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.
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.
A couple other features make the this preamp stand apart - Solder-less pickup connections and variable mid frequency selection.
Solder-less pickup connections makes installation easy and quick. The J Retro uses screw down terminals for pickup connection.
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.
Most Jazz® basses will accommodate the J Retro bass preamp without additional routing or intrusive modification.
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.
Check out the Layout and Tech tabs above to understand the control configuration as well as the nuances of each control incorporated into the J Retro.