Replacing pre-amp in a somewhat rare vintage bass - is this a dumb suggestion?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by alienstarguest, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. alienstarguest


    May 30, 2009
    So, I needed to replace a battery compartment in my 1980 Guild B401-A. It's my main player and I do like the sound both passive and active. Still, I'm always one to look for possible improvements. Modernization is welcome and doesn't scare me.

    While I was asking around about some tips on the compartment, one person suggested that an entirely new modern pre-amp could really kick things up a notch. Firstly, it does not have a standard low-mid-high EQ setup. It has a Mid Shift with a Mid cut/boost. One volume plus the the two mid knobs. I guess there might be some routing involved to accept a new pre-amp. I really don't know the answer or approach to that. The idea generally does not appeal to me in that regard.

    My main love for this bass is that the neck and body fit me well. I'm only 5'10 180. Pretty medium sized guy, but I prefer large basses and long scales.

    So what do you all think of the modern pre-amp suggestion?
    Btw & Fwiw , the original pre-amp is very clean and has a simple elegant look. Of course you only see that while looking 'under the hood'. Just wanted to point out that it's no mess of wires and such.
    As far as being a lifetime keeper, I'd say yes, but a Guild B402 in the right condition and body wood, could compel me to sell it. I've always wondered if I'd miss the simplicity of the single pickup, but like the possibilities a two PU Guild B400 series would offer.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    You're happy with it, so I'd leave it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  3. On the other hand.......... If you didn't have to do any routing and it was completely reversible it would be a no harm no foul situation. Audere preamps are very compact. I put one in a Precision bass with no routing. If you look at specs online of several pre's you might find one you like that will fit. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
  4. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Having added a pre amp to a previously passive "older" bass (and largely not achieved a satisfactory outcome) I'd suggest a better plan is to buy an outboard pre amp and leave the bass as it is.
    Gearhead17, Ghastly and Dadagoboi like this.