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Super 55's + Audere?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Warpeg, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    The Fender Super 55's in my Jazz Bass sound great. In fact, they are probably my favorite pickups of all time....and I've tried the myriad of makes and models out there. However, I'd like to have more tonal control on the bass, without "coloring" the natural sound of the Super 55's. My idea is to throw an Audere 4-band (Classic) drop-in plate in my Jazz bass. Does anyone have any experience/feedback on Super 55's with an Audere preamp?
  2. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Has anyone tried this combination?
  3. naetog

    naetog Supporting Member

    May 26, 2006
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Not specifically with those pickups, but I love my Audere.
    I think it would do exactly what you want as far as control without the added color.

    I have a 4 band in my fretless and it's perfect for what I want out of it.

    They are very easy to install too.
  4. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    I haven't used Audere, but it's important that people understand that preamps add "color" to some degree.

    I'm like you, I want to like the sound of my pickups passive, otherwise I'm using my preamp's "color" as a band aid rather than an enhancement.

    If you get an Audere, post some clips.
  5. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Well, I took the plunge and recently bought an Audere Jazz Series 4-band for my Super 55-equipped MIM Jazz. The best overall comment I can give is that this preamp really packs quite a punch for such a low price. Here is a bit more on my experience with it:

    First Look: After taking the preamp out of the box, my first impression was that this was a very high-quality unit. The electronics appeared well-designed and tolerances were low. A quick question came to mind: "How does Audere sell such a well-made unit for only $99?"....

    Installation: The install was simple, straight-forward, and quick. After all was said and done, I doubt the whole project even took 20 minutes. Although I was prepared to solder, no soldering was necessary. All that was needed were a few different sizes of screwdrivers, cutters, and pliers. Bonus points for Audere's battery-securing design; the battery is held well in place and will be simple to replace in the future.

    Tone: Audere did a pretty good job of accurately describing this preamp on their website. It is transparent. It did a great job of letting my Super 55's sound exactly as they should when the EQ was set flat. The best part, however, is that the Audere almost seems like it is "designed" or "voiced" for these Super 55's. What I mean is that every type of frequency boost or cut on the Audere seems to work very naturally with the tone and response of the Super 55's. The Audere + Super 55 combination just really works, if you know what I mean. It's usable. It's natural. It fits. Period

    Noise: Being that both the Super 55's and the Audere are known for being noise-free, coupled with the fact that my Jazz Bass is fully shielded, I found absolutely no hints of noise no matter what setting I used. This is a first for me. I've owned several dozens of active basses over the years. ALL of them have had at least slight noise, especially when the treble knob is turned up. This setup has NO noise....I didn't think it was even possible.

    Band Setting: The big test. How does the Super 55 + Audere combination sound with a full band? Sure, the combination sounds great on its own, but will it sit well in the mix? Will the preamp respond easily and appropriately when on-the-fly EQ adjustments are made? For some background, my band is hard rock/alternative rock with two guitars, drums, two vocalists, and bass. The pre-Audere Jazz bass did okay sitting in the mix before, but it needed just a hint of help. Well, we went through our set with the Audere-equipped Jazz Bass. The first song is a loud classic rock type and the EQ was set flat; it sounded just as it always had. The second song was a modern progressive rock style. A slight boost to the low-mid and treble knobs pushed the bass's tone to front and center of the song, but in a natural and pleasant way. Everyone liked it. The next several songs were a mixture of various rock styles. I continued to experiment to really see what this combination can do. Ultimately, my findings are that 1.) The Audere really lets the natural tone of the Super 55's come through, 2.) The Audere's controls are very user-friendly on the fly, and 3.) This combination will not make your bass sound like a new animal. It will be the same bass, but much more versatile. The combination does an excellent job of being used in a live setting!
    Bodeanly likes this.
  6. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Hmm....maybe I found out why the Super 55's sound so good with the Audere. On the Audere FAQ page, it states the following:

    "What is a Good but Low Cost Hum Canceling Jazz pickup?

    I will assume you mean for a 4 string - so look for a pair of Fender Super 55 pickups (which are not made anymore) - they can be cheap and are really good - much better IMO than some of Fender's other Jazz hum canceling pickups due to their side by side coil arrangement instead of the vertical coil arrangement that Fender used on the Jazz hum canceling bass pickups."
  7. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    I have yet to hear an Audere make a pickup sound worse. Maybe a little bit brighter but you can always cut highs.
  8. WesW

    WesW <>< Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2002
    Lynn Haven, FL
    I have this setup - Super 55's with an Audere. Great sounding bass - love mine. It's a little brighter than I like - but flats fixed that. :)
  9. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Just for fun, I thought I'd share a picture of my knob changes. In the spirit of the early 1960's stacked knob chrome/black Jazz Bass controls, I had Audere help me out with getting chrome/black stacks on my bass....

    Audere stacked chrome black.

    The sales rep from Audere explained to me that he has B-stock of black bottom knobs. He sold a set of three to me pretty inexpensively; I can't find a single thing wrong with any of the three knobs. Once they arrived, I ditched the stock chrome bottom knobs and threw the black ones on in their place. Instant early 1960's vibe. ;)
    walterw, NigelD and WesW like this.

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