Audere Pro Z in Carvin LB75
I just replaced my Carvin preamp with an Audere Pro Z, and "WOW!" was my first reaction. The Carvin pickups (J99 neck, HB 5 Mm copy in bridge) actually sound great! Besides being a bassist I am a recording and live sound engineer and a bit of a tone snob. I love the way the Carvin plays, not a dead spot anywhere, every note jumps right out, but I never really liked the tone too much, adequate but kind of dull. I guess the Carvin preamp really colored the sound in a bad way. It's like some ugly overtones were removed, and the top and bottom are very present in a clean way. I realize that this my descriptions are very subjective and not scientific, but hopefully this can help someone sitting on the fence on this issue. Getting the Carvin preamp out was a little tricky but installing the Audere was very simple (though in my case I had to swap the wires to the input jack, the Audere wouldn't fit) with clear directions. Also I had to make two of the holes slightly larger, no biggie. This preamp gives you a huge amount of tonal adjustment possibilities, but I'm just using it in default mode with a tiny bit of bass and treble boost and loving it. Oh, my unit has volume, balance, bass, treble, hi mid, lo mid.
I did the same thing with my LB75 and also changed the pickups to Nordstrands, and the difference was HUGE! Goodbye bland, lifeless bass and hello sweet, articulate, edgy tone! Ever since I've been changing the preamps in most of my basses to the Audere, and David Meadows is great to work with - HIGLY recommended.
Whats the pickup configuration in your LB75? I was thinking about changing the pickups too, but with the Audere I think the single in the neck sounds quite good and I also like the sound of the neck and one coil of the bridge (MM). Another thing: the Carvin j99 seems a lot quiter than other singles. The bridge alone sounds WAY better than it did, but I'm not sure if I'm totally sold on it. I almost never used it this way before, with the Carvin preamp. This may be a matter of me never having played this style pickup before. Prior to this bass I always had P basses, that seems to be what I hear.
I guess what I'm asking is, if you have the same pickups, how do the Nordstrands stack up against the Carvins and how does the MM compare to the jazz? Did you replace the pickups and the preamp at the same time? If so, it may be harder to attribute the benefit in tone to one or the other.
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