Basic preamp questions

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Truktek2, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Truktek2


    Sep 5, 2008
    Queens, NY
    I searched the forums but only found info on specific preamps , recommendations etc. My questions are, when would you use a preamp? My head has an internal preamp so would I benefit from having an external preamp? If its just to boost the signal would you use it with active pickups? Is a rack mount superior to an onboard? And lastly, should I get one, and if so which would you recommend for a passive Jazz bass?
  2. wizay


    Mar 5, 2008
  3. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I use a Sadowsky outboard preamp with my Jazz bass. Kind of hard to describe what it does, though. It just makes my Jazz sound better, especially with a band. More focused, cuts through better.

    Basses with onboard preamps tend to have the ability to sound brighter and/or bassier. A good onboard preamp wont affect your tone much when set flat, IMHO. This is somewhat rare, so I generall stick with passive basses. I've heard good preamps that were made by Sadowsky, Aguilar, Bartolini, and Lakland. I'm sure there's others.

    Some preamps are designed to color your tone in a very specific way. The Sansamp Bass Drivers, for example, generally give you a more "tube" sound.

    Past your amp, preamps are optional. Just a tool to help you get "your" sound.