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Chiliwailer

John East J-Tone Onboard Pre Amp

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Just a quick note to spread the love and say ‘Wow’, what a lovely addition to my Jazz Bass.

http://www.east-uk.com/index.php/bass/j-tone101.html

It sounds gorgeous, and the internal bass & treble voicing control is a great touch. The reason I chose this over the also excellent J-Retro is that I can still get the original passive mode too with a passive tone control. There’s some other cool features too such as direct drop in, no routing or soldering. 

I bought direct from John East, very fast shipping and a hand written compliment note - so a fine gent as well :)

153E8A87-2B87-43EC-9138-F5F7001AFD7A.jpeg

Edited by Chiliwailer
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John makes great stuff. He's also very responsive to emails. I have a DJ-Retro in my Lakland, fabulous preamp.

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Had one, really liked it and wow there was some bass on it, but too many knobs for me to twiddle!

still sounded mint though 

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My Jazz without a J retro is unthinkable to me now.

 

I like the idea of that tone control.

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Funnily enough I was looking at east preamps the other day for a project I might do next year, nothing fancy, just turning a standard, passive mex jazz into an active 'super jazz'.

Did you mess about with the internal pots much, specifically the bass and treble voicing controls, or were you happy with the 'factory' presets?

 

I'm not sure I can be trusted with too many variables to play with.

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A bog standard (if there ever was one) J-Retro comes factory preset at all the right places. Very musical preamp. John clearly knows a thing or two about designing great preamps. I discussed with him briefly over email about his J-Retro with "Marcus voicing". Decided to go for standard voicing on my DJ-Retro.

I really like the flexibility of the mid-sweep and the pull bright switch of the J-Retro design. It does have a gentle EQ curve built in though. If you don't want that coloured sound already added the J-Tone may be the one for you. Whichever one you choose you will not be disappointed. 

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7 hours ago, Cato said:

Funnily enough I was looking at east preamps the other day for a project I might do next year, nothing fancy, just turning a standard, passive mex jazz into an active 'super jazz'.

Did you mess about with the internal pots much, specifically the bass and treble voicing controls, or were you happy with the 'factory' presets

I'm not sure I can be trusted with too many variables to play with.

I went with a “set and forget’ approach as I too don’t want to be messing around more than playing. I spent about 5 mins adjusting the trims, but actually found the setting I liked within 2 mins. I know the bass well so it wasn’t hard for me to find it (whilst having the treble and bass slightly boosted). 

The mid point on the internal trims  is at 12 o clock according to the manual, both dials came set at 10 o clock, I’m not sure if that’s deliberate. John was a great guy to email, I had some questions, so I’m sure he’ll answer the factory preset question for you. 

Now I just use minor tweaks to the bass and treble control, they are very reactive, 

And the passive tone knob works during active mode too - so you can still get some old school ‘muffled’ bass, if you know what I mean?!

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8 hours ago, gjones said:

My Jazz without a J retro is unthinkable to me now.

 

I like the idea of that tone control.

+1, can’t see why I’d ever take this out :)

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1 hour ago, Chiliwailer said:

I went with a “set and forget’ approach as I too don’t want to be messing around more than playing. I spent about 5 mins adjusting the trims, but actually found the setting I liked within 2 mins. I know the bass well so it wasn’t hard for me to find it (whilst having the treble and bass slightly boosted). 

The mid point on the internal trims  is at 12 o clock according to the manual, both dials came set at 10 o clock, I’m not sure if that’s deliberate. John was a great guy to email, I had some questions, so I’m sure he’ll answer the factory preset question for you. 

Now I just use minor tweaks to the bass and treble control, they are very reactive, 

And the passive tone knob works during active mode too - so you can still get some old school ‘muffled’ bass, if you know what I mean?!

That's useful cheers.

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12 hours ago, Chiliwailer said:

+1, can’t see why I’d ever take this out :)

I do recommend the sweepable mid control on the standard J Retro - it brings great clarity to the sound of a Jazz. I wonder if John East has a version with a tone and a mid control? Or would that be taking things too far?

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25 minutes ago, gjones said:

I do recommend the sweepable mid control on the standard J Retro - it brings great clarity to the sound of a Jazz. I wonder if John East has a version with a tone and a mid control? Or would that be taking things too far?

I think the deluxe J retro has the added tone knob? Looks like you may be in for a change!!!

I wouldn’t argue with you about the extra mid control beign useful, but I’m into the simple vibe so I’m sorted :) 

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Question: these solderless looms and preamps I hear plenty about: how do you attach the wires from the pickup(s)?

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10 minutes ago, Daz39 said:

Question: these solderless looms and preamps I hear plenty about: how do you attach the wires from the pickup(s)?

Cut the wire from the solder joints on your current pots etc, then strip them back and screw into the sockets in the new preamp - similar, but not quite, like changing a plug. You’ll need a very small flat head screwdriver. 

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If you are adept with a soldering iron you could also tin the wires right after stripping the insulation. Prevents fraying the wires when inserting the wires into the terminal blocks.

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