The John East preamp club

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

  1. halvoric


    Apr 4, 2007
    Oak Park, IL

    Mine is a Warmoth J with J-Retro, a Seymour Duncan Antiquity Jazz pickup and a Nordstrand MM4.2 single-coil. I also added a 3-position switch to have Series/single/Parallel option on the MM puckup (but it turns out I usually like the sound of series). Hipshot tuners (drop-D) and bridge.

  2. soaf


    Jul 27, 2013
    What bridge is on this? Very cool.
  3. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Contributor- Bass Musician Magazine
    That's the standard Lakland bridge
  4. Lo6man


    Aug 7, 2014
    photo 1.JPG I love these preamps! I have two installed in my Tobias'.
    Can't say enough good things about them...
    This one has the J-retro
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  5. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Contributor- Bass Musician Magazine
    Lo6man likes this.
  6. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    That is one beautiful instrument. Big ups.
  7. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I don't have individual pictures of the John East equipped basses so I'll post a group shot ... there's a J-Retro in the fretless Overwater jazz bass, a J-Retro Deluxe in the fretted Overwater jazz and a U-Retro in the Modulus Q5.

  8. ac11367


    Apr 26, 2007
    Flushing, NY

    Here's a DJ Retro on my Lakland Skyline DJ4. I love the preamp immensely, but would love a better tonal control in bypass mode, given that my pickups are Nordy NJ4.
  9. Brisbeard


    Dec 15, 2012
    Sorry if this isn't too relevant but has anyone tried the EMG Geezer Butler p-j pickups with an East retro preamp? The pickups come with a solderless pot rig but I'm guessing the pickup wires could be detached and fitted to the East preamp?
  10. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    I've been waiting for the same thing. A couple of years ago I dropped a spare East preamp I had into a Squier Jag SS. Sounds great with the stock P/J set but I've heard so much hype about the Geezer set I've kinda wanted to try them.
  11. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    001.JPG I've got a u-retro delux and a emg p40x/mm5tw in this warmoth fretless gecko sounds awesome, next time I'd like to try the flat response version.
    Kubicki Fan likes this.
  12. 76jazzbass

    76jazzbass Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    I put a J Retro in my '76 Jazz and love it! Sounds great and very helpful to have such control in a live setting. Only thing that I didn't like was the knobs. While they're high quality, they looked too small to my eyes so I modded Fender Deluxe knobs. Looks more at home on my bass but the top stacked knob is hard to grip with sweaty fingers. Does anyone know where to get black metal knobs like the ones that come with the East but are the size of stock Jazz knobs?

    peper61 likes this.
  13. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC

    What does that switch do?
  14. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Contributor- Bass Musician Magazine
    Trying to remember, I sold that bass a while ago. I think the switch was either series/parallel or a coil tap for the dolf-bass culture pickups. It ended being usable in only one setting so it stayed put mostly
  15. Stonetown Lows

    Stonetown Lows Commercial User

    Jan 23, 2014
    Ringwood NJ
    Owner, M&V Guitars &Pickups
    Bumpity Bump! Has anyone been able to get in touch with John East recently? My 2008 U Retro died, and I emailed asking him about servicing it a couple of times, and he hasn't responded. Normally he gets back to me pretty quickly. Has anyone else tried to contact him recently?
  16. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    Just installed a set of Nordy NJ5fs pickups in my Am. Std. Jazz V. Really nice pickups. My J Retro should arrive tomorrow. I'm working on a recording stock, NJ5s, and soon NJ5s with J Retro. The difference between the stock pickups and the NJ5s pickups are pretty subtle. The Nordys have a cleaner top end and due to the radiused pole pieces make for very even volume string to string. The biggest benefit is that the split coil Nordys are DEAD QUIET. Soloed or otherwise...just silent.

    I can't wait to get my J Retro in and I sincerely hope it makes the bass rise up and want to eat small children. I watched a video of John East who was demoing a universal preamp for a guy who said he wanted his bass to "sound dangerous". Yes! That's what I want....when I want it. But when I just want a passive Jazz I can flip the switch.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
    DaveAceofBass and GBassNorth like this.
  17. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Try Facebook
  18. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    My J Retro arrived today and I promptly installed it, noodled around a bit, and recorded some samples.

    The recordings are made running through my "normal" pedal board rig. I have some compression and EQ settings that I should have turned off, but I didn't, so I recorded all the tracks with the same settings. So please keep in mind that these recordings won't be an accurate representation of how the pickups and pre-amp sound "flat". But you can get a good comparison.

    I also did not want to squish the files by making them MP3s so I used an uncompressed format. Sorry, you can't preview them off Dropbox. You'll need to download them and listen with a nice set of headphones. Your iPhone speaker won't do them justice. :)

    So here's the Dropbox link....and's an Abba song...but only 34 seconds. I had to find something with no bass in the track to record over.

    Dropbox - Bass
  19. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    Here's my JRetro on my 72 Jazz. Bought the bass in 92 with EMG J set in it. Around 2003, I decided it was time for a major change up to the bass for no other reason than to change the bass up, I had no problems with the EMG sound. Got the East and a set of Bart 9J1. Very different sound, can get a little more traditional tones as well as modern tones.
    GBassNorth likes this.
  20. sstillwell


    Nov 20, 2008
    J-Retro01 with Lindy Fralin split-coil Jazz in a parts FrankenJazz (note the Precision Special Jazz neck on a REAL Jazz (ok, MIM) body). I also have a U-Retro 4-knob in a Precision Special. Love 'em both.

    Bill Whitehurst likes this.
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