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Can I use Alembic pickups with a Peavey Cirrus preamp ??

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mb94952, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Supporting Member

    There is a guy at Subway Guitars in Berkeley, CA who makes SICK customized basses and guitars. He uses a lot Alembic pickups with Bartolini preamps.

    So, if he can use a Bartolini preamp to power Alembic pickups, then can I use Alembic pickups in my Peavey Cirrus ? If so, then consider it done because I've used a Peavey Cirrus preamp and pickups in a Kawai FIIB. The result was a very Alembic sounding Kawai that erased any faint memory of the cool looking, but fairly useless stock electronics and pickups. I think the Cirrus preamp is very transparent and doesn't color the sound. In the Kawai it only amplified the wood and my fingers. It was CRYSTAL CLEAR.

    I have a video demo of it on youtube. Just type in Kawai FIIB Peavey Cirrus.

    I already had Mica and the team mod my 1999 wenge Cirrus with all Alembic electronics, and I sold it to a lucky TB'er a while back.

    So, again, can I use a Peavey Cirrus preamp to control Alembic pickups, in other words can I swap out Alembic AXY pups into my Cirrus ?

    Thanks for your wisdom !!
  2. edwinhurwitz

    edwinhurwitz Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, SMS
    It wouldn't hurt to try. I used an ACG preamp with some ancient Series II pickups and it worked pretty well. Of course, they work a, lot better with the SII electronics, but that's mostly because I then use the hum canceller in the proper way.
  3. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Supporting Member

    Thanks I appreciate that. Any other people with similar experience ?
  4. ojo

    ojo Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2006
    Round Lake
    I've done a fair amount of reading about installing Alembic pickups separate from the Alembic electric guts. From what I've read, your milage may vary. You CAN hook Alembic pickups up to any preamp, and it may or may not work well.

    The two biggest issues are gain and noise. Some preamps don't have the necessary boost to get the most out of the pickups. Alembic also grounds in the electronics, though the "pots".

    I hooked my Alembic Jazz pickups up to a standard Audere preamp. I thought that I would make up the gain through changing the impedance. Well, it WAS louder, but also full of noise. I think it had to do with how I grounded the Audere, but ended up swapping pickups instead of trying to figure it out.

    There aren't too many people willing to share their experience with mixing Alembic pickups/electronics. So, I hate to say it, but I think you'll have to try it and see what happens.

    As a side note, I installed Alembic Pickups into my Jazz without a preamp. They sounded fine tonally, but had very low output. I had to run a boost pedal between the bass and the amp to make it shine. For what it's worth, it made my jazz sound similar to my Alembic Epic.

    Good luck!
  5. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Supporting Member

    Well, unfortunately my tech buddy told me that the Cirrus preamp is too quiet for the Alembic pups. I am very disappointed. I thought it would be a match.

    Since I do not have $1100 to spend on new Alembic electronics, can anyone recommend a preamp,EQ, etc (all on board, of course) that will work with with Alembic pickups ?

    Either low pass filter or bass / treble ?
  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    You can make a simple JFET or op amp booster to work with the Alembic pickups.

    The thing is that the Alembic pickups are low output. The newer stacked pickups like the AXY aren't low impedance (about 8K) but they are low output.

    If the Alembic pickups have the filter module, they you don't need a preamp.

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