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Best preamp to go with EMG's? Aguilar/Barts?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bluebomber, Oct 15, 2003.


  1. Bluebomber

    Bluebomber

    May 2, 2000
    Korea
    What preamp goes well with EMG's. They are on my spector and ive been looking mostly at the Aguilar and the Bartolini Preamps. How do these two work with the EMG's (i think -35's). Are there other preamps out there that are better?
     
  2. I have an OPB-1 in my Euro Spector.

    There is an EMG pre in my Korean Spector.

    I like the Aggie better. But its boost only and kind of hot.

    Have a Bart system in my Lakland. Much warmer (but Bart pups too)

    What kind of music? For my metal band I much prefer the Spector/Aggie, but for the rock band I much prefer the Lakland/Bartolini.

    Its nice to have options.
     
  3. Bluebomber

    Bluebomber

    May 2, 2000
    Korea
    I dont play any metal, pretty much just rock and funk, and some other things that I use my fender for. Im not sure what the preamp was in it before but i didnt like it. It did sound more metal and i wanted to get away from that and sound more rock. Im wondering if its the EMG's that make it sound like that, meaning ill have to swap those out too.
    But anyways, I dont have an input gain control on it, so i guess that might be a problem.
    It sounds like im leaning towards the barts since i want some more warmth in my highs. It sounds too extreme right now, highs are too high and lows are too low. something a little smoother.
    For the Barts, is there any compatibility problems using EMG's pups? and hows the 2band compared to the 3band? i want to put in the 3band but i dont have much room in the cavity and i dont want to deal with making more room
     
  4. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    I have EMG DCs and an EMG BT preamp in one of my basses...love the beef I get from that combo! I hear the EMG BQ system is really good as well.
     
  5. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    EMG pups with a Bart preamp actually sounds really good. The Bart preamp will give the EMGs extra warmth that they don't normally have.
     
  6. Bluebomber

    Bluebomber

    May 2, 2000
    Korea
    i think im sold. looks like im going to get the Bart BT preamp. Anyone know of a good place to get those. Any last minute comments/suggestions before i buy it? Anyone know of a good place where i can get them?
     
  7. GFOS

    GFOS

    Dec 27, 2002
    Athens, Alabama
    I put an OBP-3 in my Quantum 5 with EMGs and I love it. It tamed the harsh high end and really jacked the lows. It is a little hot, but running at 9V instead of 18 seemed to help.
     
  8. Bluebomber

    Bluebomber

    May 2, 2000
    Korea
    Hey guys, I got the Bart preamp the 2band with 4 pots (V-B-T-B), not sure the exact name. I installed it but its not working. Did any of you guys have problems with it. Ive had 2 main problems:
    1. Signal, with alot of distortion and interference
    2. Very, very, very low signal. Jacked the amp all the way and still is just a whisper.

    A couple of things i wasnt real sure about was on the EMG pups, on the wire there is the insulation and then some braided wire then the actual pickup wire with the insulation. I thought that braided wire between the insulation and the actual signal wire was something i have to ground, but its too hard to ground since its braided so tight. I did a sloppy job, but i got it grounded, is that what im supposed to do?

    Does anyone have any idea what the problem could be???
     
  9. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Do the EMG pups have 3 wires and the braid or just 2 wires and the braid? Which model number Bart preamp did you get? Are you running at 9V or 18V?
     
  10. Bluebomber

    Bluebomber

    May 2, 2000
    Korea
    the EMG's have 1 wire and a braid, i think they are 35-DC's. The Bart preamp is the NTBT-918. And im running it 9V.
     
  11. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    First of all, not meaning to step on xyllion's toes.

    The wire is red, right? And you have the braid (ground) with hot signal wire inside it? 35-DC's are active, I'm certain.

    If that's the case, then part of the problem is going to be that you have volume/blend pots which are probably not of an impedance suitable for active pickups.

    EMG recommend 25K volume pots for their pickups, if you bought a prewired Bartolini harness then the volume and blend are probably both 250K.

