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Pre-amp? So many to choose from... but what to buy.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ebladeboi123, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    Okay, well in anticipation for my warmoth. I figure i better get my pre-amp pretty soon (I've still got around 2-4 weeks). Well here is my tentative set up.
    Nordstand NJ4 or NJ4SE. I have to decide still :(

    Pre-amp options...
    Sadowsky On board On-board Pre-amp
    Aguilar On board Pre-amps
    Demeter On board Pre-amp
    J-retro On board Pre-amp
    U-retro On board Pre-amp

    Bass woods (if it makes a difference)
    Body: Swamp ash with qulit top
    Neck: AAA Birdseye maple with Ebony Fretboard
    Strings: Elixirs (nanoweb light gague)

    I don't care about the number of holes, that is always easily changed. I had a bartolini and was horribly dissappointed with the high end drop off.

    Sound I really want: Smooth lows. Highs that Cut and are clear through the mix (don't want to have my G-string not heard like my Bartolini + bartolini pre and pups do) And punchy mids.
    Also want my bass to be able to be aggressive. And have some growl to it (thus my reasoning as to why I want the NJ4SE a lil more, but I'm not sure its worth the extra $$)

    Thanks in advance
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I've tried all of them except the Demeter. Out of them, I'd probably rank them in order of preference:
    Aguilar, Sadowsky, j/u retro

    The J/U Retro is a fine preamp, but while I could get good sounds out of it I never got a sound I LOVED out of it. Also, there's no way to get a flat sound out of it - even with eq knobs flat it adds an eq pre shape. Plenty of people love it, it's just not for me.
    Aguilar 2 band and Sadowsky preamps are very similar (Alex Aguilar worked on both). They're both 'transparent' preamps in that I can't tell any difference between active with eq flat or passive. IMO the bass boost on the Aguilar sounds fatter/tighter than the Sadowsky, and that's generally more the sound I go for so that's why my #1 vote would be for the Aguilar. Aguilar 3 band is also an excellent preamp, although the treble frequency is at a different center than the 2 band for some reason.
    The Demeter has some unusual frequency centers, I think bass is around 100hz for example.
  3. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    The Demeter frequency responses or what have you look very funky. I'm not sure if its for the better or not.
    Is there really any true advantage to the 3 band over the 2 band eq. I mean i have mid controls on my amp. And from what it sounds like you get enough mids out of your aguilar.

    Any one have thoughts on the demeter?
  4. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    I'm interested in hearing about the Demeter as well.
  5. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    I'm thinking i should just go for the Demeter and if I don't like it, just get an Aguliar and sell the demeter, there seems to be plenty of hype on the site. I just can't think of Pup's that would compliment the Demeter well.

    Anyone have ideas? The NJ4SE seem to be my best bet. But i can exp. with my Bart 9k's and Dimarzio Ultra J's. From what i understand, the demeter doesn't compliment the vintage type of pick up. Again, ideas?
  6. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    I've come to understand that the Demeter pre works quite well with most Bartolini pickups.

    I haven't tried it myself though, so I can't say much.