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Can Aguilar make Semour Duncans sound great?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by DaveCustomMade, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. Okay, that may be a poor question to ask, but I would like to know if an Aguilar preamp with 3 band EQ can make a bass with Semour Duncan pickups sound full, or are the Semours just not able to get that sound?
  2. Oh, going for that good rich Jazz [not Fender Jazz bass, but style of music] sound.
  3. EBMatt


    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    The Aguilar is a big preamp. Really loud with lots of headroom. What kind of duncan pickups are they? The Duncan pickups that I've heard before sounded pretty good. What type of preamp are you using now?
  4. EBMatt


    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    The Aguilar is a big preamp. Really loud with lots of headroom. I would imagine that they would make anything sound bigger. What kind of duncan pickups are they? The Duncan pickups that I've heard before sounded pretty good. What type of preamp are you using now? A bartolini 3-band preamp is really warm and full sounding too. Ever consider one of those? The bart and aguilar are both 18v so they are both loud.
  5. I'm trying to decide on what to use in an upcoming build. I've got Bart pickups [M5] and preamp [HR-4.6] as the more costly option. For the cheaper option, it would be Seymour Duncan Soaps from Warmoth. Here's the write up:

    Phase I & II Active 5- & 6-String Bass Soapbars
    see | specs
    dimensions asb-5 | dimensions asb-6 | dimensions asb2-5 | dimensions asb2-6
    ASB-5/ASB-6/ASB2-5/ASB2-6 -- These pickups were designed in the Basslines™ Custom Shop when a series of artists had their stock pickups swapped out for something bigger, bolder and badder. Utilizing a low-noise discreet transistor preamp, the tone can be described as warm with a detailed and natural high end -- never sterile. The mids are articulate without being harsh. The Phase I's are direct Bartolini® P2 and P4 replacements, and the Phase II's are the same size at the EMG® Model 40 and 45 pickups. All of our Active Soapbars use a hum canceling, split-blade magnet, so hum and string spacing problems are effectively eliminated. Available individually in Neck and Bridge models or in sets.

    Common to Phase I & II 5- & 6-string models
    Average Output: 200mV
    Battery Requirements 9V (18V can be used for even more headroom)
    Current Consumption 200uA (about 1250 hrs with 2 pickup system)
    Noise -88 dBV
    THd Less than .05% @ .5V output

    Preamp would be the Aguilar OBP-3.

  6. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA

    I've tried several sets of the active seymore dunca pickups and haven't been a fan of them. They just sound very scooped to me. They don't have a good midrange presence like the bartolini's do. If I were you, i'd try either Nordstrand's pickups or perhaps the EMG's. It's worth a shot. From what I understand the OBP-3 is a great pre-amp. I'm getting it in the bass made for me along with the Nordstrand Dual Coils.
  7. Well if anyone can, stupid question here, describe how an Aguilar or Bart preamp will change the sound / tone of your bass. Maybe I should ask how will it affect the sound?
    I have never had any experience with either preamps but read about them all the time and hear great things.
    Do they just give you more versatility in adjusting your EQ or do they really give a new "presence" to the bass? :help: :meh:
  8. EBMatt


    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    Yea for jazz definitely go with barts or Nordstrands. The Nordstrand DCs are awesome for jazz. I would say go with a bart preamp for jazz too. I own a bass with Nordstand DCs and a bart preamp - it has a great sound for jazz. :hyper:
  9. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    IMO a good preamp will make a good sound better. But if you don't have a good basic sound, I think you're limited in what you can do.

    For example, lets say you have some pickups with a very shy midrange (i.e. DM UltraJazz). You can boost mids at amp / onboard preamp, but it's not going to sound the same as getting natural mids.
  10. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    If you've got a contemporary amp with a 3 band pre in your amp (or a power with an equivalent pre) and you can't get the sound you're looking for with it, I seriously doubt it's going to happen with an aftermarket onboard preamp played through the same amp either.

    I've had the Bart, Aggie, and EMG 2 and 3 band preamps and I found them to be a lot more alike than different (except the OBP-1 which I found definetly lacking) and none of them gave me anything I couldn't get from my amp - except for anboard control which I don't need.

    Also, all the major pup manufacturers make a broad variety of pups that sound as different (and often more different) from each other than they do pups from another manufacturer. They ALL make good pups - it just depends on what you're looking for. In my experience, SD's in general don't suffer any more for lack of mids than anybody else - but it depends on the ones you've got. I had an SD hot P and Hotstack and it was bottom and top heavy but I wouldn't say it was lacking mids.

    Another thing is some of the contemporary amps are extremely bass heavy with a thin, tranparent, or brittle top - and definetly lacking in mids. I've recently started experimenting with some different amps and I found the GK MB 150 and the Bassman 25 to be that way. I also heard players complaining that the the Aggie GS-112 is scooped but it's not scooped in the least used as an extension cab with my Poly V (which is very mid ranged) or when I've played music through it from the stereo. The only preamps I've used played through the QSC were a bass pod and MB 1 and most of the options on those pres are the same way - bass heavy.

    There's a lot of factors involved but pups are where it starts. But everything else can not only amplify the pup signal, it can also alter it in a way the may or may not be appealing to you.
  11. While I'm not all up to speed with this technical jargon, I can say that a bass with SD pickups and and aguliar preamp can sound full. I have a flea bass with SD basslines pickup and an OBP-1 and I can get a very full, very powerful sound out of it.
  12. big evil robot

    big evil robot Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    If you have SD 1/4lbs, then probably not. They have a pretty big scoop to them I've found. I had them, and pulled them out before recording and went back to stock because of that.

    Where the Antiquity will be a pretty good jazz sound, and hots and stacks might be a bit scooped so they'd probably be ok.

    I put hot stack P-bass SD's in my girlfriends bass and I love the sound of those.