1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Outboard preamps?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Oldskoolen, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. Oldskoolen


    Nov 23, 2012
    I have an MTD kingston passive 4. I am considering converting it to an active bass. Before I do I am wondering if I should check out an outboard preamp as an alternative. I looked at the Sadowsky, Aguilar, and the sans amp. Just wondering if anyone had any opinions, good/ bad, thanks.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    I use an active bass 3 band eq and like the ability to get lots of tones. If I was looking at pedal pre amps, I'd be looking at programmable pedals where you have 3 or 4 tone select buttons.

    Ifyou have a chance, check out the Musicman Big Al bass for lots of onboard tone tone controls.
  3. Alexdeth89


    May 7, 2012
    you could get an eq pedal, I have the behringer beq700 and it's great
  4. The Kingston already has an active preamp, are you talking about dropping in new pickups? Swapping out the preamp? Do you not like the hardware that's already in there? I'm certainly not against modding, I put a set of Quarter Pounders and an Audere JZ3 in my Jazz V... Just asking the questions. :)

    I *love* the JZ3 in my Jazz. Vol/Vol/Tone replaced by on-board 3-band EQ, master vol, pan and the Z-mode switch, but it keeps "that Jazz Bass sound." They have non-Jazz bass specific versions of the JZ, definitely worth a look if you go the on-board route.

    That said, I've tried several outboard preamp options and like that route as well because you can use it with any bass. I've tried and still own several outboard preamp options, but the Aguilar Tone Hammer is my favorite. Great EQ and tone, the AGS circuit if you need dirt, DI, built like a tank, etc.

    I think it comes down to what you think would work best for you. Both are good routes, both have pros & cons. Swapping out pickups AND preamp in the Kingston will probably be the more expensive route though.

  5. As allways, it is really subjective, but after few trials, I can recommend Sadowsky outboard preamp.

    It is classic FET design backed by DI circuitry from Fishman (who actually make it for Sadowsky). Although it doesn't offer overwhelming list of features and have 2-band shelving EQ with boost only (so it not so great for pairing with bass, which is naturally mid-shy), it sounds great for touch of its own character, emphasize note attack and adding fullness, but don't defeat natural voice of your bass. With moderate lo-hi boost, it sounds killer for slap. Especially well pairing with j-bass like guitars, but i think it will be fine choice also for your Kingston (from what i heard so far). Basic circuit is manufactured almost unchanged for years and IMO there is good reason for that.
    Fishman DI is good and will give you amp backup for live situation, plus you'll got tuner out and reliable mute switch.
    It is not cheap, but sometimes you could find one for "nice" price.


  6. Oldskoolen


    Nov 23, 2012
    It's a real old MTD Kingston with a passive double hum buckler pick-up with one volume knob and one bass/treble knob. I am also considering an onboard preamp to make it active.