P Bass Preamp

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by cmlax21, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Does anyone have an onboard preamp on their p bass?

    Also more of an opinion question which do you think is the best that gives a big thumping tone?
  2. Generally, it is the J that needs the preamp, since the P's innate tone tends to be rather whumpy-thumpy. If I were to have a preamp on a P-bass, it would be to tame that aspect, and dial in a slap sound via the flip of a switch. Of course, one can get a bass EQ pedal to provide much the same result at their feet.
  3. So if I were to put a preamp in a p bass it won't really sound like a p bass anymore?
  4. That would depend on how transparent the preamp is.
    SteveCS likes this.
  5. So is there any way to bring out the thump because when I play on my practice amp it just sounds dull or do I have the wrong idea of a preamp?
  6. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I will keep collecting until I have 40 basses
    I like a 4 band Audere preamp with a p-bass and a second pickup.

    blaine_hyatt and SirMjac28 like this.
  7. What kind of practice amp is it? What's the speaker size/amount? How much wattage does your head put out? What's your EQ look like?

    All of these things can be attributing to your lack of thump (as well as what kind and gauge of strings you are using) and are a relatively easy fix compared to adding a preamp onto a P-bass.
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  8. It's a Crate BT15 amp with a Low-Low Mid-High Mid-High and a master gain.
  9. Ok so it's a combo amp with an 8" speaker and 15w of power behind it .... https://creamcitymusic.com/p-23781-crate-bt15-15w-8-bass-combo.aspx

    Well since it is a starter bass amp, I wouldn't expect as much as you get from your BT220 (checked your profile for your gear). The best you can do is try and EQ in some low-mids on your BT15. If you aren't hearing low-end thump on your BT220 with a 15" speaker, then you need to boost Bass and Low-Mids on your EQ and perhaps roll off your tone on the p-bass. The only other stuff I can think of would be to try and change your strings to something thicker or more bass-focused (like GHS bass boomers).

    I wouldn't necessarily expect brutally earthshaking low-end from a P-bass, but more a round, fat sound that is thick and warm. Usually people want to tone down the punch that P-basses have, but the wrong strings can really tame them more than people would like. I had a set of D'Addarios on my squier VM P and it sounded atrocious until I took those off.

    But try Re-Eq'ing, switching strings and such before you try to put a preamp on your bass...always go with the cheapest stuff first!!! ;)
  10. Ok thanks!
  11. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    John East is working on a P retro, should be out very soon.

    It looks very good if he can pull it off.

    There is a thread about it here.

    These are the basics for it.
    * Two Stacked knobs, both with Pull Switches.

    * Active/Passive with pure passive relay bypass setting.

    * Flat response active setting.

    * Class A FET input stage.

    * Variable frequency mid boost mode.

    * Variable frequency combined bass/treble boost mode.

    * Onboard re-chargeable battery allowing 40 hours continuous use, charged via the jack.

    * Auto passive bypass if the system runs low on power.

    * Easy to fit using screw terminals, with no solder connections.

    * No physical mods to Instrument allowing easy return to stock condition.
  12. Tim Marshall

    Tim Marshall

    May 26, 2012
    Bill lawrence legendary pick up designer once told me that batteries were for flashlights. save your money.
  13. Tim Marshall

    Tim Marshall

    May 26, 2012
    i get kick out of the guys that talk about how to get a p bass sound out of a jazz bass. go buy a p bass, keep the jazz have two.
  14. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Well thats really good advice isnt it ;-)
  15. adivin


    Jul 9, 2009
    New Orleans, LA
    My main player is a Sadowsky P Bass with a push pull switch to bypass the pre-amp if desired. True, you don't see many P basses with pre-amps.
  16. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I appreciate you and Bill's concern for my money, but I'm making it just fine with 3 battery-powered basses, my Precision 5 will be the 4th.

    And as good as his pickups are, that's doesn't mean we should all rip out our preamps and do it Bill's (or your's) way.
    ex-tension and line6man like this.
  17. ofajen


    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    The context for Bill's attitude is that he designed and used passive systems with both a standard tone and his Q-filter midrange control. My first bass, the Ripper, is his design and has both controls. I've added a Q-filter to my P-bass, as well, and it really offers a vast range of control.

    It's different from an active preamp, which typically has two or three bands of boost/cut. In my experience, passive controls tend to operate over a broader range of frequencies, so the sound is different. If I were to put a preamp in the P, I'd keep the passive eq in front of the preamp input.