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Suggestions for replacing Fender OEM pre-amp

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by basskopf, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. guys,

    i have a new fender american deluxe jazz bass with active electronics. lots of noise, buzzing, etc.

    i have gone through (and followed the advice of) the talkbass shielding and electronics FAQ's with my local bass doctor. thanks to luknfur and others for the many tips. we have been through all the basics and eliminated a few problems on shielding, grounding, etc.

    however, i am not yet happy, as there is still too much noise, buzzing, scratching, etc. my next logical step is to replace the pre-amp.

    my questions:
    1. does anyone have experience replacing the original fender pre-amp on the american deluxe?
    2. can you recommend brands to me please?
    3. my tech is talking about bartolini... any opinions on compatibility with fender, specifically with the samarium cobalt noiseless j-pup's?

    many thanks for your time and inputs.
  2. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
  3. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch.

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    depends, do you want to keep it a 3 band pre? do you want a 2 band pre? sweepable mids? etc.... There is the aggie obp-1 which is 2 band boost only. An onboard Sadowsky pre which is also a 2 band boost only. Both can be wired with a bypass and VTC. You can get both with a 4 knob configuration and drops right into the existing route. I had the Sadowsky in my AM. Deluxe V for a bit and would still have it if I hadn't received a bad pot with the setup. The Aggie OBP-2 is a 2 band boost/cut. The Aggie obp-3 is a 3 band similar to the Fender setup but better. A U-retro is also an option. Audere also makes a similar one to the U-retro unless I'm mistaken. There's the Bart NTMB which is in most Laklands. 3 Band EQ. You can call Brian Barrett and order a Benavente Preamp. Demeter makes a comparable 3 band pre. It really depends on what you want. But for my money, I'm considering the Aggie stuff for my Deluxe.
  4. zach, thanks, good inputs. yes i want to keep the 3 band pre-amp and avoid drilling or cutting into the bass at all costs, e.g. looking for a set-up that supports the current layout, with side jack for amp for example.
  5. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch.

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I would suggest the Aggie OBP-3...get it setup like the fender pre is, vol, blend, stacked bass/treb, and mids on the last knob. should fit direct replacement for the fender pre...it can also be run on a 9v system or 18v for added headroom.. I'm not sure how much room you've got in your battery cavity, but if it's only enough for 1 9v you would avoid routing the battery cavity. The Aggies from what I understand and have heard myself are very versatile, very clean and transparent, probably moreso than the Fender pre, with lots of usable ranges...Plus it's a boost/cut system so you can really dial in what you need. That should work really well with the SCN pickups....I've heard lots of great things about those pups.
  6. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    That's odd. I used that pre, albeit a couple of years old and had nothing but nice quiet operations. I used a few different pickup set's with it before settling on on Bart 9J's for that particular bass.

    If I were replacing that pre, Audere is the one I'd go for.
  7. funky_bass_guy

    funky_bass_guy Guest

    Jul 30, 2004
    Sounds like a J Retro is perfect for you :)
  8. funky, yes. i am looking at the U Retro, which is the same as the J Retro but for basses without the aluminum plate in the front (mine has knobs only). seems john east gives excellent support too.
  9. PolkaHero


    Jan 5, 2002

    Sounds like an Audere JZ5D is perfect for you.:)

    Mine rocks!:bassist:
  10. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    A new American Deluxe with noise, buzzing, scratching? :confused: I have had two of these basses and have never experienced any of those problems. Sounds more like a service issue, not one of a bad design per se. Of course, there are numerous preamps available as upgrades- J retro, Aggie, Audere.
  11. petch, thanks. not sure what you mean by a service issue. bought it brand new from the shop, straight out of the box.

    there are many reports on talkbass of inconsistency in fender's quality.

    i have done many things so far: replaced batteries, had my tech line both the battery and main cavities, clean and take apart all the pots, get rid of a couple of grounding problems, etc. also bought a new GK microbass amp, seems to make less noise with this setup.

    but still not happy. have settled on the u retro (same as j retro essentially) by john east and will replace the preamp this week hopefully.

    thanks again,
  12. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    I simply meant that a new bass should have a warranty and the problem should be able to be be corrected if it is defective. I can understand wanting to upgrade though (don't we all :D )! Yep, inconsistent they are. Like everyone says, it is best to try Fenders before you buy. The latest Jazz I got was the winner only after I had auditioned two others at my home. The issues were playabilty and finish-related, not electronics. FYI, I played my buddies Deluxe J 5 with a J-retro last night and it sounded terrific. Good luck Tim! :)
  13. petch, thanks again. unfortunately i bought the bass essentially by mail from a dealer far away. they have been pretty good about it but it's difficult with the distance. my mistake and learning. i will only buy another fender if i can play it.

    have gotten rid of some of the noise so far but hoping very much that that u retro will get me to a near perfect level.

  14. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    Please give us a review after you get the U-retro installed. Inquiring minds want to know! :D

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