SGD 2-Band Music Man Style Preamp - GREAT !!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Modern Growl, Nov 22, 2012.


  1. Modern Growl

    Modern Growl Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    NY/NJ Metro Area
    I just wanted to quickly chime in on my experience with the SGD 2-Band Music Man style Preamp (based on the Pre-Ernie Ball Stingray Preamp). One word - Great!

    I was on the hunt for an "authentic" Pre-EB 2-Band Preamp, and while there's a few choices out there, my research (and conversations with Dave, owner of SGD) lead me to check his out above the rest.

    My research came from this site:
    http://myweb.ecomplanet.com/town8019/mycustompage0019.htm

    Based on the photo's of true Pre-EB preamps - SGD's looks like an exact match. Board, Chip, etc... all almost identical.

    Photo of 1979 Stingray Preamp:
    [​IMG]






    Photo of SGD's 2-Band Preamp:
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, SGD's Preamp looks almost identical, following the same PC board design, and using the same LM4250CN chip like the original.

    Tone: It sounds amazing! Compared to the EBMM 3-Band the bass control is wider, fatter, and extends deeper. The treble is wider as well... and doesn't have that upper-midrange "clicky" sound. It's Overall warmer, fatter and less hyped up treble. Very "vintage" voiced and organic sounding. For more comments on tone - just research "Stingray 2-Band vs. 3-Band"... any comments you read will apply to the SGD preamp as it follows suite to both the newer Stingray Classic's, as well as the Pre-EB preamps.
    Construction: The definition of meticulous. All the solder joints, sleeves, etc... everything is clean & meticulous. Great "hand built" piece of gear.

    While I never owned a Pre-EB Stingray, I did own for a short while a Stingray "Classic" which comes with the 2-Band Preamp (which is also based on the original LM4250CN chip design). SGD's sounds identical.

    Props to Dave at SGD - great guy to work with and great Preamp - love it! :)

    **Also FWIW - Because I have a newer 3-Band Stingray, I had a 4th hole to fill... I decided to put a in a tone control that is also a series/parallel push-pull pot.
    **Note - I have the Nordstrand MM4.2 which is a 4 conductor pickup which makes this wiring possible.

    The price is right, and the tone is amazing. Highly recommended!

    For more info on SGD's preamp, click here

    Thanks Dave!!!!
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    so it acts like the preamp on the EB classics?

    the controls on that one are a little weird for me; the no-center-detent knobs are "boost-only" but not quite, in that "0" sounded like it was cutting signal, while maybe "2" seemed to be closer to flat.
  3. Modern Growl

    Modern Growl Supporting Member

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    Yup, that's about right. :)

    Both the treble & bass are both boost/cut. The treble has more cut though... The bass isn't 100% "boost only" as many claim... there is a bit of cut to it as well.

    To put a numerical value on it I would say something like this:

    Treble 50% cut / 50% boost
    Bass 20% cut / 80% boost

    If that makes sense... The bass deff has more boost to it, but I too detect a bit of cut.

    Having no center detent is a trade off I'm more than willing to make... it's no big deal really. I found where my ear found "flat" and tightened the set screw on the knob for visual reference.
  4. narud

    narud Supporting Member

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    santa maria,california
    check out the mega thread on this here in the forums. it sounds just like the pre because it is the same pre. lots on here have put one together with the boards that unclefluffy provided. if youre not into soldering, dave is a great choice. carey is selling one as well that has a smaller foot print because i think he got rid of the strain relief holes on the board.

    great pre. not only am i loving it in my music mans, its an absolutely fantastic pre in a jazz bass. for all the talk of how "passive" sounding the coppolo pre is in a jazz, i like this pre better. ive got one in my main jazz.
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  6. Modern Growl

    Modern Growl Supporting Member

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    I did see that thread... though I think I missed out on the boards. I'm sure I could of rigged on up, but the price was great and it was quite convenient to just drive 20 minutes and pick one up :)
  7. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

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    Aug 21, 2008
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    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Thanks for the review. I have to replace that photo on my website. It's old and the current preamps look slightly different.

    I'd like to point out that while this is a copy of a Stingray preamp, I was careful with parts selection, and there are a few minor changes in parts values that I feel improves the performance of the preamp, without changing the tone.

    I'll also be using slightly different circuit boards in he near future.
  8. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered thumper Supporting Member

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    Hey David - since you dropped in - can you provide specs on that preamp? Frequency centers, boost/cut dB, perhaps a curve or two? I've been wondering...
  9. DJJazzV

    DJJazzV That's impossible! They're on instruments! Supporting Member

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    Awesome! The next time I get a Stingray, I'll probably install one of these preamps. Thanks for pointing it out, and your review.

  10. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

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    The bass control is centered around 50Hz, but is pretty wide, and goes from 100 Hz down to 20 Hz. The treble control is more like a presence control on an amp, and seems to boost at a pretty high frequency, maybe like 10kHz, but cuts at a lower one.

    I have the specs written down somewhere, so this is all off the top of my head.
  11. Modern Growl

    Modern Growl Supporting Member

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    FWIW, I'm hearing the treble bring out some finger style "punch". I usually dont hear that up at 10k... so it seems to be boosting frequencies much lower than that as well ??

    Also, cutting treble I hear a bit of upper mid smoothing as well. All and all I hear it affecting just the right freq for me (out of a 2-band).
  12. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

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    It's probably lower, but I think it's a pretty wide band.
  13. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered thumper Supporting Member

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    Thanks, David! I really like what I'm hearing. Any thoughts from any of you regarding the use of this preamp in a non-Stingray instrument? Using a non-Stingray pickup?
  14. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

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    Hmmm.............I may have to try one of these out on my SBMM SUB Ray4. The stock pre is total garbage! Bass needs warmer bass and a cleaner treble. Right now it sounds like treble is behind a closed door! And the gain is off the roof and overdriven!
  15. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

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    I use one in my '87 Ibanez with my Neo Jazzbuckers. It sounds great IMO. When I first tried it I didn't know what to expect. It doesn't make the bass sound like a Stingray, of course, but if I dime the bass and treble I get a cool Tony Levin type of tone.

    I use that bass in a classic rock cover band and an original alt/grunge/punk type band (often with a lot of distortion). It's really quite versatile. Hats off to Tom Walker and Leo fender for a cool preamp design.
  16. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

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    I've had a number of people report very good results using these in SUBs and even OLPs. They said it nailed the classic stingray tone.

    (Kind of makes me want a Stingray)
  17. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

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    Having some expensive car repair issues right now but as soon as I'm back on track, I'll hollar!
  18. shrigg

    shrigg Supporting Member

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    Do you know how many dB's of boost/cut it does for bass and treble?
  19. Grissle

    Grissle

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    How would it work with Jazz single coils you think?

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