Fretless preamp: coloration, or not?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Peter McFerrin, Aug 5, 2002.

  1. I'm looking to get a preamp for my MTD Kingston 5 fretless.

    The internal debate I'm having is whether transparency or musical-sounding coloration would be more appropriate for my needs.

    In the Transparency corner, there's the Aguilar OBP-1. I know that for all intents and purposes, if I don't touch the control knobs, whatever comes off the K5's pickup is going to be present at the output jack. I dig the Kingston's passive sound, so that might be acceptable.

    In the Musical Coloration corner, there's the Bartolini NTBT. I'm very happy with the NTBT that resides in my FBB custom 5. The NTBT adds a big hump of midrange, which would be pretty nice for a fretless, but I'm not sure if it'd work well with the Kingston's sound, which is already quite full.

    Thoughts? Opinions? I can get either for the same price, and changing twice as many batteries on the OBP-1 really doesn't bother me.
  2. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    2 answers

    1 in short, try them. When I was looking a dealer offered to connect up the preamps so I could see (hear) which one was best. BTW I didnt take up the offer as I changed the pups as well.

    2 in long, the discussion answer would be that in my subjective opinion one wants colouration in the mids for a fretless. I changed the stock (working when they felt like it) MEC pups and preamp for the Alembic PVF system. There is far more coulration as the single tone control is a low pass filter. By playing one note and dialling in the tone I can create some natural or nasty sounds. I can tweak it on the fly to bring out the buzz (not typing mwah) or dime it to get a fretted sound. I am not suggesting that you go for the PVF as its my secret weapon, but that you consider colouration.

    Summary in the end it's your choice, hope my ramblings have been of help. .