John East BTB-01 for my Thumb?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by GrooveMonkey, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. I'm considering either this John East BTB-01 or a Batolini pre to replace the MEC electronics in my Warwick. Any comments on the John East preamps would be greatly appreciated.

    More info here:

  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Well, to my ears the Bart pups & pre didn't sound good in a Thumb at all. I ended up with a very muddy sound, not great at all. On the other hand, I have Bart pups & pre in my Elrick and it sounds great!

    After trying a bunch of different pickups, in the end I installed EMG pups and a U-Retro preamp. The U-Retro is very flexible, generally easy to install. It has some neat features, such that as the bass boost is turned more the frequency being boosted lowers so at higher boost levels you're boosting some fat bass.

    The BTB-01 (or P-Retro) is also very cool, requires a bit more soldering work though. It's essentially the middle knob of the U-Retro (bass/treble/bright pull).

    I've found the U-Retro to be the best onboard solution so far for a warwick. Since I'm a compulsive tinkerer, I'm going to try an OBP-3 also just to see how they compare. An Aguilar OBP-1 would probably work just fine also, although that's bass/treble boost only. Having said that, with the thumb I've never wanted/needed to cut bass levels as you get much less of it through the pups with them being closer to the bridge than on other basses.
  3. Would you be able to post some sound clips?

    What model EMGs are you using?

    I'll check out the Agulair too. Thanks!
  4. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    I've got a U-Retro in my Modulus 6 and LOVE IT. Incredibly versatile, clear, clean tone. a very cool preamp. I'll be getting on in my Q4 as well as soon as I get round to it, and any other future basses I get will have East Preamps of some kind in them! Big fan of all John's work...

  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I'll see what I can do with sound clips.

    As for the EMG's, I'm using a pair of the EMG LJ pickups. I have a Thumb 5, and it has 3.75" pickups in both bridge and neck positions.