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Bartolini pickups without a preamp?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    How do Barts sound without a preamp? Do they have enough output?
  2. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    models vary but in general i find them lower outpu and sometimes darker sounding than standard fenders.
  3. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    The 8S and 8CBP are both louder passive than my MM Stingray Classic. I don't find them dark at all but it depends on your definition of bright or dark.
  4. Finbase


    Oct 12, 2010
    Espoo, Finland
    Well, that warm and mellow tone that defines the famous Bartolini tone is always there. Richard Bona used to have Barts in his Fodera, and he plays almost always passive. IMO this is good example of Bartolini's tone in a passive mode:

    (Yes, I know that everybody has seen this video billion times before, but damn it sounds GREAT!:D)

    As far as the output is concerned, I used to have problems with Bartolinis, especially with my Ampeg SVP Pro preamp... Changed the pups to custom wound Aaron Armstrongs, and couldn't be happier!!:hyper:
    grouse789 likes this.
  5. wneff


    May 27, 2003
    Woburn, MA
    The answer is clear: it depends.

    You *always* go from the pickups into a preamp, the difference is only if it in on-board or not.

    I have run barts with and without onboard preamps, and they always sound good to me. One key component about the sound of an instrument is the loading of the pickup and the capacitance of the system. If you have an on-board preamp you keep this always the same, independent of what cable you use and what amp you go into. If you have no preamp the sound may change dependent on what you plug into.

    So, you can start out without on-board preamp and see if you like it. Chances are that the on-board preamp is going to not really change much compared to plugging into a good amp with a good cable. If you don't get what you like passive into a good amp chances are an internal pre is not going to help much.

    Pay attention to the values of the pots you are connecting to, they are important. If you use 250 k and it sounds too dark try 500 k pots. If they are too bright you can tune them down with tuning capacitors.
  6. topcat2069


    Dec 2, 2007
    Palm Springs
    My G5 had Barts... pickups and Pre.... in passive mode it sounded the same as with the pre (the pre has an overall output vol control which can be adjusted) + EQ set flat.....
    I'm not sure if passive mode was the same as a true bypass.... but the Bass worked without batteries in passive mode

    Attached Files:

  7. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    The Bart Classic Bass P/J set I've got (8CBP and 9CBJS), which I've always used in passive basses, is as loud or louder than most Fender and Fender-style pickups I've had in similar basses.
  8. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    The bass I've got has an MM/J config and I get hum in a number of different positions. Solo the neck - hum. Solo either of the MM coils - hum. Neck + rear MM - hum. I'm more thinking about installing different pups so every position is hum free. I don't really want to put a preamp in this bass, though, which is why I'm asking about using Barts without an onboard preamp.

    I was thinking about matching a split coil neck J with a quad coil MM bridge so I could have a P/J or P/MM sound. Would that work?
  9. Barts without a preamp are in general low output and its more drastic with the split/multi coil models. I tried some of them... Jazz Single coils=a bit low, Jazz split=low, double coil soapbar= abit low or low depends on the model, MM= low(i assume this are builded to match Musicman preamp), Quadcoils=very low
  10. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Nuts. Oh, well - I'll deal with some hum. Thanks!
  11. You can always just put a small mic preamp as the first gadget in your pedal-train. I've been using a pair of ARTs (thirty bucks each), they offer over 50db of clean gain, plus there is a 12AX7 tube in the ART to provide a bit of tubage.

    I use two preamps because my bass is modified so that each pickup has it's own output jack (no tone controls, that's what stompboxes are for). So each pickup hits it's own mic preamp to do two things, one is to provide a good input impedance for the pickups, and the other is to boost the output levels of the pickups. The processing gear I use needs a shipload of signal voltage (roughly 5x to 7x what the bass pickups actually produce by themselves).

  12. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Yikes! That's a lot of power. I'm playing through a Zoom B2 which has a useful noise gate, I'm just being picky. The bass is fine as is. Thanks, though!
  13. Hillsidebass

    Hillsidebass Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2005
    San Angelo, Texas
    Barts run passive need nothing. I have a p/j set that is as good as it gets....without a preamp.
  14. Okey dokey. :)
  15. wneff


    May 27, 2003
    Woburn, MA
    This is the same for ALL singel coil pickups - either bridge or neck soloed on a Fender Jazz also hums. To get rid of the hum you would have to install hum-buckers (eh...thats why they are called that).
    You have two combinations that don't hum - MM with both coils on (humbacker), or neck and fron MM. So you have twice as many hum-free combinations than a Fender Jazz.
  16. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Yeah, plus I installed a series push/pull switch so that's two more. I'm good. I think I might eventually get a bass with different kinds of pickups 'cause I can't quite get that old school woofy tone with this one, but it's good enough for now.
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