Jazz Preamp Series - Frequently Asked Questions

I have a JZ3, JZ3D, JZ5D, JZ6D, Pro JZ3, Pro JZ3D or Pro JZ6D  Preamp - how is this Jazz preamp different?

We are happy that you have one of our jazz preamps and thankfully we get a lot of repeat customers...

This preamp does not include the Z-Mode system - it sounds just like the Mid Z-Mode setting of the current Pro JZ3 preamp. This is the setting which sounds like your passive bass when the Z-Mode switch is centered.

The mixing configuration is limited to volume and balance options (by far the most popular configuration).

The Tone controls will be the same - same quality and S curves etc.

It will still have the touch response so many players love about our systems.

The LED Battery Meter is simpler - if it flashes you are good to go.

All pickups, including active, will work with this preamp.

The pickup input connector contains just 2 slots - the pickup commons are grounded on this preamp series which makes instillation easier.

Individual pickup 0-10 dB gain adjustments have been added to help get the default balance you want or to match 2 different pickup styles.

We were able to reduce the price due to the reduced feature set and we included free US shipping.

To sum it up, the Jazz series offers the same superior preamp tonal performance with a different feature set trade-off vs. price point.

 

How does the LED Battery Meter work?

Video of how the Simplified LED Battery Meter works

 

Will this much performance really fit into a Jazz Bass Electronic Cavity?

Probably - the preamp easily fits into a standard Fender Jazz cavity and most jazz bass makers use the same cutout.

To demonstrate the fit - we hand modified a control plate by cutting away metal so you can see how much space is left over in the picture below

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Can I Install the Preamp myself?

Probably most are installed by players - see the Installation Animation or the Instruction PDF

It may be harder to install into a bass with a side mounted jack where a hole is drilled between the electronics cavity and the jack cavity. If a hole is used (as opposed to a slot) then the output jack wires must be desoldered from the jack - the wires feed though the hole and the wires re-soldered to the jack leads.

For most side mounted jack bodies your bass will have a battery box -  un-solder and remove the battery clip - solder the wires to the red (+) and black (-) connections on your battery box.

 

Can you recommend a repair shop or luthier to install it?

Unless you have special needs I would recommend that you consider installing it yourself - it is normally that easy.

If you want to add a backside battery box (almost never required) then most players should take it to a luthier etc.

If you want to add a side jack then having the correct jig makes this a much simpler modification.

If your bass is in the repair shop for another reason then they should be able to install it for your quickly and easily.

 

How long does it take to get my preamp in the US?

We normally ship quickly, 1-2 business days, but we do not control the postal service and how long they take to deliver the product but they have been surprisingly fast on average.

We ship first class mail in the US. Priority is offered and is normally faster but will increase your total cost.

 

How can I get it Overnight?

Sorry - we do not ship overnight - FedEx, UPS and USPS have been very poor at overnight delivery and this has created too many problems.

 

Can I get it Delivered by FedEx or UPS?

Sorry - we no longer offer UPS or FedEx shipping.

USPS has not been perfect but surprisingly on average they have given our customers the best results.

 

How long does it take to get my preamp in the Rest of the World?

The gating item is often the time it takes to go through customs in your country.

In some countries customs clearance is very fast - in other countries it is very slow.

In order to make custom clearance faster - we do correctly fill out all the data on the forms and your country can access it electronically from the bar code etc.

The best thing I can tell you to do is track its progress using he tracking number which will be emailed to you will get when it ships.

 

Will it work in my Fender Jazz Bass?

It works in all common jazz basses - US, Mexican, Squier, Highway One, Geddy, Japan models etc...

It is notable that the Aerodyne is problematic with a very thin body and slightly curved top - a few players have managed to units to fit into these basses but these mods are at your own risk.

It will not fit some of the Jaguar basses with the small curved plate.

 

Will it work with my Fender --- Pickups?

Yes - All Fender and Squier pickups work - Even the hum canceling ones like the N3s

 

I have Upgraded Pickups by --- will it work?

Aero, Aguilar, Barts, David Allen, Delano, DiMarzio, Jason Lollar, Lakland, Lindy Fralin, Nordstrand, MEC, Seymour Duncan, etc. all build good pickups of slightly different flavors.

There are a host of other pickup winders I have not listed - no offense meant - Yes they work too...

Vintage or Modern, it will work with this preamp and we will make them sound their best.

 

What Jazz pickups sound best?

The answer to this question depends a lot on what type of music you play and how you approach it.

That said - Nordstrand tends to be a customer favorite- their pickups tend to be unique compared to other makers and their noise canceling versions sound very close to their single coil pickups.

