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For many years I've been fiddling about with some home made active electronics to create separate filters for each of two pickups, plus blend and volume.  It's been fun, but the results were never reliable (crackle, pop, dead, buzz etc);  whilst deciding what to build next, I ran across John East 's electronics and read several recommendations.

This one http://www.east-uk.com/index.php/acg-eq01-4k.html is pretty much what I have been aiming at all these years.  It seems to be a modernised version of what my Wal has inside it - ie filter per pickup, with a "Q-factor" control (the Wal has just a switch) and a variable high frequency pass through (again, the Wal has a "pick attack" switch which does the same thing).

Has anyone got or tried this circuitry?  Does anyone know of anyone else making similar?

I'm on the verge of pushing the "buy" button, but all told with a set of nice knobs, VAT and delivery it's £241.. which is sort of the price of a whole bass! So need a bit of a push ;¬)

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I haven't tried the one you mention but can vouch for the quality of my DJ-Retro preamp, also a John East preamp. If it's anything like that, I'm sure it is, you're in for a treat. John East knows a thing or two (or three) about designing a great bass preamp. Not cheap but quality rarely is... Good luck deciding!

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Isn't this the one John developed for Alan Cringean (ACG Basses)? 

If so, then you can't go far wrong with it.

I've had several of John's preamps over the years, and never a problem yet. As a Precision whore, I'm particularly fond of the P-Retro.

 

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As you already own a Wal, you won't be disappointed. It is the one made for ACG indeed. I sold mine last year because I had no need for such a preamp. You can do the Wal thing with this and a lot more. 

There is (was ?) one for sale here : 

I think, you'll get it cheaper by ACG : http://www.acguitars.co.uk/acg-eq01-filter-pre-amp/

 

Edited by Hellzero
Link forgotten.

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I met Alan (who runs ACG) at the London Bass Guitar Show this year and had a chance to try out an all-bells-and-whistles ACG East Pre as well as a P-Retro. Both were stunningly versatile and sounded great. I’d agree with the sentiments above that these preamps are worth every penny!

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I don't know much about ACG except that people rate them (him) ..and having just browsed their site,  they look fantastic value compared to .. erm, say ... a modern Wal! 

I was suprised to see the ACG-EQ-01-4 for sale on John East's site as someone told me you could only get them with ACG basses.  however, I see AC has moved on to a "DFM" pre-amp and that the EQ-01 is old hat in ACG terms.   Still, to me it looks like the bee's knee's ... kind of Wal electronics with a Turbo. 

I've mailed Mr East to check that my Delano pickups won't over-load his 9V electronics tho.  Pickups intended for electronics usually have a low output - and this was a limitation of my own designs; when fed by my previous single coil Kent Armstrong pickups, the pickup output voltage was higher than the little +4.5V op amps could manage.  You can get around it (as Percy Jones did) by sticking a step-up circuit in line with the battery to make a local 12V or 18V off the 9V supply voltage - wouldn't put it past John East's designs to include that ... as they include everything else.

Finger trembling over the "buy now" button whilst I wait for John's reply!

(the seller of that 2nd hand one seems to have gone silent on us .. but thanks for the link)

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Hi

I have worked with John East since I started building basses and we worked together on all the  ACG filter pre-amps. I sell the EQ01 as does John which is just a continuation of our on going working relationship. The EQ01 is not old hat it has been upgraded as the pre-amps have been developed. I still use it on basses myself but I mainly use the DFM which is only available in my own instruments where the EQ01 is also available to buy. There are no issues with any pickups and the EQ01 that I am aware of so your Deloanos should be fine. The EQ01 will work with 9v or 18v.

 

 

Cheers

Alan

Edited by skelf
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Have to agree with all .. i've known JE personally for well over 25 years, and he's a class engineer. I'm pretty sure he was on the crew that developed Peter Grabriels outrageous desk

You cant go wrong with an E-pre.

Bit of useless info -  bumped into John at our local jam bar 6 days ago and managed to get a pint out of him. Happy days

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On 3/31/2018 at 20:48, CameronJ said:

as well as a P-Retro. 

Does this mean there are new P-retro preamps out there? I have been looking for quite some time to no avail.

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33 minutes ago, owen said:

Does this mean there are new P-retro preamps out there? I have been looking for quite some time to no avail.

Me too. The J East website says they are out of stock.

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Almost instant response from John (don't you love these small can-do craftsman based companies!) ... 9V rail to rail, no voltage step up, standard op-amps; should handle peak voltages + - 3.5V; if that's not enough I'll have to get someone to rout out space for an extra battery or one of these (9V in <=35V out).

image.thumb.png.ccb0550cdc9872308bb3d410de4180a2.png

Now then, where's my oscilloscope!  I have some memory that I did this before and the delanos peaked at + - 3V (big thumb slap on the E string ... though why I'd be slapping a fretless, not sure - bad habits).

