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Bartolini Pups/Preamp Upgrade

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by gio, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. gio


    Feb 25, 2005
    Hi all.

    I have a Warwick Fortress One 4-string bass, maple body, wenge/ovangkol neck, wenge fingerboard. The bass has a well defined and not so deep sound like other warwicks with denser woods have. Excellent for funky stuff and Jaco like growly sounds.

    Anyway, it's fitted with MEC passive P/J pups (single-coil J on the bridge) and a 2-way MEC active preamp. Althought the overall sound is good I have some issues with the pickups and the preamp (uneaven sound between strings, not so "clear/hi-fi" sound etc).

    I'm thinking of getting the Bartolini 8CBJS single coil J-style "classic bass series" pup (I can get just the bridge pup) and the 8CBP P-style "classic bass series" pup. I've heard that they don't have such a dark tone like the rest of the barts, with more highs and a better definition which is exactly what I'm looking for. Anyway I've never actually heard them so I'm posting here for comments from people who own those pups. And another strange thing I've noticed, is that although the classic bass series is a new model of barts it's actually cheaper than older models. Any comments on this?

    The next question :bag: is about the bartolini 3 band prewired harness I'm buying (HR 4.6 with a/p switch @ 18V). My MEC preamp has 100Hz frequency centre for the bass and the bartolini has 30Hz. The bartolini has also selectable mid frequencies of 250Hz and 800Hz. Now, in order to get one of my sounds with my current setup I like to solo my bridge pup, boost the bass on my onboard preamp all the way up and boost the mids on the amp to form a curve centered around 500-800Hz (if that makes any sense to you :D ). So I'm wondering if the frequencies on the bartolini preamp are quite wide (ie. boosting 30Hz also boosts a little, a wide spectrum of freqs up to, lets say, 100Hz forming an even curve). That would help me a lot to get some of the sounds I'm getting now with the clarity a bart preamp offers.

    That's all....for now :cool:

    Thanx and sorry for the lengthy post
  2. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    well, I can offer my opinion on this subject to some extent. I've got a fretless Fortress One (maple body, wenge neck/fingerboard) which has passive Bart P/J setup in 'er with an active Bart 2 band preamp, unfortunately I have no clue what model the pickups/preamp are, as it had already been upgraded by the guy I bought it from. I really like the sound it puts out. a nice smooth clear sound, there isnt any uneven sound between the strings, they've got a great sounding low end, it puts out a great uprightish sound, (but remember I'm playing 'em on a fretless with flatwounds) so I can't say much about their sound on a fretted. but I can imagine they'd be pretty good for what you're looking for.
  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Haven't had any of the CB series. I had a Bart PJ set that was a 9J-L1 and I assume an 8S. They weren't nearly as dark as some Barts, very versatile, with typical Bart clarity. I'm not a fan of dark pups myself. Bart doesn't put out junk so I wouldn't be concerned about a price variation, there's a myriad of variables that go into pricing. A general google search for "Bartolini pickup reviews" will yeild reviews. You can read my Bart PJ review at Dimento's PJ experiment.

    Personally, for a number of reasons, I'd probably give the MEC pre a go with the Barts first, you can always change preamps. At any rate, changing pups will change everything and your favored old settings will, in all probability, be a thing of the past.

    I've had a couple of NTMB's and they're as good as any of more than a dozen pre's I've had. I see where boost/cut is +/- 15dB at 30Hz and I don't see a spec on center frequency but I seriously doubt that it's 30Hz as that's practically out of the range of human hearing. At any rate, the NTMB is fairly balanced across frewquency ranges and the mid switch I found to be my favored pre mid control setup.
  4. gio


    Feb 25, 2005
    Thank you both for your replies. I noticed a lot of comments I liked in both posts, such as "smooth clear sound", "versatile". You made me a lot happier about my decision. :D

    30Hz sounded strange to me as well. I'm a fan of 3-band preamps as well and I'm using mids a lot. I've read your reviews Luknfur and found them really helpful.