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Change Pre's to New AMD Jazz V???

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Peoplefantastic, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. Peoplefantastic


    Aug 15, 2012

    I have one of the new 2011 Fender American Deluxe Jazz V Strings, and although it looks and feels amazing....Im not too entirely impressed with the Pre Amp it has. I love the passive tones, but when it comes to switching on the active mode....it just doesn't perform the way I want it to.

    I want a beefier, punchy modern R&B/Pop active tone...like a Marcus Miller bass or whatever.....

    Any suggestions??
    Should I swamp pre-amps? if so, which kind?
    Any one have the same issues as me?
    Just wondering is all......

  2. Mikaelbass

    Mikaelbass Supporting Member

    May 29, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Hey, I agree also, I recently got a new one (black n maple 4) and I find the electronics lacking. From what I understand the pre amps design steers the tone in a certain direction, not overly intrusive. I'm going to put a set of dimarzio model j's in mine to give it a meatier sound, but for what you are looking for maybe check out the Sadowsky pre amp. It has a boost only bass and treble, blend, and the vintage tone control I believe. Very intrusive pre amp IMO, but sounds great, you would never find yourself boosting highs or lows too much.
  3. Jeffrey Wash

    Jeffrey Wash Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Santa Cruz
    Check out the John East preamps. I recently had one installed in a bass and it is incredible. Sounds 'modern' but not in a harsh or clinical way.
  4. Peoplefantastic


    Aug 15, 2012
    Wow...these East Pre's look like really nice quality and I like the overall layout of these.
    Seem like you have a lot of shaping options as well.

    I'm going to do some more research/earsearch on these.
    May I ask what kind of bass you have the pre installed in??

    Thanks EscapeNote!
  5. Peoplefantastic


    Aug 15, 2012
    Greetings Mikael!

    I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels that way about the new J's.
    I've definitely seen and heard a lot about the Sadowsky pre's and will probably go with it.

    But how come you are changing the Pickups and not the Pre's??
    Is that something I should consider instead of the pre???

    Thanks again for your advice Mikael!
  6. Jeffrey Wash

    Jeffrey Wash Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Santa Cruz
    Hey - I have a mid 90's P/J bass, have always loved the dynamic response of it, the way it resonates unplugged. However, I've never been really satisfied with the electronics. After trying several different pickups preamps in it I came to the conclusion that the best way to get a 'truer sound' from it - that is, closer to the un-amplified tone I'm hearing resonating from the wood and metal of the bass itself - was to do away with the P pickup and convert it into a Jazz style bass.

    Yep, I know this is heresy to write here on TB, what with so many die-hard P Bass fans here! But to each his or her own... This particular bass was more of a hybrid, modern take on the P anyway. Someday I''ll get another P Bass - just a simple, single pickup model, string it with flats and let it do what it does.

    Anyway, I had my luthier install a pair of Nordstrand Fat Stacks in 60's Jazz positions along with the John East U Retro 5 knob Deluxe preamp. Now I'm hearing what I wanted to hear from this bass all along. It's a beefed up Jazz with tone for days (though it still says Precision on the headstock:eek:

    I have a couple of Sadowsky basses and that's a very nice preamp also, definitely something you should try. Since you've got the ability to bypass the preamp - go passive - then you could get a great feel for how a Sadowsky pre retrofit would sound by plugging into one of his outboard preamp boxes.

    I did recently try one of the new American Deluxe Jazz basses. Really wanted to like the bass but the EQ was disappointing - same experience as you there. Good luck!
  7. Mikaelbass

    Mikaelbass Supporting Member

    May 29, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Hey there, well the reason I am changing the pickups is because to my ear I am finding them to have not quite enough 'oomph' within a band mix, depends on what style you play of course, but if I can I've my bass better pickups, I will. I mostly stay in passive mode, and would use active for more of a boost option during songs or to acquire a distinct sound that a pre amp is needed for. And so far I do not have much need to change it as it does what I need, perhaps after more practice/gigs I might decide for a new one if it doesn't work as well for me then as it does now. Also go to best bass gear, cheap prices and free shipping, have a look at their pre amp selection, can't go wrong.

