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Zon special 5 preamps??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Deano Destructo, Jul 23, 2002.

  1. Deano Destructo

    Deano Destructo Fender & Upton addict. Hasn't slept since 1979. Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA.
    Am I correct in thinking that some zon special's contain different preamps? Do some have the bartolini ntbt and others have a type made by Joe Zon? Also why do some have different control setups for the preamp? Some have a stacked volume and balance and others have a seperate volume and balance. Which is an older model? Thanx.:confused:
  2. I would like to know that too! I just traded my Fender CS Jazzbass for a 2002 Zon Sonus 5 string fretless, which seems to be a "special". Knob configuration is like: volume / balance / stacked treble & low-mids volume / bass / 3 way mid freq switch. About that 3 way switch: it doesn't quite change the mid freq itself. Turning it completely down it adds some low mids. Maybe some of you can explain to me what it really does.

    Regards, Werner.
  3. Deano Destructo

    Deano Destructo Fender & Upton addict. Hasn't slept since 1979. Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA.
    NO thats a custom or possibly just a Sonus I think.:confused: The Special has stackes pickups kind of like a 5 string thumb bass and almost always has a bubinga top unless its a "custom".
  4. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    The newer Zons have the polyfusion (circuit board) preamp in there.

    The switch changes the midrange frequency you want to cut/boost. There is another knob that actually does the cutting/boosting.

    Gorgeous bass BTW! That isn't a Special either (they have two multi coil pickups very close to each other towards the bridge)...that is just a very nice Sonus V with some enhanced electronics.
  5. I forgot to mention that my Zon has an ash body with a beautiful flamed redwood top as you can see on the pic. Is that an extra charge?
  6. Now I remember where I saw a Sonus special 4 string.... I have a Kool & the Gang DVD Live at the House of Blues. Kool is playing it! Indeed, the 2 pick-ups placed close together. My Zon plays and sounds very cool. I must say I still have to get used to the sound. With the bridge pup soloed I can dial in hyped up Jaco tones but I like it best when the neck pup is soloed -> upright like vibes. The electronics are from Bartolini, by the way.
  7. Werner....that set of photos looks VERY familiar....Is that a fretless??? If so, it's the identical twin of a bass we sold at Bass Central.:D

    By the way, I play a Sonus Special 5 fretless myself. :cool:
  8. Gard,

    My Zon Fretless 5 has indeed been purchased from Bass Central earlier this year! The original owner had it sent to Singapore and then took it with him to the Netherlands, where he traded it for my Fender CS Jazz. It's a small world after all! Do you happen to know if that phenowood needs any fingerboardoil or something like that?

    Thanks, Werner.
  9. Forgot to ask you Gard: what type of Sonus is it really? A Custom maybe?
  10. Werner -

    I thought I remembered that bass! :D VERY nice bass! It is just a standard Sonus 5 fretless with an upgraded preamp (2 band is standard, the 3 band is an upgrade) and a very nice flame redwood top.

    As for special treatment for the phenowood board, I haven't done anything with mine, but I'd be happy to check with Joe Z if you'd like, see if he suggests anything.

    Oh, and as far as I remember, your mid control and 3 way switch work pretty much normally, if you want to hear the switch at work, turn the mid knob all the way up, and flip the switch into different positions while playing. You should then hear the sound change in each of the 3 positions. The switch changes the frequency of the mid control's cut or boost.
  11. Deano Destructo

    Deano Destructo Fender & Upton addict. Hasn't slept since 1979. Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA.
    Does'nt anyone know the answer to this at all?:confused: Come on special owners, Gard, DarkMazda, somebody.....anybody?:p
    I e-mailed zon customer service but it sometimes takes them a little while.:rolleyes:
    Mabye I'm just impatient......:(
  12. Your best bet to get in touch with the Zon people is going to be to call them. I've sent them 5 emails or so and have never gotten a response. I've got a Sonus Special 5 fretless that I *think* is a '94, and it has the balance and volume knobs separate -- the bass and treble are stacked. Either way, I'm not sure if this means mine is "older" or not. As for the preamp, mine does say "Zon" on the circuit board. I haven't looked into it much more than that, as it's the sound that counts (and I like the way it sounds). I'm going to go with what PD said, and just say that I bet the preamp in mine is a Zon/polyfusion.
  13. Fixer -

    Sorry, didn't catch that question - yes the Special preamp is a custom one, made by Polyfusion for the Zon Sonus Special, and not used on any other Zon bass. Very "low-mid heavy", great for punching through (as opposed to cutting through) a mix. Makes your presence known without being overly obnoxious.
  14. Joe Zon

    Joe Zon

    Mar 27, 2002
    Zon Guitars
    To begin, let me apologize to anyone who has not recieved a response to their e-mail. Due to system upgrades at our ISP not everything has been coming through.

    Here's the skinny on the preamps used in our basses. All the early Sonus models were equipped with dual concentric pots. Stacked volume and stacked bass/treble. These preamps were (and still are)
    specially designed for us by Bartolini to simulate the tone characteristics of an old Fender Dual Showman preamp.

    This system then evolved to three controls with master volume, pickup blend (pan) and stacked bass/treble. Generally speaking, the Sonus Standard and Specials all use this system. This would be the small black module inside. If the bass has a circuitboard then it's the Polyfusion system installed by custom order. Both circuits have the same control layout/function. However, the small trimmer on the back of the Polyfusion board will allow for mid boost/cut.

    Please e-mail again with any further questions.

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