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On-board preamp - what do you like and why?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by basstrader, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. Aguilar OBP-1

    8 vote(s)
  2. EMG BTC

    3 vote(s)
  3. P-Retro

    3 vote(s)
  4. Bart NTBT

    3 vote(s)
  5. Raven Labs p-bass

    0 vote(s)
  1. I'm looking for a two band, stack knob preamp. The usual suspects are:

    Aguilar OBP-1
    Bart NTBT
    Raven labs P-bass (maybe)

    Tell me what you like/dislike about them.

    Does the OBP-1 boost only thing work for you? What about the Raven p-bass, does it give you enough variety?

    The bass is a Roscoe with active EMG's
  2. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    "The bass is a Roscoe with active EMG's".

    My recommendation: send it back to Keith, have him rip out the EMG's and put in the Bartolini 3-way system. Sounds awesome in a Roscoe!
  3. Well, so much for wasting space with the poll . . .

    nonsqtr - well, I would if I had unlimited funds.

    But on my budget, That's out of the question. With only three holes in the bass, I need to find a two band. I'll probably end up buying something new, just don't seem to be many used on es out there.

    Any more help?
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    what is your budget?
  5. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Considering you already have emg's, go with the BTC. It isn't very expensive and it works well with the emg pickups.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    OBP-1 is the best two band I have experience with. I just wish the controls were cut/boost, and not boost only.

    A little off topic, but the new 4 band in the Bongo beats any aftermarket pre I have ever heard. IMHO, the bar has been raised. Time for EMG, Bart and Aguilar to go back to the drawing board.
  7. egb41


    Mar 26, 2003
    U.S.A OHIO Columbus
    I had a mim Jazz that I had a p-retro installed in. For 130.00 bucks I don't believe it can be beat. It is a boost and cut with a pull up bright switch.Here is a link to my review if you are interested.p-retro review :bassist: Peace Eric PS the bass also had emgs. And I sold it to another member here perhaps he will post his views too.
  8. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Too open ended of a question. All those preamps have a different sound from each other. I would argue that they all sound great in a different way.

    The Bartolini preamp will warm up your sound. The BTB-01 (aka P Retro) is a very ballsy preamp with boost-only on the lows but boost/cut on the highs. The Raven labs is not really a two-band preamp since it has only one knob controlling tone. Also, the holes have to be spaced just right to use it.

    I haven't used the others. So, I can't comment on their sound. If you like the EMG sound, I suspect going with their preamp will continue to give you that sound.
  9. Dave Wilson - my budget is < $100. I was hoping something used would come up, but I haven't seen anything out there. Haven't tried ebay though.

    I guess I'm a little hesitant to try the boost only aguilar, only because I like the old school p-bass sound of the soloed neck pickup. The EMG's are pretty bright, so the Bart or the BTB-1 might be the answer. I forgot that the Raven has the knobs mounted on the board. Yeah, it's one knob but it changes both bass and treble settings according to the web site. Maybe I could break the circuit board in half since I don't need the volume control! :D :rolleyes:

    off to ebay to check for a preamp!

    Stay low, and Merry Christmas!

  10. My only experience has been with the OBP-1, and while it was a very nice preamp, the boost only treble got to be quite anoying. If I wanted to have a dub sound, I had to go with a pedal eq to achieve that tone. Not cool in my book! I think that you should be able to have the control on the bass. I ended up selling the bass because of the boost only issue. Now with that said, I've been thinking that if you add a tone control to the OBP-1 then could achieve the rolled off treble sound. This is just a thought though, and I haven't been able to try it out to see if it actually works.
    Being that you have three knobs, you could still go with a three band system. The OBP-3 is awsome! You could have it set up vol/tone stacked, mid, bass/treble stacked. This is just a thought and it's only $30 more for a much better preamp.
  11. Well, I decided to go with the BTB-1. Mr. Wilson was kind enough to offer me one he had laying around - so thanks Dave.

    As for the 3 band idea, I've thought about it but I still want to pan the pickups, which I wouldn't be able to do using Halftooth's idea. It would probably work if I didn't want to get the "vintage" vibe out of the neck pickup.
  12. Actually, it would work. You just get a stacked Vol/Tone knob and you're set. It would be set up like a Warwick Thumb bass which has 3 knobs with a 3 band.
    At any rate, the BTB-1 should be a pretty fun preamp as well!
  13. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
  14. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I like the NTBT and the BTB01. I am seriously thinking of the Smith 2 band also now that he is selling them. I am usually a 3 band guy but I'm finding that on stage I cannot make too may adjustments on the fly because of the amount of confusion of knobs ( u-retro specifically.)
  15. Tfunked


    Dec 30, 2003

  16. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    I have 3 of the 4 preamps, although the Bart is not currently in a bass. All are good, just different. The BTC with active EMG PJs is more versatile than my OBP 1 with Duncan PJs. Given the manufacturers design their gear to work together, I'd go with that. If you like the EMG pups, you'll like that preamp.

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