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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by emielow, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. emielow


    Jan 18, 2004
  2. natrab


    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I've been waiting to drop a J-Retro into my '75 RI J bass for a while now. In the time I've been waiting, I've fallen in love with it's vintage passive tone. It's not gonna be cheaper, because now I need to buy an active 4-string for that sound.
  3. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Its a beautiful preamp, own two (one in each bass I own), AMAZING, as for weak sounding with your normal pickups in passive mode, play around with your gain on your amp settings should fix it.
  4. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    hmm interesting, I wouldn't know I always play in active mode :p Just a suggestion that I got from someone who uses it in passive from time to time.
  5. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    great low end without being muddy. Mine is in a '97 Fender Jazz V with fender noisless pickups. It's a keeper.
  6. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I'm actually considering one for a project bass I'm planning to build. I haven't decided whether to get Warmoth parts, or to actually build the neck and body, yet. But I have decided on a (Basslines) MM/J set up and a hipshot bridge. The J-retro would probably give me some nice tones with those p'ups.
  7. emielow


    Jan 18, 2004
    "I preferred the Aguilar DB924 (OBP-1) much more."

    i've been thinking about that one too, but you'll lose your pasive mode? and is the obp-3 very different from the obp1 (besides the 3-way / 2-way EQ) ?
  8. I use exclusively E-Pro preamp on my basses. John makes a special unstacked BTBM-01 preamp for me and this is IMO the best preamp on the market.

    I have almost no level drop when switching from active to passive mode. There's a small pre-eq built in when set flat but I would not call that "way too colored".
    The preamp is very musical, simple and is IMO very tru to the instruments sound.

    Now I haven't used the three band versions on my basses (don't like mids on preamps) but I've tried it on a MIA Jazz bass and it sounded great.

    Now I can see how it could not fit some pickups but that's another story.

    I'd buy the BTB over the OPB1 anytime, no doubt for me.

    Peace, JP
  9. David Wilson

    David Wilson Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    You can still wire up an active/passive bypass with either aguilar, and even wire a passive tone control in there if you want. I too prefer the obp-1/obp-3 to the j-retro.
  10. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i've been toying with the idea of replacing my j-retro with an aguilar OBP-3, but thus far, i'm still digging the sweepable midrange knob, and the HUGE low end i get with the j-retro. also, if you like the marcus sounds, but want a bit more flexibility than the sadowsky preamp, this is the onboard to get.

    and regarding the passive option, it is a bit of a bummer that the passive does color things a tad, but IMHO, if you're using the J-Retro why would you wanna go passive mode? :p
  11. I have the BTB-01 preamp in my MIM Fender Deluxe V (along with Bartolini 57J pickups), and I love it. The BTB is basically the bass/treble control from the J-Retro. My tech was floored by the BTB/Bart combo.
  12. My custom preamp is "only" an unstacked BTBM-01 with a separate bright switch. I then wire my own passive section + active/passive switch.

    No mids here, only bass and treble and no coloration IMO. J-retro is a different animal and maybe the mids section makes the difference when set flat.

    Peace, JP
  13. xyllion

    xyllion Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Even set flat, the J Retro has a 3 dB boost on the bass. So, yes, it does color the sound even set flat. Remember that the bass knob is boost only.

    The J Retro is a great preamp. It is amazingly flexible. It offers settings that you would normally only find in rack preamps. For that reason, this preamp isn't for everyone. Not everyone likes to have that flexibility at their fingertips. I don't have a J Retro in every bass, but I do like the one that I have installed in my Lakland JO.
  14. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    Though it is an amazing piece of engineering I also found that it colored the sound way too much for me (I had DiMarzio J's). It sounded great playing solo, but never really held up for me in a live situation - always sounded too "hi-fi" and a little compressed, not what I wanted from my J. Then I put a set of Aero's in. A lot of people rave about this combination but I got the same results. So, I took it out - and those pickups just came to life! What a difference, and all for the better IMO. I run them passive with standard V-V-T setup.

    I'm sure it's exactly what some people are looking for - I'm just not one of them. Different strokes....
  15. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Mine is installed in a 1990 CIJ fretless Fender Standard Jazz with the Noiseless pickups. I'm happy also.

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