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1 hour ago, owen said:

Does this mean there are new P-retro preamps out there? I have been looking for quite some time to no avail.

Well I used it in one of Alan’s ACGs on display at the show, this one to be exact - http://www.acguitars.co.uk/project/0282-retrob-5-2/

I’d imagine John East must still be making these preamps otherwise Alan wouldn’t be able to keep making the basses? @skelf?

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I have a few P-Retros but I use a modified version not the standard one which John does for me. 

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4 minutes ago, skelf said:

I have a few P-Retros but I use a modified version not the standard one which John does for me. 

So presumably he hasn’t discontinued them, despite the website showing as “out of stock”

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I’m a huge fan of John East’s work. I have a J-Retro in my main gigging bass, a U retro in my fretless, and an original Overwater filter pre in my original series, which I understand John was behind the design and building of. I also have his treble & bass, and mid boost units in my homemade P5.

id say hover no more and hit that buy-it-now button. 😎

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13 hours ago, CameronJ said:

So presumably he hasn’t discontinued them, despite the website showing as “out of stock”

As far as I know they are still on the roster but John would be the man to talk to. 

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I have an ACG EQ02 (only 1 low pass filter shared between both pickups) in my Status bass and If you like filter pre's then you'll like the EQ01.

As you surmise, it does all the Wal/ Alembic stuff but with much greater flexibility. Both low pass filters have such a range that they can even be used a treble boosts as well as going down to virtually sub bass depths.

If you're anything like me, you will need to spend some time with it if you're going to be switching loads of tones around in a live setting but it doesn't take long. For recording, it's excellent - you can dial in just about any sort of sound you imagine.

In one of the bands I play with, we do house rehearsals and I play through a wee "busker" combo which is the most horrible, boxy sounding amp I've used for decades. The EQ02 equipped Status is the only bass  I have which can completely cancel out all the bad aspects of that amp and provide a beautiful, full, rich and crisp bass sound with no help from external eq's etc.

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This bass is mostly a noodling at home bass so lots of knobs to twiddle is a bonus!  Once it has the full JE monty inside it tho, it may get out more.  I find that with both the other basses, I have just a couple of favourite settings; an interesting one for playing at home and a more ordinary one for playing out.  We shall see.  Gone too far down the line now and have serious Electronics Acquisition Syndrome; I'll report back in a few weeks.

And thanks folks for the info and encouragement.

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I'm greedy I have two sets of ACG EQ02's in one of my basses, one set for each pickup with an overall master volume and pan. Though now that I'm more used to two filter based basses I'd like it modified to have a volume for each pickup and possibly if there is space, a master volume. To be honest I don't gig with it but do use it a lot for rehearsals and jam sessions. For me this would have been the ideal setup for reggae since the bottom end control is RIGHTEOUS!!! clear deep and heavy. Unfortunately any cab I tried it through couldn't handle this amount of bottom end at anywhere near gigging volumes. So for that use it was useable only via DI into FOH and eqing the heavy bottom out of my rig.

Now I have Barefaced cabs..... this could change things!!!! 

IMG_1959-2.jpg

Edited by jazzyvee

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Bought the acg-eq-01.  Spent an evening fiddling around trying to fit it inside the bass; completely changed my mind the next day and in a couple of hours, with a little bass surgery (dremel, sanding disk, lots of Padouk dust) IT'S IN!!

Now have a bass with EIGHT KNOBS (and three switches which do nothing but fill holes).

The suprising thing is the bass frequencies - I'd expected clearer high frequencies (passive setups load the pickups' inductance and lose high frequency content) but what really stands out is the extra and clearer bass, and the control of it via the filter gain adjustment.  Also, even if you go for a lot of bass and high frequency cut, then high frequency pass-through allows harmonics and "pick attack" to come through.

I honestly reckon that the acg-eq-01 is better than the much fabled electronics in my Wal .. and would love to hear what a Wal would sound like with East tronics in it ... not that I'm about to vandalise my own one to find out! 

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As a former ACG owner (albeit a few years ago), I reckon the East electronics are everything and more than the Wal system. The Wal system is fine but the East electronics are so much more flexible. Perfect if you like to sculpt your tone but sculpting is the best way to describe what working the controls is like and it takes a bit of time to work out how to get the best from them. They are amazing, as are ACG basses. I may have to buy another some day! 

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I have the eq01 in my streamer - it's amazing. 

Aftrr a few months soaking in tone becomes simpler than with a 3 band eq 

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