For most bass players, the pursuit of ideal tone is a lifelong endeavor. Whether that ultimate signature sound sports a toothy snarl or touts antiseptic-like clarity, the best starting point is a clean, balanced signal that will provide your amp—or soundman—a solid foundation. With its new WTDI preamp/direct box pedal, Eden is seeking to set that type of fundamental tone control underfoot. To test the WTDI, I used it in both studio and live applications.
Although most modern recording interfaces can accommodate an instrument’s unadulterated signal just fine, they often require plug-ins and other methods of signal processing to put some meat on the bones of a dry bass signal. In a project studio environment, I found the WTDI to deliver a much beefier, more organic starting point for my signal; I much preferred the rich, natural sound of my bass through the WTDI, as opposed to the more heavily processed sound via the plug-ins on my digital audio workstation. Running the Eden through both a miked amp and the digital interface gave me the best of both worlds—a tight, present-sounding direct signal and a more open-sounding live vibe.
Especially in a controlled studio environment, I found the WTDI’s knobs to be very sensitive—a little dab did me just right in most cases. Set conservatively, the WTDI’s COMPRESSION control made my bass sound even and smooth, tamping down signal spikes without squeezing the life out of the sound. Combining the Eden’s three conventional EQ controls with its ENHANCE control—a circuit that boosts discrete bands of lows, upper mids, and high frequencies together—was a bit like driving with a stickshift: cranking ENHANCE, with BASS boosted past 2 o’clock, made the low frequencies begin to sound a little sludgy, but with the right kind give-and-take, I was able to dial in that sort of sweet spot with little effort.
With a variety of live rigs—from small combo amp to mega-stack—the WTDI accentuated tonal nuances nicely, rounding out lows and sharpening the point on mids and highs. While some of its controls were redundant with the front end of an Ampeg SVT-4PRO, the Eden performed beautifully as a clean boost, providing extra oomph and definition when I wanted to place my bass front-and-center. The WTDI’s EQ controls proved both powerful and flexible when I placed the preamp in front of an old Sunn Coliseum head that lacked the Eden’s range of frequency controls. Wanting to hear how the Eden sounded without being colored by another amplifier’s preamp, I ran the WTDI through an Electro-Harmonix 22 Caliber Power Amp pedal and on to an Ampeg 2x10 cabinet. This was perhaps my favorite application. My Fender Jazz Bass rang rich and full, and my tone was eminently adjustable via the Eden’s heavy-duty knobs.
Regardless of a player’s ultimate tone target, the Eden WTDI is a superb launching pad. For its reasonable price, full feature set, and dynamic range of controls, the Eden WTDI earns a BASS PLAYER Editor Award.
Pros Small and sturdy, feature-rich and straightforward
Controls GAIN, BASS (±15dB @ 30Hz), BASS BOOST, MID (±15dB @ 550Hz or 2.2kHz), MID SHIFT, TREBLE (±15dB @ 5KHz), ENHANCE, COMPRESSOR, MASTER, ground-lift switch
Jacks q" input, q" unbalanced output, XLR balanced output
Dimensions 4¾" x 2" x 3½"
Weight 1.25 lbs
Power AC adapter (12–18 volts)
Warranty Two years limited
Made in China