Aguilar OBP3 or J Retro Deluxe

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by adrian garcia, May 5, 2005.

  1. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    ok, i am not sure where this belongs so i put it here in basses, mods please move if you see fit...
    i also found a thread addressing this question , but it is quite old and wanted to get some newer opinions...
    I am ordering a Jazz style bass, Mike Lull to be exact. Mike and Roger Gee are awesome guys to deal with...
    I need a very strong Marcus Miller type of slap tone and I also need a Jaco style bridge pup tone, so I am trying to decide if I should go with a J retro Dlx, or an Aguilar obp3 with a passive tone option. Any suggestions???
  2. Yo Adrian (sorry i crack my self up everytime i use it)
    I just got a new Dingwall SuperJ bass and sheldon installed a U-retro deluxe in it. Its amazing preamp, lots of tonal options and it has this slap pull switch, which really accentuates the marcus miller type tone. But sheldon added this pre after he worked on getting the pickups to sound ever so close to the tones you describe

    My point is that i was under the impression that the pickups make those tones and that the pre's just help shape the tone. I.e., Really bring out that Jaco-esque burppiness
    Anyway, I like the U-retro alot, its a great pre w/ a passive option. Now sheldon really like the Aggie OB pre's as well. So i suspect you won't go wrong w/ either
  3. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis

    I have 2 of each of these pres, and I think the Retro better addresses your needs. Let me give you my humble synopsis:

    The Aguilar is a great pre. Nice range of tones, good eq points, and very clean. By clean, I mean when it is set flat, it sounds like it is not in the signal path.

    The Retro has a great range of tones, and I love it's sound shaping abilities and sweepable mids. If you wanna slap, you can pull up on the "bright" switch to get a sizzling treble boost... very sweet. It also get a great fingerstyle flavor, and has a switch that will solo the bridge pu for you when you want the Jaco thing.
    It definitely has its own inherent sound. This can be looked at in two ways...
    The hangup some people have with the J/U Retros is the tone coloring. Even when in bypass mode, the sound is not quite bypassed. When set totally flat, there is still a small boost of lows/highs.
    This is a bad thing for some... but I personally love the coloring. It colors the sound, I won't argue that for a second. But in my opinion it is an IMPROVEMENT. So I have two jazzes wired with Retros: 1 J-retro, and 1 U-retro Deluxe. I highly recommend the Deluxe with its passive tone control.
    YMMV, of course - find someone with a Retro pre and see if you like its tone... if you do, then it's a great pre for your needs.
  4. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    thanks! the thing is, i did have a J retro deluxe on a bass once.. i liked it, but it was a little noisy- the newer ones seem to have addressed this.
    one thing that i DONT dig is, there is no pup panning in passive mode. It has the select one or both pups , but no pan.
    I have yet to hear the aggie on a j bass, so that is a mystery. A plus there is that it can be had with passive tone, it can be set to true passive and still has the tone rolloff... but ultimately, it the quality of TONE that is paramount..
  5. Adrian-
    I agree that the J retros don't come standard w/ a front, middle pan type swtich in passive mode. But if you go to "thedudepit' and ask in the J-retro forum, I imagine sir gil will assist you in wiring the p'up selector switch to provide a 3-way setup.
    My SuperJ has a front/both/rear pickup switch in passive mode, the wiring diagram looked straight forward. Now its not a knob to allow fading, but it gets me all the combos i need in passive mode
  6. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    I had an old retro that was noisy, but they modified the design to address that. (I can't remember the exact date, but you can find the answer in the Dudepit.) The pan function is not a big deal for me, I rarely play my Retro equipped basses in passive, and when I do, it's with the Neck soloed. (I wire them backwards, so I can solo the neck pu with the switch.)
  7. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    Beat me to it... :)
  8. djcruse


    Jun 3, 2002
    Norwood, MA
    I've got a J Retro installed in my Lakland Skyline Joe Osborn 4-string and really enjoy it.

    For me, if I want the Marcus thing, I do what was suggested earlier and go with the pre. Punch the treble and bass, drop the mids, pull the bright switch and wank away.

    But for the Jaco thing, I might actually turn off the pre, solo the bridge pickup, and play directly over the pickup.

    YMMV, of course.
  9. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Hey Adrian, First glad to see your over that stomach thing. Have you considered the Sadowsky with a VTC? You know it's going to get the Marcus thing and the VTC seems to help far a more passive traditional Jazz tone. I know it's a two band, but Roger sure picked the right frequencies, they should be called Warmth and Sizzle!
  10. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
  11. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I like both preamps, but I think I like the John East pre a bit better. I have the active East pre, and I think it's quite flexible, but I have with soapbars p-ups, so I don't know how it would respond in a Lull with J p-ups.