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Hit&Run

BTB 405 Preamp Query

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I've got an Ibanez BTB405, and the preamp seems a bit on the quiet side. It's an 18v system, but when I plug it into my amp I have to turn the input gain 'way up high' to get any discernable noise out of the amp.

I'd normally have the input gain set to about 9 o'clock with just about any other bass, but it's on more like 3 o'clock (gasp) when I plug in the btb.

I've put 2 new batteries in (duracell procell) and the output was a bit higher, but nowhere near what I would have expected.

Has anyone else experienced this? Should I lay out for some duracell ultras?

Thanks in advance,
H&R

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A difficult one to answer H&R, has it always been like this? did you buy it new?

I'm not familiar with the bass, has it got a passive / active switch? If so is there any difference in level?

If the replacement batteries were new I don't think more expensive batteries will help much, seems like quite a substantial drop in volume from the norm. If you're up to it I would check the wires inside are all connected properly. Including the battery wires and the switch jack wires and the pickup wires. make sure its all grounded properly etc. Check the solder joints are not loose / dull.

Otherwise it could be any number of things. Might be best to take to a tech who will have the diagnostic tools required to identify the fault.

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It should have a really high output. My 405 was stupidly loud, try some switch cleaner in all the pots.
The mid boost on mine got a little grubby and the output dropped right off.

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"A difficult one to answer H&R, has it always been like this? did you buy it new?"
I got it 2nd hand off this very forum, and it didn't used to be like this.

"I'm not familiar with the bass, has it got a passive / active switch? If so is there any difference in level?"
It's active all the time. The pots are: Vol/Pan/Bass/Treble/Concentric mid stack. None are push/pull.

Nice one gents. I'll have a forage tonight, and maybe let my electronics-savvy guitarist have a fettle with it. The sound seems quite compressed as well, although I don't know if this is just a coincidence?

Cheers,
H&R

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I have a 4 string BTB and I had the same problem.....I play in a loud band and it rendered the guitar almost useless as you couldnt hear anything I was playing unless i turned the gain right up on the amp and then got a distorted sound that I didnt want.....apparently its a common problem with BTB`S as they are fitted with cheap Bartolini mk1 pickups on most standard guitar models....I upgraded to the much better spec Bartolini mk2 Soapbars (fitted to quite a few of Ibanez more up market guitars) and the increase in volume was immense.....like night and day.....the preamp in your guitar is pretty standard for the Ibanez range guitar with the 18v preamp fitted, it basically comes down to you have sh*te pick ups fitted in your guitar at the moment....apologies if im wrong on this but I did have the same problem as you and it had nothing to do with the batteries....

Reguards

Sean.

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I'll second the Bartolini concern. I used to have a SR3006 which had American Barts in it, not the MkI's and the output of those was also pretty feeble - the Ibanez spec Barts seem to be very low output pickups by design. Swapping them out made a world of difference. Consider raising the pickups closer to the strings to give yourself a bit more oomph and if your amp has a passive/active option, use the passive input.

I can't see batteries making it any louder in any big way, other than swapping old for new. A 9v is going to put out 9v.

Have a look at your preamp and see if there are trim pots on it, there could be a volume control in there. The specs of your pre should be easy enough to find on the Ibanez website.

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