Clearest preamp?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jasonbraatz, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    which onboard active preamp has the least coloration of the sound and has the most natural tone? by natural i mean that, with flat EQ, the bass sounds pretty much like what it does acoustically. no noise either of course. this would be going into my ss2.

    ideally - i'd like the pope preamp that comes in foderas - that's my view of a CLEAR preamp.

    as for features - ability to run at 18v, 3 band eq (midshift cool but not necessary), active/passive, isolated pickup blending, and a passive tone would also be cool but not necessary.

    obviously by those features i'm looking at the U-retro deluxe, but i'm sure there are some other obscure high end preamps. i don't think i'd change the pickups - i like the sound of the bass in passive mode.

    any ideas?
  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
  3. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    you think the pope pre is "clear". personally as an owner of foderas i think it definitely has its own sound(one that i happen to like quite a bit mind you). some other preamps out their are john suhr's and jimmy coppola's. i havent heard either of them though.

    personally i think the preamp that adds the least amount of coloration to a basses sound is the bart pre, but i dont usually care for it that much.

    i also think someone here took the innards of a sad outboard pre and used it as an onboard pre, so you might be able to do that with a fodera outboard pre.
  4. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I've never heard one, but it seems like JT has a Demeter onboard pre in at least one of his Conklins. If the onboard unit is anything like Demeter's rackmount preamp, I'd expect it to be very clear and transparent sounding.

  5. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    There seems to be alot of varying opinions about this matter, but from my discussions with a couple of luthiers, I'd say EMG. You can't run it passive though, but I've heard that when put flat it doesn't colour the sound.
  6. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I'm not a big fan of their pickups, but I love the 18V EMG preamp in my Curbow Petite. I use it with Bart pickups, and it is a very natural sounding pre. When I had TI Jazz Flats on the bass, it sounded absolutely huge and crystal clear.
  7. herrera


    Feb 15, 2002
    tell more about the emg preamp
  8. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Well, like I said, alot of people have different opinions about this. Anders Öberg found his EMG preamp to have the frequency centers in the wrong place... Some people love it, since it appereantly is very natural sounding.. Do a search, and check out EMG's homepage...
  9. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    I haven't got personal experience of this yet, but I've been searching for a transparent preamp to replace the MEC2 in my old Warwick. I emailed Jack Read (the luthier) and he recommended the Aguilar OBP-3 as being the most transparent out there, the Bart 18v 3-band adding a bit of typical Bartolininess to the flat tone.