active pickups for jazz

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by matito, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. i've done a search and couldn't find the info i wanted.

    i am looking at making my jazz bass into active.

    i was interested in the aguilar OBP-1 but found out the cavity in the bass needs to be routed out to fit.

    so are there any onboard preamps i can install in my jazz bass, where it will fit already. i don't wanna have to woodworking to my jazz.

    or will the OBP-2 fit, coz it takes one battery?

  2. mlove


    Jun 12, 2005
  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I ran the OBP-1 with a single 9v with no problems. To my knowedge they'll all basically run on 9v, added batteries just increase the headroom which you may or may not need, I didn't. I also preferred the EMG BTC to the OBP-1 as it had both boost/cut and more of it. Also had the knee frequency dips for some treble variations - probably good for slap. The new smaller version of the OBP-1 may have boost/cut but the older larger version didn't. The BTC is also is stacked so no alteration needed, although I would definetly verify there's enough thread on the control to get a nut on in your bass. The stems I remember being plenty but don't recall the threads.

    Retro is the standard drop in for the Fender Jazz.

    Never heard of an OBP-2 but maybe they make one now. OBP-3 is a 3 band you could do it with stacked pots with 3 holes.

    The Sad pre may work too. Or you could just go outboard and you wouldn't have to touch your bass at all.

    I don't mess with onboard preamps anymore so it's been a while. I much prefer outboard control but that's cause I personally don't need onboard control - and have none.
  4. this might seem a stupid question, so would the outboard preamps like the aguilar DB 924 virtually make my passive bass, active? and do the work of a onboard pre amp.

  5. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    basically what distinguishes an active from passive circuit is that passive circuits are cut only (like a tone pot with treble bleed). Most contemporary active circuits are boost/cut. The OBP-1 is boost only and an exception. Most contemporary amp circuits are also active boost/cut. So you may already essentially be running active circuitry and not know it. It's just not onboard in the bass. Additional active circuits, such as onboard/outboard preamps do noticeably alter tone/output regardless, whether your bass is passive or active.

    So yes, an active outboard/onboard preamp will give you active boost/cut circuitry; including the popular Sans DI, MXR M80 DI, and the like. Outboard units also typically have a built-in by-pass to take the pre out of the circuit for passive operation as desired. Many of them also have enough output to act as preamp for a power amp. The Sans is two band and MXR 3 band. Sans has presence and the MXR has a color switch, so they both offer a lot of pluses aside from just a DI unit. They're small, light, and of course you can patch or pull them to or from the circuit as desired without altering the bass or use them with any bass (or guitar for that matter). The Sans also comes in a programmable version.

    Some other popular alternatives include something like a Yamaha NE-1 parametric EQ or Boss GEB-7 graphic EQ with 15+/- dB boost/cut.

    The disadvantage is the control is not onboard so it's not something to be adjusted on the fly during a song aside for the on/off stompbox function.
  6. thanks alot for that info! great stuff :cool:

    i think i'll just get a outboard one going, as i wanna keep my jazz completely stock.
  7. I just put a J-Retro in my MIA Jazz. Fits like a glove and sounds good.