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Ibanez OBP-3 preamp replacement

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by juggahnaught, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    So I ordered the OBP-3 preamp for my Ibanez SR506 to do a swap. I was excited! But after I ordered the preamp, I realized that it only came with the EQ control pots - and the volume/blend pots I had weren't the correct spec. So I ordered a new volume pot and blend pot, finding the push-pull volume pot I wanted for an active/passive setup.

    I finally get around to trying to install the thing - soldering pots and wires in an apartment isn't great, especially if you don't have clamps - and I come to find out that none of the pots are small enough to fit the holes in the Ibanez. Sigh.

    So I've got to put the bass back into some kind of working condition and either decide to expand the holes in the Ibanez (which I don't want to do) or try to buy new pots AGAIN. Ugh.

    At this point, I'm tempted to just take the thing to a shop and have the work done, but that still means that I have to find pots that work for the preamp and the bass body (and I have to desolder the pots I just soldered, double sigh).

    I know that some people around here have done this preamp swap. How'd you work around the pot stem diameter issue?
  2. Don't stress about reeming the holes. It's perfectly normal to do this when modding electronics.

    Also, if you don't have clamps, try holding stuff in place with blue-tack. I've been soldering since I was a boy and I still prefer this over clamps and clips.

    Also, I get why you need to change the vol pot if you need a push-pull, but why is the ibanez blend pot no good?
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  3. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Yeah, I was hoping not to have to drill the body at all in case I wanted to return it to stock. (Also, I don't have a drill press available and I need to play the thing on Wednesday and Thursday. I was just really hoping to get the thing installed. I'm going to have to take it to a shop.)

    The stock blend pot is a 50K dual audio - it's wired directly to the preamp, and the blending happens after the signal is fed through the pre. I had to switch to a 500K dual audio, because with the OBP-3 the blend happens before the signal is fed to the pre. The volume pot is the same problem.

    I'll have to check out blue-tack. Felt like I needed three or four hands just to try soldering the wires to the pots. Not looking forward to trying to resolder everything back to stock tonight to be ready for Wednesday.
  4. To enlarge the holes, use a tapered reemer, not a drill press. It's a simple hand tool. Fairly cheap too.

    If the pickups are buffered individually like that prior to blending, they may not really be designed for passive operation. I would definitely test them before you install the new preamp.
  5. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
  6. Oh, mk1s? Cool. Yeah these are fine. Well good luck with the mods...
  7. PaulSund


    Nov 18, 2010
    New Hope, MN
    I've recently upgraded the preamp in my Ibanez SR706 from the stock Bartolini MK1 to the Aguilar OBP3 and am very much liking the improvement in tone. The Aguilar has a much fuller and contoured sound while the stock preamp sounded thin and treble-y. One detail I was unaware of was that the Aguilar is an 18 volt preamp, so for those folks with battery anxiety, the prospect of a 2nd battery might be an issue. I'll gladly deal with it for the improvement in tone though :)

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