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I need Spector advice (pre-amp)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sleevey55, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. sleevey55

    sleevey55 Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Billings Montana
    I just purchased a Spector Euro 5 EX and it has been changed around and now is passive tone controls with active pickups (have silver writing on them and say "EMG". I want to make the tone controls active again and as Spectorish as I can. I know there are alot of choices for pre amps but I want it to be a Spector sound all the way..............any recommendations ? Thanks guys!:hyper:
  2. j.kernodle


    Nov 23, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    popular preamp choices are the Aguilar OBP2, EMG BTC, and the US9V (aka Hazlab). the haz is expensive, wonderful sounding and back ordered with no end in sight. the EMG BTC is a ridiculous bargain at around 75 bucks. how does it sound with the passive controls? if it sounds good don't be in a big hurry. some of the best sounding emg equipped basses I've heard have had passive controls.

    a final option is a return to the stock tonepump preamp. some love it, I can't stand it. YMMV. make sure you get one with a gain control trim pot if you go that route.
  3. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Tonepumps with the trim pot rock if you want a little grit in your tone vs. uber-clean, especially when they're run at 18v.
  4. Jimmy Stump

    Jimmy Stump

    Jan 27, 2010
    The tone pump would be the most Spector-ish if you want to return it back to the original form.

    I just took out a 2 band tone pump - with adjustable output - out of my Euro 4LX and replaced it with a 3 band Aguilar OBP-3.

    PM me if you're interested in a used tone pump. I'm not certain I want to let it go, but I would consider it.
  5. 4StringsEnough


    Mar 9, 2008
    Please can you let us know the differences you noticed between the two preamps as I am thinking of making the exact same swap? Thanks.
  6. Jimmy Stump

    Jimmy Stump

    Jan 27, 2010
    More tone control for sure. Bass, treble, and switchable mids just works better for me. I had it set up with one knob a master volume, one a pickup pan (way better this way iMO), mid, and then a stacked bass and treble. In terms of tone, it still sounds like a Spector to me, but there is a harshness and zing that are gone with the Aguilar in. It got better, but how much is still a question. The downside is the cost (143 plus install) and the fact that it didn't change the tone as much as i had hoped. If you love the bass and you're searching for a warmer, more flexible tone, its a worthwhile but expensive upgrade.
  7. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    I have EMG BQC in my euro LX5, a great pre. key words: mid control.
  8. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    Tone Pump, all day every day.

    I'm not really a fan of the Aguilar stuff. The bass gets boomy and the treble gets brittle at certain points. Tonepump=Spector. Or you could order the US9V or the US18V. But you need a 4 knob pattern so the 18 is out.
  9. sleevey55

    sleevey55 Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Billings Montana
    The bass has 4 knobs now......two pickup volumes and tone for each pickup......
  10. I just swapped out my trim pot tonepump for an EMG BQC preamp. The mid control was the reason why. I found the tonepump had tons more bottom than i needed and the treble was too brittle - i couldnt get the mid i felt i was missing. In a band situation it was all thump and treble. the EmG has sweepable mids.
    Just gigged it for the first time on saturday and it was a big improvement as i could push it thru the mix without overpowering everyone with bottom end. There are 4 dipswitches on it tp shape the treble response which are handy too. Get the feeling that if you can spend time fiddling with the tonal options it will work well.
  11. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    If you go with Spector make sure you get a pre-amp with a trim pot. Not all models had them. My Euro 4LX didn't have a trim pot and the circuit was so hot that it always sounded like it was farting through whatever amp I was using. I got so frustrated that I stopped playing it.
  12. ysand


    Mar 26, 2005
    I think you should really consider getting a trim pot one too imo. You 'll love your Euro ;)
  13. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Registered Rickenbacker Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    If you want authentic Spector tone, go with a Spector USA 9-volt or TonePump pre.
    I have a Euro with the TonePump & a CRFM with an EMG BT pre, and of the two, the TonePump sounds way better - so much so that I plan on ditching the EMG pre for a USA 9-volt or another TonePump.
    In fact, my TonePump equipped Euro sounds almost as good as my USA NS-4.
  14. sheltjo6

    sheltjo6 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2012
    How close does the tone pump sound when compared to the hazlab pre (USA 9v tone circuit)?

    I have a 1999/2000 Spector NS-2CRFM with the EMG BTS circuit. The EMG sounds too clean. Not Spector grit.

    I would like to install a 9v hazlab pre, but Spector has not made them available to the public for over a year.
    I'm tempted to give the tone pump a shot if it produces that classic Spector sound.
  15. evermelon


    Apr 20, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    That was vision for the Tonepump, to produce the Spector sound. Yes you will be able to achieve some nice Spector tone with it but it will take some dialing in with the eq and perhaps a trim adjustment on the gain trimmer.
  16. Mr.Bassie720

    Mr.Bassie720 Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2005
    Washington DC,Silver Spring,MD
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    I use the Spector 9V circuit (HAZ) in my basses I am blessed to have 3. Some will disagree, and that's what's great about places like this, but I honestly feel that the Spector Tonepump is ALMOST the equal to the HAZ, and for some players it sounds/works better that the HAZ. The US 9V works better for me, even though in a blind test I would not be able to tell you which is which. :bag: The TP can definitely get you the Spector growl. If you decide that you're not a TP fan, you can sell it and get most of your money back on it.
  17. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    The tone pump gets my vote. It's the closest to the haz and you have control over the output. Run it at 18v and call it a day. Spector tone heaven. Look up Limaguy on sound cloud for tone comparisons. He has pretty much all of the pre's in all of the different basses on there ( Spector wise). Honestly though I run mine full boost all the time, then tweak the trimpot got the drive level I want. Shape the tone to taste in the amp.
  18. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL

    If your a pick player the pump is better, fingers the haz wins. Both are awesome ant the meaning of Spector tone.
  19. levis76

    levis76 Seconds from getting ba...

    Apr 14, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    I have a Rebop 5 that originally came with EMG HZ p'ups (passive) and a non trim Tonepump. Sounded ok, but was missing that signature Spector growl, and the gain on the TP was a real monster, had to keep the vol dialed back to about 20% to keep from overdriving my BB750. I upgraded the pre to a BQC and it was cleaner and had much more control over the tone and it was definitely a lot more tame than the TP. Made the vol pot a lot less sensitive, and had a blend control rather than two vol which I liked. There was still something missing so I swapped the HZs for a pair of 40DCs and wired the entire thing for 18V which is actually recommended by EMG. Sounded good, but it still didn't have that Spector growl, so I swapped the BQC for a trim pot Tonepump and man what a difference. After dialing the gain back to a manageable level, it seems to be what I was looking for. It may not have a mid control but it has a lot more Spector character than the EMG pre did. I run the Tonepump at 9V, haven't tried it at 18V yet, but I've heard good things.
    PunkLu likes this.
  20. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA