The Legendary Bartolini TCT...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by slapfunk987, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. slapfunk987


    Feb 8, 2011
    As we all know, the Bartolini TCT is a much talked about beast of a preamp from the 80's that seems to be extinct. But I managed to get my hands on a Bartolini TCT from a anonymous source.
    It seems that, according to most people on Talkbass, that in the 80s, it was a 2 band preamp. The Bartolini TCT I have is 3 band.

    Now I have heard from other sources that it was always a 3 band preamp that could be wired to be a 2 band preamp by setting the mids at a specific frequency.

    Just wanted to start the thread to get some clarification on this information and if it was possible for me to wire it as a 2 band and drop it in my Marcus Miller 4 to replace the stock preamp??? Thinking about taking it to Norio Imai to get the work done.
  2. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    mine is 2 band. roger S actually did the work
  3. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings - DR Strings
  4. slapfunk987


    Feb 8, 2011

    The second link is the diagrams that came with my TCT that say 3 band and I am not a tech at all, so I dont really understand them. ANd the first link doesnt take me to anything at all.

    SO I dont understand how the TCT is 2 band based on the links you sent me. Sorry... Which diagram would be the one i would use??

    My bass is Volume, Volume, Treble, Bass.... It has a active/passive switch as well....
  5. mhduffl


    Nov 27, 2008
    Hong Kong
    From my knowledge, the "basic" TCT has 3 band, but the bass and treble are both boost only while the mid is cut only. TCT families has 3 preamps, TCT sets mid cut at 300Hz, NTCT sets mid at 400Hz and XTCT sets mid at 500 Hz, again, these 3 mid freq are cut only.

    You could wire a pot or trim pot (in my case) to control the level of mid cut, i.e, at max (fully clockwise) of the control, it has zero mid cut.
    You could rather than wire a pot, leave the mid alone and it would be the "2 band" case, you are now controling the bass and treble boost only but the mid is always untouched, i.e. zero cut again.

    The third case involved other than the "basic TCT" preamp, an additional "mid-module" so that you could boost a specific mid freq (250Hz ,375Hz or 500Hz) along with the mid cut.
    A bit complicated of course, let's take an example, you could wire the TCT to the "375Hz mid module", then the mid control now is 375Hz boost and 300Hz cut.

    To me, I don't need that mid module and just use to boost the bass and treble to get that Marcus' style tone.
    For your case, you could always leave the mid alone and enjoy the bass and treble boost in your MM4!!!

    Good luck!!!
    scottyd likes this.