No need for a preamp, right?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Reedt2000, Dec 1, 2021.

  1. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I just ordered a Spector NS pulse from Sweetwater, should be here Friday. Obligatory pics so you know it happened :smug::

    Polish_20211201_182036731.jpg Polish_20211201_182056006.jpg Polish_20211201_182108193.jpg

    I'm pretty stoked, it weighs 8 lbs 3 Oz, I like the look, neck is roasted maple, should be awesome :hyper:

    I've been looking for a lightweight bass to gig with and after watching @LowEndLobster review the 4 string version and talk about the build quality I pulled the trigger :thumbsup:

    Mentioned in the LEL review is how very meh the tone pump Jr pre is, and I knew that going in. I had a euro 6 lx at one point (which weighed 13 lbs!) and I didn't like the standard tone pump...

    I bought knowing if I like the way it plays the preamp is gonna go. I dig the EMG 40DCs it comes with, and they're active, so my thinking is why bother with a preamp at all? I'll just get the proper value pots and wire it VVTT.

    I've got a 2 band eq on the sansamp pedal I'm using, and a 4 band on my amp, all removing the pre does is make it so I can't make EQ changes on the fly... which I almost never do. If anything, I'll boost a little bass for some of the reggae-ish tunes in the sets but rolling off the tone should have much the same effect. It also means only the pickups will draw from the battery.

    Am I crazy? Anyone think of a reason this is a bad idea?

    Plus, if I want to add a pre in the future I'm only out the cost of the passive components.
  2. Yeah, maybe play it first.
  3. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Yes, for sure. But the tone pumps don't have center detents and cut way less than they boost. It was never a design I liked but I've got no problem rewiring a bass so it's an easy fix. The question is why replace with another active pre when the pickups are active?
  4. Planning is fine but you may find you don’t need to change a thing. Wouldnt it be easier to add knobs that show level if you like the sound vs re-solder pots?
  5. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    In a word... yes :smug:

    I'm not ruling that out, though I suspect the pre chokes the active EMGs. It's the pre they put in much less expensive models with passive pickups. I guess it's part of how they keep the cost down on this model. I will play it as is for a while no matter what. I can bypass the pre before taking it out too in order to see what the straight pickups sound like.
  6. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    I’d go for a BQC myself, or perhaps an OBP3STK
  7. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    BQC is exactly what I'd do if I replace the preamp :thumbsup:
  8. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    If it turns out you don’t like the preamp, there’s no reason not to proceed with the plan you laid out.

    The only thing that might make replacing the preamp a good idea is that passive controls will load your pickups a little bit, which a replacement preamp won’t.

    Will that loading be a big enough deal to worry about? Only you can answer that. It will end up depending upon what else is in your signal chain and, of course, what you like to hear.

    In other words, will it work? Yes, absolutely. Will you like it? Only one way to find out….
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Can't help with the preamp as I have no experience with them. But that bass just looks like it plays itself.
  10. DrThumpenstein

    DrThumpenstein Living for the groove Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2015
    St Louis, MO
    If it plays as well as it looks, make it yours. Sounds to me like you don’t mind tinkering with the bass, and I too like to make a bass my own. Sounds like your plan A is to see how it sounds and Plan B should be a reasonable way to go. Sounds like you have the skills to put it back to stock if you needed to for resale, etc. Hope it works out! Post your NBD, you know, forum rules :smug:
    Riff Ranger and Reedt2000 like this.
  11. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    Personally I'm a big fan of EMGs with plain old passive controls, so I am in full support of your plan. DCs are nice balanced pickups with great aggressive growl and I don't think they need tweaking. Leave the tone up when you want clarity or roll it off when you want thump.
    Riff Ranger, Thundar and Reedt2000 like this.
  12. Chicken Wing

    Chicken Wing

    Mar 26, 2017
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  13. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    Really nice looking bass. Looking forward to your review.
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  14. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I think I have a couple of VLPF units I can send you for free….
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  15. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    One: that's awesome, thank you!

    Two: is there a benefit (or maybe "can you describe the difference in effect" is a better question) vs traditional tone pot and cap?
  16. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Play it first. You also need try string swap before the pup and preamp upgrade.

    Sometime the wonderful thing are happen or work for Lobster, but maybe not that amazing to you.

    Hope help.
  17. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    The VLPF is an active treble roll-off, so it doesn’t exhibit that low-mid resonance like a normal passive tone control would. But I don’t think that happens with active pickups anyway…. ?
  18. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Super gorgeous bass. Congrats. Hope it arrives safely and you dig it. Great grain.

    Not qualified to answer. Most of the bass players I know are a little nuts.
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  19. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff Inactive

    Aug 21, 2014
    When I bought my first 5 string I had convinced my self I would only play it in passive mode because the active EQ on a previous bass had soured me. Now I have three 5 bangers all with an active/passive switch and use the preamp on all of them. I prefer being able to eq at the bass. It's nice to change my tone on the fly.

    Gorgeous bass.
  20. Nuage420

    Nuage420 Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2014

    They talk about the tone pump in this one a bit.
    Reedt2000 likes this.
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