The John East preamp club

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

  1. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer (local only)
    Here is my Roscoe Classic Custom with the East J-Tone. I have one in my SX J bass as well and I have a Uni-Pre in my Roscoe LG3005.

    J-Tone: Vol/Vol Stack, Bass/Treble stack and Passive Tone with Push/Pull/Active/Passive.


  2. jwad


    Nov 10, 2008
    How do you like the J-Tone?
    Thinking about ordering one.
  3. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer (local only)
    If you like the way your passive bass sounds, in passive mode the East will sound the same. In active it really adds nice bass and highs without sounding over processed, the adjustment is more subtle compared to the J-Retro. It also comes with two extra plug in style capacitors so you can change the passive tone. You can set the bass/treble to boost only or boost/cut with a jumper.

  4. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    My Stambaugh with a custom East P-Retro


    Such a well designed/engineered preamp. John's designs are really elegant and I'm impressed at the build quality.

    To top it off, John was incredibly gracious with his time in my dealings with him.

    I'm a fan.
    PawleeP and David Jayne like this.
  5. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer (local only)
    Is that white pick up cover machined from a piece of Delrin?

  6. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I have no idea. You'd have to ask Larry at Aero.
  7. Jeff Roller

    Jeff Roller Jeff Roller Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2007
    Maryville, TN
    I'll play.
    Skjold David Dyson signature PSD5 with Skjold/East pre.
    IMG_2256.JPG IMG_2284.JPG
    J.Wolf and Mr_O'B like this.
  8. Mr_O'B


    Feb 22, 2015
    Jeff Roller likes this.
  9. Lakland DJ4 with a DJ-Retro. Great sounding preamp. John East is a pleasure to deal with BTW. Very responsive to emails.
  10. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I'm a fully crazed John East preamp fan boy!

    After having the J-Retro in my Jazz V and a Pope Flexcore in my Lakland Lakland was relegated to my #2 bass, as even with the couldn't compete with the Jazz. At first I thought it was because the big MM pickup in the bridge position was giving me a thinner sound. I twisted the knows and flipped the switches on the Flexcore preamp but never got the goodness I wanted.

    So I did the logical thing. I bought a John East Uni-Pre with all the bells and whistles. It required two less holes (ones used by the mid switches on the Flexcore) so I had to fill them with wood putty and paint them...but HOLY HELL....I should have just done the John East from the start. The Uni has the option to select "flat" or "preshape". Since John is far more knowledgeable about such things, I selected the that's what I have in my J-Retro I love so much. Folks...if you're shopping for a preamp....just stop. Buy the John East. I've had stock preamps in Fenders, Laklands, G&Ls, Peaveys, and Ibanez Prestiges as well as aftermarket preamps from Pope and Aguliar. Nothing even comes close to the quality and sound of the East preamps. They are dead quiet, very high quality, and even feel good would you turn the knobs. No flimsy feel. Very nicely weighted controls that aren't overly sensitive.

    So...I'm obviously happy. But what about other folks....the ones listening to me. Granted, I've not been playing bass very long....just a scant 7 years. But in that time, I've received the ubiquitous "sounds good man" or "nice bass". But since putting in the East preamps....playing the same basses....with the same sound guys and band leaders. Here are the comments I've received:

    "Is that a new bass? That thing sounds killer!" - it was the same Jazz bass as always...just not passive anymore

    "What did you do to your bass or rig? I pulled all EQ and compression off you and it's perfect"
    "I put in a new preamp from John East"
    "I don't know who that is...but don't change a thing. It's really full. It's perfect!" - conversation from sound guy regarding my Lakland with Uni-Pre

    "Your bass playing has dramatically improved" - no it didn' just sounds better

    "What kind of bass is that? It's awesome!" - comment from guitar player who was shocked it was just a Fender Jazz with some magic bits in it. :)

    I'd say that some of the magic is in the pickups, as I have Nordstrands in both my Jazz V and my Lakland...and they do make a difference....but I ran the same pickups using the Pope Flexcore and I just couldn't get the tone I wanted. Not that it was was a good preamp...but the East preamps are just amazing. That sweepable midrange control is the key.

