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Just Put in my Audere Preamp....

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by VanillaThundah, Nov 15, 2013.


  1. VanillaThundah

    VanillaThundah Straight out a donkey's mouth Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Ok, I'm sure that everyone is going to go "Ohhh great, here's another person talking about a piece of gear they love"...sorry :smug:

    I'm going to try and make this semi-organized as I write it, so it's easier to glance through if you're looking for something specific.


    Preamp: Audere Pro JZ3 w/ Z-Mode Switch
    Bass: Squier Vintage Modified 70's J-Bass
    Pickups: Dimarzio Model-J's (wired in series humbucker on each)
    Amps: GK MB200 -> Avatar 2x10 Neo/Traynor YBA200-> Kasino 2x15s loaded with Eminence Legend 15's
    Strings: Ernie Ball Regular Slinky and D'Addario Chromes Medium Gauge


    --Installation--
    This part really was far easier than I was expecting. I hear a lot about "easy installation" on preamps but this one actually was a drop-in with a few parts needing to be screwed in...NO SOLDERING REQUIRED! I had to rewire one of my pickups so they were both in series humbucking mode, but if that weren't the case I would have never needed to bring out the iron unless I wanted to. I'll give some details....

    The pickup leads just go into these little green boxes on the circuit board, the instructions line out where the hot and the common should go. Screw these in and your pickups are connected! All that's left is to ground the preamp to the bridge, which only requires some wire stripping, twisting them together, and using the crimp that is provided with the preamp. Initially I thought I'd need some copper tape to put in there and fight the hiss that would likely come from the preamp, but this was not needed at all. Dead quiet all the way up to maximum treble boost, if there is a hiss I couldn't hear it at all. The plate fit right in (albeit it a LITTLE pushing was needed to get all the wiring from my pickups down in there) without having to redo any screwholes or dremel out the inside of the cavity.


    --Quality--
    All the stuff feels like solid, top-notch switches and pots. Very smooth pots without any fight on them. Very responsive when turning them to adjust the preamp. Output jack is very nice as well, but I may just be feeling giddy and want to praise everything about the preamp ;)


    --Tone--
    Ohhhh where to begin...:D

    I was reading some of the stuff that Jaquo (spl?) posted about his and how much he liked it...gotta say he was spot on with what he said. The z-mode switch (for those unfamiliar with this preamp) doesn't boost certain frequencies, it changes the impedance of your pickups. What this does is give an ORGANIC boost to certain frequencies because of how this interacts with your pickups. Think of this like optical zoom versus digital zoom on a fancy digital camera, it comes off feeling organic and natural...not like it's just a preamp jacking it up a certain way. Because of this the low-Z mode (bass boost type sound) gives you lots of big, thick bottom end without the headroom issues or muddy tone. Another analogy would be like putting stainless rounds on a bass, then putting on broken-in flats...it's changing the tone of the instrument organically, so it sounds very natural and musical.

    We all love MOAR BASSS, but there are two OTHER modes on the Z-mode switch and I like them both too! Mid-Z is your bass's natural tone, with the EQ set all flat it IS your passive pickup tone. This is excellent because it gives you a good place to start for shaping and having a sort of "tonal benchmark" if you will. If you want to just manipulate the dry sound of your pickups to suit a room or certain amp you are using, that's a great place to start.

    The 3rd mode (hi-z mode) gives more treble response to your sound. This is promulgated for slap players, but I actually like it for aggressive pick tone as well. Camping out here I can a GREAT single coil 50's P type sound with the EQ adjusted right and the neck p-up solo'd. My bandmates couldn't believe this was all coming from ONE BASS. Again, the whole thing sounds very organic and natural, which is why I'm loving this preamp so much.


    --Response to String Changes--
    After I had played, I chalked some of the new-gear romance up to having a fresh set of Slinkies on the bass. I was thinking "Doi...of course new strings will sound amazing", so I took a pair of broken-in Chromes this morning and slapped them on the Jazz...

    H-O-L-Y-C-R-A-P....I never knew Chromes could sound like that! lol. I am by NO means talking down the P-bass, its uses, or those who prefer them, but with the right settings I'm thinking of sticking my P's in the closet. I could get that but could also get GREAT pick tones and fingerstyle ones too, all with the comfort of using flatwounds. They don't sound the best for slap, but I have an Ibanez w/ DR Hi-beams that I use in this band too, and they are great for that. Never knew I could cut this much with a set of flats, all while having that big fundamental as well. Of course, in low-z mode the bottom end going through my 2x15s was MASSIVE.


    --Value--
    For the price of $149 plus shipping...you are a blooming IDIOT if you can afford this but don't get one of these for your jazz lol (unless you prefer V/V/T which is totally OK and your choice). David is doing a bang-up job and I still have no idea how he makes a preamp THIS GOOD and sells it for that price. I almost feel like he should classify his business as a charity ;)


    --Cons--
    I'm really going to have to dig in to find something bad about this, but my ONLY gripe is that the position of the z-mode switch could be better....that's about it.




    Sooooo...go out and get one if you're looking for a preamp!!! :bassist:
     
    amigoz2k likes this.
  2. lowdown_billy

    lowdown_billy Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Central Coast, California
    So... you like it?

    :)

    Seriously, thanks for the detailed writeup. I've been thinking about an Audere upgrade myself. This certainly helps me understand a bit more about what that will get me.
     
  3. DavidJones

    DavidJones

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Sounds very good..
    Just got a Audere JZ6D and Nordstrands NJ4 that im putting in my new bass that im building, Just a week to go, so looking forward to testing it out..

