100's of Bass Pickups In Stock and Ready to Ship
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.
I don't know what to say, other than that I've tried a large number of preamps, and this is the best one I've used. AND it's a simple drop-in for a Jazz bass.
The flexibility of this preamp is amazing. The fact that it's all crammed into an extremely high quality, compact setup, is a super bonus. The way you connect your pickups and grounds is a super-SUPER bonus.
How good is this preamp? I dropped it into a new Squier Classic Vibe 70s Jazz. I kept the original "Fender-designed" pickups. The only other mod I made to the bass, was I upgraded the bridge. The preamp made the bass into a high end beast, WITH the original pickups, after a 5 minute install. I've built hundreds of basses, including umpteen Jazzes, and if I still had all those Jazzes I wouldn't hesitate to put this preamp into every single one. East UK has a customer for life.
So, I have a 90’s Samick J-Bass ( I love it and It’s been mine for years ) it’s in great shape but it had been in the closet for a while! I plugged it in not long ago and the pots were scratchy, the volume pot worked as a switch (it had no range) and the sound wasn’t too great! I thought about adding a preamp and replacing the pots, but i didn’t want to deal with soldering and crazy diagrams… i did a quick search preamps and the J Retro popped up at Fat Bass Tone. After reading dozens of reviews and watching dozens of videos I decided to purchase it ( along with some Aguilar pick ups ) OMG my bass came back to life! The sound is amazing!!! I get 3 dimensional sound out of my bass, I get deeper lows and sweet modern bitey highs. I am able to tweak the sound to my liking and I get an extra boost from the preamp. My favorite part about this pre amp is the fact that it has a switch that allows you to play in passive mode! The preamp is great! The service is amazing! And the installation is easy! It is worth every penny specially if you have an older bass you’d like to revamp! Ppl ask me all the time ( what kinda of bass is that? ) they can’t believe the sound im getting out of my 90’s Korean samick! It looks like a cheap bass but it sounds like a very expensive one!!! Thanks to my J Retro by John East my bass is the ultimate sleeper!!!
I was actually expecting a transformation in my jazz bass tone. Granted there is a difference, but it is not A+ level in my opinion. Before installation I could get great tones by using a Boss BC-1X and Boss BB-1X.
Love this pre! Dropped it into one of my 5 string Lull basses and it does exactly what I need. Very versatile!
These pre amps add great tone with minimal coloring. You need a very small flat screwdriver and be delicate but everything else is there for clean installation. A bonus for your j bass!