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sorry, another J-Retro Question...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by nada-san, Mar 20, 2003.

  1. I want to enhance the sound of my cheap jazz-bass and wonder what is better to do first...: change the pickups or buy a j-retro?? what is the better sound improvement? i really like to have that typical low-mid growl in my sound.
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    It depends partly on how much money you have / want to spend.

    I'm sure buying some good pickups will make a big difference by itself, but I'd say that installing just the j-retro will have more of an impact.

    It also depends on your philosophy on eq'ing your signal.
    Some people prefer their basses passive, and do all eq'ing externally - whether in a stompbox or amp. The J-Retro will give you an incredible amount of tone control onboard your bass - bass/treble boost, mid sweep/boost+cut, bright in addition to the usual blend and master volume controls.

    I have a U-Retro in a Fender Hot Rod Precision with EMG's and love it.
  3. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have a J-Retro in my Skyline JO 5.

    Davidmw has given you some great food for thought. There are a number approaches to this, and it all depends on your personal preferences, so only you can decide which way to go. I can say that the J-Retro will most probably make a bigger difference in tone than changing the pick up. That said, once you have the J-Retro installed I think that you'll probably eventually replace the pick ups too.

    The counterpoint to this would be to replace the pick ups first. As Davidmw mentioned, some players prefer passive. Furthermore, I have to tell you that I know many people out there who love the sound of their passive jazz bass which is equipped with quality replacement jazz pick ups and no preamp. They get plenty of growl from their passive bass too. If you think you might be one of these guys, you should replace the pick ups first --- you might really like how the bass sounds, and you may not want to go with the J-Retro. This alternative would be cheaper since most Jazz pick up sets are less than the $250 price of the J-Retro. Then again, if you don't like it, you can always add the J-Retro later.

    All good options here.
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    one other option: if you have more than one bass that you want to upgrade the sound on then you may want to consider the JRetro stomp box. That way, all your basses can benefit while only dropping the money once.
  5. thank you all !! I´am really surprised by your sympathy. I now have all the informations to think all over.... this was the first time that i posted a thread and surely not the last....
  6. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    I might be inclined to work from the sound source through the signal chain. That is to say I would do the pickups first. Get a good set, be they passive or active and go from there. I'd do the preamp next. My thinking is that if the pickups aren't great by running them through a great preamp (which, based on the testimony on this board and elsewhere, the J-Retro certainly is) all you may be doing is polishing a turd so to speak. If you do like the sound of you pickups though, the J-Retro maybe a good route. Of course YMMV

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