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Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by burk48237, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I have a Fender Deluxe MIA Jazz 4 which I thought was a good bass untill I got my metro, I've been trying to sell the Fender but they don't seem to have the greatest resale, I'm considering hanging on to it for a backup, but if I do I have to replace the Pre (The Metro just destroys it) My question is this, has anybody had any experience with either the Sadowsky Pre or the J-Retro with Fender noisless MIA pickups ? At this point I don't want to change booth, so I think I'll start with just the pre.
  2. pdusen


    Aug 18, 2004
    Since a Sadowsky is now your main bass, to keep the Fender for a backup, it'd probably be best to use a Sadowsky pre-amp.
  3. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    A different flavor is not necesscarily bad, It has a maple board anyway and my Metro is Rosewood. I just want to get some feedback from people who have played or have either one of those pres with the Fender noisless pickups.
  4. I have a Metro and the Sad. preamp does sound soooo good, on the other hand I've read great things about the J-Retro. Go for the different flavor, J-Retro, and get a Sad. outboard pre footpedal, you'll have the best of both worlds!!!
  5. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I have both and you can't go wrong with either. I would probably recommend the j-retro, since you can have two different sounds. I have the pedal and think its great
  6. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I've never tried the Sadowsky preamp, but I currently own 2 basses with U Retro preamps (the J Retro for rear-mounted electronics), and over the years I have owned 6 different J/U Retro preamps that I have installed in basses. I love the preamp. It offers amazing tones and the J Retro is any easy drop in replacement into a jazz bass.
  7. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    Sorry to get a little away from the point, but can the j-retro run on 18 volts, or is there just no point?
  8. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Yes, it can run on 18v. I've only had headroom issues when running a j-retro and active pickups off the same battery.
  9. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have had both the J-Retro and the Sadowsky preamps in my MIM Jazz basses. They are both great. Since you already have a Sadowsky pre, I'd say get a J-Retro for some variety.
  10. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I will second David's comments. The J Retro works well on 9 volts, but it is capable of running on 18 volts.
  11. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Can anybody give me a description of the sound with the pre amps and the Fenders noisless pick-ups . For example, Marcus like? Geddy? etc. Big bottom? good deffinition?
  12. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    It isn't that simple with the J Retro. The J Retro is one of the most flexible preamps on the market. The range of tones is very wide and hard to simplify it down to a single artist.
  13. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    The biggest difference between the two is that the Sadowsky is only a 2 Band (Bass & Treble) and the J-Retro is a 3 Band (Bass/Treble/Mid).

    Roger and I agree to disagree on this point but all I know is that after selling over 500 J-Retros in the past 6 years by far the most liked feature of the unit is the sweepable mids.

    If you have a Jazz Deluxe then you want the J-Retro Deluxe with the optional passive tone control knob as well....the possible tonal combinations with a J-Retro Deluxe will get you anywhere from Jack Bruce to Marcus Miller and everyone in the middle .

    Brian Ristola at Best Bass gear (Forum Sponsor up top) can get you one.
  14. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    I have a question for you U-retro owners, my Sadowsky metro dosent have the same low end thickess that my fender MIA three band equipped jazz does unless I crank the bass control and thus losing my mids. Since I'm not as happy with the Sadowsky pre-amp and will try changing it eventually, would you say the U/J-retro would be a good choice? I need control over mids but still need a fat defined low end and killer high end sizzle for slap.
  15. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    The U-Retro has eveything you'd want:

    Bass Boost
    Treble Boost/Cut
    Midrange Boost/Cut
    Midrange Frequency Sweep
    Pull pot "Bright" feature
    Pickup Blend Control
    Active/Passive defeat
  16. Chace90

    Chace90 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2002
    Denver, CO
    I'll chime in. I've got the j-retro with noiseless pickups. I love it! I prefer it much more than that stock pre that came with the bass. I was very hesitant to buy the pre, but the instant I installed and used the pre, I knew I had made the right choice. It sounds so much better and I have a ton more headroom as a result of the change. Since the original pre was 18v, I basically keep a spare 9v battery in the compartment in case I need to change the battery. However, and I think someone mentioned this, the retro can be wired as 18v. Trust me, you won't regret the j-retro. It's amazing sounding and extremely versatile. That said, I can't compare to the Sadowsky pre as I've never used one.
  17. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    Hard choice. Have both. Wouldn't get rid of either of them. Both sound great, and are capable of some sweet tones. The J retro is easier to install, especially if you have a passive bass. Just solder the two pickups and the ground, and drop it in the slot. The Sad will require routing, unless there is already a large control cavity.

    I have a J with Nordstrand NJ4SEs and the J retro in it, and the tone is to die for. I have a J with Bartolini 9Js and the Sad with VTC - same deal. Two different pres with different tones. But both are EXCELLENT. If I had to choose one, I would choose the retro for ease of installation, mid control, and variety of tones. (but the Sad still sounds awesome...)
  18. I had a Fender Relic w/ Sadowsky electronics and bridge put into it, while it was a good upgrade, after getting my first Sadowsky bass recently though, a Fender w/ a Sadowsky pre isn't going to give you the same sound. The Sadowsky sounds better, so I guess it's the sum of the parts for the Sadowsky that gives those basses their reputation.

    I like the Sadowsky pre, for a two band, but I still prefer the 3-band and wish that Sadowsky offerred some sort of midrange cut/boost. This is where I think the J-Retro is intriguing. It has the sweepable mids which I think is a great feature.

    The only thing that I have heard as a negative about the J-Retro is it apparently has a clored sound when set flat. I can't confirm this never owning one, but I have played a few basses with them and they sounded great. To me, if it sounds good, who cares if it's a bit colored when flat.

    I would say go with the J-Retro in your Fender bass.
  19. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Yes, the J Retro has a built in bass boost when set at its flattest setting. Personally, I have found this to be a good thing. Something to remember is that no preamp is colorless when its in the signal chain. All preamps color the sound even when all the controls are set flat. Some preamps sound more transparent than others when set flat, but no preamp passes the signal through without any alteration.
  20. RHFusillo

    RHFusillo Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ
    Since you already have the Metro with the Sadowsky electronics, I would recommend that you try the J-Retro Deluxe. I've had experience with both preamps, and I like the Sadowsky better with P-type basses than with J-basses. The sweepable mids on the J-Retro is a wonderful control, and the J-Retro Deluxe gives you the passive tone control, which is also a very good thing.