    It's almost impossible to get a 25K blend pot, your best bet may be to rewire the volume/blend 250K pots as volume/volume 25K pots. Unless you had a preamp in there before, I'm guessing you probably had a volume/volume setup previously?

    As for the braid grounding, you're right it can be tricky. When grounding them to a pot, scrape the pot back with a sharp knife until you see the shiny metal underneath. The solder sticks much better that way.
     
  12. Bluebomber

    Bluebomber

    May 2, 2000
    Korea
    so i should rewire it as a volume volume config instead of a volume blend config. The Bart preamp wasnt prewired, but it came with all the parts that was needed. The old preamp was V-V before but im not sure if they are 25K pots. It was the original EMG preamp system, so im assuming that they are 25K pots.
    Should i use both the volume pots from the old preamp or use the one Volume pot from Bartolini and one old pot for the blend.
    Also, The diagram didnt say i need to but do i have to ground all the pots?(bass and treble pots?)
     
  13. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Actually, I take my 25K blend pot comments back. If you go to guitarelectronics.com, I see a 25K blend pot down the bottom of the page.

    http://www.guitarelectronics.com/pots.html

    So, you can do V/B after all!

    What was your prior blend pot? Was it the EMG blend board/pot? Or was it a standalone regular pot. Either way, I wouldn't recommend mixing the bart 250K pots with 25K pots.

    As for the bass/treble pots, these do generally get grounded in active preamps. When Bart sell their prewired harnesses, you'll see they join the pots together with wire at the washers. This wire then gets grounded.
     
  14. Bluebomber

    Bluebomber

    May 2, 2000
    Korea
    i should still use a 25K volume pot with the V/B setup with these 25K blend pots. I never had a blend pot before, My old preamp was a VVBT setup. It had this one small little chip attatched to one of the pots, i think the volume one.
    Is using 25K pots going to have problems working with the Bartolini preamp. What kind of effect will the 25K pots have on the preamp?
    And for grounding the other pots, what is the washer you are talking about joining them together at? where is the washer? Ive only seen them get grounded at the bottom cap, is this a better method?
     
  15. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Well, if 25K blend pots are available then you can wire it either way you want (V/V or V/B). It'll make no difference.

    What impedance blend pot / vol pot shipped with the preamp? I'm making all these assumptions based on
    what I think Bart shipped you. If you could clarify that, that would help. And I also then won't be putting you down a wrong path.

    Changing the pots should make no difference to the preamp, just how you control the blend/volume. The preamp is able to take input from active or passive pickups.

    As to how Bart ground their preamp harnesses - look here for an example:
    http://www.bartolini.net/information/harnesses/hr_4_2.htm
     
  16. Bluebomber

    Bluebomber

    May 2, 2000
    Korea
    Ill let you know what kind of pots they shipped with them when i get home later on tonight. where would I find what impedence they are, Is it marked on the pots?
     
  17. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    generally it's on the side of the pots, it'll say 25K, 250K or whatever.
     
  18. Bluebomber

    Bluebomber

    May 2, 2000
    Korea
    The Bartolini's came with a 20k pot for the volume control and a 250k pot for the blend knob.
    The Pots from my original preamp were 200k.
    i emailed bartolini and this was their response:

    The gain control should be a 5K trim with a 1.3K-ohm or a 10K trimpot with a 2.7K-ohm - as in .../ntbt_1.gif

    If you put ~27K-ohm in <series> with each pickup hot lead (lead > 27K > blendpot lug), then the Blend Pot will work reasonably well. For best blending the resistor value may be a little higher, maybe as high as 47K-ohm. Without resistors, the 250K Blend will work but it will be abrupt. The resistors will also help attenuate the active pickups.


    Im gonna just go and buy that 25k blend pot. Do you think i need another volume pot, or stick with the 20k pot?
     
  19. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    between 20k and 25k there shouldn't be much of a difference, but if I were doing it I'd put a 25K volume pot in there.

    good luck!
     
  20. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Duse I have a Spector and thinking about doing the same thing to beef up my tone, I have a Czech with the EMG hj's I'm pritty sure, let me know how it sounds. How is the low end any better?