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Onboard or Outboard Pre

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by therealting, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. Onboard Preamp

  2. Outboard Preamp

  3. Pickup change

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. My OLP should be arriving in the mail this week, and I have bought it expecting to have to upgrade the electronics.

    I've read all the threads about upgrading electronics, and most people have said that in most cases, a preamp will make a bigger difference than a pickup change, so I am looking at different preamp options.

    Do you feel an onboard preamp (Aguilar OBP, East Retro, Bart NTMB) would be better, or an outboard preamp (EBS MicroBass, Yamaha NE-1, Sansamp, Aphex Xciter) more flexible? What are your preferred preamps?

    Or would you go with a pickup change...?

  2. i would say outboad because
    can be powered from an adapter so the battery wont cut out
    can use with more than 1 bass
    but depends on bass and pre's you have/are looking at
  3. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    If you’re going to spend money on pickups and pre amps why not just get a used Music Man bass for around the same price?
  4. Couldn't agree more....but if the bass is already on the way, and you like it, I'd be looking on Ebay for a nice used pickup/preamp setup for cheap....or send it back, and hunt for a MM..
  5. Or a sadowsky outboard pre they are supposedly amazin, never played one myself but i would love to one day
  6. this works in America...in Australia, a USED music man will go for at least $1800 Australian, making upgrading cheaper basses the preferred option in many cases.

    $450 Au for a New OLP + $500 Au for a new and reusable Sadowsky Outboard or Aggie 924...the economics support it.

    With that said, if you really want a Music Man bass sound, you have to go with the original article.
  7. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Definitely go with the outboard preamp. That way when you find out that you didn't have to spend the money you can either use it for another bass or resell it at a greater value that an internal electronic component would bring.

    There are tricks that you can do to change the tone of the OLP.

    The two coils on the humbucker are wired in parallel. Rewire them in series. That will give you a spot to add the only internal component I would consider, an active mid circuit. It is my personal opinion that all basses should have an active mid circuit. You can also change the tone pot to give you more sizzle.

    They sound great just by themselves with no modification. It's just that people get hung up on the 'Stingray' thing. Yeah, it's a stingray copy but try to accept it for what it is and you will apreciate what it sounds like.


  8. RHFusillo

    RHFusillo Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ
    The Sadowsky preamp works really well with my OLP.
  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Onboard preamp and pickup change.

    But if only one; onboard preamp
  10. xbradx


    Oct 25, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    +1 on the Aggie DB924 outboard...and maybe a duncan MM pickup :bassist:
  11. Here in the UK, used Stingrays are much more expensive than they are in the States, and the demand for them is high enough that that is unlikely to change any time soon. I could put in top-of-the-line electronics, a top pickup, get it refretted and set up with any strings, buy a flightcase and still have enough change left over from a used Stingray to buy a practice amp.

    I actually have two very nice basses that I would play all my gigs with if I had the choice (a Yamaha 6 string and a Conklin 8), but for the artist band gigs I am auditioning for, I would like to have a more conservative-looking instrument. Yes, I am buying an OLP mainly to have the bass for the look. For that reason, I decided I'd buy a brand new OLP that had exactly the look I wanted, instead of a used Stingray which could be in any condition.

    I don't really care if it sounds like a Stingray... if I can dial in a dub tone, a hi-fi tone, and anything in between on it, I will be delighted. That and the right look is all most of these auditioners want anyway.

    Thanks for all the suggestions so far, I will definitely try the series wiring for sure as a no-cost experiment and look around at all the other recommended outboards at least.

    One question though... what is an active-mid circuit, and what are examples of one?
  12. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Go to this link

    Click Here

    and go to the East UK Website.

    The product is called Mid Sweep 01.

    Worldwide distribution.
  13. Thanks for that. Why would an active-mid be preferable to say a 3-band pre? Is it purely price, or are there sonic / battery life advantages, etc?
  14. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    It's all about the mids.

    Ever notice that you add both bass and treble? Or take both away? You're really playing with your mid frequencies.

    Need a heavier sound? Take out some of the mids.

    Getting lost in the mix? Add in some mids.

    In my opinion having just a mid circuit is more useful than Having a bass/treble circuit.

    That's about it.