    Best David
     
  4. schwartzbass

    schwartzbass

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    oceanside cal.
    I installed one in my tanglewood/overwater bass and i agree
    I was worried about humm but it's really quiet. it adds alot
    of presense and bottom end but keeps the natural tone of the pickups. it was a little tricky programming the switches. Mine
    has stacked volume for each pickup. i would have preferred
    one volume and a pickup blend but i got it for $100 some i'm
    not going to complain.
     

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  6. GLEN18INCHSPICA

    GLEN18INCHSPICA

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Location:
    Nesconset, N.Y.
    Had one of those preamps a few years back. I liked it, not sure why I haven't tried one out again on my SX Jazz. I've entertained getting new pickups for it, but I really don't mind the stock pickups, I might have another Audere preamp in my future. The quality of the preamp is nice as well as the ease of installing it.
     
  7. jaxstarke

    jaxstarke

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Thinking about getting one for my Yamaha RBX765A. Actually been thinking about it for a while. It already has active electronics but they're pretty outdated and I've heard they suck batteries dry with a quickness. I've only had it a couple of months so I don't know yet. Posts like this one push me closer and closer to getting the Audere.
     
  8. VanillaThundah

    VanillaThundah Straight out a donkey's mouth Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Glad to hear people are loving theirs and that some people found this helpful in their search for a preamp. I'd like to add that this really comes off as the preamp for passive-bass guys who generally don't like preamps. A lot of the characteristics you might run into with some preamps just aren't here. I remember wishing I had the money to slap another Bartolini preamp like I have in my Ibby into this bass, but I didn't have the money or the wiring space in the control cavity. I thought this would be a compromise but now I like it better!

    Maaaannn....all I can think is that a pre-wired one for P-basses would be KILLER! I feel like the jazz does it all with this, but some cats prefer the P basses and I think they could benefit from this too.
     
  9. augdog

    augdog Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Location:
    Quakertown PA
    I completely agree. I use the Audere pre-amp and Dimarzio Model J pups in my Fender Deluxe and it kills. I'm a huge fan of Audere preamps and Dimarzio. Last gig I played (jazz combo), a guy came up to check out my set up because he wanted that tone on his bass.

    The Dimarzio pups are a favorite of mine. I have them in my deluxe jazz and my cheap p bass and I love their sound. Couldn't be happier.
     
  10. jaxstarke

    jaxstarke

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Question: On the order form for the Classic Module it asks under "Classic Pickup Inputs" to choose one. Either Standard Pickup Inputs-DC Coupled or Active Pickups Add $2.00 and a couple piezo options. What does that mean? I have active pups in my Yamaha RBX765A so do I choose the Active Pickups option? Here's the link if you want to look at it. http://www.audereaudio.com/scripts/prodview.asp?idProduct=105
     
  11. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Boston Mass
    Disclosures:
    Endorsments listed in profile
    I think that is the case but what I would do is email Audere...David is pretty responsive.
     
  12. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Boston Mass
    Disclosures:
    Endorsments listed in profile
    These are the best pres on the market IMHO.

    They are winner with either Norstrand or Dimarzio.

    I have the Audere Pre with both brands (several of the Nordstrand actually) and they are utterly fantastic.
     
  13. Isotonic

    Isotonic Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Round Rock TX
    I recently installed one with a pair of Bart 9J1 pickups. It sounds wonderful. I am going to rehearse with it tomorrow.
     
  14. jaxstarke

    jaxstarke

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Just shot them an e-mail and David confirmed that the Active Pickups option was correct. Just wanted to make sure.
     
  15. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    N.H.
    Thanks for the review. I have been thinking of upgrading an old Pedulla
    which only has a tone pot. The bass needs more highs & lows.
     
  16. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Location:
    Halifax
    I've installed two Auderes. The first was in a Jazz bass with Lindy Fralin pickups (drop-in module). Effortless. The second one is in an Ibanez SR700. This one was more fun. Took the opportunity to replace the offshore Bartolini MK-1 pickups with American MK4CBCs, then installed the preamp so that the Z-mode miniswitch replaced the existing mid frequency select miniswitch on the bass. Now it has vol/blend/treb/mid/bass and z-mode on the top and the blue power status light is mounted into the plastic cavity cover at the back of the bass. I'm another big fan of these pre-amps for their quiet, uncoloured, very musical qualities. Both instruments sound quite wonderful with their new innerds.
     
  17. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Northern Va.

    I am thinking of one of these in a Kingston I have. I believe I read on this forum somewhere where he said he can sell them so cheaply because tyey are made here and he does all the building in house.
     
  18. Marial

    Marial Three Weeks of Freedom Start Right NOW Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Location:
    Emerald City
    I've been thinking about how to hop up my Squier Jaco Jr fretless and after this review it seems like an Audere is the way to go. Anyone have experience with the Audere and the 'Duncan Design' Squier pick ups? I have an idea to turn it into a Jah Wobble/David J-style dub machine and have been debating whether or not to put some Bart Classics in it... Any thoughts from the collective?
     
  19. chaosmic

    chaosmic Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Disclosures:
    Owner at MetalString Sound, Inc.
    I installed a 4-band Audere Classic in my Roscoe and I definitely agree that it's a fantastic preamp. Easy to install, quiet, transparent and very useful EQ adjustment. My bass is very aggressive by design and the Audere really helps to enhance this and emphasize the natural growl. The flexibility of the EQ allows me to tame the overall tone and response of this bass as well if need be. A winner of a preamp for sure.
     
  20. jaxstarke

    jaxstarke

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
  21. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Location:
    Halifax

    I think this is characteristic of the transparency of these preamps. They retain the essential character of the bass but endow greater tonal flexibility.
     

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