Building a preamp?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by NioeZero, Mar 19, 2002.

  1. NioeZero


    Sep 2, 2001
    I've been toying around with the idea of building my own preamp to mod out my bass, but don't really know where to start. I was wondering if any of you know of a good site for schematics, how-tos, and etc.

    Any help is much appreciated.
  2. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Find a copy of "Op Amp Audio Cookbook" by Walt Jung. It may be out of print, but any good library should have it.

    Modern chips have improved quite a lot since that book was published. I checked the specs on the dual op amp chip Carvin uses, the MC33178 from On Semiconductor. It turns out to be a good compromise between low noise, low power drain, and decent bandwidth. This is a tough combination to achieve, especially at the price! I recommend you use this device as a starting point.

    You can use a standard 1/4" stereo headphone jack to do your power switching. Wire the battery negative lead to the ring terminal on the jack... NOT to ground. Wire ground to the output jack's sleeve terminal. When you insert a standard tip-sleeve (mono) plug, the plug will connect the battery negative to ground without requiring a separate switch. There are fancier ways to do this, but this is one of the cheapest and simplest.

    Email me if you want more ideas. I first did this 30 years ago!
  3. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Hey, Don Tillman is a friend of mine! Just had lunch with him Wednesday, in fact.

    Don and I disagree on our approaches to preamps, but he's got some clever ideas. That preamp-in-a-plug is something he's played with for about 10 years now! Works great, too.

    It just goes to show there's more than one way to skin this particular cat.
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