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Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ebozzz, May 24, 2002.
Can someone who has used this preamp offer their opinions of it? Thanks.
I have the pre-amp in 3 of my Warmoth basses & one of my spector basses. 3 basses have EMG's & one has Seymour Duncan ASB2-5 pickups & the basses sound GREAT. Very basses & bright.
I tried a few time to put the Aguilar w/passive pickups & I ended up getting some crazy interference through certan amps. I contacted Aguilar about this problem & they didn't know how to help me. I tried 2 different preamps w/3 different pickups (Sadowsky Hum Cancelling, Duncan Classic Stacks & Mexican Jazz pickups) & when I installed the EMG post & pick ups, the hum was gone.
Thanks for the reply Nino! It kind of sounds like the preamp is better suited for active pickups from your description. Is that an accurate statement in your opinion? I've got an upgrade going on and I'm pretty sure that I'm going to use passive pickups.
I think I might try to contact Dan Lakland or Mike Lull. The person @ Aguilar told me That they've installed Aguilar's w/passive pickups.
No matter what I tried, it didn't work. I checked my grounds, I've use sheilding, used 2 different pre amps, different pickups, different pots (corect value). I looked the directions over & over & followed them to the letter. I wonder if anyone else here has an Aguilar OBP-1 w/passive pick-ups?
Thanks again Nino. If you happen to hear of anything else over the next few days let me know if time permits.
I have an OBP1 in my Roscoe 7. I'd rather have something else. The controls being boost only is part of the problem. This bass has Bartolini pickups and seems to sound best with the Treble control set to off... if you max it it adds so much hiss and noise it's useless for me. The Bass control is okay.
I'm not saying this is a bad preamp, just that with this particular bass, which seems to be naturally deep and bright, the pre only adds what really didn't need adding.
I tried the outboard version with a MIM p bass. I liked it but yeah the boost only controls can get a bit annoying. The tone it added reminded my of the Sadowsky pre amp, which is fair enough considering Alex Aguilar helped design the Sadowsky.
Overall i really liked the Aguilar.
Usually i dont like anything active in my basses but it made the Fender sound good.
Here's what David King had to say about it:
The statement about it being difficult to retrofit has me concerned. The upgrade is on a MIJ Fender Standard Jazz fretless. Most people have told me that I need a J-Retro especially if it's going in a Fender or Fender copy. I'm just not sure that I can justify the cost of that preamp. I'm not doing a lot of fretless stuff right now and I'm not sure that I ever will. I do think that I will always have one around and I will at least practice with it frequently. I am sure that I don't want to spend a great deal more than what I already have invested in this bass.
Better pickups will definitely be added along with tuners and a better bridge. All of my other basses are active so I'm just trying to be consistent. who knows. With the right upgrades and my continued development, a fretless might become a regular part of my rotation. If anyone has any suggestions that they would like to offer, I would certainly welcome them. Thanks for the answers that I've already received.
You might want to check your budget and see if that's the best way to spend your money. Upgrading can be fun... and it can be frustrating and expensive too.
Good advice Brad. Thanks! I'm pretty sure that I want to add pups, tuners and a better bridge. Where I am little mixed at is regarding the active preamp. The bass is at the luthier now and the plan is for him to play around with for a while and a week or so down the road we're going to get together to discuss possible options. I want to keep it as simple as possible but the bass definitely needs the items that I stated above. I'll be careful for sure.
If you plan to put in in a Fender bass, you will need to route a cavity for the preamp. The Stacked EMG is a must unless you intened to drill a side jack. You might have a hard time fitting the 2 batteries depending how the control cavity is routed.
This seems like alot of work on a bass that might not bet alot of play. Have you looked into an EMG pre amp? I've used the EMG BTC Control on a few basses w/passive pickups & it sounds great. It has a bass & trebble cut & boost on one knob (concentric) & you can use 1 9V battery. You would have to change the input jack to a sterio jack. I beleive it's included.
It has a cut & boost in stead of the boost only OBP-1. I like the sound of the OBP-1 better, but the EMG is good also.
I hear you Nino. As long as I don't get too crazy with paying for the parts. I can probably get at least most of my money back out of it if I decide to get rid of it. No work has started yet and I do not want to alter the bass with a lot of routing. The Aguilar is probaly out of the question if routing is required.
As I said, I plan to get with the luthier to exchange opinions before getting started. He's done right by me thus far but I still plan to think it through. I won't make any changes just because he suggests it. Believe it or not, he's actually been trying to get me to do as much as I can on my own to keep costs down and also offering his knowledge to help me.
The stock bridge and tuners work fine. The finish is just terrible on those parts. Vanity! It would be lovely if I can find some of the stuff, if not all of it, used. Also, changing the hardware should be easy enough for me to do with a minimum of effort if I make wise decisions on my purchases. I'm still a lacking a little skill when it comes to the electronics but I'm getting there.
The bass is a keeper because I really do enjoy playing it. More than likely it will be the only fretless that I will ever own. I'll probably always used fretted instruments more. I'll look into that EMG preamp. I must admit that I'm not a big fan of EMG pickups though. Thanks again.
Why not use the outbooard version? Problems gone!
I was thinking the same thing. Or, at the very least, go to MARS, buy an outboard, and see if you like how it sounds with the Jazz, either get it, or go onboard. But, if you don't like it, you can take it back within 30 days.
This is what I was planning on doing when I get my passive Peavey Palladium with wenge/pao ferro neck/fretboard. I was surprised to see the pre at MARS to begin with.
That's a good suggestion but it would mean having to carry another piece of gear around. I will consider it though. There's no Mars in my area. They all folded a few months ago. All we have left now is GC and a few nice independent stores. None of them stocks any bass preamps. There's only one authorized Aguilar dealer in Colorado and it's about a 1 1/2 hour drive from me. I guess I'll see what they have in stock before I consider a road trip.
I just got back from the luthier today and and the verdict is in. His exact words were, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Well, I guess the Jazz is going to remain as is for a while and maybe forever unless I start to use a fretless instrument a lot more. I was pretty much feeling the same thing when I started looking around at the cost of hardware even at used prices. So he's going to set it up real nice for me over the next few days with a fresh set of strings and I used some of the money that I had earmarked to go toward the cost of the upgrade to buy another 112 cab.
Hope I'm not too late to chime in...
I have the OBP-1 in my Gecko with a passive Bartolini triple coil MM pickup. Sounds great, and in my case the controls being boost-only works fine because the natural tone is pretty mellow and round, so a little extra zing can really help.
Aguilar also provides diagrams for using a passive treble roll-off control in conjunction with the preamp so you can get a really dubby bass tone. The encapsulated housing is pretty big - I agree that you wouldn't be able to get it in a top-rout J without modification. We had to program a little additional recess in the Gecko cavity so it could mount cleanly upright against the side wall.
Thanks for the input Brian. I'm going to hold off right now but what you've said will be nice to know if I decide to go forward with the upgrade in the future.