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36V Pre-amps

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by iriegnome, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I do not want to put 4 batteries in the cavity of my bass.. What the hell is going on? I just got my system used to the 18v pre amp. :hyper:
    OK>>>> Here is my question!!
    Is there a way to power your pickups from an outboard source? If so, anysuggestions as to who makes them and where to get them? I really hate to have to think about 4 batteries in my bass and then having them all go out in the middle of a show, because I forgot again to change them.
    :help: :help:
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Certain brands of amp have "phantom power" outs that can power an active bass, although you have to remove your batteries and do a little mod. Why the heck is your bass preamp needing 36 volts?
  3. The Reff

    The Reff

    Feb 11, 2004
    Yeah - i have it on one of my basses. Basically, the way it works can be described like some microphones uses phantom power. I have an external powersource in a box. Then one cable goes from the box to the amp and of course one from the box to the bass. The cable is the key here. The cable that goes to the bass is a 5-way conductor cable - pretty much like a midi cable. Everything the bass needs goes through there, although I don't know why it has to be a 5-way cable. Maybe I should mention that the cable that goes to the amp is a standard jack-jack. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask again. :)
  4. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Who is doing a 36V preamp? That is just obscene. You really get your biggest bang for the buck with 18V. At 36V you are just loading in a ton of batteries.
  5. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Has anyone come up with a 120v A/C preamp onboard? Then you could just plug it into your power strip... ;) :bag:
  6. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I know the Status Jonas Hellberg signature model was 36v.
    My friends old Vigier (this is going back to 1990ish) which had to be powered from the mains!
  7. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Take a look at how Alembic implements outboard power. They'd probably be happy to sell you a setup.

    If you want to do it yourself, nice +/- 15 volt or +/- 18 volt supplies are readily available. Try Mouser or Digi-Key. They're quite easy to build too. I have a homemade setup like this for my old Travis Bean fretless. I used a regular mike cable for the power supply, because I didn't want to hack up a nice vintage bass. I ran the cabling through a grommet in one tone control hole. It looks a little funky having two cables coming off the bass, and a 4 or 5 pin connector on one cable is a more standard approach. A regular 3 pin XLR can actually do fine if you're talking phantom powering, or just running a one-sided power supply to your bass. If you use the XLR shell as a common ground, a bipolar supply will run fine, I've done it that way too.

    I own an EBS amp with the powering option. It outputs 9 volts, one-sided. My EUB chews batteries, I wish the EBS was the amp of choice for that bass.
  8. The Reff

    The Reff

    Feb 11, 2004
    It has something to do with how long the batteries is going to live. The reason that I have a 36 V external powersource to my bass is that I've had a 3-band semi-parametric EQ installed. It sounds good and the tonal posibillities is endless. I can also wire the PU's any way I want. Both PU's goes serial/parallel and I can path them together serial/parallel.
  9. lsimy

    lsimy Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    Indeed Alembic had an external preamp box for their basses using a multi-pin cable. The box I believe pulled from AC power but of course needed to terminate to DC on the bass end. There was so much going on in those basses electronically that they needed the external power.

    I also believe the Entwistle Status Buzzard had a 36v preamp. Why, I am not sure. I'm a 9v guy myself although at one time I had a Warwick Corvette modded for EMG 40DC pickups and because that bass had side LED's, it needed (3) 9v batteries. Once I changed to the EMG's, it then required a 4th battery so I said, there has to be a way to lose at least one of these silly things. Looking at the EMG specs, I noticed they could handle up to 27v max and the LED's needed 22v (with resistor). From there, I just wired them all to (3) 9v batteries and the output jack and everything came alive once plugged in. I also was purchasing those Energizer Enercell 9v at the time which had nice clean constant power and long life. Worked great. I just didn't care for the way the bass played so I dumped it. 22v on the EMG's were just fine though there was no tonal improvement over 18v.

    Sorry to ramble !!
  10. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Is it me or are thing just getting a little ridiculus? I mean OK first we had 9 volt pre amps so 18 must be better. So lets one up that. And on and on. :eyebrow:

    On the other hand it'll be nice in the near future on a cold cold night after a gig to be able to jump start the car with your bass. :rollno: :D

    I'm going back to passive
  11. lsimy

    lsimy Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    Oh don't get me wrong, nothin I hate more for myself than a trillion batteries in there. Let's also not forget that adds more weight to the thing.

    That's also why when Warrior asked me about the pre I wanted in my next bass, I eagerly jumped in to say, "no need for that 18v mess, just give me a 9'er. Plenty for me." :)
  12. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    the buzzard bass actually had (5) 9V batteries. 2 for Preamp and 3 for the LEDs.
  13. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    Agulair has the option to go to a 36v pre.. I don't use one currently. I use EMG pre's at 18v. The crazyness of a 36v is out of control. First passive, 9V, 18V 36V - WHAT THE HELL IS NEXT?
  14. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    :p The 5 wire is for power on 3 and sound on the other 2!!