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Aguilar vs Sadowsky pres....

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by lamarjones, Oct 18, 2005.


  1. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Ok, so if there is a thread devoted, just lemme know......

    So I hear that they are very similar (maybe it is the OBP-1), but from what I have heard myself, there seems to be a slight difference. Granted, transparent is how I would describe both, at least flat......

    I don't find that the aguilar produces a great slap tone, in fact it really ends up making things sound like a P bass to my ears. The Sadowsky's I have played of course have a slap sound to die for. So, are these pres really that similar?

    Anyways, my thoughts on the obp-3 are based on pairing with bart soapbars that have a series parellel switch and Nordstrand dual coils with the same. I actually liked some qualities about the obp-3, but just could not get a good slap sound until I turned it off or set it flat.

    You guys think I am setting myself up for the same thing if I tried the Sadowsky circuit?
     
  2. There shouldn't be any reason that you can't get a good slap tone out of either AG preamp IMO... although I prefer the lower treble freq. of the OB-1 for slap... that 6.5K treble control on the OB-3 can get a little lost in the mix IMO.

    As has been discussed on a number of threads, so much goes into the sound of a bass... wood, preamps, strings, pickups, pickup placement, fretboard materials, size of frets, etc, etc. I'm wondering if it's some of those other things that are causing you problems.

    My OB-3 sounds about as far away from a P Bass as you could imagine.... something else must be going on.
     
  3. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Could be, but the slap sound with the Nordstrand definitely (and to a lesser extent the barts) was awesome without the pre. Pretty much became more 'boomy' that anything else with the obp-3. But hey, maybe it is something else in there.....

    NOT THAT it was unusable, the pre still sounded good. But for that good slap sound, I had to dial out the pre.
     
  4. Also.... we all have our own 'sound in our head' regarding tone. Maybe you are just hearing a more passive slap tone in your head! Nothing wrong with that. I believe the OB-3, the OB-1 and the Sadowsky all have the same low freq center freq of around 40 hz, so not sure it the Sadowsky pre would fix the problem.

    Do you have an example of a slap tone that is close to what you like.... for example, is it a 'J Bass on Steroids Marcus Miller' type sound.... a more EMG-ish hi fi Victor Wooten thing... a more mid punch Larry Graham thing... etc.?

    That might help TBers make some suggestions. :)

    Edit.... also.... the issue with the OB-3 might be that very high treble freq 6.5K vs. the OB-1. If your bass or strings are not capable of a lot of high end snap or if you are using a more 'treble shy' cab, that high treble freq might literally not be reproduced and all you would be left with is 'boom'. The lower 4K freq of the OB-1 and Sad might be more to your taste.
     
  5. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Your point about what slap sound I am looking for is very valid. Yes it is the Marcus type sound, not something like old school Stanley Clarke.

    The lows on aggies pres that I have tried are what I like. And, this was with DR high beams, so I'd venture to say there was a good bit of highs to shape with.

    How does the voicing on the treble control differ?
     
  6. Cool... That's the sound I like also for my slap tone. The closest I've ever come is with the Greengrove preamp in my Celinder Update.... totally nails that vibe. My MTD can also get very, very aggressive and sizzly... a little more modern sounding than the J Bass on Steriods thing... but pretty close once you put it in a band context.

    Not sure what you are asking regarding the treble control voicing... from what I understand.. the OB-1 and Sadowsky are very similar, and I know the OB-3 is voiced much higher.

    I would think an OB-1 or Sadowsky with single coil pickups (or some of the new hum-cancelling pickups designed to mimic single coil sounds) and a big ash body bass with 70's J Bass pickup placement (which is key to that sound) will get you where you want to go.
     
  7. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Ahh, but what are the bandwidths? I think this comes down to the ol 2-band vs. 3-band debate. The boosts on a 2 band EQ have a broader Q, and so the bass control adds fat, not just boom.

    I think mid controls are a good idea, but 2-band EQs sound better.
     
  8. Good point. On the Greengrove... you have a choice of multiple bandwidths for the low end. I actually find the narrow bandwith tighter and punchier. The problem with wider bandwiths is that even though you get more 'fat' because the bass control extends into the lower mids.... it also extends farther into the lower ranges... creating.... boom!

