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Turning an on-board pre into a stomp box?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Ten Four One, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    Sadowsky does it with his pre, so why not me?

    I like experimenting with preamps, but don't like swapping them out of the bass all the time & think that if I buy a pre, I should be able to use it on all my basses.

    So why not turn that on-board pre into a stomp box? Sure it won't work with pres deigned to blend two pickups together in interesting ways, but what's to stop me from taking a pre & sticking it in a stomp box?

    And by me, I mean someone else - is there someone I can pay to do this professionally?
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Sure, there are loads of pedal-building hobbyists on this and every other guitar-related forum. As you noted, there are some onboard pre's which won't work great in an external box because of the active blending of the pickups, but aside from that it's usually worth a go.

    Are there specific preamps you have in mind?
  3. I'm probably crazy wrong but say if you were to use a stereo jack in the bass and wire one hot directly to the tip and the other to the ring. Then on the input of the box wire it to the jack just like you would if it was going directly going to connect to pick up hots. you would need to use a stereo instrument cable to make it work. this makes sense in my head but there is probably something missing.
  4. yeah a stereo jack would in theory pass signal that way, obviously a stereo socket would be needed, and as no battery is in bass the sleeve section of the socket is no longer used as a power jumper :)
  5. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    Rev- Yeah I was thinking something along those lines, also removing the knobs from the bass altogether & just having a straight wire out of the bass, but let's not get nuts?

    Bongo - yeah the John East MM preamp. I love the voicing of my '78 Sabre, nothing else come close, but I don't want to gig with it anymore as it's too precious to me. I got an MMHH and it's close, but somewhat different. So I did a little research & turned up the John East pre. Not wanting to lose anything I have with the new MM in order to get the John East pre installed, and not wanting to build a whole new bass around the pre (though the Nordstrand "vintage" MM pups are tempting), I came up with the idea of making it outboard.

    Though the idea of a passive MM with two outboard pres (the John East & the MM) is kind of funny. A passive MM. Funny.

    Even set flat I'm sure the MM pre will do something to the pups that the John East wouldn't (as would the pots in my passive basses, I assume), but if I could dial in the settings from my Sabre on any bass in my collection, it would be a fun tool to have.
  6. I'd leave the knobs for show, also this would ditch the need for a battery as you probably can set the pedal to run on something like a Voodoo lab PP2 in either 9 or 18V.
  7. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    Hmm. Well having a volume knob on the instrument is tremendously helpful & having two on a jazz is sort of essential. Plus the idea is to be able to turn any (mostly passive) bass into a pseudo active bass & not to modify every bass I own. :) That was just sort of idle speculation on my part.

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