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New Preamp for my Yamaha RBX-775?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Tin Cadillac, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. Aguilar

    1 vote(s)
  2. Bartollini

    0 vote(s)
  3. Other (explain)

    2 vote(s)
  1. Tin Cadillac

    Tin Cadillac

    Oct 27, 2011
    Houston, TX
    This has been my main "Go To" bass since I acquired it around 12 years ago.

    It started cutting out during a gig and what I thought was the jack turned out to be the pre-amp.

    Right now I am planning on replacing the stock preamp with an Aguilar model with a 3-band EQ. It will have a volume, mix, Stacked Bass/Treble and a mid with "Push-Pull" to shift the mid center frequency. This should fit nicely in the four positions currently occupied by a vol, tone, selector switch, and boost switch and hopefully look like it came this way from the factory.

    The Aguilar has a three-week backlog though. Any other suggestions for a replacement preamp? Is the Aguilar worth the wait?

    Also, I am kicking around the idea of either keeping or replacing the original pickups. I really have no complaints about the originals aside from getting something different just for the heck of it.

    I am also a little curious - does anyone know whether Yamaha used these same pickups in higher-end TRB basses? they sure look similar! I am thinking much of the TRB hardware may have found its way onto the RBX-775 and was therefore cutting into the TRB market share so they discontinued th RBX-775 and replaced it with the much cheaper (IMO) RBX-375. Just curious if this hunch is correct?
  2. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    I replaced the original preamp in one RBX775 (nothing wrong with it, tho) with an Aguilar OBP3PPK and some extra-long scale nickel rounds- it gave it a lot more flexibility, and more modern tone avail.
    The other RBX775 has the original preamp and TI flats- completely different sounding, even with nickels on the one with the original preamp. Both are nice, tho.
    I noticed that the pickups on these look like the ones on the TRB basses, and they may be the same- they're Alnico pole pickups, not ceramic like on the RBX375.
    Yamaha also stated in their marketing info that they are "active pickups", but they are passive pickups connected to the 'active' booster that can be switched on/off. I do like the pickup switch instead of having a blender on these, tho.
    I like the original pickups- just a matter of what you run them through.
    BTW: there was an original preamp for these in the classifieds not long ago, may still be there, if you like the original.
  3. Tin Cadillac

    Tin Cadillac

    Oct 27, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Thanks for the response! I have always liked the tone but have been wanting a little bit more versatility so I am going to go with the Aguilar. Heard nothing but good about them and they are readily available (aside from having to be back-ordered). They can be run with 18V but I will stick with a single 9V for now. You are somewhat confirming my thoughts on the pickups and I think I'd be hard-pressed to find anything better so they will remain - for now. It should be done in a week or so.
  4. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    No one makes the best anything. It's all relative to your subjective tastes. I am a firm believer however that you start with Good Pups first then consider your pre. Having said that for my latest upgrade project I'm starting with a Set of Aguilar DCB's. Now I am considering which pre to add to the equation.
  5. Tin Cadillac

    Tin Cadillac

    Oct 27, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Got my bass back (finally). Picked it up last Saturday and gigged with it that night. It is like a completely different bass now, an absolute tone monster with unlimited flexibility! Roll on the bass boost and I am blowing everyone else off the stage! LOL

    The only issue is that we were unable to incorporate a "blend" pot for the two pickups. At the center position, both pickup cut out so we went back to the 3-way switch configuration. Evidently, this is a standard issue with the Aguilar preamp no none told me about so a little heads-up here. Just a little disappointment but flexibility of the 3-band equalizer more than makes up for this.

    This bass has now moved back into the #1 position and I no longer have the urge to blow a big wad of dough on a new Fender American Deluxe J-Bass I had my eyes on.

    If I ever become a famous bass player and Yamaha wants me to design a "Signature" model, it won't be far removed from what I now have!
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  6. I have an RBX-6JM that is very similar to your bass. I tried an OBP-3 in it, but, unless you like smooth bass, I was not too impressed. I really like growly tones, and the combination of the Yamaha pickups and the Aguilar just didn't do it for me. After the OBP-3, I tried the first series of the Audere pro-Z 4 band. This is the pre I would recommend. It is super transparent when flat and the Z-mode is in the regular position. But, pan to the bridge pickup, put it on low-Z mode, and boost the mids a bit and the Yamaha becomes a growl monster. Pan it to both pickups, put it in high-Z mode, cut the high mids, boost the lows, and you have just an amazing slap tone. You want woofy dub tone, pan to the neck, low-Z mode, cut the highs all the way, and you have the growliest dub tones ever. The Audere Pro-Z just completely changed what was capable with my Yamaha.
    JustForSport likes this.
  7. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Same pickups, tho?

    Edit: just found a Yamaha marketing pdf and they look like 5 and 6 string models of the same Alnico 5 humbuckers.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  8. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
  9. Yes, same pickups. The different z modes load the pickups and make them sound completely different.
    JustForSport likes this.
  10. Tin Cadillac

    Tin Cadillac

    Oct 27, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Interesting! I am getting all the "growl" I could possibly want from mine. But then again, I am also running a tube pre-amp (ART Studio V3) as well as a "Mr. Squishy" compressor so these may be contributing.
  11. It's not that the OB3 doesn't have growl, it just didn't have as much as I wanted, or as much as I was able to get with the Audere.

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