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John East J Retro Bass Preamp for Jazz Bass

puzzle bullet iconFITS MOST STANDARD JAZZ BASSES® WITHOUT MODIFICATION

checklist bullet iconHIGHLY FLEXIBLE PREAMP

control panel bullet iconDIAL IN TONS OF TONES  - FROM REGGAE TO ROCK TO JAZZ

configuration bullet iconEASY INSTALLATION

certificate medal bullet iconBUILT WITH THE FINEST QUALITY COMPONENTS

Customer Reviews

Based on 24 reviews
92%
(22)
4%
(1)
0%
(0)
4%
(1)
0%
(0)
R
Robert Smith
Prompt shipping and great tone

Upgraded my Fender Custom Shop Jazz Bass with Lindy Fralin pick-ups and a J Retro pre-amp. It sounds so good. Big round bass or sparkly Marcus sizzle! It's all right there

S
Stanton Delaney
The Best

This outfit outshines all others. Great staff, great service, great attitude, and great supply/inventory. Hope their business continues to grow.
Delaney

D
David McFadden
J Retro (East)

I installed this onboard bass preamp in my sx jazz bass, and it enhanced the tone tremendously. Now I have great low end high,and it sits well in the mix. I love that it has passive capability. A bit pricey, but worth it.

Q
Quinn
Great Preamp but not a drop-in for me

The preamp is great and functions exactly as described would rate it a 5 for most. However, I had to drill out some of the control cavity to make this fit. On my American Professional II the control cavity was off-center from the screw holes such that the switches were hitting the sides of the cavity and the screw holes would not line up.

So I recommend this preamp. However take a look at how your screw holes line up against the cavity. If the bottom one is at the center, you are probably good, if its off-center toward the pickup side, you may need to make some adjustments as I did.

D
Darius Anderson
J retro

Great customer service! Fast shipping and excellent communication.

empty box iconFREE SHIPPING IN THE USA
configuration iconEXPERT TECHNICAL SUPPORT
checklist iconIN STOCK MEANS IN STOCK

DESCRIPTION

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.

  1. Solder-less pickup connections makes installation easy and quick. The J Retro uses screw down terminals for pickup lead and ground connections.
  2. A sweepable mid frequency selection knob allows you the ability to truly dial in which frequency peak to boost and cut in the mid range. Not gimmicky, this truly can help find a variety of great tones. This is not a frequency switch, but a potentiometer that allows much more nuanced frequency selection.
  3. Usually, it is difficult to get a 3 band preamp into a standard Jazz Bass® without modifications. Understandably, a lot of bassists want the flexibility that having an onboard preamp gives, but don’t want to route new holes or move the output jack. John engineered this preamp in a way so that we don’t have to make permanent alterations to our bass.

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.

NOTE : John East J Retro & J Retro Deluxe preamps use an active blend. In passive mode, the blend pot does not function. Therefore, a player can use the pickup switch to alternate between both pickups on or the bridge pickup on only. For most players, the passive mode is a ‘get out of trouble’ mode for situations such as live gigging where a battery failure occurs. If you are looking for full blend capability in passive mode, we recommend the 2 band John East J Tone preamp.

CONTROL LAYOUT & TECH SPECS

VOLUME & BLEND (Knob stack nearest the neck pickup)

VOLUME

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.

POWER

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.

John East J Retro Bass Preamp Wiring Diagram

Customer Reviews

Based on 24 reviews
92%
(22)
4%
(1)
0%
(0)
4%
(1)
0%
(0)
R
Robert Smith
Prompt shipping and great tone

Upgraded my Fender Custom Shop Jazz Bass with Lindy Fralin pick-ups and a J Retro pre-amp. It sounds so good. Big round bass or sparkly Marcus sizzle! It's all right there

S
Stanton Delaney
The Best

This outfit outshines all others. Great staff, great service, great attitude, and great supply/inventory. Hope their business continues to grow.
Delaney

D
David McFadden
J Retro (East)

I installed this onboard bass preamp in my sx jazz bass, and it enhanced the tone tremendously. Now I have great low end high,and it sits well in the mix. I love that it has passive capability. A bit pricey, but worth it.

Q
Quinn
Great Preamp but not a drop-in for me

The preamp is great and functions exactly as described would rate it a 5 for most. However, I had to drill out some of the control cavity to make this fit. On my American Professional II the control cavity was off-center from the screw holes such that the switches were hitting the sides of the cavity and the screw holes would not line up.

So I recommend this preamp. However take a look at how your screw holes line up against the cavity. If the bottom one is at the center, you are probably good, if its off-center toward the pickup side, you may need to make some adjustments as I did.

D
Darius Anderson
J retro

Great customer service! Fast shipping and excellent communication.

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