Audere Preamp Review Gear used: Bass Valenti Geddy Vee five string Jazz bass with Nordstrand big single pickups Amps Thunderfunk TF 550, Eden WT800B Cabs Epifani UL-112, Epifani UL-310 Installation I received a pre-wired 4 band Audere preamp for review. Wired with volume, blend, high mid/treble, low mid/bass. While the control scheme seemed slightly counterintuitive at first, it quickly became second nature. Installation was straightforward, the pots came prewired with a jack attached. So all I had to do was ground the control plate, attach the bridge ground and pickup wires. Shrink tubing was supplied for the joints, which was handy because I was all out of it The preamp is slightly longer than a 9v battery, and slightly skinnier. Operation On plugging in, the led flashes to let you know your battery condition. Very cool! The major differentiator of the Audere preamp it it's Z-Mode operation, which puts an adjustable input impedance load on the pickups. It has three modes, which can be very quickly summarised as follows. Low Z Low end emphasis, can sound louder than other modes due to this. There are trim pots to adjust pickup gain in LZ mode. Least noise with single coil pickups. Mid Z Most typical of standard active bass High Z Brighter. There are trim pots to adjust added capacitance. Most noise with single coil pickups. More in depth details here: http://audereaudio.com/LowZ.htm http://audereaudio.com/MidZ.htm http://audereaudio.com/HighZ.htm I found the usefulness of the various modes depended on the amp I was plugged into. Into the Thunderfunk, the High Z mode seemed a bit too bright with the bridge pickup favoured. Into the Eden, the Low Z was a little bit too high end shy. With EQ adjustments on the amp, such as turning the Timbre ccw on the TF and turning the tweeter up when using the Eden, I was able to get good sounds for all modes. I left the High-Z mode 'added capacitance' trimmers on the preamp at minimum. Prior to the Audere, I had an Aguilar OBP-2 preamp in the Valenti. It sounded nice, but my major gripe was that the bass boost wasn't very subtle. It seemed to be either off or at 40%. I wanted something more granular in it's control range. I was able to dial in some more subtle bass boosts than I was used to with the Aguilar. To be honest, I didn't end up using the high mid control much at all. Along with the OBP-2, I also had a passive tone control previously. I didn't miss having this, since dropping into Low-Z mode muted the high end nicely for Motown lines. I know Audere offers passive style tone controls for both bass and treble. Summary I was very impressed with the Audere preamp, and after returning this unit I'll be ordering my own. I think I'll probably order it in 3 band mode only. For my playing style, mostly finger, I used Mid-Z most often and occasionally Low-Z. For pick style, I used Mid-Z and High-Z depending on the sound I was going after. High-Z worked very nicely for some of those Joy Division style riffs. While the price is more expensive than other preamps such as the Aguilar, when you figure in the extra versatility given by the Z Mode switch and the fact that most of the pots come prewired that difference seems much less. The Clips For each of the various licks, I recorded them 3-4 times each. They're always recorded once each with eq flat in each Z-Mode. If I felt like I could eq the sound better, the 4th sample is the lick eq'd in a chosen mode. So, first clip is always High-Z, second is always Medium-Z and third is always Low-Z mode.