1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Warwick owners! Aguilar OBP-3 vs MEC BEC III preamp side by side comparison!

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Spfairchild, Jan 3, 2012.


  1. Spfairchild

    Spfairchild Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Seattle
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, Genzler Amplification, GHS Strings, Tsunami Cables, Sonic Nuance Electronics Contributing Reviewer: Bass Gear Magazine
    Using my SSII 5 string, I go through some variations between the two preamps in my latest Youtube vid. I installed the stock MEC preamp that came in my '08 Streamer Stage II into a pedal, just the same way that the pre would be wired into the bass, and have the Aggie OBP-3 installed in the bass itself. Both have a preamp bypass, allowing for a nice comparison.

    In previous videos, some folks rightly criticized my choice to record the audio with a room mic, including the acoustics of the room and the character of the amp, so this time I recorded everything direct at 44.1khz.

    I know which one I like more, so check out the video and let me know what your opinion is!

    Warwick Preamp Comparison - Aguilar OBP-3 and MEC BEC III - YouTube
     
    aguacollas likes this.
  2. crustychef

    crustychef

    Apr 4, 2009
    Seattle WA
    Very nice work! I almost bought an OBP-3 for my Jazzman but then I just put in it passive and eq'd it on my Tone Hammer pedal and poof there it was. It's kind of the reverse of what you did. I like having both tonal palates available for sure.
     
    aguacollas likes this.
  3. Spfairchild

    Spfairchild Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Seattle
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, Genzler Amplification, GHS Strings, Tsunami Cables, Sonic Nuance Electronics Contributing Reviewer: Bass Gear Magazine
    Thanks, my Seattle homeboy! Yeah, I know a lot of folks prefer outboard pre's. I actually like to be able to make all sound adjustments on my bass, and not really touch my amp - and I know many feel completely the opposite! I think that's also a big reason behind my tendency to like basses with many usable tones, rather than one-trick ponies. If I could just play one bass; just find the one, ideal 6 string, full of tonal versatility and fun/easy to play, I'd be in heaven! I'd never change instruments and I'd never touch my amp. But alas, they don't make a SSII 6 string...
     
  4. crustychef

    crustychef

    Apr 4, 2009
    Seattle WA
    Yeah I don't really touch my amp either. It stays set flat 98% of the time. I love versatile basses which is why I have the Jazzman 5er. Between it, my fretless Thumb BO5 and the Tone Hammer I'm pretty set for tones. Not really gassing for any basses or gear for that matter. I'm kind of in a purge mode lately. I like traveling light and make only one trip.
    2 Basses and my MB Fusion in my Mono bag Dual. TC RS212 and Small Pedal board on a collapsible hand truck and I'm good to go, do anything and play any style. Took a while and lot gear bought and sold to get here but I'd do it again to know just what I like and need.
     
  5. Spfairchild

    Spfairchild Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Seattle
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, Genzler Amplification, GHS Strings, Tsunami Cables, Sonic Nuance Electronics Contributing Reviewer: Bass Gear Magazine
    You've gotta love the one trip load-in/load-out. I may have to make two trips from time to time, but I try to keep things pretty portable, too!
     
  6. dcocharro

    dcocharro

    Mar 7, 2008
    Portugal
    Hello,
    I'm considering to buy a second hand Streamer I 5string from 2002, but the owner changed the original MEC preamp to OBP-3 from aguilar, and sold the original preamp to pay for the new one.
    I would like to restore the bass, but I haven't decided yet. Can you help me?
    Maybe more tips, and your own experience?
    Do you recommend a Aguilar OBP-3 preamp with MEC PU's in streamer stage I? Or should I go to the original configuration?
    I already saw the videos above, thanks, great work.

    Best Regards,
    Diogo
     
  7. Spfairchild

    Spfairchild Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Seattle
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, Genzler Amplification, GHS Strings, Tsunami Cables, Sonic Nuance Electronics Contributing Reviewer: Bass Gear Magazine
    Oi Diogo,

    Obrigado pela sua pergunta! As you can see from the 2 videos I made comparing the MEC and Aguilar preamps in Warwicks, I kind of lean towards thinking the Aguilar is more useful. The problem is, it's all a matter of taste - and tastes change. I have preferred the Aguilar for at least 5 years or so, but at some point, my tastes may change again.

