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HELP!! PLEASE give me your input on my preamp!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by EBMatt, Feb 2, 2006.


  1. EBMatt

    EBMatt

    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    So I have an FBB custom bass with an aguilar OB-3 pre-amp and Nordstrand NJ4SE pickups (which are the a modern sounding signle coil). Ever since I got the bass, the pre-amp has been a little noisy. I brought it back to Matt from FBB a few times, and he made it alot better, but he still couldn't fix the problem completely. I played a few other basses with aguilar preamps, but none of them had noise like this. Another problem I've had is that this bass is very quiet compared to my two other basses. I have a six string FBB with Nordstrand DC pickups and a bartolini NTMB preamp, and a fender american deluxe with stock electronics, and both of these basses are literally twice as loud as my FBB with the aguilar pre-amp. I know that Matt tried really hard to fix the problem, but its still there. I really want to fix this problem because, other than this problem, this bass is absolutely amazing. Any suggestions? Should I go with a new preamp? If so I was thinking another Bart NTMB, or maybe even a Demeter preamp. New pickups maybe? I really could use some advice and suggestions. :help: :help: :help:
     
  2. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    Two questions:

    1) are your basses shielded? Shielding your basses will go a long way to removing any type of interference that is common with single coil pickups.

    2) are you using much treble boost? The Aguilar OBP-3 treble control has a frequency center at 6.5kHz, which is pretty high for a bass. If you're using much treble boost, you're likely amplifying a decent amount of inherent noise too.
     
  3. EBMatt

    EBMatt

    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    The bass is definately shielded. I know that Matt from FBB worked on the shielding a few times to try and fix the problem. I normally play with the treble knob right in the middle. I know that the bass will have some buzz, but it has significantly more noise than my other two basses, and is like half as loud.
     
  4. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Send it back. I wouldn't buy a bass that didn't work right, and I don't care who built it or how fancy or pretty it is. If it doesn't work right, don't buy it.
     
  5. EBMatt

    EBMatt

    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    Well, I would never get rid of this bass. I completely love this bass, I just need to fix this one problem. I don't think that it is a problem with the construction, but I think it might be a problem with the pre-amp or pickups themselves (maybe I'm wrong - please tell me if you think I am). Like I said, I brought it back to Matt from FBB about 2 or 3 times. He beefed up the shielding alot and did other stuff, and the noise problem got better, but never completely went away. The bass never got any louder either. It's just unusually quiet. :help:
     
  6. what does your bass sound like passive?
    if it's picking up noise through the pickups, then it will only be worse through the pre-amp (no fault of the preamp, it's doing what it was designed to do, that is, amplify the signal)...

    You could try shielding the pickup cavities better, or just swap out the pups for noise-cancelling...the nordie split coils might be the ticket, you'll maintain much of that single coil sound but be noise-cancelling.

    I'm not familiar with the Nordie singles, are they hum-cancelling as a pair (counter wound from each other)? and if they are, when you run them together, does the noise go away?

    also, you must consider everything in your signal chain, so when chasing the noise ghost, keep it BASIC...and use a quality lead.
     
  7. EBMatt

    EBMatt

    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    The pickups I have are the NJ4SE's. The nordstrand site says that they are hum cancelling. When I run both pickups together, it still has a buzz. It really doesn't get much different when I play with the blend knob. I do keep it very basic, I only run an ernie ball volume pedal, and a sansamp bass driver. Both are throught the effects loop. All my basses buzz a little bit, but this one buzzes alot more. And what would explain the bass being literally half as loud as my others?
     
  8. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I had this preamp in an old bass, coupled with a Bart pickup and it buzzed like hell, even though the cavity was shielded. Never could get rid of the buzz, but I don't think they are all this way.

    I only had this problem when I turned up the treble, though.
     
  9. EBMatt

    EBMatt

    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    The pickups are definately shielded too. I'm running out of hope....I'm thinking about getting all new electronics.
     
  10. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    You may have to spring for some electronics. Some combos just don't work.
     
  11. EBMatt

    EBMatt

    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    Yea thats what I was thinking, but I don't know were to start. The pickups or the preamp? ARG! :crying:
     
  12. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I would try running the pickups passive first, and see if it still has the noise. This would be a cheap way to do it, OR wire the pickup (one or the other or even both) directly to the output jack to see how noisy it is.