 

Do AlNiCo, Ceramic or Neo pickups work better with the preamp?

All the different magnetic types work well and sound slightly different from each other.

Personally I like AlNiCos but select what type sound best to you.

 

What is a Good but Low Cost Jazz pickup to replace my really cheap ones?

Look for a pair of Squier Vintage Modified Jazz bass pickups (new or used) - both the Duncan Designed versions and the Fender Designed versions are good AlNiCo single coil pickups.

The Duncan Designed versions are slightly more vintage sounding but both are really nice and sound amazing for the price.

 

What is a Good but Low Cost Hum Canceling Jazz pickup?

I will assume you mean for a 4 string - so look for a pair of Fender Super 55 pickups (which are not made anymore) - they can be cheap and are really good - much better IMO than some of Fender's other Jazz hum canceling pickups due to their side by side coil arrangement instead of the vertical coil arrangement that Fender used on the Jazz hum canceling bass pickups.

 

I have a PJ - Will it work?

I have a J Hum-bucker - Will that work?

Yes to both, and it will sound great - our stereo front end separates the P and J inputs (or J and Hum-bucker) so they sound better.

You might want to reduce the volume of the P relative to the J with the gain controls to balance them up better.

If your J pickup is not a Hum Canceling type of pickup then the Hum will increase as you turn the balance toward that pickup.

 

How do I adjust the pickup's gain?

There are 2 small pots above the input connector - the one on Neck Pickup input's side is the Neck gain adjustment.

Turning the pot clockwise to increases the gain.

The range of the control is 0 to 10 dB.

We do not recommend that you max the controls as you may get distortion when using a lot of tone control boost.

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Which wire color is pickup Hot?

It depends on the pickup maker and version - so check their website.

For Fender pickups white (and/or yellow) is normally considered hot and Black is common.

 

How do I know which pickup wires are the Neck vs Bridge?

The Bridge pickup wires most often come through a hole which is located closer toward the Bridge end of the cavity.

 

If you are upgrading a passive jazz bass then the center lug of the 1st pot (closest to the neck) is the Neck pickup hot wire - click to expand the picture and look at the --> point.

The Bridge pickup hot wire goes to the center lug on the 2nd pot.

The other wires soldered to the back of pots are grounds.

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If you have an older American Jazz with an S1 switch then the Neck hot is still soldered to the center lug of the 1st (Neck Vol) pot - click to expand the picture below and look at the --> point.

The Bridge pickup hot is a white wire soldered to the bottom of the switch board.

You may notice that the Neck pickup's common (a black wire) is also soldered to the bottom of the switch board while the Bridge common is soldered to the back of one of the pots, all of which will be grounded.

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The Pickup Input Connector has just 2 Slots?

All pickups still have a pickup hot and pickup common connection; for this series of preamps; the pickup commons are connected to ground along with all the shielding connections.

 

How do I Solder Ground Wires to the back of the Pots on the Circuit Board?

Do not attempt this - crimp or solder all the ground wires and pickup commons together with the gray/white wire off the jack.

FYI - soldering to the back of pots was always a bad idea, even in Leo Fender's days...

 

How many Bands of Tone Control is most Popular with Players?

The 4 band is the most popular option.

 

Why do I need a 4 Band Tone Control?

Four bands of tone control makes it easier to dial in the tone you want quickly but if you think a 2 or 3 band will work better for you then select those options.

 

Why does a different number of Tone Control Bands change the price?

Each configuration is a unique circuit board - designed to optimize the performance for a specific configuration.

The increased number of tone control bands requires more parts - so we charge a minor difference in price to account for the extra cost to build the preamp.

 

What is the difference between a Pan, Blend and Balance Control?

They are the same thing.

 

How does a Passive Balance compare to an Active Balance?

Passive balance is traditional (and lower cost) but lacks the note definition and control of an active mixing system.

Active mixing is not new - it has been used for a very long time in all kinds of critical music applications during studio recordings.

 

Does the Balance control have a Center Detent?

Yes - in the detent position the 2 pickups are mixed into the output equally - note, this is after the gain adjustments.

 

Do the Tone Controls have a Center Detent?

Yes - the frequency response is flat in the detents.

 

Will the Preamp fit in my Jazz Bass?

Probably - almost all Jazz basses have a similar electronics cavity size.

The cavity must be 1.0+" wide (required to fit a 9 volt battery in), 1.2+" deep and 4.8+" long.

Fender's standard is 1.19" wide, 1.27" deep and 5.17" long which almost everyone copies.

