Preamp Brands

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by 87octane_, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. 87octane_

    87octane_ Guest

    Jul 18, 2001
    Sumner, IL
    I'm trying not to make this sound like another "which one's best" question, as I've asked my fair share of those in my quest for an awesome tone, but could someone just give me a few names of quality onboard preamp manufacturers? I'm going to begin building a bass soon, and I just want to do a little research and find out which one's right for me.
  2. There's EMG, Bartolini, Seymour Duncan (Basslines)...those are the major ones...
  3. Joshua Pickenpaugh

    Joshua Pickenpaugh Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2001
    The Midwest of USA
    I've heard Aguilar and Sadowsky are making some nice ones. I've got EMG and Bart's in my basses and they sound great.
  4. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    MEC, J-retro (U-retro for non-J basses), BassXX from BassLab, DaCapo, EL-5 (I think) from Leduc...
    Just to mention a few, really good ones.
  5. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Demeter, too.
  6. Don't overlook the J-Retro and U-Retro. They are made by John East in the U.K. and the importer is Vintage Bass Trading Co.

    The Retros are killer preamps and highly engineered without cost cutting. Those who own them will never go back to anything else. The Retro is also coming out as a stomp box.

    Link to Vintage Bass Trading Company
  7. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    I was just over at Roger's shop the other day, and cant get enough of his onboard preamps. compared to my Roscoe's bart preamp, its simply stunning. full round tone, but punchy. if you can get his pickups which he designed, but dimarzio made along with the preamp, you'd have quite a combo.

    I've heard lots of great things from jazz bass guys who rave about their J-Retro and the universal U-retro. i'm getting one for a fretless i'm having built for me. should be killer.
  8. 87octane_

    87octane_ Guest

    Jul 18, 2001
    Sumner, IL
    What about the preamps sold on Carvin's "Bass Kits and Parts" section of their site? Can their quality compete with the brands you guys mentioned?
  9. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    No, I wouldn't think so.
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I know a guy who's building with the stock 3 band Carvin preamp and Bartolini soapbars... and his basses sound excellent.

    Yes, "I" just said that;)

    BTW I think Roger Sadowsky still only sells his preamps installed.
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I'd be interested to hear what it sounds like in a fretless. I've not been able to dial in a Jaco-like sound with mine on my fretted Jazz Deluxe V. It does everything else extremely well.
  12. Gil Escalera

    Gil Escalera

    Jan 17, 2002
    Upland, CA
    I have a Fender Jazz fretless with Aero pickups, BadAss II bridge, bone nut, Hipshot D-Tuner and a J-Retro preamp. I have it strung with TI Jazz flats.

    The J-Retro really makes a big difference. The pallette (sp?) of tones that you can get is phenomenal! The mid freq. controls really bring out the fretless sound. The Mid Level knob controls the amount of Mid boost or cut (+/- 12dB) at frequencies according to the setting of the Frequency knob. The Frequency knob is continuously variable and sets the Mid frequencies (150Hz - 3kHz) for boost or cut.

    And that's just the Mids! There's Bass, Treble and Bright to boot. Not to mention Active/Passive.

    As others have said, you can read more about it at the J-Retro Forum in the Dude Pit. ;)

    -- Gil
  13. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Mike Pope
    Haz Lab

    And another thing!
    EMG is a tough thing when it comes to just doing the Preamp. They work best with their own pickups because the pickups have a preamp built into them and the knobs you can install just control the internal pre.
  14. I just ordered a J-Retro for my Roscoe Beck V. I'll post the installation photos and updates in the thread going on RB5 is the BASSES section.

    The J-Retro is going to give me the 100% pickup isolation I've been looking for, and the associated tone improvement from no impedance loading by the volume and tone controls. There is an internal pot I can use to adjust the gain of the individual pickups so they match in output.

    The pick guard is going to suck, as it looks like I'll have to pay an additional $55 setup charge for a custom pick guard, since the RB5 isn't "standard". This is in addition to the cost of the pick guard itself. I'll almost a hundred bux tied up in a silly piece of plastic. Yuck.
  15. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO