Putting a preamp in a Sire V5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cheshire21, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. Hi,

    I just created an account to post this, since I haven't found any existing threads on this.
    Been a lurker for while, and now I finally bit the bullet and made my first post!

    I've been eyeing Sire 5-string jazz basses, especially the V5 arriving this year with the roasted maple neck and off-white color.
    I'm looking to play mainly gospel and R&B on it, and I know most of the gospel guys use active basses. But the V5 is passive.

    What do you all think about putting a preamp (eg. BassMods, Nordstrand) in the V5?
    Also, do you think the V3 or V7 pickups would work better for what I'm going for, or would the vintage pickups be just fine?

    KevinPaulo likes this.
  2. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie Guest

    Mar 24, 2006
    If you must put a preamp into a V5 (rather than getting a V7) I would look into the Audere Jazz Plate - drop in preamp with no need for soldering and routing for battery box or side jack.
    However, if you did a side jack, you can get a passive tone control option.

    J Series Jack on Plate

    there is also the John East for a bit more $$, but everyone who has used it, swears by it.

    Product categories J-Style
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  3. I would get the V7 and plug and play, but I love the roasted neck of the V5 too much haha.
    Thanks for your recommendations. The drop in plate looks very convenient.
    Do you know what the difference is between an Audere and the stock Sire preamp? Are they similar in quality and sound?
  4. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie Guest

    Mar 24, 2006
    The Audere Standard Jazz preamp can be had in 2, 3, or 4-band.
    The JZ preamp has a specific function that sort of changes the tone of the pickups High/Mid/Low Z. it’s actually quite complex, and you can even change capacitors to alter the tone of each Z mode.
    They have a great FAQ section that answers a lot of questions you might have.
    Pro JZx FAQ

    The Sire preamp is 3-band with a mid-sweep. The mid sweep sets the midrange frequency that you’d boost or cut with the mid control, rather than a fixed boost/cut (500hz is a typical mid frequency). The Audere 4- band had Low Mid (250hz) and high-mid (750 hz) boost/cut.

    The John East J Retro has a Mid-sweep.

    I actually have never used either, so I can’t give an opinion on how each sounds.

    Check out @LowEndLobster on YouTube. He has done multiple Sire reviews and modifications. He actually put a Sadowsky preamp into a V7 with great results.

    The Sadowsky preamp is 2-band Boost-only with VTC (basically a passive tone control)
    But it is 4-knob and you’d have to do a side-jack and battery box, which is why it would be better suited to a V7 that already has those attributes.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
    One Way, LowEndLobster and cheshire21 like this.
  5. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie Guest

    Mar 24, 2006
    That’s an awesome color, btw.
    I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a Warmoth Jazz build in Alpine or Vintage white with roasted neck.
  6. Thanks for the detailed response! The mid-sweep of the John East seems more flexible, but the Audere's price seems to be very competitive with other 3 and 4 band preamps. I'll check both out.

    And yeah, love the colors. Hard to find a bass at that price that looks like that.
    A Warmoth project bass would be pretty nice. Are you thinking of making it active or passive?
  7. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    In my opinion, the pickups and pre are the standouts on the Sire v7, the hardware less so. I assume the wood build is as good as v7 too.
    Depends what you want the pre amp to do. East's tend to colour a lot, and the Sire pre is very powerful too, but I'd go neutral if the passive sound is to your liking. I don't know the Audere, but I would recommend Glock as they enhance rather than dominate.

    You could try the Sadowsky pedal or Tonhammer to get an idea of how you work the sound.

    Not sure what the price difference is but the Sire v7 vintage is very good for the money. You start putting in a pre amp on the v5 and you must be hitting the v7 money anyway?
    cheshire21 likes this.
  8. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie Guest

    Mar 24, 2006
    It would be passive. I started gathering bits and pieces over the last couple years but the ‘Rona put it all on hold indefinitely.
    I have a Passive Jazz control board from Obsidian Wire already. I was thinking about using the new Aguilar DCB Jazz pickups, but it’s still up in the air. Not sure if I want to do a straight up passive Jazz or a P/MM with Norstrand Blade pickups (still passive).
    I already have a Squier VM Jazz V that I picked up in 2014, added a 2-band preamp, Hipshot hardware, and Duncan Apollo pickups.
    Not sure if doing another Jazz is sensible.

    gregus67 and cheshire21 like this.
  9. Thanks for the recommendations. I think I'd like to have a preamp that colors the sound and gives it more of a punch for that gospel sound,
    but I'd also like the option of an active/passive switch so I can get those nice passive tones as well.

