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J-Retro 01 Preamp

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by krebbs1956, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. krebbs1956


    Mar 19, 2006
    Hi All,
    This is my first post to the forum.:hyper:
    Well, I just accepted delivery of my new J-RETRO 01 onboard preamp. It is a beauty, though much heavier than I had assumed it would be.
    Now, herein lies my dilemma:
    I had full intention of installing this baby in my passive Don Grosh J4, but over the past weekend,
    fell in love with and couldn't say no to a used Mike Lull M4V.
    Now I don't know if I want to "change" the Grosh, because I love the true passive tone she puts out. I've read that the J-Retro pre doesn't really put out a true passive tone, that the high and lows are somewhat colored.
    I will probably leave the Grosh original, remove the Bartolini 2 band pre in the Lull, and replace it with the J-Retro. Since they are both 2 band preamps, and I know the Bartolini is a proven piece of electronics so am I better off with one over the other?
    Your comments please.
  2. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Gig both basses for a while. If you find either lacking tonally and think that the J-Retro would be helpful, then toss it into the mix. I wouldn't swap a preamp out before trying what's in there already. I doubt that Lulls would be regarded as they are if they had crummy electronics.

    As to the passive bass, I'd be more inclined to use an outboard preamp. That way you can keep your bass passive and still have access to active tones. I seem to recall that the J-retro prevents pickups from loading each other when their volums are set the same. If it does that, then I guess an outboard preamp would not give you the same performance.
  3. This is all true, the only real problem that I've heard with the J-Retro is it's lack of passive control. John East makes it as more of an emergency mode than an actual passive preamp. I'd recommend sending him an email and perhaps try working out a custom order to give you the awesome tweakability of the J-Retro with Active and Passive modes, he's got fantastic customer service and should be more than willing to customize an order.

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