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Aguilar Single Coil + Bart NTMB = Shrill

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Basso Gruvitas, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Folks, would love input from others that got into this same mess as me and how you got out of it....
    First, I love the Marcus Miller tone - that is usually my goal.
    I just dropped in Aguilar J5 70's single coils into a Roscoe that has Jazz pickups. The bass already had the Bart NTMB preamp. The result - overly aggressive, shrill harsh highs, so-so mids, and thin low end. Super disappointing. I'm wondering if anyone else has tried this combo. I'm looking for alternatives - either lose the pickups (and put the stock Bart single coils back in) or lose the preamp for something smoother.

    Open to your suggestions.
  2. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    Have you checked to see if the pickups are out of phase?
  3. Hmmmm I had them professionally installed by a tech. I would not know how to check that. I guess I can inquire and maybe have him check
  4. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Well how would you describe the tonal characteristics with the Bartolini pickups in there?
  5. Good question. I would say they are polite and consistent, but not really producing a jazz pickup tone. Really, they sound like brighter dual coils to my ears.

    I have a Mike Lull MV5 with Nordstrand single coils and a Bart preamp and it KILLS! Great tone and flexibility. I thought I was going to get something similar with the Aggies/Bart combo. I was wrong. o_O
  6. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    i was just about to suggest some nords or the seymour duncan single coil sj5's. the ag 60's and 70's wind sets have been pretty low wind with low dcr ime. very clean without a lot of grind. you pair that with an active pre and you get shrill. the added highs from the buffering combined with those pickups natural highs can be too much. the nords will sound hotter and grindier and the duncans more so. the sj5's are pretty slept on but sound like the duncans sadowsky was using before switching to carey as his oem manufacturer.
  7. This has been a super helpful comment - thanks @narud ! I have a call out to Aguilar right now to get their take on it, but your input gives me some good direction. Given that, replacing the Bart NTMB with the Aguilar OBP-3 would not make it any better, correct? Nordstrand would be a better choice?
  8. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    i might be the wrong person to ask about the opb3 because i really dont like it. i had one in one of my basses and it sounded like it was sucking out high mids went set flat. i had a really hard time with note definition. it came with a bass that had ag dcb's in it which i then switched to super doubles and finally duncan dual coils. with the ag pre, i was constantly fiddling with the controls trying to hear the notes. i replaced it with a nord 3 band and have been happy since. it opened up the ag pickups.
    heres a random video i found with ag 70s and an opb1. at around 25 seconds in hes got the pre flat. it sounds muffled like i remember the opb3 being.

    i cant really comment on the ntmb because the last bass i had it in was monarch with active emg pjs. i really liked what the pre was doing with those pickups but dont really know about it in a jazz bass setup.
  9. I have also had the OBP-3 in about 3 basses in the past. I would never again use it for fretless but for fretted basses, it was flexible and smooth. I agree that when the mids are flat, it's not enough to cut in a live setting. I always had to boost the upper mids a little for slap and lower mids for rock.
  10. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Jazz Bass pickups (humcanceling or singe-coil) into the Sadowsky preamp in a bass with a maple fretboard.

  11. Sorry, got pau ferro fingerboard. But ash body routed 60's spacing. I'm really optimistic that the right pickup/pre combination would be amazing!

    Anybody tried Duncan pickups with a Bart pre?
  12. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Anyone know when Roger made the shifts from DiMarzios... to Duncans... to Nordstrands?
  13. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    sounds like you're trying to get beef from a pig. you have 60's spacing (MM 70's), pau ferro (MM maple), bart/aguilar preamp (MM fender or sire or sadowsky), aguilar or bart pickups (MM fender or sadowksy or sire).

    sell the roscoe and buy a fender MM, sire MM, or sadowsky MM.
  14. phillybass101

    phillybass101 Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    I would suggest something is wrong. Brubaker has successfully mated Aguilar Pups with a Bart Pre and their JB's sound really nice.
  15. I was wondering the same thing
  16. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    Yeah, something is amiss, we've done that dozens of times without any issue at all. I'd get the guys at Aguilar to walk through the install with you, see what they say - might also want to reach out to the Bart cats.
  17. Thank you Gard. The preamp was working perfectly with the Bart pickups so I don't think a call to Bartolini is necessary. I did call Aguilar and their advice was pretty basic stuff (check the pickup height, make sure it's wired correctly, compatible values on the pots, etc).
  18. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    Yeah, it's something simple, for sure, but it is not some fatal issue between the two manufacturers products.
  19. I just mentioned this to my tech. All he did was replace the wiring that was already in place for the Bart pickups - 2 for the neck pickup, 2 for the bridge - nothing else. So I'm calling Aguilar again to see what my next steps should be.
  20. @Gard, should sound something like this, correct? (not that I can play anything like this guy! )