If you are worried - see if the battery will fit into the bridge end of the electronics cavity laying flat - this is the most common limiting point.

Please see the next question.

 

Will the Plate fit with my Screw Holes?

Almost all jazz control plates are the similar - based on Fender's plates.

Exceptions include some basses with clearly curved control plates like a Lakland DJ bass.

Please see the next question.

 

Will the Plate match my Pickguard?

The plate was designed to match the curved radius of the American or Standard (Mexican) Jazz basses.

Some Squier and other low cost basses used a slightly more squared off plate at the top to save money during construction.

The gap on these basses can be a bit larger in the center and while you can see a small gap, most players don't noticed after installation.

If you want a "perfect" fit for one of the squared off pickguards then I suggest you replace the pickguard with an upgraded part.

 

Will it work with a back side routed bass cavity?

If your bass uses a control plate on top for the traditional look then it will work fine.

 

Will it work with a Wood Top with No Plate?

Maybe but only if the holes are exactly in a line with the traditional Fender control plate hole spacing and you may have to increase the size of the holes.

The single controls need a 7 mm hole - the stacks need a 9 mm hole.

If you want to use the LED battery meter then this requires a 3 mm hole.

 

Can I get it with a different color of knob set?

We offer Chrome, Gold, and Black.

There is a slight extra cost for non-Chrome knobs.

 

Can I get it with a different style of knob?

No - we do not have other knobs.

If you want you can remove the stock knobs and put your own knob set on the preamp.

The singles and tops of stacks are 6mm shafts.

The bottoms of stacks are 8mm shafts.

All shafts are round holes - so a set screw is required to hold the knob on.

 

Does it come with a Black or Gold Control Plate?

No - we tried this in the past and the quality of the plates did not meet our expectations.

 

Can I change the Control Plate?

Maybe - if the plate you purchase has the holes in the standard location and they are big enough then you can unscrew the parts and move them over to your plate.

Your new plate will probably not have a hole for the LED battery meter - either lose the feature by moving the LED back or see the next question.

 

I need to add a hole for the LED Battery Meter to my own Control Plate?

The hole size should be 1/8" or 3.1 mm.

 

How long does the Battery last?

A high quality 9 volt battery will last about 300 hours plugged into most bass amps.

If you are plugged into a lower ohm load - most common is directly into a  line level recording interface - then the preamp will need more power to drive the output signal to full frequency response so your battery will have a shorter life but you are getting a higher quality recording so not a bad trade-off.

 

Why is a Battery not included?

In the past we shipped batteries with the preamps but shipping rates have continually increased and the battery pushes the weight up to a different class of postage so there was a significant price jump.

So at this point is makes more sense to have you supply the battery so that we can offer you the product at a lower total cost.

 

Do I need to put in a Battery Box?

No - Normally the battery fits in the electronics cavity under the preamp circuit board.

 

Can I hook it up to my Battery Box?

Yes

If your version of the preamp has the jack mounted on the plate then cut the battery end of the jack off.

For a preamp with a side mounted jack, un-solder and remove the battery clip

Next solder the wires to the red (+) and black (-) connections on your battery box.

Insulate the wire joints when you are done.

A 9 or 18 volt battery box system can be used, the sound will be the same.

Video of how the Simplified LED Battery Meter works with a 9 volt battery box

Video of how the Simplified LED Battery Meter works with a 18 volt dual battery box

 

Can I get it with a Long Threaded Body Jack?

Can I get it with a Neutrik Locking Jack?

Sorry there are too many different jack types for us to supply all of them and for some types they are hard to replace.

But if you have a stereo jack (common) then you can move our wires over to your jack.

The white is the tip connection (preamp output)

The black is the ring connection (negative side of the battery which is connected to ground by the mono plug to power up the preamp)

The Grey/white wire is the ground(s).

 

Does 18 volts create a Higher Output Level or Help in some way?

Same output level.

If you adjust up the pickup gains and use a LOT of tone control boost then it might help.

Most players do not need to bother with 18 volts; our electronics work great on a single battery.

 

Some of my other Active Basses are Louder?

Many players will own basses that have more output gain than our preamps supply but this extra gain comes at the cost of modifying the sound quality.

At reasonable volumes, a louder bass sounds better - you perceive that it has more high and low frequencies - but if you make the volume level equal, using your amp, in order to compare it to the original tone, you probably will not be very impressed by the sound quality.

We are not trying to trick you into thinking our preamp sounds better than your passive bass by just pumping up the volume, we want your bass to retain the full passive tone of the pickups but make it play better and to be easier to use on stage.

