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Opinions on J-Retro preamp for a 2 MM setup

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by silky smoove, Nov 1, 2004.


  1. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    My project bass next year is going to consist of two Bartolini MM style humbuckers (MMX in the bridge, MMC in the neck), in a Jazz style body. The preamp that's really caught my attention is the John East (I think that's the manufacturer) J-Retro preamp

    http://www.bestbassgear.com/j-retro-preamp.htm

    Would this be a good preamp to run the two MM's? What is your overall opinion of this preamp (regardless of pickup configuration)?

    Thanks in advance everybody!
     
  2. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    The ultimate source of information on this preamp is here: http://p219.ezboard.com/fthedudepitfrm2

    Personally, I have one in my frankenjazz with an MM bridge pup and J neck pup. The biggest advantage for me is that the J Retro (or in my case the U Retro) offers big changes in tone at my finger tips. One of the bands that I play in plays a wide variety of different songs and this preamp gives me the ability to cover them all with a single bass.
     
  3. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    I have a bartolini 5.3 pre-amp in my homemade 2mm pickup bass. This is a 3 band eq with selectable mid frequency (250-500-800). Lots of tone shaping possibilities and more so for you because you can split both of the bart pickups. By all accounts the j-retro is really good, but personally, I think the it just doesn't give you enough options in this particular situation. Just one guy's opinion...
     
  4. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    ^^^The reason I have considered the J-Retro is the limited routing required for the preamp. This is going into an existing jazz body that already has the MM routes, but the previous owner never thought of a rear route for a control cavity and just has the standard front route jazz bass control cavity. This would save me from having to do any other alterations to the bass due to the J-Retro's "drop-in" type nature.
     
  5. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Huh? What does the Bart preamp offer that the J Retro doesn't? If you are talking coil tap switches, then those can be added just as easily to a bass with a J Retro. In fact, my frankenjazz has a coil tap switch on the MM pup and a U Retro preamp (U because my cavity is rear-routed). If you are talking about the mid switching, the the J Retro offers more choices because it isn't limited to just 3 frequencies. It offers a knob to select any mid frequency.

    To the original poster: If you are looking for a drop-in preamp for a standard front-routed jazz, then the J Retro is by far the easiest way to go.