1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

SB 2 Preamp question

Discussion in 'G&L Bass Forum' started by stoneman1, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. stoneman1


    Aug 20, 2007
    I own a new SB 2 and really like it. I would like to get a preamp to control the tone to get a warmer rounder sound.
    There is so many on the market, some expensive, I am looking for something simple but would welcome any feedback.
    Has anybody has any experience with this?
  2. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Ocoee, TN
    What about using concentric pots and going with a passive V/T V/T setup? I have been thinking about doing something like this.

    Is there anyone out there in TB land that has tried it? Or that could simly offer a little advice?
  3. snappytom


    Aug 17, 2005
    My SB-2 is used and came to me with a stacked V/V pot and a tone pot. While my experience with a stock SB-2 is limited, it seems that the tone control really opens up the sound possibilities on this bass.
    Adding a preamp (going active ?) would IMO be overkill. The MFD pickups on the SB-2 are extremely powerful.
  4. stoneman1


    Aug 20, 2007
    I think having the tone on the bass would make it perfect.

    No being that electronical I wonder if putting a tone control on the SB 2 is dramatic.
  5. quickervicar

    quickervicar Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Lancaster, PA
    I stand by my statement that the SB-2 circuit needs no help. It just needs patience. Want is warmer & rounder? Turn the bridge p/u way down & back the neck off to 7. Rock grind? neck @ 10, bridge @ 8. Nasal snarl? neck @ 10, bridge @ 10.

    Perhaps it's just my particular bass, but I can cover anything from Geddy Lee to James Jamerson with just those two knobs.
  6. earlgray


    Jul 12, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    IMO, putting a preamp in an SB-2 would be a waste of time & money. My SB-2 does incredible warm & round if you put the neck volume @ about 80-90% and the bridge vol @ around 0->20%, depending on the amount of growl & cut you want.

    I also recommend TI Jazz Flats. They have an incredibly good tone on G&Ls and give it a thick, fat sound. When I want the big sound, I play fingerstyle almost exactly between the end of the fretboard and the neck pickup. That's a great spot for big tone on a bass.

    If none of those float your boat, another solution is to get an outboard preamp...its cheaper and you can use it only when you need it. And, you can test it out so you'll know what you're getting, unlike having a preamp installed in the bass.

  7. cloudermilk

    cloudermilk Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2004
    Houston, Texas
  8. mellofello


    Mar 10, 2006
    personally I get a nice warm tone with my SB-2 by turning my amp way up and playing very lightly, I also get much more sustain this way. it's always going to growl a little though, lol. That's what they do.
  9. saxofunk


    Jul 25, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Stop right there. Really liking your new bass is the best reason to not modify it.

    +1! There are oodles of outboard preamps to consider. Some of the boutiquey ones are even reasonably priced.
  10. 3dbdown


    Dec 15, 2007
    Have you tried the Sans-Amp Bass driver from Tech-21?? Besides a wealth of tones and sound settings, it's also an active DI which you would be able to plug into ANY mixing board, or power amp setup. That has the advantage of using it into a house PA system or recording setup without sacrificing your tone. Also has a phantom power supply, ground lift, and parallel "dry" output, which allows a mix of effected AND un-effected sound into a board or recording setup, using 2 channels. The sound engineer will love you! Or, just plug it in to your amp and play...........It is available in a "stomp-box" style, as well as a single rack space unit for about twice the price. I prefer the stomp box style, as I can grab it, my bass, and go anywhere, plug into anything, and sound any way, or just the way, I want.
  11. aachmerckx


    Jan 27, 2008
    I'll agree the Tech 21 sans amp bass driver really is a versatile preamp tone enhancer! the tube emulation although not perfect really is quite nice.
  12. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    I like my SB-2s passive (so far) with a tone modification.

    But if I were going to put a preamp in one that I would definitely look at is the John East BTB-01, probably paired with a stacked pot for master vol and j-pickup vol (you could do it as a regular stacked vol/vol pot as well if you wanted).
  13. SlimT


    Feb 27, 2002
    Eden Prairie, MN
    I'll hop on the outboard preamp bandwagon. :hyper:

    I've got a SB-2. I replaced the bridge pickup with a Nordstrand dual coil pickup, but that really put it the other side of warm and round - which is what I wanted.

    When I want warm and round, I'll one these things:

    Turn on the SIB Fatdrive. Nice unit - warm, round, tubey.

    Change channels on the Bassbone to slight mid scoop plus the SIB Fatdrive. Warmer, rounder, fatter.

    Crank the gain on the EHX Blackfinger in addition to the above. Starting to get into overdrive territory.

    Or, turn on the OD pedal with one or more of the above.

    One sans amp model allows you to program in three different settings (the BDDI?) I owned an Aguilar DB924 - very nice unit! The Sadowsky preamp pedal is raved about, too. It's got something they call a Vintage Tone Circuit that apparently is "the bomb!"

    The nice thing about the pedal option is that it's really easy to experiment with and you can use them on all of your basses.

    Another thing to consider is the varying levels of power in the preamp section of bass amps. The EQ section on one of my amps really doesn't change the tone that much even when cranked one way or another. On another amp, changing settings even 1 or 2 makes a HUGE difference. The EQ section of the sans amp, Fatdrive, Bassbone, and Aggie units are more like the second amp I mentioned.


    I find it hard to resist the urge to mess with pickups and onboard preamps on basses. I've done it three times and only been happy one of those times - lot's of labor $s down the tubes on mods. If you don't like a pedal, you can easily sell it, esp. those listed so far.
  14. skaelin


    May 24, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I use a Hartke Bass Attack preamp/Di w/ my SB2 and have gotten a wide diversity of sounds - tube distortion, funky slap, and all kinds of other sounds. I use that with an EBS multicomp and that's pretty much all I need. I am also using TI Jazz Flats which contribute to the nice fat funky sound I'm getting.

Share This Page