Since all commercially viable bass power amps work well with a passive jazz bass - more of these are sold than any other type of bass... your bass amplifier should have plenty of power to drive the speakers.

If your bass amp has 2 inputs - use the one for the passive input with all of our preamps.

The active input just reduces your signal to the same level as a passive bass and then uses this signal as the source for the rest of the amplifier.

If you bass amp has only one input with a gain adjustment then set it like you would for a passive bass input.

 

How do I make it Sound like a Passive Bass?

Tone controls in the center detents are flat.

We do not have the distortion which most preamps do so we won't mess up your tone.

 

Can I add an Active/Passive Switch?

Not possible but our design addresses the most common reasons players want an A/P switch, which are:

1) Sound issues - we do not screw up your sound with a lot of distortion.

2) Battery issues - we have a LED battery meter.

3) Electronic failure - the switch would reduce not increases your reliability.

 

Will this work with my Pedals?

Probably - most pedals are designed for passive input levels and this preamp will play nice with them.

In a very few cases some pedals may not like that we drive the cable from a lower impedance source than a passive pickup.

We drive the cable harder to avoid external noise pickup by the output cable but if this causes you issues with a pedal, which is unlikely, then email us and we will explain how to add a resistor to the output jack way to raise the output impedance.

 

Will the preamp produce Hum?

The preamp will not produce hum - it runs off a battery as opposed to a 50/60 cycle power line but the preamp will pass through hum collected by the pickups.

Single coil pickups will naturally hum when the levels are not equal or in the rare case that your pickups are not RWRP pickup windings.

Normally the levels will be equal in the center detent of the balance control but this can be changed when the gain adjustments are not set equal or when a pickup maker has increased the windings on a Bridge pickup to boost its lower volume up (the string movement is less at the Bridge pickup location which creates lower volume).

 

Is shielding the pickups a good idea?

Always if well done and it can reduce the noise in a lot of cases.

One thing we commonly see done incorrectly on shielding is not grounding it correctly - non grounded shielding is an antenna for noise.

 

Does this preamp work with Hum Canceling pickups?

Yes.

Note - shielding hum canceling pickups is often overlooked and important to get the lowest noise levels.

 

Can you list this as a Gift or reduce the Invoice Paper work to avoid Taxes?

Sorry - IMO Taxes are way too high in lots of places but this is a serious crime in the US and we can-not engage in these practices.

 

What is the EU VAT tax basis for this item?

We do not collect VAT and no parts have any VAT included in their price.

When you get delivery of the item you will be required to pay any VAT.

 

How is the product coded for Duty charges for overseas shipping?

We encode it as a part for an electric guitar.

 

I will be traveling from overseas to the US for business or a vacation - can I have the preamp shipped to my hotel?

Probably - email us with your plans - assuming someone can sign for it (most hotels will do this) then it is probably possible to work it out.

Note we are only responsible for the preamp till it gets signed for at the delivery point.

 

How do I select a Volume and Volume Configuration?

Sorry, in order to create the lower price preamps with the same high quality we are only able to make it in the most popular configurations.

 

What is the Frequency Response of the 2 Band Tone Control Option?

We use shelving controls for all Treble and Bass tone controls so the specs look different than other manufacturers.

Our specified frequency point is at the 1/2 boost or cut frequency.

The 2 band tone control specs are Bass 200 Hz +/- 18 dB and Treble 2.0 KHz +/- 17.5 dB.

 

What is the Frequency Response of the 3 Band Tone Control Option?

The Mid Tone control spec is 500 Hz +/- 10 dB.

We use shelving controls for all Treble and Bass tone controls so the specs look different than other manufacturers.

Our frequency specified point is where the 1/2 boost or cut frequency occurs.

The 2 band tone control specs are Bass 200 Hz +/- 16 dB and Treble 2.5 KHz +/- 16.0 dB.

 

What is the Frequency Response of the 4 Band Tone Control Option?

The Low Mid Tone control spec is 250 Hz +/- 10 dB.

The High Mid Tone control spec is 750 Hz +/- 10 dB.

We use shelving controls for all Treble and Bass tone controls so the specs look different than other manufacturers.

Our frequency specified point is where the 1/2 boost or cut frequency occurs.

The 2 band tone control specs are Bass 180 Hz +/- 16.0 dB and Treble 3.2 KHz +/- 18.0 dB.

 

What is a Passive Type Tone?

A passive type tone is a high frequency roll off circuit.

It is like the 3rd control on a standard passive jazz bass.

When you max the control, all of the high frequency content is present in the output signal.

If you turn the control to the min position a bass will get very dark with little high frequency in the signal.