    John's products are such that I feel compelled to tell folks about them even though I am not compensated by or associated with John East in any way. If you're in the Nashville area, and you want to give a J-Retro or Uni-Pre a spin....hit me up!
    PawleeP, GBassNorth and ctmullins like this.
  11. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Said it before, but I sure do love the BTB-01! It's my favorite two-band pre; it has all the right features for my style; it's high-quality and relatively affordable. I've grown to appreciate fewer controls on the bass, this plus a single volume (and pickup switch if more than one pickup) is just perfect for me!
    murphy likes this.
  12. Hillsidebass

    Hillsidebass Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2005
    San Angelo, Texas
    image.jpeg These will turn an old jazz into something very special.
    murphy and DaveAceofBass like this.
  13. Eugene.thomas87


    Nov 20, 2008
    Recently bought a jretro01, the bass I'm planning on putting it in, currently has emg jvx's, which I love, also have a Valenti prewired solderless obp2, more than likely take the emgs out, and do a parts build. Any recommendations on pickups to pair with the jretro, the bass is a 08 Fender MIA jazz std.
  14. lfbruschi


    Apr 13, 2010
    Greetings, I have an U-RETRO 01 DELUXE, my bass fell and bent and warped the potentiometers, which model and where can I buy them?
    Thank you
  15. Rev. Cornelius

    Rev. Cornelius Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Could someone please explain the pros and cons of the"Flat Response" vs the "Standard Curve?"

    wes stephenson likes this.
  16. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    The standard curve (to me) sounds like a gentle dip in the mids, or is it a slight boost in the highs and lows? Either way, that's what I hear. It's a nice contour when plugging into flat response speakers/monitors/etc...
    Flat is what it is: no pre-EQ applied, you are hearing what your pickups sound like through the preamp. This is ideal when playing through an amp that tends to have it's own colorful contours applied-which are usually mid dips.
    Keep in mind that the preamp buffers the signal and therefore the pickups are not nearly as loaded by the capacitance of the cable(s) getting to your amp. This causes the pickups to sound a little more open and bright.
    Mr_O'B likes this.
  17. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Contributor- Bass Musician Magazine
    I'll try. Flat response is fairly straightforward and I dont know how "flat" it is, but compared to the J-retro curve that you the have option of selecting with the Uni-Pre, it is pretty flat sounding.

    the "Standard Curve" as my ears hear it have a distinctive bump in the upper mids and bass region, creating kind of a scoop in the middle and lower mids, but not so much as to make it sound scooped. mostly what I hear is upper mids coming forward adding definition etc... It works well on a jazz bass in a J retro. Luckily its REAL easy to AB the two options with the uni pre, you just move one jumper on the circuit boards and you're done.

    Maybe others can articulate the standard curve better than I, or more scientifically than I, but thats what I hear.
  18. Rev. Cornelius

    Rev. Cornelius Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2007
    Boston, MA
    So it seems like it would be easier to get the standard curve from a flat response pre-amp than a flat response from the standard curve preamp?

    Any idea how many dB's are added or subtracted at which points to get the standard curve?

    Also, will switching to passive (within the design limits, ie., both pickups full or bridge only) remove the curve or is it baked in when in either mode?

  19. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Contributor- Bass Musician Magazine
    from the East website: • PRE-SHAPE: Gentle lift at the lower and higher frequencies, peaking +4dBs at 40Hz & 10kHz.
  20. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Contributor- Bass Musician Magazine
    yeah I'd MUCH rather use the flat setting and get my tone shaping elsewhere, like an EQ pedal or the amp EQ. UNLESS that particular J retro pre shape is exactly what you're after, which is true for lots of guys who love the native tone of the J retro.
  21. Primary

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