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Onboard preamp question for Michael and Steve

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by E.Z., May 17, 2003.

  1. E.Z.


    Apr 18, 2003
    It's great to have you guys available for advice.
    I'm in the process of fixing my basses. And I'm happy to say that they are a Zon Sonus 4, and a Modulus Q5. So, you guys should be familiar with these.
    My question has to do with preamps.
    Steve, my ModulusQ5 ( Bubinga/alder) has Lane Poor soapbars, and a Bartolini 12v. 3 way active preamp which is failing. Is there a better preamp that I can install to get a better combination of warmth and cut? What would you suggest? have you experimented with your bass?
    Michael, my Sonus 4 in a 1995 model solid ash, it has Bartolini Jazz size p'ups (don't know if single coil or double coil HB's. They are quiet ), and a Bart's 2 way preamp (stacked Vol/Vol and Treble/Bass). I changed the Wilkinson bridge to an ABM, and the tuners for Hipshot ultra lites, and I'm very happy with this. I want to upgrade the electronics too. Which Zon preamp do you feel would give me the most versatility? I want to enhance the cut , and growl, I feel the bass has a pretty warm tone overall.
    Thanks for your time and best regards to you.:confused: :confused:
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi EZ

    I had the same combo in my Q6 until a couple of months ago, and now have a U-Retro in there instead - see www.j-retro.co.uk and also check out the J-retro forum at www.thedudepit.com - In short, I wouldn't want any other preamp in a bass of mine now... I'm going to get one in my Q4 ASAP. It's three band, sweepable mid, and with a really sweet presence push/pull on the treble control... I've got mine wired slightly differently to normal, in that I have a passive blend control, so that I can still use the pan control in passive mode. If you only ever run your bass active (or don't have a switch installed) then you can just go for the regular version. I seriously love the sound I get with this preamp - really clear, loads of options, highly recommended!


  3. E.Z.


    Apr 18, 2003
    Thanks for your input, Steve. I'm going to check out the Retro preamp.
    Let's see what Michael recommends for the Zon. :bassist:
  4. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000

    Zon has a new preamp circuit with a midrange select that is very cool. I'm sorry I don't know the model name, but I would certainly recommend it.
  5. E.Z.


    Apr 18, 2003
    Thanks Michael, I'll call Zon to inquire about it.:)