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Electronics for a Fretless

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by DanGouge, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    For my Fender Jazz fretless I am considering some sort of preamp. This bass has Bartolini 9W4Js in it. I'd either consider something onboard like the little Aggie OBP, or something like the Sadowsky outboard deal I have for my fretted Jazz (it's the old clip model, and I tend to clip it to my strap, so using it on multiple basses at one gig is tricky). Of course there is always the J-Retro that seems to be well-loved around here. Anyway, any suggestions are appreciated!
  2. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I kinda prefer passive electronics for fretless--my Stambaugh 4 has two Bart Js and v-v-t controls. If I were adding a preamp I'd make sure it had a midrange control (pref. with switchable/sweepable frequencies) and the ability to cut highs, both of which would rule out the Sadowsky. I'd probably go for the OBP3 or Bart preamp w/mids. Some people rave about the J-Retros but the lack of options in passive mode kinda put me off.
  3. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    What do you find lacking about the passive mode of the J Retro? It has a passive tone knob, and since I generally run both pickups full, I don't think I'd miss that much.

    I suppose I should clarify that what I'm looking is not a radical alteration of my tone. Rather I want a bit of a gain boost and maybe something to tighten and focus things tonally. The gain issue is really just so it can match the output of my fretted Jazz which is running through the Sadowsky all the time.
  4. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    Personally, I like the Bartolini 3-band EQ for fretless, because I like to be able to tweak (usually boost) the mids to taste. I have Bartolini pickups and eq in two of my three fretlesses (a Roscoe and a Steinberger), and the third is a MusicMan SR5, with the MusicMan 3-band.

    But that's just my taste ...

  5. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    I do like Bartolini's pickups, I don't have much experience with their preamps though. I do like something that has a nice low-mid presence for a fretless though.
  6. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater

    May 20, 2005
    EMG makes some great preamps.
  7. X Wolf

    X Wolf Guest

    I prefer passive on fretless basses but lately I have considered trying a Lindy Fralin stock P pickup with a piezo bridge and a Highlander blend circuit to balance the two, thought it might be interesting to dial in just a bit of the piezo.


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