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Gain control of your tone with a preamp
The J Retro Bass Preamp is a beast. One of the first preamps to be created specifically for Jazz Basses®, it’s high functionality and tone is loved by many.
From players with $3000+ custom J basses, to others that have found excellent-playing sub-$500 basses - this preamp has taken a lot of basses to a higher level. A bassist that was in the house band of a very well known late night variety show confided to us that one of his main basses was a Fender® Squire® outfitted with a set of Bartolini Jazz Bass Pickups and a J Retro.
Some unique features make the this preamp stand apart: Solder-less pickup connections, variable mid frequency selection, and easy installation.
Jazz cavity plate, jack, switches, as well as knobs are included with this pre-wired and read-to-install preamp.
In most cases, the required 9 Volt battery will fit under the control plate.
There is a built in “color’ to the tone of the J Retro. Most players here it as immediately adding a little thickness and oomph. Not too drastic, your bass still has ‘its’ tone, but a bit thicker.
VOLUME & BLEND (Knob stack nearest the neck pickup)
The Volume is controlled by the top knob of the stacked knob set.
A low impedance signal is served to your amp by initiating the active signal post volume control.
BLEND & PICKUPS SWITCH
Blend balance is controlled via the bottom knob of the stack.
Move the knob counter clockwise for the bridge pickup, and clockwise for the neck pickup. The blend control has a center detente for a balance signal of both pickups.
Using very high quality potentiometers, the blend control is well graduated.
BASS & TREBLE (The middle knob stack)
TREBLE (+12dB @ 3 kHz, -12dB @ 1kHz)
Treble boost and cut is managed from top knob of the knob set. When cut, the treble controls lower frequency for rolled off, deep tone effect.
BRIGHT (+8dB @ 7kHz)
Get bright tone by pulling up on the Treble knob
BASS (+15dB @ 50Hz)
The Bass potentiometer (bottom knob) is a boost only control. As the boost is added, the frequency band gets lower and lower. To give a reference point, the bass control also has a center detente.
MID LEVEL & FREQUENCY (The knob stack nearest the jack)
BOOST/CUT (+/- 12dB)
The Mid Boost and Cut are controlled by the upper knob. Flat mid frequency is set at the center detente
FREQUENCY (150Hz - 3kHz)
A wide range of frequencies are at hand with the variable control. This is the bottom knob of the stacked set.
ACTIVE PASSIVE SWITCH
The active/passive switch is found near the jack. Push the switch toward the knobs for passive mode, and toward the jack for active mode.
When a jack is plugged into the bass, the active circuit is engaged. Be sure to remove your instrument cable to not draw power from the bass when not in use.
This preamp simply KICKS ASS. I love it. I was nervous about losing the original Fender jazz sound but that didn’t happen and this has soooo many beautiful colours to play with. The frequencies/overtones are easy to dial in and intuitive to play. It purrs. I don’t even think about it. It just feels good. Great service, great preamp. Now back to more music.
What a difference this John East J Retro made to my bass.. I’ve been chasing a certain sound for years, and now I finally found it.. incredible tones and so easy to install . Buy it, you won’t regret it!
The J Retro preamp adds new life to a jazz bass, Most jazz basses are thin sounding and this preamp gives you the option to add more bass , mids and treble. It is one of the few onboard preamps that offer passive mode with the flip of a switch. It's a great option if you want to add a little color to your bass.
I have this preamp on my Lakland Joe Osborn, and love it. I just installed it on my new Fender American Pro 2... it makes every bass better!
I didn’t know about Fat Bass Tone, I had always used BBG. When BBG listed an 8 week delivery time on a J-Retro. I kept searching and came across Fat Bass Tone. They had the J-Retro in stock. I also noticed Max Kay is part of Fat Bass Tone. I talked to Max many a time through BBG and that sealed the deal for me. Buy with confidence and if it is listed on the FTB website, it is in-stock. - Clint Owens
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