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?

  2. 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
    cheshire21 and Immigrant like this.
  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. 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
    cheshire21 likes this.
  5. 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. 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.

    cheshire21 likes 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.
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    Jun 21, 2021

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