1. Welcome to TalkBass 2014! If you're new here, we just went through a major site upgrade. Please post all concerns and bugs to the Forum Usage Issues forum. We will be monitoring that forum. Thank you for all of your feedback.

    The TB Android app is working, you may need to uninstall/reinstall. The iPhone app is now updated and should work after you upgrade. TalkBass is responsive to any screen size, so we recommend using your mobile browser for full functionality.

    Please read the TalkBass 2014 FAQ for lots of great info on the new software.

Preamps- when are 3 too many?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Lavrans, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Lavrans

    Lavrans Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a strange and annoying habit of learning lessons the hard way. In this case, it has to do preamps, and the Department of Redundancy Department. I forgot the MIT acronym KISS- Keep It Simple, Stupid!

    I have a Hohner B2AV-WS Headless 5-String Bass, into which I have installed an Aguilar OBP-3 preamp. Seemed like a good idea at the time. My amp head, a Baby Blue II head also has a tube preamp- very complex, but useful in tone-shaping. Right now I am awaiting delivery of a Viva Analog 360+ Lite preamp/fx pedal, in hopes of capturing that Jaco sound.

    Then I realized that I will wind up with 3 levels of pre-amplification. So I will need to flatten the t, m and b controls on the OBP to send a dry signal to the 360+. Since I want to get my money’s worth out of the 360+, I will first play with that one until I get the sound I want. Then I should set the BB II to bypass the preamp section, and feed the signal directly to the power amp. I might then carefully play with the OBP-3 on board the bass to enhance the process. Finally, if I can bring the BB II preamp online without totally trashing the audio signal quality, that would go last.

    For any other newbies who may get carried away, I hope my experience will be useful; for the old-timers, any further advice would be appreciated.
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Likes Received:
    6
    I would expect that the preamp in the bass does a little different job than an amp's preamp section, so having both is not so weird.

    It's just the two "amp pres" that are duplicating each other's function, so it's probably best to stick with your first idea, using only the power section of the amp with that Acoustic preamp.
  3. IntrepidCellist

    IntrepidCellist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Likes Received:
    0
    I run the preamp in my Kubicki into a VT Bass into the preamp of my Aguilar Tone Hammer 500. No problems, sounds great.
  4. StingrayDerek

    StingrayDerek Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry to derail but... How do you like the Aguilar preamp? I have a Hohner B2AFL that I plan on getting a preamp for.
  5. Lavrans

    Lavrans Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    0
    On the Hohner bass, we (my luthier and I) replaced the simple set of 2 volume pots and a stacked tone pot with the OBP -3, and wound up with master volume, blend, treble, midrange and bass. The Midrange has two positions, selecting different frequency ranges.

    The installation was tricky. A lot depends on how much room you have in the well. You’re going to wind up with 5 pots were you had 3. We moved the jack from the bottom side to the back end. I would suggest expanding the well, and making a new cover plate rather trying to stuff all the wiring into that small space. As an active system. you need a battery, and it would be better to create a battery box. The well should also be lined with copper foil or some very good kind of insulation, as the OBP preamp has a tendency to pick up stray RF. Aguilar also makes 1 and 2 pot versions.

    Once done, the pots work very well. The only slight glitch is some noise when turning the blend pot all the way to one pup or the other; this may be the fault of the pup itself rather than the pot. (??)

    Attached Files:

  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Likes Received:
    6
    stock hohner pickups? "select by EMG", maybe?

    good god, ditch those turds! almost anything out there would be a big upgrade. (don't get me wrong, the bass is cool, a nice solid-maple stick).

    the noise you're hearing is normal single-coil hum, which goes away when the two jazz pickups are both full-up, at which point they cancel each other's noise.
  7. JazznFunk

    JazznFunk Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2000
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Lakland Basses Artist
    Multiple preamps can be fine if you don't go overboard with the gain-staging. I run out of my Laklands into an Aguilar Tone Hammer, then into an EBS ValveDrive, occasionally hitting a MarkBass Compressore before going into my amplifier. I try to set the gain out of the Tone Hammer to match the 'dry' level when it's deactivated, then hit the ValveDrive, where I add a touch of 'boost' with the output. You just have to be sensible with how you link them, adding the 'flavor' of each without overloading things. Think of each preamp as a 'spice' in the sonic stew... you have to decide how much to flavor things without going too far.
  8. Lavrans

    Lavrans Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    0
    stock hohner pickups? "select by EMG", maybe? good god, ditch those turds! almost anything out there would be a big upgrade. (don't get me wrong, the bass is cool, a nice solid-maple stick). the noise you're hearing is normal single-coil hum, which goes away when the two jazz pickups are both full-up, at which point they cancel each other's noise.

