Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

preamp with barts or no preamp?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by x182, Jun 23, 2004.


  1. x182

    x182

    Mar 22, 2004
    im currently building a fretless p bass.

    badass 2
    barts
    rotosound

    im wondering if i should stick to a purely passive instrument or go for a preamp.

    but i have no idea where to begin. which one to get. which one works the best. which one is worth my money.

    what do you guys think?

    whats a good bang for my buck?
     
  2. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Well, There's alot of things to consider, but if you're not sure, build it passive, & if you're still not sure,, add the pre-amp later...
     
  3. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Most Bart pups are low output and perform best with a preamp, so do your homework if you decide to go passive with Barts (Bartolini does have some higher output pups as well).

    A conservative move would be to build a passive bass and use an outboard preamp (SansAmp, Sadowsky, Aguilar, Retro Stomp, etc.) if you feel the need.
     
  4. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Yep, as Slater said, most Barts are designed low output and sound better with a preamp. In fact, I will also say that I think they sound better if they are not passively mixed. Look for a preamp that buffers each input independently. Bart offers a preamp that does this. The U Retro does this. I'm sure that there are other preamps that do this as well.

    In my only bass with Barts, I built my own preamp that offered no tone shaping, but simply boosted the two pickups independently. The sound I get out of the bass is amazing.
     
  5. keb

    keb

    Mar 30, 2004
    I've been thinking of adding a preamp to go with my Barts... like has been stated already, they could use a boost methinks.
     
  6. Aram

    Aram

    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
    That's awesome -- I have often thought about this. Would it be very difficult to accomplish? I think it's a great idea.
     
  7. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Not difficult at all if you are familiar with circuit design. I used one IC, a dual op-amp. I wired each op amp as a non-inverting amp with an input impedance of 2M. You can adjust the gain by selecting an appropriate feedback resistor. I then took the outputs through 100 ohm resistors and 10uF capacitors and connected the result of both to the output jack.

    I mounted all the parts on a small piece of prototyping board (the kind that has a grid of holes). I used point-to-point soldering techniques to make all the connections. Total construction and installation was done in one evening.

    I would have loved to have made a custom PC board, but unfortunately the boards would cost around $50 each for the small numbers that I would need made. One of these days it would be nice to get a group of people together to have boards built, but it would take an order of 50 or more boards to get the prices reasonable. I'm not sure I'm willing to take on that large of a project right now. I already have 2 paying customers waiting for me to get their boards (unfortunately not audio projects) done.
     
  8. Aram

    Aram

    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
    Thanks Bob -- that's some interesting stuff, but probably out of my league. I might be on board (no pun intended) if you ever do decide to get a group of people to build those custom boards...

    Cheers,
    Aram
     
  9. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    You might could just try a Bart TC-3 or TC-4 to boost the output. Controls remain passive but output is significantly increased (12-40dB). IMO though, Bart's shine with active EQ. I'd recommend the Bart 3-band w/mid switch. For more of a natural sound the Demeter pre sounds good with the Barts.
     
  10. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I once had a David King bass with Bart pups and 3-band Bart preamp with switchable mids. It was good, but I feel like Bart leans towards the warm side of sounds. Think some of the other preamps out there help you to get a more aggressive sound with the Bart pups.
     
  11. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    Bart pickups lean towards warm. IMO the Bart pre is probably more aggressive than any I've found. The only other pre that comes close to it's ability to color sound would be the Aguilar OBP-3 and it doesn't doesn't have the control of the mid's that the Bart does. Just my opinion though...but I have installed and modified more than I can count. ;)