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Preamp options on Euro Spectors

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BackonBass13, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. Apparently the LX comes with the Tone Pump Standard, or the Agggie, or the EmG preamp. Can anyone give me a basic rundown regarding these three preamps. I'm leaning toward the Emg system mainly cuz a youtube clip of Ian Hills custom bass showed the Emg pre....and to my ears It cranked.

    What are your thoughts about these preamps and the resulting tone from each..
    I know thats maybe asking alot, but seek and yee shall find.
  2. gpx1200


    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    ive had all three in my spectors, to my ears..
    the tone pump is the most edgy and grindy with tons of gain from the bass if you don't turn down the trim controle inside the cavity, turning it down smooths out the sound but also seems to take away some of the punch as well so its kind of a trade off for me, also the tone pump only has bass and treb, no mid and they are mostly boost with only 2or3 db of cut and no center "click" on the knobs so it's kind of weird compaired to other eq's.. ..I changed 2 of mine to aggies
    the aggie is a little smoother with less gain on the output and more warm and fuzzy than grindy, it still has the spector growl but its deeper and less metalic than the tone pump and more woody. the 3 band eq on the aggie works great and has good frequency centers that you can cut or boost all the way and still get usable sounds, not all preamps can do that(tone pump and emg sound pretty bad with everything cranked to max in my opinion). I love the way the it sounds with the bass knob crankt up. the aggie is the perfect compliment to the deep woody tone that a lot of people are looking for in a neck threw bass.
    emg is a more modern and the most uncolored of these preamps with a more piano like tone, to me the eq bands seem to narrow and sound very deliberate and not natural but a lot of people like the sweepable mid range and find it usefull.

    my preference in all my spectors is the aggie with emg twx pickups. I have a lx4 classic with p/j/aggie 2 rebops with twx pickups and I wish I got the lx with tw's as well because they sound killer but also emg makes all their styles of pickup in that 35tw size case so you can put whatever you want in that space humbucker,p,j whatever but my lx classic will allways only have p/js unless I get out the router and shes to pretty to cut up.

    aside from those one of the coolest preamps I have ever used is the Michael pope pre I just put in my new warmoth,.. 4 band eq,8 frequency centers to choose from,active/passive mode w/passive tone controle and nothing to solder but 1 ground wire,.. if I had the extra cash id be trying one of these in one of my spectors
  3. Torn Bassist

    Torn Bassist

    Feb 8, 2013
    I have never tried the Tone Pump but know that it was designed using the 9V American circuit, it does have the trim pot to help dial it in with most guys turning it down...I'm very interested in checking it out and it does come standard on the Euro Ian Hill and Doug Wimbish artist model basses. I have played both the Aguilar OBP2 and currently own the OBP3 (both sound great) with the added midrange adjustments I am using the OBP3 in my Spector Coda 4P DLX with an active EMG P pickup.
  4. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    In general terms the Aguilar is fat, clean and the most transparent set flat, the EMG is aggressive, bright and moderately transparent set flat, and the TonePump is warm, gritty and quite colored with no true 'flat' setting.

    Also, that Ian Hill YouTube video you mention isn't the standard EMG circuit or pickups; that bass has the X series pickups and the EMG BTC system and EXB circuit.

    Jaymi's TE 210 combo and general video audio is also on the bright sounding side ;)
  5. mattyb5000


    Apr 17, 2014
    Boston, MA
    I can only speak to my experience with the TonePump, which came standard in my Euro4LX and Euro5LX. On the 4LX, the trim pot was at about 75% and it sounded perfectly fine, but at this same setting on my 5LX it sounded too boomy and harsh to my ears. Once I dialed the trim back to about 50%, everything settled into place much better and I got a warmer tone, but still with that classic spector "growl". I have no complaints with the TonePump now that I have more experience with bringing it back a bit to get the tone I want.
  6. Tone pump sounds great and so does the Aguilar obp3. I once had a euro 6lx with the older tone pump with no trim pot. It sounded awesome, growly but the output was too hot. And the neck on the 6 was just too big and made my hand hurt playing it. I have a webster euro 5lx now which comes with the emg bqc which is a good preamp but can't really dial out the high end very well. I swapped it with an obp3 and it sounds rounder, fatter, and smoother on the top end. Better in my opinion but everyone has their own taste as far as tone goes.
  7. bunkaroo

    bunkaroo Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Just wanted to add this is consistent with my experience as well having had all 3. I wasn't a huge fan of the Aggie, but I really like both the BQC and the TonePump. Despite versatility of the BQC, I actually think I like the TP a little more for the actual "Spector" sound. My only remaining Euro is a Webster and I will likely keep the BQC in there. But I am considering putting a 40P5 or 40J in the neck position - sometimes the Webster comes off a little tame compared to the US 9v and 18v preamps.
    MDBass likes this.
  8. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    The Tone Pumps are Boost only. I have had them all and I prefer the BQC though I do have a few Tone Pump loaded basses for that real growl when you overload the circuit. I like the OBP3 or the BQC for the ability to really sweep something on the fly if you need it. It's all personal preference they all sound different and they all sound good.
  9. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    The TonePump is a very unique preamp; it has boost only pots, but the circuit itself actually cuts 4dB of Bass at 55Hz and 12dB of Treble at 6.5kHz with the pots set all the way counterclockwise.

  10. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    Go with the 40P, it's definitely the more aggressive of the two; I had an NS-4 awhile back that I swapped and A/B'ed a bunch of different 35 sized EMG setups with, and the P/DC and P/P setups were the meanest.
    sumgruuvz likes this.
  11. bunkaroo

    bunkaroo Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    I already have P/DC in one of my 5XL's so I figure that will be as good with the BQC as with the Spector 18v. Kind of curious to see what the J will be like I have an extra one around. Need to do some swapping this weekend!
  12. sumgruuvz


    Apr 28, 2009
    I have a trim tonepump and 35p in neck and 35dc in bridge and it sounds killer. Nice and fat, growly, and punchy.

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