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Onboard preamps: Demeter or Aguilar? or??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by steveksux, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Seems like the Aguilar BMT is pretty popular on the board. I haven't found hardly anything anywhere about the Demeter BEQP-1 BMT, why is that? Is the BEQP-1 new, or does it suck? Wondering if its quieter than the Aguilar OBP-3.

    I currently have Bart pickups, presumably bart electronics on my Pedulla Rapture 5string fretless. Its only bass/treble, I want to add a mid control to finetune that fretless Jbass growl.

    And I'm not too impressed with the bass/treble on the bart electronics either. Seems kind of noisy with much treb boost. So I'm not inclined to go with the bart BMT.

    Any suggestions? Any preamps I've overlooked? How do they sound compared to the Bart electronics? Leaning towards the aggie right now, but the Dem looks good. Just would like to see noise specs, freq responses.

  2. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    I didn't know demeter made an on board pre..
    I've got an Aguilar OBP-3 waiting to go in my MM sterling in the next week, i'll let you know what i find if you want.
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    You hear less about the demeter because it's not as widely manufactured as the aguilar, bart, jretro etc preamps.

    You'll find LOTS of discussion on onboard preamps in the pickups forum.

    BTW, just as a warning. The cavity space in the rapture is limited, the bart ntmb won't fit without work. The aguilar obp-3 fits just nicely - I did this mod myself to a rapture and was very happy with the results.
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Yes, you have forgotten the preamps from John East (J-Retro, U-Retro). I have not heard the "East" preamps directly, but John makes the preamps for Pete Skjold (which are modified somewhat to Pete's specifications), and the "Skjold preamp" sounded much better to me than the EMG or Bartolini electronics - at least in Pete's basses.
  5. jivetkr


    May 15, 2002
    I've used both & I prefer the aguilar OBP3. The aguilar is warm, fat, & all good. The demeter sounded sterile to me.

    I think the demeter is more expensive also.
  6. Those don't do bass cut/boost, only boost. So I had kind of ignored them on purpose for now. May reconsider if they get a lot of good reviews, I don't cut bass often anyway.


    Thanks for all the posts! I appreciate all the advice I can get. Anyone else have the demeter? Like it? Have specs on it? Noise is one main thing I'm looking for...
  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Hmm, I thought Pete's model did cut (at least the mids). Maybe that's one of his modifications. I will check with Pete on this.
  8. You're right, mids and treb are boost/cut, only bass is boost only. I wasn't clear...
  9. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I used to have a modified MM with the Demeter pre. I actually liked it a lot. I had a hard time getting a solo sound I liked, but for ensemble playing, I thought it sounded great. The mid control was at 1K, which I thought seemed kinda high, but it was smooth and sat nicely in the mix. The Aguilar stuff is good too.

    Well, to each his own. The Demeter was pretty bright, and it's hard to get rid of that, but I dug it. Paid $199.

    One other thing about the Demeter is that is has a buffered blend pot. You can combine any types of pickups with no loading; a true blend pot!
    Matt R likes this.
  10. I recently replaced the Bartolini 18V 3-band pre-amp (NS3TMB-18) in my Roscoe with a Demeter. The difference is amazing. The Demeter is very clear sounding. Everything is picked up (fingers sliding,etc.). It is very deep and full sounding but you get the crisp highs also. It is awsome for slapping. HOWEVER, for really growly mids, I would have stuck with the 3 band Bart. I could almost get a fretless sound out of my fretted bass with that pre-amp. The reason I replaced it was to get a better slap tone. As far as noise goes, the Demeter is the quietest I have ever heard. If you want to hear a lot about the differences between the Bartolini, Aguilar and Demeter check out the "Roscoe owners, modify your bass" thread (or something like that). Kieth Roscoe installs all of them in his basses.
    Matt R likes this.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sadowsky :hyper:
  12. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    I agree with Maconbass. I've installed several Demeter pre's in my basses as well as some local players basses. The Demeter is very natural and warm sounding and as Maconbass stated very quite. Compared to the Aguilar OPB-3 and Bart 4.6 the Demeter is not nearly as aggressive. It doesn't have the ability to color the sound nealy as much as the Aggie or Bart but a lot of players prefer that. I currently have a Roscoe 3006 with the Roscoe tuned Demeter and the finger style sound is to kill for. I have the Bart 4.6 in my Roscoe 3005 and the Aguilar OPB-3 in my fretted Gecko 5. Both great sounding pre's. IMO the Bart 4.6 and Aguilar OPB-3 sound very similar but I'd say the highs are not as harsh on the Aggie and I prefer the mid sounds on the Bart.
  13. Pete skjold

    Pete skjold

    May 29, 2004
    Warsaw Ohio
    Hey Tom ,

    our set up does not cut the bass it is a boost only, and frankly I could not think of a time in the past eighteen years of playing where I needed to cut my bass frequencies,. On the other hand I have had many occasions where I needed a mid sweep. Our preamp has that feature and it is usually in the low mids that things can get boomy and muddy. Our bass control has a mid detent for halfway and most of my customers boost the control a quarter to half. The treble is boost and cut and it also provides a pull for ultra bright, which is great when you are going for that Marcus tone or a modern sound. We also have a selector switch which goes from neck pickup to both in sereis to both in parallel to bridge pickup with no loading of the pickups. The last feature is an active/passive push pull tone control. This is real cool when you run passive and want to dial in vintage tones.

    I have looked and listen to everything out there and I just whent for the most flexible and musical preamp I could so I would be free to use several types of tonewoods and still stay consistent in the tones that I could get.

    You know what I'm talking about Tom, you got to hear it ;)

    MSIMSBASS likes this.
  14. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
  15. About the "no bass cut" J-retros.... I can't remember ever "cutting" the bass ever either, to be honest. Its just a psychological thing about having the capability.

    And now that I think about it......

    Why can't you just set the J-Retro bass knob half way, adjust the bass EQ at the amp to get a good sound. Voila, your "boost only" bass control is essentially now "Boost" and "Cut" at the bass. Right? Problem solved.

  16. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I use teh Aggie OBP-1 in my Spector and the OBP-3 in my fretless TB Custom. The flat setting on the the OBP-3 sound virtually identical to the passive bypass mode- it is an extremely transparent preamp that lets the natural tone of the woods through and doesn't color the tone or give your bass a dead neutral sound. My only gripe on the OBP-3 is that it could be a bit less noisy. The OBP-1 is solid too, but not as flexible tonally- very hot output though.
  17. Pete skjold

    Pete skjold

    May 29, 2004
    Warsaw Ohio
    Yes ! That is what I do ! It works real well and stays very usable and musical. BTW I didn't mean to take the thread in another direction , Both the preamps mentioned , Aguilar and Demeter are of very good quality and work in many applications. Knowing what you need from a preamp will help you sort the options out. Knowing what each of them is good at and knowing how they will react to your bass and pickups can be another story.

  18. Just to be clear, you did NOT take the thread in another direction, I asked about those 2 cause they look like they're among the best, but definitely want to know if I've overlooked other equally good, or better preamps....

    Thanks for the input.

  19. Pete skjold

    Pete skjold

    May 29, 2004
    Warsaw Ohio
    Hey Randy, I hope all your questions get answered , I to am always looking to see what is out there. The gear terrain is always changing , for the better most of the time.

    BTW what about Suhr preamps ? I have heard a few things about them but have not had time to fully investigate.