Favorite Preamp; What's Your top 3 ?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Gr8tbass, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. Gr8tbass


    Aug 7, 2010
    With my luck, someone probably posted this already but maybe not. Here are my top 3:

    1) Sadowsky
    2) Fbass
    3) Aguire OB-3

  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Audere Z-Mode for the utterly unlimited number of sounds and options it delivers.
    Aguilar OBP-3 for the sheer power.
    EMG BQC for the price and mid sweep.
  3. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    1) Talkbass TB-11 (yes, it's a thing :D)
    2) Alembic SVF
    3) EBMM Stingray/Sabre
  4. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Subscribed. As a "passive only" Luddite, I'm interested in experimenting with an active setup, so I'm very interested to see what people recommend... and why.
  5. pbass888

    pbass888 Up the Irons! Westham United FC--mile high irons Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Same Here MR Ogle, I went to rudy's last night and tried the pensa (designed originally by Suhr?) preamp, sounded better than the sadowsky and the tech 21 to me on a maple neck 74 jazz. Was 300 bones but looks like my leading contender. Was given a tone hammer by a friend a year ago and ended up selling it on TB here..

    So from the ones Ive tried
    1. pensa - fat warm and still vintage sounding
    2. tech 21- versitle
    3. sadowsky - modern but great sound , especially live

    going back to queens in a week to retry sadowsky preamp. will report back!
  6. Mykk


    Aug 22, 2010
    Prescott, AZ
    EMG BQ-A in my Jazz
    Ampeg SVT-IIP, good rock bite with earth shaking lows & clear highs.

    Those are the only two pre's I have & do use.
  7. bearhart74


    Feb 26, 2009
    on board or rack unit?
  8. sprocket123


    Feb 15, 2012
    If onboard , in no perticular order , Alembic , Audere , ACG
  9. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Was that project ever finished? I was following it and then it seemed to stop.
  10. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    As far as I can tell, yeah, it's finished. That last preamp version had a power section module, a buffering blend with optional passive simulation, and then an active two-band (optional mid control) section. But I think the project man got a bit sidetracked so he hasn't improve on it (swapping the 2/3-band-EQ with an SVF module, for instance).
  11. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    I have a passive Jazz that I wanted to keep that way, but I recently picked up an Aguilar DB 924, which gives me boost only bass/treble along with level control. Not quite as versatile as some actual on-board pre's perhaps, but it's great for beefing up my sound if I need to do that. Plus, it's a separate box that's easy enough to use with any bass I play, so I can keep my passive bass as it is... easy day.

    In my limited experience with on-board preamps, I've had nice results with EMG and Bartolini rigs and I'm sure that others are also terrific. The biggest trick in this department though, seems to be starting out with half-decent tone in the instrument. A preamp can't make something out of nothing - I learned this the hard way - and by "hard", I mean expensive.
  12. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    Another vote for the EMG BQC/BQS.
    Inexpensive, very nuetral sounding with the knobs set at the detents, and I like the semi-parametric mid control.
  13. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    The BTC/BTS is also nice if you want a 2 band. Another nice 2- and 3-band preamp(s) are the Kent Armstrong units from WD Music. They are fairly inexpensive and sound very musical.
  14. 1. AGC (if you got to have a preamp, make it wild!)
    2. J-retro (more options than I can think of, and use.)
    3. EMG BTC (my first preamp)
  15. BassLife77


    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
    The ones I built are my top 3. they all have been tweaked from the original designs

    1) SVF filter (killer mids!!)
    2) Baja Sonic Stomp
    3) Sabre 2 replica
  16. Sadowsky
    Nordstrand 2 band
    Aguilar OBP2
  17. Bartoini NTMB-918F
    EMG BTS system
    Audere 3 band
  18. Modulus1906


    May 5, 2009
    Mike Pope Flexcore
    Bartolini NTMB
  19. ghiadub


    Jan 17, 2006
    Auburn, CA
    Sadowsky, Aguilar, and Pope
  20. low2groove

    low2groove Tyranis 4 / Lower Groove Guitars

    Jan 21, 2007
    Nothing at all wrong with Seymour Duncan and EMG pre's. I certainly like them both better than the Sadowsky. When I owned sadowsky basses that is what impressed me the least was the preamps.