Preamp Suggestions Please!!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by 95JettaCity, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. 95JettaCity


    Feb 13, 2004
    Las Vegas
    Well I've had my Bartolini MMC replacement in my Stingray for a few weeks now and love it. But I think it may be time to upgrade the preamp and find that heavenly sound. Does anyone have any suggestions on what preamp will work well with the MMC pickup? For reference, I play blues and "lighter" rock music, and tend to play a little Flea every once in a while. What I'm really looking for is a deep sound with a midrange growl to it. Thanks guys

  2. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    Howdy neighbor!

    One consideration is the fairly limited amount of space that is available in the control cavity. This might really limit your options assuming you don't want to route under the pickguard (I would recommend against that).

    It also sounds like you probably want a mids control to manage the growl.

    The bartolini 3-band preamps can take up pretty much space. Maybe someone else has experience installing one in a stingray, but I'm not sure it will fit.

    The Aguilar OBP-3 is a pretty small preamp, and can be run with one or two 9v batteries (so you don't have to add the second battery if you don't have the space), you can get it with a stacked bass/treble control for a four control layout. The Aguilar OBP's have a nice round low end.

    The Seymour Duncan Basslines 3-band MM replacement preamp. These are made to work with the bassslines MM pickups, so they will definitely fit in the stingray. I know of several basses that come stock with bart preamps and basslines pickups (Lull, Modulus Flea,...), but I've never tried the other way around (basslines preamp w/bart pickup). Again, maybe some others can chime in here.

    The Demeter onboard preamp is really nice, but it's fairly large so I'm not sure if it will fit. There was a 'modify your Roscoe' thread that was about installing a Demeter preamp, and someone did get a configuration with a stacked knob for a four control layout.

    I would probably give the Aguilar OBP-3 the first chance to prove itself because of both the required space and tone.
  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    You might give some thought to going outboard on the preamp, if you stick by you amp. I'm in the process of converting my onboards to outboard. No batteries or crammed control bays, have passive option without the need for a switch/pushpull vol, I can use the preamp on any bass, and if I want to keep the standard controls on the bass I still have enough onboard control to get by and I'm not limited by a volume/pan or single tone control in passive mode. And the Bart NTBT preamp into a pair of Duncan active jazz pups sounded rather dramatically superior as an outboard compared to onboard - perhaps because of the additional 9v, not sure why.

    If not and space is a problem, the Aggie may get the job done. Fat bottom works for blues and some rock depending. Also, I've got an OBP 1 and the OBP 3 will probably give you more versatility. The Bart preamps I've found most versatile but the EMGs and Aggies (both of which are only 2 band) don't seem to have the range. That said, the Bart 2 band NTBT seemed to hang in there through a range of styles. Which may be an alternative for you (since it's only one unit - no mid) if you're gun ho onboard bart. Also the NTBT is 9V, the Aggies I believe are 18v - but I run my OBP 1 on 9v with no problem.

    Whatever you do, I'd avoid permanent changes to your bass at all cost. You can nearly always work around what you've got using stacked pots or whatever. And some basses have those giant pots in them which can be swapped out to take up less space if that will make the difference. You can cram a lot of stuff in a tight space but it's no fun changing batteries or hearing it from your bass everytime the control panel gets pressure applied to it.