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Preamp Xtct Lz vs Ntmb (in Tobias)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bbgugu, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. bbgugu


    Jun 20, 2015
    tampere, finland
    Can anyone here please explain clearly about the different of these 2preamp (especially when installed in Tobias bass). What is the charactor of them.

    What is the history of these preamp for the past.
    Some said xterm was obsoleted, replaced by Ntmb.
    Especially Tobias fan...which period of time that xtct is dues in Tobias, And when it has changed to numb.

    Thank you
  2. When Mike and his original team were hand building the basses in his Hollywood shop in the 80's he used the Bartolini TCT module. After Gibson bought them in 1990, I have no idea what they used.
  3. iplay5strings

    iplay5strings Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Waterford, MI
    As already stated, the Hollywood era Tobias' used the normal TCT module. That continued into the Burbank days when Gibson was in the picture, but Mike and his team were still building the instruments. Some of the basses had buffers and some didn't, no one really knows why certain basses got certain buffers and others didn't other than it being a tone preference of the player. There was a short period near the end of Mike's time where he started using a WTMB preamp in some of the basses as well (good luck finding one of those). After Gibson completely took over, they went to a dual preamp custom setup that allowed you to choose btwn normal operation and a "slap mode" via a push/pull volume knob. They also started hardwiring the pickups in series where Mike's pickups were normally parallel, so that also changed the sound.

    As far as the XTCT stuff, usually those were what Mike used as a replacement for people whose original TCT pre's had died. Bartolini stopped offering the last iteration of the pre-gibson TCT preamp (known as the Burbank era preamp) as a pre-wired harness and the XTCT was the closest thing to it (it does sound different though).

    As far as the NTMB vs the TCT stuff, that's personal preference. The NTMB's that Mike had made for people as replacements had to have the voicing tweaked as most people found them too dark with the Tobias pickups (I can personally vouch for that, I did not like the NTMB in my Classic V). The TCT stuff is not "obsolete" it is just a different flavor than the NTMB stuff. Both pre's sound and work very differently.

    Now, the good news is that Bartolini brought the Burbank pre back via part # HRTCT-5.4AP (you're welcome ;)). It doesn't come with any buffers, so you'll have to decide if that's something you want to use or not (again, all personal preference). The quad buffer part # is TQB-9/18 or you can use Bartolini's new buffer modules as they don't make the DTA 1.3 anymore (again no real rhyme or reason as to why certain basses got a buffer or which one was used). The quad buffer isolated each individual coil where the DTA 1.3 just isolated the pickups from one another. Hope this answered most of your questions.
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
    MrLenny1 and abarson like this.
  4. Frank Miller

    Frank Miller

    Mar 6, 2008
    "After Gibson completely took over, they went to a dual preamp custom setup that allowed you to choose btwn normal operation and a "slap mode" via a push/pull volume knob."

    I have just been given a Killer B4 for repair. When I opened it up, I saw that there are FOUR trim pots inside.

    Could someone please explain what they are for? I assume one is for overall system gain, as per Bartolini's usual theme. Could the other three trimmers be presets for the slap circuit, perhaps Bass boost, Treble boost, and slap gain?

    Unfortunately, the slap pull-switch on the volume pot is broken and until I replace the pot, I cannot engage the slap circuit to find out.
  5. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Maybe move this to "Pickups and Electronics"?
  6. Frank Miller

    Frank Miller

    Mar 6, 2008
    I already have but have not gotten a suitable answer to my question. That's why I thought that someone who actually had experience with a Tobias Killer-B might be better able to give me an answer.
  7. dirkcalloway


    Nov 5, 2008
    I have a question related to this topic. I bought a new Tobias Basic in Italy, in 1998. I kept it for a few years, liked it ok and gigged it a lot and sold it two years after I moved to the US. Having chosen it based on a fantastic Basic 4 from the late 80's I had once played and almost bought - I wasn't aware of the change of ownership situation when I bought mine - it never lived up to the expectations, to be honest....Anyways, I used to play it with the push-pull knob always engaged (up position) and I never knew what the switch was doing to the circuit. I would have uneducatedly guessed that it was a series/parallel switch, but I read on this thread that it was a 'slap switch'....what exactly does that mean? Is it just a scoop to the mids?
  8. Frank Miller

    Frank Miller

    Mar 6, 2008
    To some extent, yes! A slap tone usually boosts both bass and treble frequencies leaving a “scoop” in the midrange. Alternatively, it can also be effected by cutting the midrange.
    dirkcalloway likes this.
  9. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Thanks for the info. I own 2 Tobias basses bought used.
    ? I am trying to find the original 2 band mid circuit pre ?
    One of my basses was modified with a EMG-BQ-A I believe.
  10. iplay5strings

    iplay5strings Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Waterford, MI
    The normal (no mid module) TCT pre is bass/treble boost only, mids cut only. So just order a normal TCT in whatever configuration you want and you should be good.

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