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sadowsky with VTC vs aguilar OBP-3?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Lincoln, Nov 6, 2010.


  1. Lincoln

    Lincoln

    Nov 3, 2006
    After doing a search that didn't yield much I'm asking the question what are the similarities and differences of the Aggie OBP-3 and the Sadowsky with VTC...

    The bass in question is a swamp ash bass, maple neck with Nordstrand split coils...

    Thanks!
     
  2. The Sadowsky is a 2 band where the OBP-3 is a 3 band. I've owned 3 basses with the OBP-3 and all 3 of them had a very modern tone and neither of them had a bypass/passive switch. The VTC is a nice alternative if you want to go passive for a more natural tone but I like being able to crank my mids so I prefer a 3 band.
     
  3. Infidelity

    Infidelity Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    Melbourne, FL
    +1 I tried a Fender Jazz w/ fralins and OBP-3 and I agree its really modern to my ears..
     
  4. Lincoln

    Lincoln

    Nov 3, 2006
    I am a sucker for the passive sound when I want to go "Richard Bona" with my fingerstyle. I'm not a grindy mid range guy, but I love the Marcus Miller slap sound...

    I had a the band Glockenklang and loved it but I never touched the mid selector. Just the bass and treble and the on-off passive bypass...

    Now many people have said the Sadowsky pre is modern and hi-fi...is this a different modern hi-fi than the aggie?
     
  5. It's been a while since I played both my Valenti and a Sadowsky side by side so I really don't remember the characteristics of the Sad pre compared to the OBP-3. However, I do like the fact that the Sad pre can be bypassed and act as passive controls. Whether or not it's a true bypass, I don't know, but a lot of the modern tone also comes from the pickups and wood selection too. IME, single coils and ash/maple will give you a modern Marcus Miller-like tone, where alder/rosewood and humbuckers may be a bit warmer. YMMV.
     
  6. Lincoln

    Lincoln

    Nov 3, 2006
    Very true, which is why I included the wood and pickups in the thread...
    I'm wondering if it will be worth the expense to get the Sadowsky pre...
     
  7. I would suggest finding a Sadowsky or another bass with a Sadowsky pre and playing it. See if that does it for you.
     

  8. Had numerous basses over the years with both pre's. OB-3... obviously three band and cut and boost, with, as far as I know, no passive tone control (I would never have a pre in any bass without a passive tone control myself). The output of the OB-3 is quite low (not really an issue, that's what the gain control is for on an amp).

    The OB-3's bass control and treble control are deeper and more sizzle, respectively (there is a lot more to voicing a pre than just the center/shelving points... slope, Q, all that stuff plays a part). This is typical of three band EQ's, where usually the bass and treble points are moved out a bit so as to not overlap with the mid control so much.

    The OB-3 is quite 'hi fi' and modern sounding to me, whereas the SAdowsky is aggressive and meaty. The Sadowsky also has a passive bypass, which is also key for me, especially with instruments that have a bit of vintage passive tone capability.

    Sadowsky all the way for me for the reasons above. I am also one who finds an active, on-board mid control kind of 'artificial' sounded when boosted, and a bit too wide Q for the most part to really cut problem area's (the amazing FBass pre being the exception for me).

    Anyway, both obviously first rate units, but different in almost every way... tone, operation, features, output... everything.
     
  9. Lincoln

    Lincoln

    Nov 3, 2006
    I've heard enough instruments with the Sadowsky pre to know it when I hear it, but I've not heard enough basses with Aggie OBP-3 in there to know them...

    Again, I love the Sadowsky sound and I love having the passive tone roll-off....Once the bass gets here next week I'll be able to judge better for myself. I was just curious as to people's thoughts who've already experienced the two...
     
  10. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    virtually every preamp can be wired with a passive tone ctrl. Comparing the 2band Sad to Aguilar 3 band is not a fair contest (they could not be farther apart).
    What kind of layout do you have (planing to have) on your bass?
    If you want a very transparent pre when set flat, boost/cut, with true bypass and passive tone, output stage gain level and a perfect match to your pups, there's only one I could suggest.... ;)

    PM me....

    M
     
  11. I was just about to mention that the Nordstrand three band would be a very good option versus the OB-3!:D
     
  12. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    in general, I would agree. I did measure the obp3 with an analyzer and the low ctrl is way up around 80/100hz. That's a lot of sound information around those frq.
    That's why even with a tiny boost it sounds like there's a big jump....

    IME
     
  13. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    The OP is looking for a 2band if I understand correct, right?

    Nordstrand has a 2 band pre with a 2 frq point switch...
     
  14. Lincoln

    Lincoln

    Nov 3, 2006
    The instrument I purchased has the Aggie in it already...I'm trying to determine if it's worth the expense to get the Sadowsky pre...It's a 4 hole config already so it would appear I can more easily swap out the pre...( with some soldering and maybe a tech doing it for me...)
     
  15. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Do you like best Vol/Vol or Vol/Blend?

    with 4 ctrl you could do:

    V-V-T-stk T/B (A/P on one of the 3 non stk ctrl)
    V-B-T-stk T/B (A/P on V or T)
    stk V/V-T-T-B (A/P on one of the 3 non stk ctrl)
    stk V/T-B-T-B (A/P on one T or B ctrl)

    If you have a rear cavity and there's space, you could also drill a new extra hole and have all single pot (no stacked)...
     
  16. Lincoln

    Lincoln

    Nov 3, 2006
    I'd prefer V, V...though having the Blend made life simple on the fly....

    So maybe V, B, T, T/B stack?
     
  17. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    I've always preferred a V B than V V for life settings....

    If you switch often from active to passive I would go with the A/P switch on the volume pot, to compensate for vol jump (If you have the active ctrls non flat)
     
  18. I have a OBP-3 and I'm happy with it . I have however not tried a sadowsky .

    I will say this though both the sadowsky and Aguilar are FET circuits and you cant go wrong with them .

    So is sadowsky basically a OBP-1 with a vintage tone control and engineered to operate with a 9V ??
     
  19. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz

    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    You can do whatever you want with the OBP-x. Both of my Stambaugh's have them - my white bass is Volume / Volume / Passive tone / T / M / B with switches for series/parallel, mid shift, and active/passive. My fretless is volume / mag piezo blend / passive tone / T / M / B with a switch for mid shift.
     
  20. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    That's a pretty common set up with many others pre's, indeed...
     

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