    Also, to buy a new MEC preamp, at least in the US, is prohibitively expensive. They charge entirely too much for such an unacclaimed preamp, so it's hard to get your hands on one unless you buy it used. If you do end up buying an MEC preamp, I can help you with installing it. Warwick schematics are pretty good, and easy to find, and I can help you find the right one for your bass.

    Personally, I prefer the Aguilar preamp in the Streamer Stage I, as well as in other basses, Warwicks and others alike. Listen again to the different sounds of the 2 preamps, especially in the 2nd video which features sound direct into my recording platform, rather than the room sound. See if you think you would like to switch. Neither is better, so it's all what you prefer! Both are very high grade, professional preamps.

    Good luck!
     
  8. dcocharro

    dcocharro

    Mar 7, 2008
    Portugal
    I see you know some portuguese! ;D
    Thanks for your answers, very enlightening.
    I saw the MEC prices, yes they are very expensive in europe also.
    I got the best prices in
    http://www.banzaimusic.com/
    Forget about the warwick shop, even more expensive!

    I decided to go with aguilar, I saw your videos several times and liked the timbre.
    Thanks for your willingness to help in the assembly, I have a guitar tech friend, he will do the job for me.
    Maybe I post some photos when it's done.

    best regards,
    diogo
     
  9. Spfairchild

    Spfairchild Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Seattle
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, Genzler Amplification, GHS Strings, Tsunami Cables, Sonic Nuance Electronics Contributing Reviewer: Bass Gear Magazine
    My pleasure!
    Please do post photos when you're done!
     
  10. dcocharro

    dcocharro

    Mar 7, 2008
    Portugal
  11. Spfairchild

    Spfairchild Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Seattle
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, Genzler Amplification, GHS Strings, Tsunami Cables, Sonic Nuance Electronics Contributing Reviewer: Bass Gear Magazine
    I feel the best about copper tape, personally, especially when the adhesive used is electrically conductive. It looks like the one you pasted the link for is one of those tapes. I'd go with that! Just to be safe, you can always solder a bridge or joint between each separate piece of copper tape you use, to ensure continuity, but the conductive adhesive may be good enough. You can test it with a multimeter to make sure it's doing the job! Do a quick Google search on that subject if you're inclined, and you'll find instructions.
     
  12. kfadro

    kfadro

    Nov 6, 2013
    Hi!
    I also have to change mec preamp on Aguilar OBP-3. Is because of stange hiss became two weeks ago. My bass is streamer stage 1, 2009. My question is, will I have to change also potentiometers and pickups(acyive MEC soapbar H/B)or maybe MEC set can work with Aguilar OBP-3?
     
  13. Spfairchild

    Spfairchild Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Seattle
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, Genzler Amplification, GHS Strings, Tsunami Cables, Sonic Nuance Electronics Contributing Reviewer: Bass Gear Magazine
    The MECs will work with your new preamp, as will the volume and blend pot(s), but you will need new EQ pots (the ones for bass, mid, treble). The preamp you buy will likely come with these pots. Most of the Warwick/MEC ones I've seen are 100k linear, and the OBP-3 needs 50k linear.
     
  14. bass10bfb

    bass10bfb Prophet Low End Provider Gold Supporting Member

    May 5, 2011
    Newport, TN.
    Great video!! Very accurate description of those 2 preamps. I love how you did this video; super informative and great playing too!! I love Warwicks so I always check out your videos. This one makes me wonder about getting an Aguilar OBP 3 now!! Thanks for everything!!
     
  15. Spfairchild

    Spfairchild Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Seattle
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, Genzler Amplification, GHS Strings, Tsunami Cables, Sonic Nuance Electronics Contributing Reviewer: Bass Gear Magazine
    Aw, thank you very much bass10bfb! I appreciate that. I'm happy to get info out there!
     
    aguacollas likes this.

Share This Page