Re: Timral effects of URB preamp

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Posted by Bob Gollihur on January 18, 2001 at 14:11:02:

In Reply to: Timral effects of URB preamp posted by Bob on January 18, 2001 at 13:12:49:

: I'm considering the purchase of a preamp to use with my realist pickup. I really like the natural sounding tone of this pickup and am concerned that a preamp would make the tone more bass guitar like. My GK MBE 150 starts to sound bad at louder volumes so what I am hoping to do is put a hotter signal into the amp so I don't have to turn it up so much. How much do preamps affect the timbre of the sound? Would a preamp faithfully preserve the tone I get from the pickup and allow me to play at higher volumes? Thanks in advance for any advice.

I don't believe a preamp will help you -- and I sell them.

Preamps are most often used with URB pickup for two reasons:

The primary one is impedance matching. Most bass amps expect the impedance of a bass guitar or similar pickup, 10,000-50,000. When you plug a pickup in, it becomes part of the circuit of the bass amp's preamp. Most piezo-based pickups present a load of 1 million ohms and higher, so a mismatch occurs, which accounts for a sort of thin, quacky tone, you may have experienced with other pickups.

The secondary one may be for a signal boost - some pickups need it, others don't, but the impedance matching situation still exists.

However, the folks that make the Realist say it doesn't need a preamp, so I suppose it presents a lower impedance; dunno, I've never measured one. And the preamp in the G-K should have enough moxie to drive the bass amp.

Regardless, if the pickup sounds good at low volumes, impedance matching isn't the issue, and I doubt that a preamp will help you out.

I have, however, heard of a few G-K users who use an URB preamp and plug it into the G-K's effects return jack to bypass the G-K's allegedly "electric sounding" preamp; I've not owned any G-K and so have never done so myself.

If you define "bad", perhaps I and others can help - feel free to email me off-list if you prefer.

Life is too short for bad tone.

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