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My Aguilar OBP-3 Review

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by rojo412, Apr 11, 2003.

  1. rojo412

    rojo412 Walnut is fun! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Yeah, you've heard it a million times, but it's a free country.

    1) INSTALLATION: It was tougher than I thought. I had to bore out the holes in my Modulus and that was nerve-wracking, but it came out okay. The 500k dual pot for mid sweep wouldn't fit through the bass, so I had to scrap that idea (I'm not doing any routering with a dremel on my baby!) and use an ON/ON mid freq select. Basically, the system requires 5 holes at least for proper installation... so I had to wire both PUs to the volume pot, no pan. No biggie, I never pan anyway.

    2) CONSTRUCTION: This was a mix. The actual preamp is a tight little package and it's not tough to wire everything (it's like a car stereo). The problem is the pots. I had to order the stacked pot and after the two weeks it took to get here, I wired it up and put it in with another 50k for the mid. They all feel looser and don't give as tight control or feel as the EMG system I had in there before. I think Aguilar could stand to commission someone to make a higher quality pot for their gear.

    3) SOUND: (I'm running 2 EMG 40DCs) The preamp is powerful, there is no doubt about it. The bass control has a much wider spread than the EMG, it reminded me of Barts. It can shake the bowels with a slight turn. It's a bit much if you ask me. The treble control is also touchy. When cranked it hisses like mad and it's hard to get the slight up or down that I had with the EMGs. The mid control does its job, but I miss the mid sweep. The switch has its own appeal though, you can easily have a "slap contour", but you need to use capacitors to fine tune it.

    4) OVERALL THOUGHTS: I liked the EMG system. I hate bart for the overall tone (you'd know what I mean if you hate barts as well). I thought this system would be the answer if you wanted a more natural tone with EMGs, but not go too crazy. It's priced well enough and is definitely for those who hate barts. If you love EMG though, I'd suggest you keep the EMG system. It would be better to put the AG in another bass with Bart PUs or SD or something. Granted, I have only had the system in my bass for an hour, but I know what I like and what I don't. I'm going to test more at practice tonight, although I'd say this to EMG users without any hesitation:

    If you really like EMG, stick with it. The products are designed to work together and they shine when they do. The Aguilar isn't going to make you much happier if you like EMGs... It would make you happy if you HATE EMGs though. It is a clear preamp that will rock your world if you have other pickups (I'd venture to say EMG HZs as well).

    I'd say it's a great Pre at a great price, but they could use some smoother pots. Oh, and you should have at least 5 holes in the bass.
  2. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    I agree about the pots... anyone else had this problem?
  3. bassboat


    Sep 27, 2001
    What I've found is that all pots have different "feels". It doesn't make one a better pot, some pots have a more viscousis (SP!) material. I got the OBP-3 and the pots are CTS! These are as good or better than the noble or mouser pots others are using.

    I like the "thicker" or tighter feel on my amp. On a bass or guitar, a quicker turning pot is better, IMHO.
  4. rojo412

    rojo412 Walnut is fun! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    It's not the short turn, it's the center detent. There is a lot of slop in the center. On the stacked pot, it moves around a lot, like a pine tree in the wind. EMG pots are really smooth with a nice positive detent and they feel rock solid in the body.

    Yeah, these are CTS. Does EMG make theirs in house?

    As for the drastic change, I like a "Slope" to a control, gradual. I don't know if it's the pot or the pre, but the change is like "BOOM!"
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I deplored Scott at Aguilar to get some Alpha pots. They feel much better to me. Bartolini used to use Alpha. I think they use Noble now, but even the Noble pots feel better to me than CTS.
  6. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    ...so what pots do i need to replace these awful ones? :)
  7. rockbassist1087

    rockbassist1087 Guest

    Nov 29, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    Did you find the Aguilar preamp to be less noisey? I've heard a few complaints about EMG preamps being nosiey, but I love that EMG tone. If it is noisey, is the tone you get out of it worth the noise?
  8. rojo412

    rojo412 Walnut is fun! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I NEVER heard any EMG giving ANY noise EVER!!!

    The OBP has a reverse hum. I touch the pot, it hums in an extremely high pitch and not very loud, the reverse of a Jazz bass that hums until you touch it.

    After playing it at practice, I can say that it sounds great... mostly without any boosting. Meaning the great sound is the EMGs raw, not necessarily the OBP.