Aguilar OBP-3 Versus Bartonlin 3-band?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by GRoberts, Jan 9, 2003.


  1. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

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    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Anybody compared the new Aguilar OBP-3 -3 band internal active electronics to the Bartolini internal 3 band Active electronics?

    I have the Aguilar OBP-1 Eletronics in my Roscoe LG-3005 and love it, but once in a while, would love an onboard Midrange boost for certain songs or solo's. I wWould not however want to lose the tonal quality I currently have.

    What are your experiences with the Aguilar Internal OBP-3? Is is much like the the OBP-1 but with Midrange control? Thanks!

    Gary
  2. alexclaber

    alexclaber

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    Brighton, UK
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    My question exactly! I'm considering either this Bart preamp or the OBP-3. I want something transparent that lets the growl of my EMG'd Warwick through, and lets me sometimes mellow out the top end, sometimes add a bit of sparkle, scoop the mids for a less aggressive slap sound or bring up the bass for the odd dub moment.

    My main concern is that the Bartolini preamp will smooth out the tone when set flat and the Aguilar thicken it up when set flat. Will they, or is that just an urban myth?

    Cheers,

    Alex
  3. alexclaber

    alexclaber

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    What preamp did you previously have in the Warwick? How do the tone control voicings on the OBP-3 compare to that? (lower, higher, tighter, cleaner?)

    Cheers,

    Alex
  4. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

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    Cleveland, OH.
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    I'm about to put an OBP-3 in my Modulus, so I'll make sure and write a review. One thing to consider with the OBP-3: The options are unreal!!! Not only are they flexible, but they are practically fictitious.
    ((((PLEASE EXPLAIN))))

    Well, look at the site. There are 4 basic ways to install the main parts of the pre. Then there are 8 ways to do the midrange. In those 8 ways, there are about 6 ways to do each range of frequency... and so on. There is also mention of using a 500K dual linear pot to have a sweepable mid (like the EMG BQC that I use now). I had to search heaven and earth to find the pot (Mouser.com, page 277 or 282).

    I am rambling, so I'll get to the point: if you have 4 holes in the bass and you don't want to drill any more, be prepared to start thinking really hard. With the large number of mid possibilities, you could spend 4 years swapping out capacitors and rewiring the system. Or you could install the 500k mid sweep... but you have to decide how.
    Here's what I came up with:

    I have 4 holes, 2 pickups. I use the pickups together (mixed in the middle) 100% of the time. I decided (since it was the best way to do things) that I am going to wire it like this:

    Master Vol with a Push/Pull for Series/Parallel operation, Mid frequency knob, mid level knob, stacked bass and treble.

    Other options I considered:
    1) Vol (w/ PP frequency switch)-Pan-Mid-Stacked T/B
    2) Vol P/P for bypass-Vol P/P for Mid freq-Mid-Stack BT
    3) Vol-Pan-Mid-BT with a 500k dual inside the cavity, select a frequency before putting the cover back on.

    To be honest, I could go for days. The essence of this post, though, is that the Ag is able to be fit to your style like a suit. Barts... Not so much. And soundwise... I have no clue.
  5. JRBrown

    JRBrown

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2000
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I have six pot holes and two switch holes in my bass. I'm having the OBP-3 installed with several options available. One combination is:

    1st row: Vol, Vol, passive tone
    2nd row: Mid select, active passive
    3rd row: Treb, mid, bass

    Now back to the thread. Go for the OBP-3. You already know and like the Aguilar tone. Check the center freqs and levels between the 3 preamps. My guess is that the OBP-3 and OBP-1 will be close.
  6. alexclaber

    alexclaber

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    I want to keep things fairly simple - I never change the pan from 50/50 because I tilt the pickups to favour the low strings on the bridge pickup and the high strings on the neck pickup - so I'm planning on placing the pan pot within the cavity, having the volume with a push-pull switch to change the mid freq, and then the other 3 knobs as treble, mid and bass.

    My bass has plenty of mids so I'm just looking to scoop them out slightly when slapping - do you guys think that I'll be wanting to scoop at 400 or 800Hz?

    Alex
  7. Tumbao

    Tumbao Supporting Member

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    Nov 10, 2001
    Location:
    FL
    That's ez for me. The Aguilar OBP-3 is the clear winner over OBP-1 and Bart preamp. By the way, Bartolini pickups match PERFECTLY with Aguilar OBP-3. (of course, just my opinion).
  8. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California
    The 40 Hz frequency center on the Aguilar seems to be a bit more focused and tight than the 30 Hz on the Bartolini.

