Who makes the best onboard preamp?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by allenhumble, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. allenhumble

    allenhumble Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2004
    Acworth GA.
    I have seen a lot of good reviews on alot of different products and have read the Jretro vs. Audere comparison. However there are other companies such as Demeter and Sadowsky that also have made available preamps for purchase. Does anyone have expeirience with one or more of the products that can give there opinion? Or are there any other products out there that should be considered? The pre amp is to be paired with Nordstrand dual coils. Thanks
  2. Daywalker


    Apr 13, 2005
    Well, I have Aguilar OBP pre-amps in two of my basses. They both sounded amazing after the upgrade. Good luck with your choice...:bassist:
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I've used pretty much every preamp out there - Bartolini, Aguilar, Sadowsky, J-Retro, Audere. Not demeter though. They all have their pros/cons.

    I can give you some advice if you give me some more requirements.

    What are you looking for? 2 band/3 band/4 band?
    Boost only? Cut/boost?
    Stacked knobs/single knobs?
    Active/passive bypass?
    alaskaleftybass and madjazzbass like this.
  4. Asaf


    Jun 9, 2003
    just to make it clear, you are talking about a Jazz Bass type bass ?

    also, please write down what you are looking for (3 band EQ, what vol. configuration for the pickups etc.) and what's your budget.

    im saving for a preamp as well so the answers will help me a lot, after digging inside this forum and FAQ im in the direction of the OBP or the JRetro for my Jbass.
  5. allenhumble

    allenhumble Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2004
    Acworth GA.
    I am looking to replace the pickups and electronics in a Lakland 55-01. It has a Bartolini MK1 which is a 3 band. Five wholes in the body so I don't think I will need stacked knobs, but I am not opposed to it. Boost/cut and active/passive bypass.
  6. hertzdem


    Aug 18, 2006
    i've had the jretro in a j-style bass,it was really good for reasonable bass/treble-selectable mid type boost----- however,the demeter is a more natural sounding(not as hyped)b/t and mid point selectable pre. jim put these in basses of mine out of his garage in the mid 80's in L.A. it saved a peavey tl5-enough said?
  7. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    If you want an active/passive bypass where you can still use the blend knob in passive mode, then choose from any of Aguilar OBP-3, Demeter, Bartolini. Like I said, I haven't tried Demeter but have heard good things about it. Out of the other two, I personally prefer the Aguilar - it's more transparent to my ears than the Bartolini.
    Bartolini does have something that can be useful, adjustable preamp input gain - useful with many bart pickups which can be quieter than other brands. Demeter/Aguilar preamps are unity gain, that is the sound with preamp engaged and eq flat is same volume as with preamp in bypass mode.
    On the convenience side, you can buy the bart preamps prewired in the knob configuration of your choice. If you buy from Brian at http://www.bestbassgear.com, you can get your factory-wired Bart preamp or Brian will wire you up an Aguilar in whatever configuration you want.

    Audere audio make the quietest onboard preamp I've ever heard. Unfortunately, they don't have active/passive bypass on a push/pull switch so you'd have to drill another hole in the bass.
    madjazzbass and Boom762 like this.
  8. Asaf


    Jun 9, 2003
    Hi David,

    im looking for a preamp that will boost the mid like in the NTMB that i have in my pedulla,
    the OBP3 will do it ?
    also from your experience did you had to make routing in order to fit the preamp into a fender jazz bass ?

  9. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    You're going to have a tough time getting an obp-3 into a jazz cavity without routing. I'd check out the Audere jazz bass replacement preamp at http://www.audereaudio.com, there's also the J-Retro drop in. But IME the Audere is infinitely quieter than the J-Retro
    madjazzbass likes this.
  10. +1 on the audere:hyper:
  11. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    I plan on getting Nordstrands dual coils in a future bass and I'm getting the Demeter. I'm choosing the Demeter because I've heard that the Dual Coil pickups sound amazing with very little EQ, the less the better...

    I've had years of experience with James Demeter electronics...nothing I've heard sounds as natural or as useable as the Demeter.
  12. zfunkman


    Dec 18, 2012
    I have a Bartolini 3 band preamp w/Bartolini pickups in my Modulus Q5. The sound and control of tone is amazing. I can pretty much get my Q5 to sound however I want it to sound. The sweep is really smoothe. I had an Alembic with an active pre-amp and a P/J setup; I'm not sure what it had but the Bartolini setup smoked it. I eventually sold the Alembic.
    Glenbee likes this.
  13. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Where does the Pope preamp fit ?
  14. Oh, God..... That's like askin' which dairy farm has the best cows for milk. Lookie here,Grasshopper, there's ALMOST as many bass preamps out there as there is dairy cows. I just comes down to what a feller likes.

    Oh, sorry to sound like a smart-ass. But....... :D

  15. Under a cover, on the back of the bass.
  16. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I was going to say "in the woods", because my mind is twisted at times, and things are funny to me, but wind up not being funny to lots of other people, or (worse) actually offensive...

    So I think I'll just keep my mouth shut.

    Oh - whoops...
  17. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    Took me a couple of seconds to get that one but now:

  18. Weshunter413


    May 6, 2009
    Hickory NC
    I have a J-retro and do like it but it does change the sound. It boost the low frequency a bit and because it's "boost only" bass you cant turn it down. But if you want more low end anyways, it is very spectacular. A little scooped but very sweet in the highs.
  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I own a Lakland 55-01 and installed a US Bartolini 5.2A/P preamp and Nordstrand Big Splits. In a short while you're going to find a TB member pushing the Nordstrand 3b-5a preamp. Both will fit with zero mods. The Audere is nice as well. The biggest thing is matching the pickups to the pre. All the pres out there are very good. There is no 'best', in my honest opinion. Also consider your budget as some of the pres out there cost over $200. The East is over $300! The Bartolini was $150. Glock is $160. Delano is $154. Nordie is $220. Aguilar is $200.
  20. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS

    I LOVE the USA Peavey Cirrus preamp and pickups. I've used them in $3,000 dollar custom basses, too. Dead silent and versatile. They are made by Bartolini.

    I also like the Demeter. Very similar to the Peavey Cirrus preamp.

    And, I like the Bartolini NTMB.
    PeaveyPlayer likes this.