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Stellartone Tonestyler AND Aguilar OBP 3 Band Onboard EQ Boost/Cut - Is it Possible?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Steviewevie95, Apr 21, 2020.


  1. So I have been considering an upgrade in the electronics compartment in my new Warrior 5 String I got today. It was a graduation gift. Truly a gorgeous feeling and looking bass with a bolt on neck that sounds awesome and makes me a lot more at ease with gigging with it. It also plays like absolute butter in comparison to my:

    Fender 1968 Telecaster Bass, I have two SCPB pu's in a 60's jazz position with a T/V.
    Musicman Bongo 5 HS Piezo
    Musicman Stingray Classic 4
    Warwick Fortress Masterman 5 w/ upgraded Darkglass 3 Band eq.
    All unique, none nearly as beautiful playing.

    It currently has a Bartolini Warrior Brand Pre Amp with the "Sparkle" circuit removed. I don't hate the pre amp but I am strongly considering something a lil' fatter, creamy highs, and a clean midrange.

    The pickups are Bartolini Split Coil "Candybar" J soapbars. They sound F***ing awesome and I love how they don't have the typical ears like a normal J pickup.

    To distill it down into the simplest question:

    If I put in an Aguilar OPB 3 with a T/B - M - T - V/B (Push Pull Mid and Active Passive switch 2 way toggle) setup can I make the Tone pot a Stellar Tone Styler and still keep the OPB?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  2. Warrior2.jpg Warrior1.jpg Warrior3.jpg
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The guy in charge of Stellartone is extremely helpful. He could probably tell you.
     
    Steviewevie95 and mcnach like this.
  4. I would imagine yes, if you wire it the Stellartone before the preamp.
     
    Steviewevie95 likes this.
  5. Waiting for the reply at the moment but I am just super curious about being able to fine tune the presets on the Stellartone with a good preamp like the Aguilar OBP-3! It seems like that it could give a lot of tone variation!!
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It probably could, and I'm sure the Stellartone guy will have a couple ideas of his own as well. I called him with a pretty simple question, and ended up on the phone over an hour! Dude loves his work :D
     
    mcnach and Stumbo like this.
  7. Hello, Steve -

    Thanks for your question. NO - an active pre-amp, whether installed internally in a bass, or externally in pedals or amplifiers, uses different component values for all pots, resistors and capacitors, as required for low-impedance circuitry. For this reason, a hi-Z ToneStyler cannot replace a lo-Z tone control or potentiometer.

    Best regards,

    Don Campbell
    Stellartone Sales & Support

    The reply I received. It looks like it is a no to my question but I thought it would be interesting to have preset eq's then fine tune them with a high quality preamp unt! But it looks like it isn't possible. It sucks but I cannot argue with physics :-/
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Don Campbell...that's right! Couldn't remember his name. Nice guy...sorry it didn't work out but his answer makes sense.
     
  9. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    I don't think your question was understood though.
    A Tonestyler is a glorified tone pot. As long as you don't use active blend, a Tonestyler will work fine as a bleed between volume output and preamp input.
     
    andronik, Passinwind and mcnach like this.
  10. I'm not sure how you phrased the question, but I suspect he didn't understand what you meant.

    A Tonestyler is equivalent in some ways to a standard passive tone control, both being high Z etc. You can mount one wherever you can mount a standard passive tone control, so it *should* be ok between the pickup and your preamp, because a passive tone can be installed there just fine.
     
    Passinwind likes this.
  11. Interesting! I'll shoot him an email and make my question better understood. I am really curious about this setup. seems like it could allow so many great tones. I love the Stellar Tones and love my active basses so a combination of the both would be amazing. Currently waiting for a reply but if it is possible I feel like I could have a bass with a kagillion ( I know that's spelled wrong ) configurations!
     
  12. Hello, Steve -

    Thanks for clarifying the desired uses. I misunderstood your initial question - I thought you wanted to swap out an active tone pot mounted inside your BASS AMPLIFIER HEAD OR COMBO... not just swapping out an internal tone control located within your active instrument.

    We do get questions from owners of amps which lack Ampeg's popular 5-way parametric mid-range frequency switches. In these cases, you cannot "crack open your amp" and replace the mid-range pot with a ToneStyler... and end up with Ampeg's benefit. My apologies for assuming this was the essence of your inquiry!

