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Onboard preamp for an 80's Washburn B-15 - recommendations!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Turlu, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. Turlu

    Turlu Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Ottawa, Ontario CANADA

    I found myself a Washburn B-15. I purchased it purely as a sentimental value as I had one like that in 1988 ( sold in 2004.... Stupid I am sometimes !!! ). They sound really, really good and I can attest that they are very solid basses, well built at the time!!! They have a PJ pickups configuration with switch and VVT.

    I found one very cheap and I believe it may need a replacement onboard preamp. The pickups work fine on passive mode, but no sound at all when the active is engaged. I have a fresh battery installed in it.

    Just wondering your recommendations for an affordable onboard preamp for those beasts if you have any!!!

    I will most likely strip the Bass and refinish as a fun project as well!!!

    Thanks for your help!
    washburn b-15.
  2. SP_EB4L

    SP_EB4L Supporting Member

    Hi Turlu!

    It's gonna be hard to find some preamp for cheap that could be used in that bass, your best bet will be to by another one with good electronics as this model could be found for less than new preamp. Are you sure that the preamp is not working at all? It could be only wire that are cut even if the plastic sheath seem to be OK. Use a multimeter to very that the current is running in all wires. I'll enclose the wiring diagram of the XS-4 that used the same preamp and wiring as your bass. Also, I don't think that is a good idea to strip that bass as some are in plywood and if you want to get a natural finish it gonna look strange. Maybe you could take out the neck to see in the neck pocket if it a plywood or hardwood body before. I also own and B-15, same year as yours but with a red lava paint scheme. I like very much this bass that is really comfortable to play, the neck is a charm and with DR Black Beauties on this bass got a very nice classic rock tone. Here is some pictures of mine that I get for $170 CDN four year ago. You could follow us and ask any questions you want on the Washburn Club thread.

    All the best!


    Attached Files:

  3. Turlu

    Turlu Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Ottawa, Ontario CANADA
    Thanks mon ami!

    The bass is with my luthier at the moment. He will check it out. I had one like that a long time ago and just wanted one back! hope the preamp will work fine. If not, I am sure my luthier will find a solution, hopefully. The bass needs a new nut as well so he will cut one for me.

    I will sure check the wood nefore stripping her, but I did that to mine a few years ago and it was all good wood!

    Take care!
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  4. SP_EB4L

    SP_EB4L Supporting Member

    Good evening Turlu,

    Nice! Surely he'll find a way to resuscitate your preamp and your right I think it's the B-2 that was in plywood but I think that I also saw a guy in UK that had stripped a B-10 or a B-15 and that it was also in plywood but I could be wrong.

    Good luck with your bass.

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