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Putting a J-retro into an Essex '62?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by toshiya, Sep 18, 2002.

  1. toshiya


    Jun 14, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    I just wanted to see your thoughts on whether or not I should add a J-retro preamp into an Essex? Thank you. :)
  2. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I don't have an Essex (Kurt won't ship out of US), but here are my few comments:

    One...I am not sure how wise it is to put a $250 preamp into a $100-something bass.

    Two, if you do go for it, make sure you shield the cavities first. I put 3 coats of StewMac shielding paint on my '75 Jazz with single coils, grounded everything, and even with J-Retro on full boost I get no hiss or any other noise.

    As far as J-Retro itself is concerned, it's a fantastic preamp.
  3. That would be the single, most effective modification you could do to the Essex. I would even keep the stock pups to begin and see how they sound with the preamp. The J-retro's do wonders with cheap pups.

    Why put an expensive preamp in a cheap bass? First, don't get hung up on what these basses cost new. They are undervalued IMO and their retail price isn't an indication of their quality. With the Essex, aside from the hardware, there is little else that is low quality. They are certainly on the par with most MIM Fenders and the JR is a common addition to them. If the Essex is your type of axe, you should do everything needed to bring it up to your vision. Besides, the JR can be removed and put into something else later - it's not permanent.

    Go fer it and enjoy!
  4. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Jazz style basses sound better passive than active IMO. What's wrong with the passive sound of the Essex? I've read here that they sound fantastic right out of the box, including critical studio work.

    Just my opinion. I also question putting a $250 preamp into a $150 bass.
  5. I still keep kicking around the idea of adding a J-retro to my 62 SX. But I really like the passive tone, and really don't have $200 for the preamp. I've thought about just getting the stompbox, so all my basses have the J-Retro capabilites.

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