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Bartolini preamps with 'other' pups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by MascisMan, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. MascisMan


    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    Has anyone here used any Bart preamps (specifically NTBT) with other manufacturers pickups before?

    What were your impressions?
  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I had the NTBT wired as an outboard and ran it through various pup manufacturers pups and and never had a problem. I remember it being impressive - especially compared to an OBP-1. But it had boost (and more of it) and cut as well as a trim pot/gain control. The OBP 1 was boost only. It seemed the frequencies were much better placed as well. I wish I still had it when I ran the Preamp experiment but I jettisoned all the 2 bands when I picked up 3's and even thought about a preamp experiment. So it's all in memory.

    I suppose you could be disappointed in it but I've never heard anybody complain about one.

    But I've had half a dozen Bart preamps running various pups and never had a issue with any of them.
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Yes, I've tried it. Sounded fine.

    There's too many variables in the equation (tone, fingers, wood, strings, pups, preamp) to make blanket recommendations one way or another without more info on the bass it would be going in.

    There have been times when Bart preamp didn't sound right in a bass, just as there have been times when an Aguilar didn't sound quite right.

    For examples: I tried Bart ntbt preamp in my Warwick Thumb 5, it sounded pretty blah and had a dark overall sound. The Aguilar sounded much better, and in combination with the EMG pickups it made the bass sound great - lively but with a fat low end.

    OTOH, I have a bart ntmb in my Elrick. It sounds great. Out of curiosity I tried an Aguilar OBP-3 in it's place. It sounded 'harsh' in that bass.
  4. MascisMan


    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    Hey David good points...

    This would be in an alder P-bass/maple neck with a Nordstrand NP4 which you are already pretty familiar with! ;)
  5. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I actually took the low pass tone filter/pre out of my Alembic and put an 18v Bart TBT in. I think it's a big improvement, though most Alembic people have a heart attack when they hear that! I think the Bart pres are among the best and most flexible ones out there, even the 2-band.

    Mascis -- I know Carey uses Aguilar stuff with his pickups, so it's probably a good call.

  6. MascisMan


    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    thanks Wilby, yeah maybe I should give Carey a shout and see what he recommends.
  7. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I've used a NTBT with Aero's and Ken Smith soapbars besides numerous bart pups. I love em! It really sounded good with the KS.

    You may also want to look at the TBIBT as it has an active blend.
  8. MascisMan


    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    Like someone said above Carey recommends Aguilar with his pups so Im probably going to go the OBP-1 route
  9. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Benjamin Strange has an OBP-1 he's selling for $65, wired up and everything. Make him an offer and you might get it a hair cheaper. Wouldn't be an expensive experiment at that price.

  10. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    How did the tone change exactly? What was it like afterwards?

  11. 6-3-2


    Sep 20, 2003
    I know Atelier Z does that, bartolini pre-amps with their pickups.
  12. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    The single low pass filter either boosted lows or cut highs, but wouldn't do both. I felt l was either really muddy or really bright and thin. With the TBT in there, I still had a super clean and clear (can be glass breaking) Alembic sound with the ability to dial some real bass in under it. However, it's still a little mid shy. Awesome for recording nevertheless.

  13. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Interesting. I'm curious which instrument you did this to? I love my Alembics but having seen what's actually in them, and after playing with a few other instruments and external preamps, I'm not sure I'd choose the standard Alembic setup myself, though it would be nice to have the same filters available in my rack somewhere <i>as well</i>. Gotta admit though, I like the idea of making mine non-standard just to hear the howls from the purists ;)
  14. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    It's a fretted Essence 4 (flame koa over mahogany).

    The single low pass doesn't make any sense to me. I think it would be nice to have a full-on Series II setup like Jimmy Johnson, which would be more flexible, but to just have one filter is like only having a bass boost/cut on your bass. Pretty worthless. I'm not really an Alembic guy/purist at all so I really don't care about resale/opinion/etc. I just went for it. It still sounds like an Alembic, BTW, just more versatile. The pickups I think are the essential element, even though the pre gives a really subtle sweetness in the top end which I think doesn't remain.

    The Bart TBT, however, is going to remain in this bass.

    I swear, the best pre is the Smith 3-band. It's just so useful and musical sounding.

  15. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Suzhou, China
    Amen to that! I have a Smith 3 band in my Nordstrand and it KILLS! I'm having Carey build me another bass, and I have the option of using an F Bass preamp, but I may even pass on that and get another Smith preamp!
  16. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I've installed Bart preamps in two basses with other brand pickups in them. They both had korean no name pickups in them and sounded great with the preamp.
  17. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    That's funny Matt, I'm using the humcancelling Nordstrand pickups in my Smith and *it* kills! Pretty good combination either way I think.

    I would like to try the NJ4's/Smith 3-band in an ash body/maple board bass. That would probably rip.