    I wouldn't mind a V7, but I like the looks of the upcoming V5's a lot more. Only thing is I'd have to remove the jack plate each time I replaced the battery, but that's a minor inconvenience
  10. The Squier looks nice! I personally would go with a P/MM instead since you already have a passive Jazz, and also because the P/MM setup seems like it could get a lot of cool tones.
  11. KevinPaulo


    Sep 12, 2019
    I’ve had this past 2 years experience with Sire V3, V7, V7 vintage, V9 and recently got me two V5 which in one of them I installed the Audere classic 4-band. I then AB’d them.

    1. I’ve had Audere in a couple of basses installed and it ever disappointed me. NEVER!
    2. It responded very well with the stock V5 pickups. Boost bass and treble all the way. Cut high mids and boost a little low mid and it will get you the real marcus slap sound!
    3. Compared it also with a V3 and while the V3 is boomier the V5 with audere installed project a more balanced, clean, clear and sharper while maintaining a tight low end.
    4. The one thing I’m still trying to take away is the noise/hizz. Especially when soloing the pickups. Not sure if I can get it death quite for the pickups are vintage single coils
    Losbass, TonyP- and JLGrooves like this.
  12. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I use the East J Retro and while it’s said to add a touch of color to the Jazz tone, I can attest, it’s a wonderful color to have. It’s my one & done preamp.

    The J Retro is a drop-in no-solder, no-mods to the body install. Even the battery is mounted on the underside of the control plate. You simply attach the pickup wires into the screw-down terminals. The preamp comes with detailed and clear instructions. The J Retro Deluxe (what I have) adds a passive treble tone control to the plate, but requires the use of a side-mounted output jack (which I already had) that comes with the preamp.

    Both preamps come with a switch to operate in active or passive mode.
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  13. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    I've got East, MC3, Glock and Sire pre amps and I've got a flexicore coming.
    I'm currently looking at putting in an Audere for the MC3...maybe...
    I wouldnt go overboard or get hung up on mid sweeps myself. Nice idea but Sadowsky knows.
    If the Audere drops in with no routing then you havent lost much if it doesnt work.

    I also prefer 18v but that means routing.
    Sire bass pickups aren't bad at all, imv, so assuming you want a pre for enhancement and punch rather
    than toneshaping then Audere, imv.
    cheshire21 and KevinPaulo like this.
  14. JLGrooves


    Apr 8, 2019
    Bethlehem, PA
    Thanks for sharing man. I'm suppose to be getting my Sire V5 5 String delivered tomorrow. Currently have an Audere Pre in my 4 String Fender Jazz. Thinking of switch the Audere to the V5 and keeping the Fender Passive. Have you considered upgrading the pickups on the V5 to noiseless? (ie. DiMarzio Area j) or you happy with the stock ones and the Audere combo?
    cheshire21 and KevinPaulo like this.
  15. KevinPaulo


    Sep 12, 2019
    Yes I’m pretty happy with the stock pickups. But it’s always good until you try something “better” :) So I’ll just keep the stock for now
    cheshire21 likes this.
  16. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    Despite my reservations about some kit on Sire basses, I think the pickups and pre amp do ok.
    The last thing I'd upgrade would be the pickups.
    KevinPaulo likes this.
  17. w3stoner


    Nov 30, 2016
    Instead of putting the preamp in the bass consider putting it in a pedal. Then you can use it with multiple basses.
    Jon Draffan and TTPbass1 like this.
  18. Jon Draffan

    Jon Draffan

    Jun 1, 2017
    Hi everybody!! Sorry to revive an old Post but I am looking for info upgrading a V5 harness... are the control plates for the Audere/East/Obsidian all drop in? I currently don't have a real workbench or tools and I'd like to try to find the easiest, drop-in-est option.

    BTW, I didn't hear anybody say anything about the pre-wired/solderless EMG J sets... Anybody have thoughts on those?

    Thanks in advance for any help
    KevinPaulo likes this.
  19. KevinPaulo


    Sep 12, 2019
    About EMG I’ve had the pre and pickup for a while in my fender jazz. Not bad at all, just that anything I tried after that was better for what I was going for. Yes Audere classic is drop in, no mods necessary. Good luck!
    ow and if it is of any help, currently I’m running a combo of Nordstrand jazz pickup set with Aguilar obp3 (+ passive tone control) and it’s the best combo I’ve had until now
  20. Jon Draffan

    Jon Draffan

    Jun 1, 2017
    Thank you so much @KevinPaulo ! That's all I needed, and I just ordered this... Jazz 4B Chrome

    $100 bucks plus shipping and it works with passive (original MM Vintage J). The roasted maple with the vintage J's can give me a gentle (not honky, or boomy... though there is a time for those) 'woody' tone that I like. From reviews it seems like the Audere wont take that out... ?
    KevinPaulo likes this.