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Can't figgin decide

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Funky Doctor, Mar 11, 2005.


  1. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    Australia
    Ok, I want to out a new preamp in my Yamaha TRB6-P. The thing is, I can't decide which one. I have narrowed the selection down to either a bart NTMB or an aggie OBP-3. The thing I like about the aggie is the treble centre frequency is 6.5kHz, where as the bart's treble control is centred around 10kHz. I have heard that the bart treble control can be useless or very subtle, but i'm not sure I want subtle. The mid control I am happy with on either preamp, I only really want to control 800Hz. The bass control, not sure how different either would be. Some say the aggie has a fatter bass control, some say the bart is more natural sounding, and I don't know which one I want. I take it the 30Hz centre on the bart bass control isn't overly different to the aggie 40Hz centre? See, this is my problem, I'm looking at the figures, but I can't use my ears and try them both out. I could, but that would cost more $$$, and I live in Australia, meaning it costs even more. Does anyone have experience with both preamps?

    Just so you know, the bass has Lane Poors in it. Lucky me I guess. I am yet to be wowed.
     
  2. It's in a Stambaugh fretted 6. Being semi-hollow, there's plenty of naturally-occuring bass tone. That being said, the bass knob is very powerful- I occasionally just bump it past the center detent(flat). I don't have much experience w/bartolini, but it seems to point out my sloppy technique more than other preamps.
    I also have a 9v OBP-1 in a fretless Rebop 5. Similar tone, also powerful.
     
  3. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    Australia
    Ok, so far so good... I'm not looking for an overly powerful bass control, just maybe something "fat" I guess you could say. The yamaha already sounds massive anyway.
     
  4. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Reading about sound is useful for pointing a general direction but not much else. I've had both the NTMB and OBP-3 in outboard form where I could a/b them with the same bass and equipment. There's no difference of any significance between EMG, Aguilar, and Bart onboard preamps that I've found (except the OBP-1 was noticeably lacking). It would be interesteing to swap preamps in a players bass from an Aggie to a Bart or EMG and see how many owners would even notice - and vice versa.

    I just bought preamps (used for the most part) off ebay and basically sold them for what I paid for them when I finished with them. You could probably make money with the decline of the US dollar.

    Do a TB search for Dimento's Preamp Experiment for more info.
     
  5. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    Australia
    Luknfur: thanks for the advice. I HAVE seen your preamp and pickup experiments, and I am taking your advice on board, and I think this might just about do it. I like the fact that the Aguilar is small and takes up not much space compared to the Bartolini... I think that's the case. Although I do like the idea of a prewired harnes even though I am a soldering genious :D
     
  6. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    based on my experiences, I've found the aguilar to sound fatter. Not that the bart is bass shy either, mind.
    I've found different preamps with supposedly same frequency centers to sound different. I'm sure there's a number of factors there - different preamps using different Q's for boosting/cutting etc.
     
  7. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Yep there are some distinct advantages and disadvantages other than tone - space is definetly one of them - not only does the NTMB take up more space itself than the OBP-3, but there's the additonal mid unit that goes with it. The OPB-3 can also be wired with a variable mid if that's appealing for some reason. The NTMB's I've had had a gain pot with them and that can be a plus sometimes. To me some of the non-tone related factors can be more of a deciding factor. They all sound decent and maybe one has an edge over another depending circumstances and taste - but I personally don't see it as major.

    I don't think you would be disappointed either way you went.
     
  8. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    Australia
    Gain pot on the bart... crap... now I want that one. That could be a BIG advantage. I use 2 basses at gigs (both yamaha TRB's) and I don't like changing the level I sent to the sound guy when changing between basses... Darn.
     
  9. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Actually I never needed to use the the ones I had. It can be useful if you get some incompatability issues between the pups and preamp but I've never run across such a thing owning a dozen different preamps and dozen of pups from actives to hi output passives that I ran through them. As far as I know, you could install a gain pot on the Aggie. You can buy them seperately. It's not a factor I ever paid any attention to and it never mattered. Space however was a factor.
     
  10. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    Australia
    By "installing" a gain pot on the aggie, do you mean just a trimpot of some sort somewhere in the signal chain?
     
  11. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Yep, it's just a small internal plastic adjustment typically attached to the preamp but not necessarily. Both NTMB's had one and one NTBT I had had one and one didn't. So I'd guess it was something ordered optional not inclusive, but don't know. Looking at Bart diagrams they come with varying resistance. I've seen them for sale seperately on ebay but never bought one. Don't know that I've ever seen one with an Aggie. The OPB-3 and OBP-1 had didn't have one.

    But on the Barts you could boost the signal with them till they distorted and back off a bit. You can turn up your amp a little and gain the same thing as far as output. Bit if you got distortion on the install for whatever reason, a trimpot may resolve it.