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Audere Preamp with Villex Pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dnpr, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. dnpr


    Oct 9, 2009
    I have Villex pickups in one bass and want to add an Audere
    3ZB preamps to add flexibility.
    I've contacted the sales department at Audere, they said some peoples used this combination before but suggested to use their Classic model.
    Anybody tried this combination?
    Any issues with the mid control or other things?

  2. tubby.twins

    tubby.twins Amateur Pickup Reviewer Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    I haven't tried this, but I'd be concerned. The 3ZB pre-amp is DC coupled which means that it effectively puts half the battery voltage to the pickup "common" wire. If you were to use the Villex pickups with the passive midrange control, you would need to ensure that the "ground" wire actually went to the pickup common, not the cavity/shield ground.

    However, that effectively puts a 50K (or 100K, I can't recall) pot in the circuit, and I don't know how that would behave when connected to the DC-coupled front-end of the pre-amp.

    The other thing to consider is that the Villex pickups don't have a shield wire that is separate from the "ground" (bare) wire that comes out of the pickup. There is no separation between pickup shield and pickup "common". This could introduce noise, unless you use copper foil to shield the pickup cavities and connect that to the bass's cavity ground.

    I think the recommendation to use the Classic pre-amp is probably a good idea.
  3. dnpr


    Oct 9, 2009
    Thanks a lot.
  4. ianmatth


    Dec 10, 2009
    Passaic, NJ
    I actually am planning on putting Villex single coil pickups with an Audere JZ6 (both bought from talkbass members for awesome prices). I love the low Z-mode option, so I'm not as big a fan of the Audere Classic (I actually have 2 of those, one in my vintage style Ric, and the other one was just switched from my 4-2-5 4004L Ric - it got the old JZ3 - and put in my Fernandes Gravity 5 Deluxe (both of which are being strung for sub-contra). Villex said I needed a mid pot or a minimum 100K trimmer pot. David Meadows from Audere said I should find out whether I should use and audio or linear taper trimmer pot, and whether 100k was the exact recommendation or whether I should go with something higher. David also said ultimately it is about the sound I'm looking for. Mainly I'm looking for the vintage sound, but I also like the high-end Sadowsky sound, and I feel the low-Z mode on the Audere preamps gives that kind of sound with my current set-up (Alder MIM Fender Jazz Bass body, Warmoth padouk/ebony neck with stainless steel frets, vintage-style Jazz Bass pickups, BadAss Bass II bridge). I'll be switching to a custom-shaped Honduran mahagony body, and Allparts brass top-loading bridge (another talkbass steal), along with the Audere JZ6 and the Villex pickups. Ultimately I'm looking for the most versatile Jazz Bass sound I can get, something that will kick ass on most of the custom/boutique Jazz Basses out there. I'll be using either Warwick Black Label stainless steel strings or stainless steel strings from Garry Goodman. Any recommendations for the pot I should use would be appreciated.

    Another question about the Villex pickups, I can't seem to get an ohm reading. There are 4 wires: red, white, black, and metal. I tried getting a reading with both red and white and red and black, nothing, so any help on that would be appreciated as well.
  5. tubby.twins

    tubby.twins Amateur Pickup Reviewer Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    The red and white wires are part of the midrange tone circuit, and I don't think they are internally connected to the black (signal) or bare (ground) wires on the pickup. I would be surprised if you got any readings from them with an ohmmeter. I would expect that there is a capacitor inside which blocks DC as part of the tone circuit.

    Regarding the midrange pot, I think 50K or 100K is a reasonable recommendation. The pot is basically to control how much of the normal pickup signal is bled to ground in the midrange band, so a higher value pot might make the pot more sensitive at its lowest setting. The taper can be audio or linear, depending on how smoothly you want the pot to control the midrange, or how much you intend to use it. This would apply with a passive system as well.

    To be honest, I usually leave my Villex midrange pot at full-on (i.e. no midrange cut) since I like the tone. :)
  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    That right there precludes using them with the Audere.

    The Audere isn't just DC coupled, it's balanced. It needs the common and the shield to be separate.

    You can have unbalanced DC coupled inputs. I do my buffers like that. In that case the common goes to ground.
  7. ianmatth


    Dec 10, 2009
    Passaic, NJ
    I ended up sending my Villex pickups to David Meadows at Audere and he figured out the best way to hook them up. He recommended using a Classic because the low Z mode acted very differently with the Villex pickups, but I'm still going with the JZ6, and he said that was fine.

    I have to use a long stem pot, and had a very hard time finding one at 50k. Villex said it would be fine to use a 250k pot for the mid control, but I was finally able to find long stem 50k pots from Philmore. One is a .1W mini pot, the other is a standard .25W pot with a switch. I think the CTS 250K pot is a higher quality pot than either of the Philmore pots, and am leaning towards that, but I sent Villex an email asking what he thought and I wanted to see what anyone here thought regarding the difference the pots would make other than the 250k pot making the mid control more sensitive at it's lowest setting.

    I'm putting the Villex/Audere setup in a custom shaped (will have pictures when the bass is 100% ready, still keeping the exact shape a bit secret at this point) Honduran mahogany body set up in a 34" scale Jazz Bass configuration with a brass bridge and the Warmoth Padouk/Ebony neck with Stainless Steel frets I had on my MIM Jazz Bass body. My luthier had done a sunburst on the neck so I'm having him do the same sunburst on the body. Hopefully he'll have that done soon. At this point the only thing I need to get him is the pot.
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