    I'm with you. I am ready to try a pair of Aguilar AG 5J-HC pups, if I can figure out how to make them fit. Only a few mm's difference, but a problem.
  9. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Likes Received:
    6
    ah, it's a 5-string; that makes replacements tricky.

    look at the dimarzio area J 5; great-sounding classic jazz pickups, no hum, and they're a little narrower than the fender 5-string Jazz and fit squiers and such, which makes me think they'll fit the hohner.

    duncan also has two different size ranges, though their hum-canceling jazz pickups aren't on a par with dimarzio, nordstrand or fralin, which all use the stronger "side-by-side" setup rather than stacks. duncan's true single coils are top-notch, though.
  10. Mykk

    Mykk

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Likes Received:
    0
    I use four pre-amps.

    My MIA Jazz has active EMG's with a BQ-A preamp, from there it's run into a Mesa Boogie Basis M-2000 with Parallel tube & FET preamps. I also use an Eden WTDI in the effects loop of the Boogie.

    I find each pre-amp/channel has it's strengths and weaknesses. Blending in each Pre allows me to take advantage of the individual strengths.

    Unlike the general TB census, I am not looking for a flat EQ.
  11. mjac28

    mjac28 50th Anniversary Ed Sullivan February 9, 1964 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Likes Received:
    23
    I love preamps I can't get enough I have and love the following:

    1. Sadowsky Outboard Preamp - This thing is incredible has a beautiful warm tone makes all of my basses sound great has a D/I and tuner out just love this pedal.
    2. Aguilar Tone Hammer - this pedal has that grungy goodness I love this dog has bite! It also has a D/I.
    3. Tronographic Rusty Box - this is one of my always on pedals everything you run thru it sounds good it's what I call a great foundation pedal for you to build your sound on.
    4. F Bass Big F Boost - this is a boost only preamp I really love it's an 18v pedal that has plenty of warm overhead goodness not a common pedal but well worth it.
    5. Fodera model 2011 Preamp - what can I say it brings Mike Pope magic to a pedal it's another 18v tone monster.
    6. Tube Works Blue Tube Enhancer - this is a vintage pedal you can find on eBay this pedal is the warmest pedal I've ever heard I put a vintage Amperex Bugle Boy tube in it and it does everything from warm enhancement to almost tube breakup just love it.
    7. Fuzzrocious BDPG - I can't really explain this pedal what it does to my tone is just magic and I think everyone who has one will agree it is another pedal that is always on I mean always it's the first pedal I turn on and it is a great buffer not really a preamp but has that preamp quality.

    All of that plus my "Lights On The Way Out" tube pedal that is the last in the signal I love variety and each pedal gives me a different sound.
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Likes Received:
    6
    each EMG jazz pickup has its own internal buffer preamp, so you're using six preamps :D
    yeah, pickups themselves aren't remotely "flat";

    a good sound is a good sound however convoluted the path to get it.
  13. Mykk

    Mykk

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did not know that, good to know.
  14. mjac28

    mjac28 50th Anniversary Ed Sullivan February 9, 1964 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Likes Received:
    23

    Amen to that I've become a preamp hoarder but each one gives me something I need for a specific sound or genre.
  15. sharp8874

    sharp8874

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Likes Received:
    0
    +1
    I didn't know that either!
    At first I thought this thread was about haveing 3 preamps on your bass and I was gonna say that you can never have enough of those considering I currently have a bass that has 2 preamps in series and am planning on making one with 5 in series XD
    But anyways I think that going striaght to the power amp. Is a good idea rather than including the amps eq.
  16. mjac28

    mjac28 50th Anniversary Ed Sullivan February 9, 1964 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Likes Received:
    23
    Five preamps ? wow how big is that cavity?
  17. sharp8874

    sharp8874

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Probably almost the entire back XD I'm also trying to figure out a switching system because I want to have 5 emg 40tw (which have 3 coils that I think I can get to all individually) pickups in it and have lots and lots of routing options.

    Its probably going to be really insane and probably not fit in a bass but I just wanna try it out and see how it sounds
  18. mjac28

    mjac28 50th Anniversary Ed Sullivan February 9, 1964 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Likes Received:
    23
    I want to see and hear it when it's done sounds like a great idea
  19. Lavrans

    Lavrans Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    0
    As for pickups, the Aguilars are available for a 5-string; yes, I will need to predetermine that the string spacing lines up. The problem with the fit I referred to involves the covers and the wells. That mostly involves some creative wood working.
    As for pre-amps, thanks to all who have weighed in. Perhaps I have over-reacted, and am painting the devil on the wall. I'll know better when I get the 360+ and try it out. The reference to setting the Aguilar OBP to flat is just a starting point- I doubt if they will stay that way.
    More to come...
  20. Lavrans

    Lavrans Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    0
    PS: I also have a Zoom B-2 multi FX pedal, which gives a lot of additional choices for various tone shaping. I think that a lot of the dialog about pre-amps refers to pedals rather say 3 to 5 on-boards! I have a DIY kit to build an SB-type headless 4-string that is my next project.

Share This Page