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Bartolini NTBT vs TCT preamp

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by gimmeagig, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    I'm a huge Marcus fan.Currently I have the Sadowsky preamp in my bass.As always I'm thinking how I could get a little closer to "that tone".
    I have a used NTBT preamp that I could install in my 74 Jazz.
    Can somebody here tell me how it would be different from the TCT that Marcus has in his bass?
    What are the EQ center frequencies on the TCT?
    What makes a TCT better than the NTBT,Both are 9V 2 band, right? NTBT it's 30hz and 10 K I think.10k seems kind of high to me as opposed to the Sadowskys 4 k,but maybe that's a good thing, I don't know...
    Would that be a worthwhile change?
  2. dany


    Jan 22, 2005
    It seems that the tct Marcus Miller has in his bass isn't built no more today.. Even if it's no more the same
    do you try the pensa préamp?
  3. Yes I know about the Marcus TCT not being made anymore. I think they make a new model TCT which is different from the one that Marcus has.
    I don't know anything about the Pensa pre.Do you have it in your bass?
    I just want to know if my NTBT would be a step up from the Sadowsky as far as getting that Marcus tone is concerned.
  4. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass

    Sep 9, 2006
    Tijuana Mex.
    The Sadowsky is based on the old tct and the ntbt is a different preamp.
    I think the Sadowsky is as close as you can get to the Marcus sound.
  5. Interesting, I didn't know that.
  6. I was thinking that if Marcus is using a Bart TCT pre the EQ centers and the basic sound of the NTBT might be similar. NTBT is 30hz for bass and 10 K for treble( which seems really high to me)
    The Sad is only 4 k on the treble and 40 hz on the bass.I can't turn up the bass very much or it get's muddy.30hz might be better?
    The NTBT has both, boost and cut.Lately I've been getting into latin/salsa type of stuff so being able to cut treble might be a useful thing for that
  7. Funkinthetrunk

    Funkinthetrunk Registered User Supporting Member

    Don't forget the Aggie OBP-1.
  8. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    for me, the tct sounds better than the ntbt. i pulled a ntbt after a while as it was a little too plinky sounding. the bass boost is more natural on the tct than the sad as well.

    now, i have no idea what youd like because we have very different ideas of tone. you like the sound of hum cancelling pickups and ag and sad pres. i think that stuff is too hifi and doesnt have the balls that marcus relatively stock bass has. you might actually prefer the ntbt.
  9. It's not that I like the sound of hum cancelling pickups, I just hat the hum and the buzz from singles.If I only played with both pickups on full, that would be OK but I can't use that sound all the time.The AG and the Sadowskys seemed to be the way to go at the time.I also have a bass with a Noll 2 band in it.It's just so hard to compare preamps if they are in different basses. At this point I'm not sure what I want I just hope I'll stumble onto a good combination.
    My Atelier Z 265 with the Nordie splits and the Sadowsky seems like a keeper. Right now it actually sounds better than my Jazz bass. That's why I'm trying to make changes with it.
  10. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    youve got the same sad pre in the fender right? what about getting a set of nord splits for fender? i like the sound of singles enough that i can live with the hum. i rarely solo a pickup though.
  11. You're right, I could do that. I hear that Nordstrand makes a 70s split pickup.That may actually be a better way to go.I'll check into that.
    I just played my Atelier Z and compared it to my Jazz and the Z wins (it's very close)Both of them sound good, but now I feel like the Jazz is lacking a little bit.
    Funny, all these years I've tried to find a 5 string that sounds as good as my old Jazz and now that I have found it I'm still not happy. What is wrong with me? Maybe I'm just bonding with the Z more......


    Nov 25, 2007
    Hey, Gimmeagig.

    Those old TCT's can be found Marcus' bass tech says that he has to find them for and backup fender Marcus buys and sends them to a Japanese Tech in NY that used to work for Sadowsky and he set it up like his original. I would search here,ebay,craigslist.They can be found! Good luck!
  13. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    they make two sets of splits but neither are a "70's" set. they have the normal split which is 42gauge formvar and the se set which is 43 gauge plain enamel. carey says the se's have bigger low mids.
  14. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    he already has one!:bassist:
  15. I read somewhere that it is possible to alter the center frequency of the treble on the NTBT by running a capacitor across the treble pot.
    10k as it is, seems very high and I would like to bring that down to 6 k.
    Is that possible? What value should the capacitor have?
  16. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings - DR Strings
    in my little research on the Bart NTMB (which is the 3 band version of the NTBT), there's not such a 10k treble in Bill's pre.
    For some reason there's a lot of misprint info around.
    6k is the more accurate, although when you start to boost the highs (first few db gain), the first frequencies enhanced are the mids, than with more boost (4/5 db) gradually it moves the freq up. I did a whole scan of this Bart pre, interesting behavior, not sure I like it!
    What I did is to install a couple of caps to change this. Now I can actually boost the highs (only downside, not for me, tho, is the drop of gain range. From 16/18db down to ~12db, which it is way more than enough)