    I will let you know how the new pickups sound in the bass when they are in, could be the fix you need?
  8. Peoplefantastic


    Aug 15, 2012
    I've always wanted a P/J bass in my arsenal!

    Sorry, this might be a stupid question.....but how come removing the P Pickup solved your response problem? What is the science behind that? What is the P Pickup doing or not doing that would cause that??
    Just curious, trying to learn is all.

    Haha....Aaah who cares what people think, it's your bass and your decision!!
    But personally I would LOVE a Pbass with Jazz pickups. I've always used J basses because of the tone and familiarity, but have always admired the P-basses body, feel and overall history............I totally feel you on that simple Pbass with flat wounds too, Mmmm Motown grooves for daaays!
    Wow.....Nordy Fat stacks too huh??? That thing must sound killer!

    AND YES! I have definitely considered using the outboard version!........I just need to find a place that has the Sadowsky Outboard Pre for me try out. Or I should just get it, it wouldn't hurt me to have it.

    I've heard a lot about those Audere pre's too. And they sound pretty good as well.
    Have you had any experience with those??
    Hmmm.....So many choices!

    Yah....its kinda BS that Fender didn't realize it. I just wanted a Jazz bass that had passive/active controls. I played it before I bought it as well, but unfortunately I played it on a rig that was not even close to mine (Ampeg SVT). Which probably added a lot of tones that the bass lacked itself.....bummer

    Thanks for posting by the way, I really appreciate your advice!!!
  9. Peoplefantastic


    Aug 15, 2012

    Aaah....I see, that makes perfect sense actually.
    : p

    I use about 70% passive and 30% active.......as much as I like (like not love) the stock Fender Pickups (N3's), they could be better.
    Hmmm......after reading what you said, I might consider replacing both the PU's and Preamp as well.

    Thanks for the website too!
    Great prices, I will definitely check them out!

    Keep you posted!
    Thanks for your help and advice!
  10. Jeffrey Wash

    Jeffrey Wash Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Santa Cruz
    I can't really speak a whole lot about the 'science' of it, but something about the split P pickup design results in a unique voice and that's the P-Bass sound we've all come to know and love. I just decided that I wanted to hear what this particular combination of wood n metal called a bass would sound like without that P pickup voice and I'm glad I did.

    Also, I was bugged by the tonal differences between pairs of strings, what with the pole pieces for the E and A strings being closer to the neck than the pole pieces for the D and G strings. I appreciate the P design and see why, for many, that offset is a plus. On some P basses I've played that offset hasn't bothered me, but with this bass for some reason, after trying 3 different P pickups, it still bugged me. I wanted to hear more of a smooth transition when playing from low to high and I'm getting that now with the jazz style pups having all pole pieces at the same node of the strings.

    I haven't heard the Audere preamps but have read many good things about them. If you end up trying one, please post back with your impressions.

    Good luck!
  11. +1 for the east 5 knob deluxe, I've put mine into a 5 string modern jazz style and into a 4 string p/j bass with great results all round, the active mode has a slight colour to it bit a very pleasant subtle one (a tiny bit more zing and some added thickness) Yeh EQ is powerful and musical, really easy to use and can't really sound bad and the full passive mode let's your bass function without battery and sound like any other passive bass, it's made,my basses into tonal monsters. So much so 8cm raking it out of one and builfi g another bass for it with bartolini pickups, just wish I could put them in all my basses
  12. Peoplefantastic


    Aug 15, 2012
    Hey BarkerBass
    What would you compare the sound of your 5 string to?
    Do you have any video or recordings of the basses you're talking uploaded anywhere??
    I'd love to hear em!

    I agree....the ability to shape your tone is critical.
    Thanks BarkerB!
  13. Peoplefantastic


    Aug 15, 2012
    I see, make sense!
    I always loved the sound of any P/J combination, especially in a J-bass.
    Like the Reggie Hamilton bass!

    Hmm... that's very interesting, I will keep that in mind whenever i decided to shop for a PBass.

    If i decide to pop the Audere in my bass, I will let you know!

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