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Preamp for a T-40

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BassWaffle, Jun 19, 2019.


  1. BassWaffle

    BassWaffle

    Apr 10, 2011
    DC/Maryland
    My Peavey T-40 was my main gigging bass for about 5 years before I got an active jazz 5er. Having that flexibility at my fingertips has made a huge difference in how I play live, and because of that I've been reluctant to use my T-40 recently.

    I really think that if it had some of the capabilities of my jazz, I would use it a lot more.

    (I wanna get this out of the way since most similar threads were full of comments like this: Please do not tell me not to mess with it. I might change it, I might decide not to, but it just isn't relevant. Thanks!)

    Id like to put an active preamp in, however most preamps I've looked at, like Audere, seem to be marketed toward jazz setups.
    I'm looking for suggestions for a flexible 3 band preamp that is pretty transparent and would work well with the T-40 humbuckers. Around $100-150 would be nice, but I'm open to more expensive ones too.
     
  2. Geri O

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

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Since the T40 has two pickups, each with Volume, Tone, and some switching capabilities, I can't imagine it NOT being as flexible as a Jazz arrangement, and it might possibly be MORE flexible than the Jazz. But you may be looking for something I'm not grasping just yet.

    The Nord preamps are my go-to onboard preamps and I'm not sure if it's because they are transparent or if it's because they aren't. But my experience with the Nords, Audere, and John East are all about the same. Which is great, if not a little different between them all. I like Nordstrand pups, so I lean toward Nord preamps.

    Not being familiar with how the T40s were originally wired, I would be worried that you'd give up some flexibility that was offered by the original electronics and they way they were wired. (For instance, that cool thing that happens when set the tone pots above or below 8, I believe it is). But it's been 1982 since I had any experience with T-40s, so I'm certainly not qualified to make a reliable call on this. There are a few folks here that are, they can reveal themselves if they wish to do so.

    I did get to play a T40 that had been modified into a 5-string bass. It was very cool and sounded great, but the spacing was so narrow and the strings so close to the edges of the neck that it wouldn't at all be a practical gigging bass. Not to mention the question of the long-term stability of the truss rod with the extra load. But it would be really cool to have just hanging out in my office/practice room. I really wanted to get a T40 and do the mod, but after I actually laid hands on one, the excitement kinda went away....
     
    BassWaffle likes this.
  3. BassWaffle

    BassWaffle

    Apr 10, 2011
    DC/Maryland
    Thanks for the input about Nordstrand, I don't know as much about their preamps as I do about their pickups so I'll look into that.
    Nice, yeah seeing those 5 string T-40s out there does really make me want one, but there are a lot of practical concerns lol.

    The only thing special about the current wiring is that the pickups run in split coil when the tone is 8 or higher, and there is the phase switch (which I never use). Honestly if I were to install a preamp, I would also be getting that function put to a push/pull pot for both pickups. It is a unique system, but having to finagle getting it to the brightest humbucker setting mid-gig (around 7 on the tone knob) is a hassle and it results in inconsistent settings for me. I also have read that the stock setup makes for a slightly dampened humbucker sound, and I would love to get more brightness out of them if I can. It really boils down to me liking switches and off/on functions vs precise knob turns.

    I don't think I was very clear in the OP, and this actually might be a more general humbucker related question, but I am mostly worried about the wiring and impedance differences between T-40 pickups and standard jazz pickups. Does it not make a difference to the preamp?
     
  4. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Audere does have setups conducive to non jazz setups. Module Series
     
    BassWaffle likes this.
  5. Geri O

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

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    It shouldn’t make any difference to the preamp, but a call to Nord would give a good answer and/or suggestion about that.

    DW gives some good info on the Auderes, too. I had an Audere preamp in an American Standard Jazz with Nord pups a few years and it sounded really good.
     
  6. Geri O

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

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    It shouldn’t make any difference to the preamp, but a call to Nord would give a good answer and/or suggestion about that.

    DW gives some good info on the Auderes, too. I had an Audere preamp in an American Standard Jazz with Nord pups a few years and it sounded really good.
     
  7. BassWaffle

    BassWaffle

    Apr 10, 2011
    DC/Maryland
    Nice, thanks guys. Looks like this was way simpler than I thought it was going to be lol. Good to see that these are a bit less expensive than I was anticipating.
     
  8. bigtone23

    bigtone23

    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    It should be pretty easy-most preamps are designed to accept a wide range of pickups. IIRC, the T40 pickups are around 10K resistance in humbucking mode and close to 5K split. That's pretty much on par with a standard split coil P and garden variety Jazz or Ric pickup.
    I would use the 3-way pickup switch, master volume, 3-band/3 knob eq and then the unused phase switch repurposed as the coil split for both pickups. That preamped T40 will rival a Jazz bass for versatility!
     
    BassWaffle likes this.
  9. BassBuzzRS

    BassBuzzRS

    Oct 18, 2005
    Norway
    Get a Sadowsky outboard preamp DI/Pedal, it's nice!
     
  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 16, 2021

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