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Curious about the Bart NTMB pre-amp

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by tfernandez, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. tfernandez

    tfernandez Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    Been awhile since my last post, so it is good to have questions again!

    I have an Ibanez prestige 4 string I bought many moons ago that came wired as a 2 vol/2 tone passive since the pre-amp got fried and was not described in the ebay add. Not complaining as it still has the Bart custom pick-ups that came stock on the bass and the bass still sounds pretty damn good.

    However, I finally have some extra funds and have been toying with the idea of reviving the active pre-amp. The Bart NTMB is the first pre-amp to come to mind since I am running the bart custom pickups on the bass and it has an A/P pull pot so I can still use the passive sound if I so desire.

    So, I am curious to know what people think of this pre-amp, or any others that are options. Or just tell me to keep the passive. Whatever floats your boat :D
  2. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    If you like the Bart pups, the Bart pre isn't a bad option. They work well together. I find the Sadowsky Pre to be a much better pre, but might not serve your configuration. Aguilars are nice too. My experience with Bartolini stuff is it sounds rich and fat solo, but gets somewhat lost in a live mix.
  3. Forget the Bart... go with an Aguilar and be done with it. Just my two-cents... but I have found the Aggie's are far superior in tone. I particularly like the OBP-1. Very transparent, with plenty of booty and a nice air about the highs. If you can... run it 18v. Sounds better that way.
  4. Agreed with this as well. I love two-band, boost only circuits like the Sadowsky and the Aguilar OBP-1. Heck... the MM Stingray 2-band pre is heads and tails above the 3-band boost/cut... but that is off subject. Just saying... :bassist:
  5. tfernandez

    tfernandez Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    So no noticeable advantages to pairing the brand? I'd shoot more for a 3-band pre though.. Also, when you say "might not serve my configuration," do you mean with regards to the number of pots, or sound wise? Thanks for the quick replies
  6. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    Yes, I meant the number of knobs, though much can be accomplished with stacked/concentric pots. I would not worry about pairing the brands. IMHO, the Bart pre works better with Bart pups than otherwise. As for the 3 band? I used to be there. Then I decided to consider the mid as the "bassline" to which you can add highs and/or lows. If you turn up all three bands, or turn them down, all you accomplished is an adjustment to the overall gain. As they say in football: Upon further review...... I'd go with a 2 band Aguilar, if the Sadowsky doesn't fit your needs.
    ...The There's the Audere, which I haven't yet tried, but many praise.
  7. staccatogrowl

    staccatogrowl Savoring time on a spinning, shimmery, aqua sphere Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2006
    Bart NTMB (3 band) is an industry-standard preamp. Many boutique makers use NTMB in their basses. You could preserve passive mode with push/pull (for passive) volume knob option. Bart preamps mate well with Bart pickups.

    Bart NTBT (2 band) is also an industry-standard preamp with push/pull (for passive) volume knob option. As mentioned, you can use this 2-band pre to "boost mids" by using subtractive EQ of bass and treble. I prefer and use this setup in several basses.

    Both Bart preamps can be run at 9 or 18 volts. 18 volts may offer more headroom, but has shorter battery life. The push/pull (for passive) volume knob is something I definitely favor and use for possible tonal variation, as well as a mid-performance life saver in the event of a low battery.

    No disparaging remarks from me for other opinions for other preamps. I do not have experience with any others.

    I encourage use of Barts because that is what I have used for many years. For me, they are reliable and flexible tone producers. They are also affordable, and available prewired.

    Best in your quest.
  8. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    The only thing I dont like about mine is the gain boost. I'd rather have tone control with a gain level that matches my passive basses.

    Bart pickups are lower output, so pairing them might work better than my setup.

    Not a big deal except I dont like having to adjust compressor and amp input gain when switching basses to compensate for the dramatic gain difference.

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