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Aguilar OBP-3 vs. Demeter BEQP-1 onboard preamps

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Mystic Michael, May 4, 2005.

  1. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I'm in the market for a good aftermarket onboard preamp for a Carvin fretted four-string. I've heard good things about both Aguilar & Demeter - like the Aguilar gets a nice full low end, and that the Demeter has a very even frequency response across the spectrum. But I've occasionally heard less flattering things, i.e. that the Aguilar can produce rather harsh & brittle highs, etc.

    So what's the scoop on these two makes/models? Can anyone on TB offer an informed comparison, based on personal experience and/or research?

  2. afroman


    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I haven't tried the Demeter, but I just installed a OBP-3 in my Stingray5 and I couln't be happier. It has a push/pull mid frequency selector which makes it very versatile. The bass knob is extremely powerful and adding just a tad of bass is enough IMO. The treble is a lot smoother than the stock preamp. I'm really happy with it and I've heard great things about the OBP-3. I bought it just because of the great reviews I read and I dont regret it for a second. I hope this helps...
  3. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    +1 for the Aguilar.

    I have an Aguilar in one of my fretless basses and really dig the tone. It's got lots of top end, a versatile mid selection, and BASS BOOST! And on my bass, it's dead quiet!

    The Demeter is also an awesome preamp, but yields a more modern tone. The highs are always there - even with the treble knob rolled off all the way. PLus, it's about $100-150 more than the Aguilar.

    Hope this helps also.
  4. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    +2 and +3 for the Aguilar. I've got one installed in my Valenti. Nordie pickups + Aguilar OBP-3 = incredible sounds. I'm having an Aguilar OBP-1 installed on another. I have yet to hear bad things about these preamps.
  5. I'm gonna have to +4 the Aguilar. That's what I use and I do love it. I agree it's dead quiet, and it has a killer bass boost.

    Thing to remember is the Aguilar is WAY sensitive to even the slightest changes. Minor adjustments yield big changes.

    Too much treble boost and it does get a bit sizzly for my tastes. That's my only gripe and it's minor. Just adjust lightly and you'll absolutely love it!
  6. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Thanks, guys. That does indeed help...

    So now, that's Aguilar: 4, Demeter coming up to bat...

    Anyone have any experience with the Demeter?

  7. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    +5 for the Agiular. I have one in my six string and it's soooooo smooth. The bass boost is centred at the right place and it fattens up EVERYthing.

    The mid boost/cut is probably my favourite bit. But yes it can be sensitive especially on the treble side of things I have found. But then, it is in an all maple bass.

    Oh by the way, DEAD quiet unless you are being an idiot with the treble control.
  8. I had one in in my Benavente and I was disappointed to say the least. It was way to transparent for my taste. I'd rather go with a Aguilar any day of the week.
  9. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Too transparent? Meaning that it didn't impart any color or character to the tone? Or that it didn't have enough guts? :meh:

  10. OBBM


    Jan 26, 2005
    Surrey, UK
    +6 for the OBP-3.

    I also have one installed in an SR5 with a Nordstrand 5.3. Excellent.

    How have you dealt with the coil switching as that function is an integral part of the MM pre-amp?
    PawleeP likes this.
  11. To answer your question, yes, to all of the above. When flat, the Demeter was clean sounding but the focus to me sounded like it was favoring the highs and lacked a ton of lows and mids in comparison. Plus, the system didn't allow for enough boost, but I'm sure that had a lot to do with only having a 9V system rather than the 18V. All in all, I had to play that bass with the lows boosted all the way, the mids boosted nearly all the way and the highs cut slightly to get a sound that was similar to the way my other basses responded when set flat. It's possible that I may have had a bad one. Chris Benavente mentioned that they may have not been a good fit with his basses. I've heard good stuff about the ones going into the Roscoes lately.
  12. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    * bump *
  13. PawleeP


    Oct 8, 2012
    i speculate that; most any pre could prolly produce a brittle high depending on several other factors such as treble setting on the amp, strings, pups & neck composition, to the paint job... i am watching for any info i can get though.. appreciate the heads up. p
  14. I love the Demeter preamp, I use it with Lane Poor pickups in one of my Cerro 5 strings. This bass sounds tremendous live or in the studio.
    With the Demeter, the pickups connect directly to the circuit board (not to a blend and volume pot first like the Aguliar). The volume, balance and tone are pre-wired and connected to the circuit. This design makes everything low impedance and it literally sounds like you took a blanket off of your pickups. The EQ centers are +/- 14db and it uses a 6db per octave curve so there is no phase shift in the EQ. The EQ is as smooth as can be and the High EQ is actually usable and not harsh or brittle. Also, in this preamp, the pickups run independent of each other as the blend is handled by the circuit, not a blend pot that ass a load to the pickups. There is no interaction, overlap or loading between the two pickups so you hear each one fully clean and accurate. It will work from 9-27 volts, I use mine 9V and have plenty of headroom. It is a breeze to install and Demeter can add a custom mid frequency switch if you want, ask for the James Tyler Bass mod when you order. It is and has been one of the most musical and best sounding preamps on the market for years.
    zortation and PawleeP like this.

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