The John East preamp club

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by datsaxguy, May 16, 2013.

  1. I have a U-Retro Deluxe in my Thumb BO 6 Broadneck. It kills! Fantastic versatility, not to mention that in preamp bypass mode, I get the bass' pure natural tone!
  2. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    The club came too late for me... But I've loved every pre I ever had from East. J Retro Dlx, U Retro 4 and 5 knob, and ACG-02... All good!
  3. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    Cool, a club for my favorite preamps!
    Count me in, here's a bass I built a couple of years back...
    It has a custom built East preamp that John built to my specs. Its an ultra flexible three knob dual preamp configuration on a jazz plate with a front mounted jack. The control layout is:
    Vol/vol stack for the P/MM pickups,
    bass/treb/bright stack for the neck pu voiced for vintage p bass pu
    bass/treb/bright stack for the bridge pickup voiced for vintage stingray
    Toggle switch for neck/both/bridge pickups
    Stereo output jack
    I have several other East preamps but this is my favorite control layout and the best sounding of the bunch. John can custom build just about anything you can imagine.
    ccbass71 likes this.
  4. Fender CS Jazz and a Fender Jaco fretless that I just put the J-East Retro and some Fender noiseless p/u's in yesterday. Very pleased with both!

    Attached Files:

  5. I have one. Ledbelli 5 string, i love this preamp nice and clean. The best i have had yet.



  6. What's the beat place to go for east preamp support?

    Do you guys have an email for East?

    To add to this my u retro has a weird hissing thing going on I I turn the volume down sharply. If its not that it sends a really windy type of signal to the amp which causes the limiting light to turn on when I turn the bass down. It seems the issue isn't there when I replace the battery but I have a hard time believing a battery should be replaced every two weeks....
  7. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Contributor- Bass Musician Magazine
    [email protected] - he's generally quick to respond. With the issue you're having I wouldn't ask anyone else. Go to the source
  8. datsaxguy


    Oct 28, 2008
    Well, I sold my DJ5 but I'm gonna do something I have not seen done before. I'm going to put a retro in my Nordy VJ5. I will use the side jack on my bass and use that space on the pre to mount 2 small switches for dual/single coils in my pups.

    Once I send it to Carey Ill post pics. J retro forever.
  9. nervous

    nervous Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Beautiful Central, NY
    Hey, just found this group. I am so in! I have two Lakland DJ5's both outfitted with East DJ Retro's. Wouldn't have it any other way now!
  10. nervous

    nervous Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Beautiful Central, NY
    I just posted this as a standalone question before I found this thread so perhaps this is a better avenue as a more focused audience:

    I have a quick question regarding my Lakland DJ5 with an East DJ Retro in which I am trying to go from the normal J/J configuration to a P/J configuration. The DJ Retro in conjunction with the stock Lakland/Hanson pickups works just beautifully and I wish I could leave well enough alone. And perhaps after this last attempt to go P/J I will.

    Tonight I installed a set of Nordstrand NP5 pickups in the P position and the issue I am having is that it seems with the blend pot either full P or full J I have the correct output. What is odd is that when I pan from center to bridge J there is a significant dropping out or 'choking' if you will of the output from just off center to almost full bridge where the output then comes back. Not at all the way it worked in the J/J setup.

    Both pickups are wired white + and black - . Is it a possible phase issue? I will try switching one of them by reversing their colors at the board connection. Which one would be preferred I don't know. I guess it's easy enough to try both but I hope it would do no damage to the pre. I had read somewhere previously that some Laklands came wired with one pickup reversed wired, perhaps for this reason?

  11. nervous

    nervous Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Beautiful Central, NY
    And, for posterity, here is an interesting bit of information provided to me by Mr. East himself that I know I was not aware of:

    Just one point, the flatest setting is with bass fully backed off, which I expect you're familiar, it's boost only.

    To set retro up with a rig etc:

    * Go to passive mode with volume at max, with both pickups and set the volume of the rig to a good level.

    * Back off the volume and then switch to active.

    * Set the EQ and adjust the volume to taste.

    * Backing off the volume effectively creates more headroom.

    As per the instructions, the retro is not designed to be run at full volume in active mode.

    Remember that the retro volume control, in active, should be thought of more like a slider in a sound mixer channel strip, where it isn't the norm to have them all at max. (I appreciate that it is often the norm to have the volume at max with passive basses) The more EQ you have, the more they tend to be backed off.
  12. Jepus


    Apr 1, 2004
    I've only had my retro about a week but I've been running the volume wide open in active. Sounds great to me.
    Mr_O'B likes this.
  13. CElton

    CElton I'm a new note finder...

    This is what I would try first.
  14. nervous

    nervous Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Beautiful Central, NY

    Did that this AM on the NP5 and it corrected the issue. Certainly happy with that result. Thank you.
  15. cool thread bump
  16. Funkinthetrunk

    Funkinthetrunk Registered User Supporting Member

    I love John's preamps as I have them in my basses...and John is a total class act, a great guy. I really want his SPM-2 preamp!
  17. 5StringPocket

    5StringPocket Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Has anyone tried a J-Retro Deluxe in a Carvin SB5000? If so, how did it work out? I really like that bass with the J99A single coil pickups but would like a little wider tonal palette.
  18. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Cool. I too have an ACG EQ02.
  19. Funkinthetrunk

    Funkinthetrunk Registered User Supporting Member

    Personally, I really dig these new Carvin SB4000 is a monster. I just don't think a J-Retro will bring more to the table.

    Do you have the mid option? Always get the mid option. You can add the passive tone and active/passive switching yourself.
  20. 5StringPocket

    5StringPocket Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Thanks for your input. The preamp really does sound good but I didn't think of getting the mid option and adding the active/passive switching later. I actually use that switching with the high treble rolloff quite a bit. There has to be synergy between pickups and preamp to make good mojo. It's more than just looking at specs and hoping the mix 'n match works. I'm sure the J-Retro works well with a number of pickups but you're the 2nd SB4000/SB5000 owner who has indicated "It ain't broke, don't try to fix it."
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