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Preamp is toast...now what?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SteveC, May 3, 2010.

  1. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    So the Bartolini preamp is toast on my Yamaha BB605. What to do? I like this bass...enough to keep it over some other big name, quasi-boutique basses. The bass isn't worth much working preamp or not. Maybe $300.

    So, do I...

    1. Get a new preamp - like a U-Retro with active/passive option and passive tone control - even though the preamp will be worth more than the bass.

    2. Wire it passive and use an outboard device - Sadowsky, Aguilar, East, Avalon U5, etc.

    3. Look for a new 34" scale 5 string bass that I will like as much as this one - I haven't had much luck with this which is why it's listed last.

    I know what I think. Curious what any of you think?
  2. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    I'd grab an Audere pre-amp, with
    vol/tone stack,
    high mids/low mids stack,
    bass/treble stack,
    the 3-Z switch,
    and an active/passive switch,

    be more verstaile, and cheaper than a U-Retro would be for you, and just as high quality.
  3. I'll take door #1.
  4. If you are handy with a soldering iron and wanting to keep prices down you could always make your own preamp (a lot of schematics out there), or if the bart preamp isnt enclosed you could try and figure out which part is fried and possibly replace it?
  5. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    The Bart is epoxied, sadly. :meh:
  6. splitcoilsenior


    Jan 18, 2009
    What's a Z switch?
  7. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    It affects how the preamp sounds, a deep thick tone, a flat uncoloured tone, and a bright one, all on a 3 way mini toggle, IIRC.
  8. splitcoilsenior


    Jan 18, 2009
    Sounds awesome! Link to this pre-amp?
  9. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007

    Here, he does them to fit Jazz basses, or you can get ones with whatever control config you like, for non Jazz Plate basses.
  10. splitcoilsenior


    Jan 18, 2009
    Sweet Jesus! I want one of those so bad....Now I don't know if I wana get an Aguilar OBP-3 for my Schecter elite.....or this Audere Z Gangster-Jesus switch Pre for my SX Jazz.....
  11. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    If you like the bass, I'd certainly go ahead and replace the preamp.

    Just so you know, the Audere will not boost the signal and the Aguilar, and most others will. The Audere is a unique approach, and I do like it. You might, too, but just understand that it's not going to sound like your old Bart. I think of the Audere as a passive sounding set up with way more flexibilty in tone than a standard passive bass, if that makes sense. The last time I looked at preamp prices you could get a Bartolini preamp as a replacement for a bit less $ than either the Audere or Aguilar. Just another thing to think about. :)
  12. For about ten bucks you could wire it passive V/V/T. You might just like it that way.
  13. Thundar

    Thundar Living in sin at the Holiday Inn

    I almost had to steal this for my sig...LOL
  14. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I am tempted to do this (I prefer Volume/Blend/Tone) until I decide what to do about a preamp. There are so many to chose from. I could just get another Bartolini I suppose. I could just get a few "outboard" preamps and use one or more depending on what I like. Maybe I'd like it just passive.

    As I said before, I do like this bass. I have kept it over Sadowsky, Modulus, Lakland, etc., so whatever I do I think it will/should involve a re-working of this bass.
  15. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Yeah, I don't think the Audere is what I want. I think I would lean to a U-Retro, maybe Aguilar, something like that. I have Bartolini pups and I know a lot of higher end basses use the Bart/Aguilar combo.
  16. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    You could wire it passive and get an Aguilar Tone Hammer (or the Sadowsky outboard if that floats your boat more than the Aguilar). That would probably the simplest solution.

    But, if you really like the bass (and, obviously, you do), I would not try to find another bass that you like as much as your Yamaha. Find a preamp that you like as much as, or more than, the Bartolini pre you are replacing.
  17. Stick with the Bart.... from your earlier posts, you dug it, but it just didn't work correctly. Get the same model and be happy:hyper:

    Each of these preamps really have their own tone and take... some, like the FBass and Alleva-Coppolo preamp, are very, very flat and neutral when the tone controls are not boosted, and don't really even add any boost when set 'flat'. Others, like the Sadowsky,the Bart pre's, etc., have a 'built in' boost and subtle EQ curve that makes the bass sound a bit different from the passive setting (over and above the buffering impact of any pre). Other pre's, like the East J-Retro, have a HUGE tone curve built in, and will really totally change the nature of your bass.

    The Audere is interesting... but probably my least favorite preamp... the Z switch was way over the top (like Goldilocks.... this one is too bassy, this one is too thin, this one is just right), and the entire pre had a sort of 'sterile' tone to it when the tone controls were boosted. IMO there.

    I understand Carey Nordstrands new preamp is very nice, and relatively neutral when set flat. I haven't heard it yet.
  18. I also really enjoy the velvety smooth tone of Bartolini pickups with a Bart pre-amp.

    As for Audere, I dig it, but have only heard it under a few different pickup combos and far from a wide variety. I certainly like it with Nordstrand dual coils.

    http://www.cbbasses.com/thenews.htm Scroll down and here is an example of the different Z modes.
  19. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I am debating either a Bart 5.4 A/P (like I had) or an Aguilar OBP-3 for something just a little different. I know "higher end" basses that I like use the Bart/Aguilar combo a lot. The Bartolini is tough (it barely fits) to cram in my control cavity - which may have been part of the problem with the wiring getting messed up. The Aguilar is SIGNIFICANTLY smaller. As far as EQ points, they are pretty similar:

    Bart: 30, 250/500/800 and 10
    Aguilar: 40, 400/800 and 6.5

    The EQ points seem to make a little more sense to me on the Aguilar.
  20. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA

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