At in-between settings the effects are more complex.

Many players love this type of high frequency control and it is available on the side mounted jack versions of the preamp.

 

I can-not hear a change from the Treble Tone Control?

When I turn it up the Bass Tone Control it causes a lot of distortion?

Most likely you are testing with an inexpensive practice type amp which has an under powered amplifier and speaker - try your real bass amp setup.

If you have a tube front end (or power section) then it may be time to replace the tube(s).

If you are using a very large speaker with no midrange or tweeter then you will not get a lot of Treble response. In many cases you can turn the tweeter or midrange speaker volumes up on the speaker's crossover circuit.

A few pickups have very little treble signal in their response - they tend to be over-wound versions - if you have this type of pickup it will never get very bright but this is a trade off in your pickup design.

 

Are these Built in the USA?

Depends on if you are in the camp of the lawyers from California who are suing manufacturers in the music industry for stating things are "Made in the USA" when every subpart was not made here.

News flash - by this definition NOTHING with electronics in it is made in the USA - no fighter jets or other military items - no cars - none of it is Made in the USA.

We designed all the circuits which are unique and please see the link below to decide for yourself where it was made

Video of how we build our products in Oregon, USA.

 

Can you build a preamp with a different Tone Control Frequency Response?

Sorry - we do not make custom modifications to the designs.

 

I want to use it with a power source from my amplifier?

It's possible, assuming your have modified your amplifier or have one with an internal power supply to the ring of a stereo cable.

Rewire the output jack as follows - red goes to the ring connection where black is today - use a stereo cable from your bass to the amplifier.

 

I have Active EMGs and seem to be getting some Distortion?

Make sure you have the EMGs hooked up correctly to the battery (red to red off battery jack) and that the EMG ground goes to the ring on the jack where black off the battery is connected.

Some older EMGs have very hot outputs - you may need to divide down the inputs to a more reasonable level - email service@audereaudio.com

 

I Lose Volume when the Balance is in the Center ?

Your pickups are probably out of phase - invert the pickups hot and common wires to 1 and only 1 of the pickups.

Note if you have two neck or bridge pickups as opposed to a pair then you will probably have odd looking wire colors when the connections are correctly phased and they will not hum cancel if single coils when the balance is centered.

 

Why does the LED Flash when the Cord is Inserted into the Jack?

The flash tells you the batter level is good Video of how the Simplified LED Battery Meter works

If we left the LED on as opposed to flashing it then the power to drive the LED would drain your battery too quickly.

 

The LED is not Flashing any more when the Cord is Inserted into the Jack?

It is time to replace your battery Video of how the Simplified LED Battery Meter works OR

In a few rare cases - the jack parts were touching conductive paint of foil in a cavity and keeping the preamp powered up which is also draining your battery - to fix add insulator in-between the jack parts and wall.

 

The LED seems to Flash for less on time and it looks less bright over time?

This shows you the decrease in battery strength Video of how the Simplified LED Battery Meter works

 

My Battery Died Overnight?

This normally means the cable was left in the jack - while the cable is in the jack the preamp is powered up - so remove the cable when you are done playing.

In a few rare cases - the jack parts were touching conductive paint of foil in a cavity and keeping it powered up - to fix add insulator in-between the jack parts and wall.

 

When I first insert the cord plug into the Jack it has a Loud POP?

Almost all preamps internal to a bass use a stereo jack to control the battery power.

The ring on the stereo jack touches the shaft of a mono plug which grounds the negative side of the battery and powers up the preamp.

While you were inserting the plug into the jack - the end of the cable hits the ring terminal which causes the loud pop.

Professional players get in the habit of pulling the other end of the cable slightly out of their amp jack when inserting the cable into the bass which stops the popping.

 

The Preamp is new and it never powered up when I Inserted the Cord?

We have tested the preamps 2 independent times before it shipped - so let's look for simple situations to correct.

Most common is a bad battery, either it is very weak or completely dead.

Not getting the battery snap connected to the battery - make sure you have a good connection to both connections on the top of the battery.

Using a stereo line cord instead of a mono guitar cable - you must use a mono cord or the preamp will not power up.

Not inserting the cord far enough into the jack - the plug must go all the way into the connector.

Using a cord where the size of the plug shaft is too small to make a good electrical connection.

 

Contact:

  541 867 6878

  sales@audereaudio.com

Mail:

  Audere Audio

  4909 S Coast Hwy, STE 295

  South Beach, OR. 97366

Copyright 2016 Audere Engineering LLC

Jazz Preamp Series

Frequently Asked Questions