    I just converted an LG-3005 from an OBP-1 to an OBP-3. The primary difference, other than obviously the midrange, is the treble center is at 6.5 KHz on the OBP-3 rather than at 4 KHz as on the OBP-1. Personally I prefer the 4 KHz center.
  9. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

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    You don't even have to put a pan into the electronics at all, you can just wire it vol (attach both)- T-M-B if you want.

    The thing is, you can get the stacked B/T pot with the pre, then you have room for 1 more control. I am doing the Mid Freq sweep with the Vol push/pull as a Series/Parallel, which on a bass can be somewhat of a "slap" switch. The wiring is not a whole lot harder than doing any of the other stuff they require to hook it up.
    But that aside, You could just as easily get the system with the stacked pots to have the extra option hole. You could have the mid switch there and a straight volume... or put in a bypass switch... or a pickup select switch... there are a million options (almost).
  10. stroy05

    stroy05

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    Feb 21, 2001
    Location:
    Houston, TX
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    Endorsing Artist: Callowhill Guitars, Aguilar Amps, JHAudio
    For those that only have a few holes....

    You still can have full control over your pickups by installing a stacked volume knob.
  11. Impulsee

    Impulsee

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    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    roscoes bass = amazing, w00t.
  12. hands5

    hands5

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    The op-3 made a HUGE difference in my MM SR5 even when I switched back the stock PUP a tighter sound thru out the whole instrument,but it also sounded good with the Bart MMC PUP
  13. alexclaber

    alexclaber

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    Right! I've ordered an OBP-3 (from Jack Read, great price, great service) to go in my EMG'd Warwick to replace the MEC2 preamp - getting rather excited about having a mid control and a treble control that's voiced higher, plus I'll be putting the MEC2 in my now fretless Hohner with Bart J-type bridge pickup. Two kickass active basses, and so different in sound!

    Alex
  14. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    Indiana
    I currently have an OBP-3 in my MTD Beast 5 with Bill Lawrence J-45 pickups. I highly recommend it as in upgrade over the OBP-1. You get the mids control, and go to cut/boost instead of just boost. I also recommend wiring in the variable or switchable mids selector. If you don't want to mount the switch, just stick it in the control cavity. (BTW, my favorite add-on switch is the flat one at allparts.com)

    One other option to consider would be the Demeter on-board preamp. That will probably be the next one I try when I need a preamp. They get rave reviews in the Benaventes.

    My only concern with the Aguilars is that the pots aren't the highest quality (especially the stacked pot). You can get replacements direct if one craps out, but to me they were a little lacking.

    Also, if you need knobs for the stacked pot you can get them custom-made from Warmoth.com. I have a gold set if needed.
  15. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

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    Tucson, AZ USA
    Does anyone know how well the OBP-3 mates with EMG pickups? I might consider this option as a replacement on my Modulus Quantum 5. Would love to hear from anyone who has mated an Aguliar OBP-3 with EMG's.

    My Modulus already has dual concentric (stack knob Pots) I wonder if they would work with the OBP-3? Thanks!
  16. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

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    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    Indiana
    I put an OBP-3 in my Q5 with EMG's and I didn't like it. I'm guessing your pots are 25k, if so they should work I think. You can call Aguilar tech support, I did and talked through the install with the guy that designed the OBP-3.

    As mentioned above, I really like the OBP-3 in my Beast 5. I liked it so much I thought it would be the perfect addtion to my Q5 with EMG's. To me it just seemed like a mismatch, but I'm pretty sure there are others here who liked pairing up the Aguilar with EMG's. I think this is where I got the idea :)

    My EMG preamp was a 2-band, and I was happier when I put it back in.
  17. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the info about the Modulus Q5 with EMGS and the Aguilar. It was more of a curiosity than anything. I'm grooving on my Modulus Q5/Emg tone well enough. Just thought it would be nice to have an onboard midrange control I can dial in. I'll leave it alone. It works great as is. Thanks for the reply.
  18. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro

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    Location:
    Maryland
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    The tone knobs on the OBP-3 are 50k linear and the volumes/blends should match the impedance of your pickups.

    The input to the OBP-3 is buffered, so it should work as advertised with any pickup.
  19. alexclaber

    alexclaber

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    Haven't got it yet - i'm waiting for a whole pile of gear to arrive with Jack Read before he ships the lot to me. No rush, I'm not recording or gigging right now and I always practice unplugged. I'll update you once I've installed it.

    Alex
  20. FungusHumungous

    FungusHumungous

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Brookfield CT USA
    if i get bartolinis on a custom bass
    will a bartolini preamp work best with PUs from the sam company or should I go with aguilar?

    i lookin into the same PU setup as on a Lakland 55/94

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