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least "active" sounding pre?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Metal Mitch, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    Any recommendations for an onboard preamp that doesn't sound so "active"?

    I can't stand the sound of active pickups. To my ear, they sound like keyboard bass instead of bass guitar. I'd like to have active EQ, but retain the raw tone of my passive pickups without sounding processed or hi-fi.

    Does anybody make something like this?
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    an active preamp and active pickups are two very different things.

    The most 'transparent' preamps I've heard are IMO the Aguilar ones. What I mean as transparent is one where, with eq flat, the sound is to all intents and purposes the same as the sound with preamp bypassed. Bart preamps have a very slight high end rolloff, less noticeable in bright bodied basses. U-Retro / J-Retro preamps have a built in EQ shape, even with EQ flat.
  3. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    Well, yeah. But every passive pup/active pre combo I hear still has that processed "fake EQ" sound. I get more natural tones from my MXR M-108 outboard EQ.

    Thanks for the tip on the Aggie. I've thought about theirs, but I'd have to go to the OBP-3 to get any cut. Maybe I'll check one out. If I don't like it at least it'll still have a good resale value.
  4. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    The best onboard I've ever heard was a Demeter BEQP-1. It offers a very natural enhancement, compared to some of the other over-hyped stuff.