    I don't hear that the bass controls in the OB-3, the OB-1 and the Sad are significantly different on the Bass Q distribution... however, I've only directly A/B'd the OB-3 and Sadowsky... and they were in different basses which makes comaparisons very difficult.

    However... your point is well made... center frequencies do not tell the whole story.
     
  9. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA

    Aren't the bass controls on these pres typically lowpass filters, rather than bandpass filters? If so then the Q only controls the slope of the rise.
     
  10. Not sure about those exact terms... however, the way I think about it, is they are not shelving controls (at least the Greengrove is not, and I'm pretty sure the OB's and Sad's are not... but not completely sure). At least in the case of the Greengrove, the Q distribution looks like a 'bell curve'... just like in a true parametric EQ.... when you widen or tighten the Q distribution, it affects frequencies above and below the center point.... versus a shelving control that increases of decreases all frequencies either above or below the center point, depending if it's a treble or bass control.

    I know that's the case with the Greengrove... since they publish the Q curves. It seems that this is also the case with the other pre's we are talking about... but again, I don't know for a fact, just what my ears are telling me.

    Anybody know for sure?
     
  11. mgmadian

    mgmadian

    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    How do you select the bandwidth... are there DIP switches inside the control cavity? Also... is the Greengrove really cut-only for treble, and boost/cut for bass? Not sure if I remember this correctly, as it seems counter-intuitive (I seldom have a need for bass cut, but often have a need for treble boost).
     
  12. I think I might have responded to a post by you on the my Celinder thread today. I hadn't checked that thread in a while... sorry it took so long to respond.

    But yes... there are a number of DIP switches in the control cavity. There are active treble boost DIP switches in the cavity, which are then controlled by the passive tone control.

    I go into more detail on the Celinder thread if you want more info. If you are considering either a Celinder or the Greengrove, feel free to email of PM me for more info.

    Ken


    PS If you go to the Greengrove website and go to downloads, you can take a look at the manual that has a pretty good description of the circuit, along with frequency curves, etc.
     
  13. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Then keep it flat when you wanna slap. :)
     
  14. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Thanks fellas.

    That greengrove preamp looks crazy, I do like the idea of setting the treble to the max and using the tone control to deal with it.

    Might just go with the old 2 band obp-1 and a tone control.....
     
  15. brooklynbassguy

    brooklynbassguy Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    maplewood, nj, usa
    I believe Alex Aguilar designed the Sadowsky circuit. His own 2 band pre adds a bit of distortion to the low end boost, giving it a more tube-like sound.
     
  16. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Yeah, I beleive you are right, thus wondering if it was pretty much the same thing, which I have heard. But for some reason, I don;t hear them being totally the same.

    However, I am known to be wrong ;)
     
  17. brooklynbassguy

    brooklynbassguy Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    maplewood, nj, usa
    I'm pretty sure the preamps aren't the same, probably for proprietal reasons.
     
  18. jacove

    jacove

    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    Just a quick question related to this topic...would it be foolish to run an outboard or on-board pre-amp like sadowsky/aguilar into a great poweramp, let's say a Aguilar DB750....What I mean is, wouldn't it be better to use the pre-amp in the amp rather than an outboard, or do you hit the amp with a EQ'ed signal ?

    By the way, I find the sadowsky is a tad brighter and the low end is very tight and smooth, where the Aguilar is tad more warm and tube-like....
     
  19. If I understand what you are asking.... are you saying should you use the on board or outbard preamp to directly drive a power amp? The answer is, in general, no.... those cirtuits were not designed with enough output to drive a power amp to its max, etc. They are designed to provide a number of things (allowing longer cable runs to the amp, allowing some additional control over the tone while you are playing without having to go back to your amp, providing higher output for a possibly better signal to noise ratio going into your preamp/amp, etc., etc.).
     
  20. jacove

    jacove

    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    Kjung, what I'm trying to say is:...let's say you got a DB750 would you then bypass the outboard pre-amp or on-board, let's say a db924, and instead use the pre-amp section of the amp...I assume the pre-amp in the amp is better, tube circuit etc...