind your tailpiece either. Overal though, it's a fantastic little unit if your preamp needs are minimal but you want to get your feet wet with that pristine Grace Design sound with one of the best DI's out there. It really does SOUND amazing. If your instrument requires a little more tone shaping, blending, or features to help minimize feedback, IMHO I'd recommend saving your money for the Grace Design FeliX or (single channel) AliX.