Preamp for a Jazz Bass??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Danny R., Nov 18, 2003.

  1. Danny R.

    Danny R. Supporting Member

    I just got this MIA Jazz bass with EMG pickups (9 v), I love the tone but I think it can be improved, I might get a J-Retro preamp but I'm open to suggestions, by the way, which pickguard looks better, the white or the black pearloid? ;)
    Thanks guys :)

  2. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Personally, I have never liked black pearloid. I think that white guard looks better. Personally, I would probably go with a solid black or a tort guard on that bass.

    As for preamp, I think that a J Retro is a great choice. Out of curiousity, what aspect of the sound is lacking to you? You may also want to simply try rewiring for a second battery and going 18V. The EMG pups have a reputation of sounding better at 18V than 9V.
  3. cheezewiz


    Mar 27, 2002
    A J Retro is a great choice, and on the pickguard, I vote choice #3, tortise shell.
  4. jacove


    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    the sadowsky pre-amp is nothing but amazing with j-basses....either get the on-board or the outboard....
  5. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    I would definitely go for the Sadowsky pre.
  6. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Give the Aguilar 924 outboard preamp a try. As for the pick guard try this. :bassist:
  7. BassGuyNL


    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    I have a John Fadden Custum Jazz Bass, apparently made in Seattle in the late 70's. I bought it used at Bass NW a couple of years ago, and it came with EMG Jazz pickups and an EMG preamp. Although I had never liked EMG pickups before, I really like this combination. I was always looking for the Marcus M. kind of sound.

    Last week, I bought a Fender MM Signature Bass, used. Compared to the Fadden, it's sound is a bit less HiFi, but also very noisy! I think the Fadden with EMG pickups and EMG pre-amp kind of nails the MM sound, but it's dead quiet. Also, with the bridge PU soloed, it produces a nice growl, but you can add some extra lows.

    I dont know if EMG pre-amps are still available. They should be pretty cheap if you find one used, though...
  8. I would definitely go for the Sadowsky pre.

    The pickguard, I like the white, myself!

  9. I agree with Treena and Jacove: SADOWSKY! It's truly wonderful.

    Also, I vote for the white pickguard.
  10. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I'd go with the Sadowsky preamp.

    I just put a set of EMG J's in my Trans Blue Vintage 4 & they sound AWESOME together.
  11. Danny R.

    Danny R. Supporting Member

    Thanks for all your suggestions!! ;), Nino, can you hook me up with a Sadowsky preamp?
    By the way, the tortoise pickguard looks great, I think I'm gonna get one of those.
  12. EMG's on a jazz bass stink. I'm sure a nice pre amp would make a world of difference BUT I suggest losing the EMGs and drop in a set of hot passive PUs. (I'm probably gonna get it for that one!) IME the overall tone of my MIA jazz was signifigantly enhanced when I dumped the battery guzzling, tone sucking, "gotta take off my pickguard to get a new battery in there", expensive EMGs, and dropped in (at less than half the price) a set of Seymore Duncan Quarter Pounders. Not only did the bass sound better but it was louder.
    So there. My 2 cents.

  13. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I don't think that anyone is gonna "give it to you" :) but to make a blanket statement like "EMG's on a jazz bass stink" is silly. Obviosly, I don't think they stink. :) It depends on the sound you're looking for.
  14. i vote for pickguard option 5 -- white pearloid.

  15. I'd go with a black pickguard. The perloid is good with solid colors, and the white just looks funky to me with the natural body. Black all theway.

    Tortoise on Olympic white - that's cool.
  16. TyKao


    Jun 29, 2003
    I'm not a big fan of pearloid or tortoise in general. Pearloid looks Nashville-cheesy and tort's a little too ornate for my tastes.

    I'm a big fan of the barebones, no-BS look that a natural bass with a white pickguard gives you.

    Solid black would also be good.
  17. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    I bought my MIJ with EMG's. I replaced them with Custom Shop 60's and I run the bass through an older Sadowsky Outboard Preamp. I just love it.

    Crank up the bridge pup and bring up some bass on the preamp and it is so rich in tone.
  18. What xyllion said.
  19. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    my aggie 3 band is quite the thang'
  20. cosmicevan


    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    An electronics company in Germany, Noll, makes tons of preamps that are incredible (they are the primary producer for electronics in Europe and their stuff can be found in Bassline instruments and Ritters amoung others), and they just came out with a drop in Jazz Bass pre, the TCM3S-JB.

    This puppy is chrome and fits right where your controls are now. It has 3 stacked knobs. Its features are a concentric push-pull volume control (active/passive), balance/blend, boost/cut bass, treble, and mid (15dB)...with additional passive control.

    I'm pretty sure that it sells for somewhere around $130, but I'm not sure.