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MTD Beast 5 fretless - which pickups and pre to fit in?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by nemo, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    Hello, I have the opportunity to buy MTD Beast 5 fretless for great price. As from many posts I understand it should be a good bass for the buck. The issue is that for some reason it has no pickups and onboard preamp.
    Thus here is the opportunity for customization.

    For pickups I have three options - Kent Armstrong, Bartolini and EMG. (J-style cavities in bass)
    Kent Armstrong - readily available here, good price
    Bartolini - difficult to buy here, MUCH higher price
    EMGs - available, price in between, heard mixed opinions

    Preamp -
    Aquilar OBP-3 - heard good things about it, I like sweeping mid control 400-800 Hz, price ok
    Kent Armstrong 3-band pre - available, good price, know nothing about it
    Bartolini 3-band pre - higher price, hard to get, good references

    I’am looking for warm, but defined tone with good tone shaping control. It is for fretless, so I don‘t care about crystal highs, I look for musical sounding mids and lows. (if that makes any sense to you)

    Please give me your recommendation about combination of pickup and pre for this particular bass. :help:
    As for now I’m leaning toward combination of Kents pickups + Aguilar pre (good price, availability and probably tone). Any comments?

    I have no chance to try these accessories before buying, so "use your ears" rule can‘t apply..
    (also any comments on MTD Beast? Can‘t wait to get it! :) )
  2. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    Update - decided to go with Barts 59 J1 ;) - got good price from friendly supplier.

    For preamp I'am still contemplating between Aggie OBP-3 or Bart NTMB.

    Any cons or pros to chime in? :bag:
  3. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    I've got a Modulus Genesis with Bart 59J's and the Aguilar OBP-3. Sounds great. Plenty of lows, and the mids are very thick, very usable. No need to scoop out the mids to get a nice tone - I usually turn them up a bit, leaving the bass and treble flat. You can dial in the precise amount of cut you want, and it all sounds good. I wouldn't change a thing on this bass.

    I've never played the Bart preamp, though. As I recall, their center frequency for the bass control is 30Hz, where the OBP-3's is 40Hz, so it may do a little better for dialing up a really deep tone. My Genesis doesn't need any boost in that area, so it's not an issue for me.
  4. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    Hi, Nemo- i got your pm- first, you mentioned it had an alder body. to the best of my knowledge all MTD Beasts and Grendles are actually Poplar ( Domestic Tulipwood ) bodies. Not that it's a big thing... just wanted to let you know... now, my opinion.. worth exactly $.02 and maybe not even that..
    Kent Armstrong--- not familiar enough to give you advice
    Bartolini - hey, Mike T uses it, I love them in my Lakland 55-94 - Bartolini just works for me...
    Aguilar OPB3 - good preamp, but personally, it doesn't knock my socks off - i would give Mike T credit and i myself would stick to what he designed the bass with, with the exception of, since you are looking at fretless and probably will be favoring the bridge pickup, i would go with a hum cancelling pickup. Like i said, my fairly worthless opinion, but hey! you asked!! good luck, man! keep us posted-- peace, A
  5. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    Thanks Bruce and Adrian.

    That option is not available to me as I'am getting the bass without the original pickups and preamp. In fact it is the empty space in it to fill with some goodness..
    Originally MTD Beasts were equipped with some non-stock, custom designed Bartolini J p'ups and custom Bart pre (based on NTMB?).

    Now I have to choose among off-the-shelf options only.
    These Barts 59J 1 are hum canceling, aren't they?

    For preamp I'am in the OBP-3 vs. NTMB dilemma, that seems to be already discussed a lot in this forum before.

    Did search, but I'll ask anyway - is one of them better voiced for fretless than the other?
  6. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004