    To clarify the limitations on installing an on-board ToneStyler inside of an instrument which also features an active preamp module:

    - The pickups must be "standard passive hi-Z pickups"
    - The preamp module must have a hi-Z input sensitivity; this works for both hi-Z and lo-Z pickups
    - The preamp CANNOT be designed to work solely with active (battery-powered) pickups. Some older Bartolini modules are built this way. :-(
    - The instrument may have an active/passive mode switch which bypasses the entire active module, and saves the battery... leaving only the basic passive operation in place.
    - If all of the above criteria applies to the instrument, the passive ToneStyler WILL WORK IN BOTH ACTIVE AND PASSIVE MODES. This means you can adjust the ToneStyler, and also adjust the active treble, mid-range and bass tone controls. I believe this compatibility is what you are seeking.


    The most common and successful "swap" in an active instrument with passive pickups is the replacement of the "passive" tone pot... that's the one that continues to work normally after you switch out of "active mode" and go into "passive mode". Typically, the several "active" tone knobs will instantly go dead when you enter passive mode, or when the battery fails, and you have no output until you switch into "passive mode". The passive tone pot will never go dead.

    A popular example of such an instrument is the Fender MIM "Deluxe" J-Bass and PJ-Bass. Depending upon the exact model and year of manufacture, these active basses may include an old-school passive tone pot mounted nearby the active knobs (boost & cut, center detent notch is flat EQ; often "stacked" dual-concentric controls). The idea being: if the battery suddenly dies, you are not left without any functional tone knob.

    However, not all active/passive basses feature a true passive tone pot. Some feature a mid-range control which is part of the active tone stack. When the battery goes dead, or you switch into passive mode, NONE of the tone controls will produce any audible effect. In these instruments, it's possible to remove the active mid-range pot, connect two fixed resistors to the pot's jumper wires to maintain a "flat" mid-range response, then mount the passive ToneStyler in the vacant 3/8" drilled hole. You simply connect The ToneStyler to the "pre-volume" hi-Z pickup output(s), the same as when the bass is 100% passive. Provided that the active module features the required "hi-Z input sensitivity", the ToneStyler will work perfectly in both active & passive modes. If the module is designed for "lo-Z pickups ONLY", then the ToneStyler will do very little in active mode, but will suddenly come to life when switching to passive mode. And YES, the pickups need to be "old-school" passive pickups for this to work.

    I apologize for this rambling and repetitive summary! It would take me an hour to edit it down to a few succinct and clear instructions. This way, I can respond quickly, but you are stuck reading the "draft" version of my reply. Thanks in advance for your patience.

    Please let me know if this reply has answered your questions, or merely clouded the waters? Have a great weekend -


    Best regards,

    Don Campbell
    Stellartone Sales & Support
    2728 W. Main St. Unit 99
    MEDFORD, OREGON, U.S.A. 97501
    (541) 292-8953
    stylersales@stellartone.com
    www.stellartone.com

    So it is possible!! Also awesome to know Stellartone is about an hour drive from my home!! I am very happy by the tones I can create now >:)
     
  13. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    A very helpful and detailled answer.
     
    Steviewevie95 likes this.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, I'd say the Barts and Aggie preamp qualify for a Tonestyler. Don will throw you a bunch of info all at once, but he's good at explaining it. He saved my 09 Precision when it had a Fender 62 Original in it (nothing original about it except the look). Wired me up a harness with a Tonestyler and a stacked volume/tone pot that got a ton of different sounds. I eventually switched over to the EMG Geezers in all my P's so I don't need it anymore, but one of these days I think I'm going to try it with the Geezer just to see what happens.
     
  15. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I would wire in the "tone" styler for passive-only use:
    WIRING_MOD_SW003__01472.1471897911.jpg
    Just connect the "tone" styler to one of those top lugs on your active/passive switch & then it will only be engaged in passive mode.
     
    Steviewevie95 likes this.
  16. Wow, that's an answer and a half! (in the best possible way)

    Awesome.

    It makes me even happier that I bought a Tonestyler. I like people like that who clearly love what they do and don't mind explaining things to 'the little people'. It's the same with John East. I'm a nobody, and when I first contacted him about maybe modifying one of his Stingray MMSR preamps he was supernice and made what I wanted for no extra cost (I lie, he had to order a special pot he doesn't normally use, so I paid for that, full stop).
     
    Steviewevie95 likes this.
  17. John East is the other one I am strongly considering when it comes to preamps!
     
    mcnach likes this.
  18. Can't go wrong there!

    If what he has is not exactly what you want, don't hesitate contacting him. If what you want is something that can be done with some minor alterations to an of his stock preamps, he's generally able to modify things to suit you.
     
    Steviewevie95 likes this.
  19. I like having custom stuff so that makes me super happy!
     
    mcnach likes this.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Feb 24, 2021

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