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Out goes the Bartolini NTMB, In goes the Audere 3ZB

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Marcus, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. A few weeks back I noticed some issues with the Bartolini NTMB preamp that was in my Zon Legacy Elite. The first of which being I did not know it was there. For about a year I thought I had a Polyfusion preamp and it was not until I had to replace the 9V that was inside that I saw the Bartolini NTMB sitting there.

    A little history with me and Bartolini electronics... specifically their preamps... I really hate them. I really, really do. If I had to describe them in a single word it would "bland." I've owned about 5 basses that have come stock with the Bartolini NTMB and each of them has been since been sold. Bartolini pickups are a little hit and miss for me. I love the Bartolini pickups that Zon uses in their basses, as did I thoroughly enjoy their pickups in a Lakland 5502 I briefly owned, but in basses like the Modulus Quantum, Ibanez BTB/SR I was really disappointed.

    That out of the way, the issues I noticed a short-while back with my Zon was that the preamp was literally not working properly. I'm not a big onboard-EQ guy so maybe it was like this for sometime, but the boost simply did not do anything until it was completely turned. I found it odd but thought nothing of it until the battery swap. That's when I saw the Bartolini preamp. I gave it the benefit of the doubt and swapped the battery (I even tried 2 different 9Vs to be certain) and the problem persisted. I took the bass over to a local luthier and he could not diagnose the problem. I called Zon and asked about replacing the preamp with the Polyfusion and they said $150+shipping (there and back mind you). I shook my head and consulted the advice of some TB members before remembering the great service and quality of Audere's preamps. I contacted Dave and placed an order for a 3ZB (configured as follows: Volume, Balance, Stacked Treble/Bass, Passive Tone, Z-mode switch) that he thought would get what I wanted (that being a 2-band with a "VTC" like option and no extraneous holes to be drilled into the bass in case I decide to try other alternatives).

    By tomorrow I should have the bass back in my hands to give a full rundown. I'll provide pictures and maybe soundclips by the weekend to demonstrate how the bass sounds.
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